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When it comes to conserving space around your house, a small embroidery machine will keep you from growing out of your sewing corner.
I have an entire corner of my craft room stocked with all my embroidery machine supplies alone! This includes my fabrics, threads, embroidery blanks, stabilizers, and more. Once you add in my embroidery machine, sewing machine, and Cricut Maker, things get cramped.
Thus, I’ve put together reviews of the 5 best small embroidery machines to help you find a new machine that will not only embroider great creations but also not crowd your creative space!
Small embroidery machines will have small maximum hoop sizes. The smallest of embroidery machines usually offer a 4″x4″ maximum hoop size. If you want an even smaller hoop than the included 4″x4″ hoop, you can always buy a more petite hoop. For instance, I have a 1.5″ x 2″ hoop I use when embroidering tiny designs on small items like onesies or toddler t-shirts. If you plan to regularly embroider larger than 4″x4″ designs, save yourself the hassle of splitting designs and rehooping in between and invest in a machine with a larger hoop size.
The good news about compact embroidery machines is that they are much more affordable embroidery machines than large hoop machines. They will still have computerized screens that allow for basic editing without a computer and will have standard functions like automatic thread trimming and some degree of built-in designs and fonts. The more money you spend, though, the snazzier your machine is going to be. Just keep this in mind when selecting a machine also.
Best Small Embroidery Machine – Reviews
Here are some of the most petite embroidery machines available that won’t cramp your sewing space any more than necessary!
One of the smallest and most affordable embroidery machines available is the Brother PE535.
The 4″x4″ hoop on the is large enough to stitch most small embroidery designs, such as embroidered logos on shirts. Just because it’s small, though, doesn’t mean you are limited. I regularly use embroidery software to split designs so I can stitch several sections together to create much larger designs.
Features present on these small Brother embroidery machines include an automatic thread cutter at the end of stitching and a quick-set, top-drop bobbin, which is just a fancy way of saying it’s really easy to set up. All the Brother embroidery machines also include an advanced needle threader, which is pretty sleek. It’s a definite improvement over the Brother self-threading sewing machines. I’ve hated the needle threader on my Brother CS6000i for years, but I’ve loved my embroidery machine advanced threader!
The 80 included designs with the machine aren’t the most amazing designs ever, but you have the ability to import any design you wish via USB on the side of the machine. There are also 6 English fonts that come in small, medium, or large for monogramming or adding names to items. Luckily, there are thousands of free and paid embroidery designs available online for purchase and an unlimited amount you can create should you purchase additional embroidery software.
Once you’ve imported your design, you have a ton of ways you can edit it onscreen. Change thread colors, rotate the pattern, change the size, mirror the image, and more! Then, stitch your design easily with the buttons on the front of the machine.
|Embroidery Designs||80 included|
|Stitch Options||103 stitches, 10 buttonhole options|
|Maximum Sewing Speed||710 stitches per minute|
|USB Connection||Built-in USB port|
If you want a small embroidery machine but also not want to have a separate sewing machine around, consider a combination sewing and embroidery machine. The Brother SE600 is such a combination machine, meaning it has everything the Brother PE535 has, but it also sews. I own the Brother SE625, which is the almost identical twin of the Brother SE600. It just includes a gold face-plate instead and has an extra 200 designs on CD.
In terms of the additional sewing features, you’ll be getting 103 stitches with 10 automatic buttonhole options and 7 sewing presser feet. These sewing features are a big step up from most Brother computerized sewing machines. For instance, it includes automatic reverse/reinforcement stitching and automatic thread trimming. You can also program stitch combinations and save them, which is so cool! There are built-in side cutter stitches, which also work well with the Brother side cutter presser foot. This allows you to finish fabric edges, sew a seam, and trim excess fabric in one step. Kind of like a “faux” serger.
The good news about storage is the large embroidery arm is removable and can be stored separately. This decreases the size of the footprint of this Brother machine.
|Embroidery Designs||100 designs|
|Stitch Options||120 stitches|
|Maximum Sewing Speed||850 stitches per minute|
|USB Connection||No, but add designs with EverSewn Pro App.|
I’m a big fan of Eversewn sewing and embroidery machines based on personal experience. They’re technologically advanced machines that offer a lot for an affordable price.
Despite having a large 4.75″x7″ embroidery field, the Sparrow X takes up a pretty small footprint. It also contains 100 embroidery designs and functions as a sewing machine too.
What’s unique about the Eversewn Sparrow X is that design transfer is done via WiFi using their EverSewn Pro app. WiFi transfer is available on many high-end embroidery machines but is just not found on most embroidery machines under $1000 at this time. Using the EverSewn Pro app, you can edit designs on your computer, phone, or tablet. You then control the transfer and stitching of the design from your device. I like that you can sit in another room while your machine stitches, and then it will alert you within the app that it’s time for a thread change.
|Embroidery Designs||138 designs|
|Maximum Embroidery Speed||650 stitches per minute|
|USB Connection||Built-in USB port|
If it’s in your budget and size considerations, the Brother PE800 embroidery only machine is a nice jump up from the Brother PE535.
In addition to the inclusion of a 5″x7″ embroidery area, it features 138 designs and 11 fonts (7 in English compared to 6 on the Brother PE535.) With an embroidery speed of 650 spm, it’s also going to be faster than the PE535 when it comes to embroidering.
In addition, automatic jump-thread trimming is a huge plus as is the ability to combine designs on the screen. Meaning you can use the built-in designs to add a border to a monogram, for instance, without having to use embroidery software. This is different from the smaller hoop-sized Brother machines.
And if you’re looking for more than just embroidery, the sewing and embroidery combo version of the Brother PE800 is the Brother SE1900.
With a 5.5″ x 5.5″ embroidery area, the Janome Memory Craft 230E embroidery machine has one of the smallest hoop sizes and footprints available for a Janome computerized embroidery machine. Because the carriage of the embroidery machine is located inside the arm of the sewing space, this machine has less of an extended embroidery area to the left of the machine. Thus, it takes up less space.
It also includes 73 built-in embroidery designs and 3 monogramming fonts. Furthermore, you can import designs via USB and edit on-screen like with the Brother machines. On-screen editing features include changing sizes, rotating, and mirror imaging. There are no sewing features available for this machine and no automatic jump-thread trimming.
However, one thing to recommend it is the maximum embroidery speed of 650 spm.
Our library has a Janome Memory Craft embroidery machine for use, and these are the real deal! If you are looking for a larger hoop size or increased features, consider the Janome MC400E or even MC500E. They also feature a SIGNIFICANT increase in automatic features and embroidery options.
Best Small Embroidery Machine – Conclusion
As a loyal Brother and Janome embroidery machine user, I highly recommend these brands due to the perfect balance between quality and affordability. Best wishes for finding a machine that fits your needs!