Best Sewing Machine for Alterations in 2021 – Basic to Heavy

You no longer need to throw away your favorite shirt or dress just because it’s snagged or ripped off. A sewing machine can put an end to such circumstances. Unlike heavy-duty sewing machines, alteration can be done using a small and light-duty machine.

Without spending much, you can buy yourself a decent unit, which can also be used for making new clothes if you have advanced sewing skills.

After days of research and taking experts’ opinions, here’s what I have for you. From the list, you will find the best sewing machine for alterations whether you are looking for one for commercial or household purposes.

Reviews of 10 Best Sewing Machine for Alterations

1. Singer 4423 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine – Best Overall

SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine, Grey

Highlighted Features

  • 97 built-in stitches
  • 1100 stitches per minute
  • 60% stronger motor than conventional sewing machines
  • Heavy-duty metal and stainless steel construction
  • 4 presser feet
  • Built-in needle threader
  • 1-step buttonhole

The first one on the list is from Singer. As it’s a versatile sewing machine, you can do a lot more than just altering clothes and fabrics.

To make stitching easy and less time consuming, it comes with 97 built-in stitches from which you can choose the right stitch for your needs whether it’s for personal needs, crafting, home decor, or fashion purposes. Choosing your desired stitch is a matter of turning its selector dial.

Creating buttonholes is a matter of 1-step process using the Singer 4423 model. Also, you can thread the needle effortlessly without straining your eye.

With its ability to make a max of 1100 stitches per minute, you will get things done a lot faster if you are already skilled at sewing tasks.

Its motor makes it super strong to pierce thicker seams without taking much time. Sewing thick and heavy-weight fabric isn’t something to be concerned of once you got this workhorse at your home.

Things we like:

  • Can tackle heavy-duty commercial sewing needs
  • Stitches really fast even on thicker fabrics
  • Effortless stitch type selection
  • Easy to wind drop-in bobbin
  • Full metal durable and compact construction to last decades
  • Additional presser foot for thicker fabrics
  • Comes with a lot of sewing accessories

Things we don’t like:

  • Makes pretty loud sound while stitching
  • Tension does stay stable all the time

Who Should Buy?

If you intend to purchase a heavy-duty sewing machine for a cloth-making small business, this would be the best sewing machine for alterations business you can get at this price point.

02. REX RX-518 Professional Grade Sewing Machine – Best for Hemming

REX RX-518 All Metal Construction Portable Professional Grade Desktop Blindstitch, Cuffs, Failling Slack Bottoms, Hemming Dresses, Skirt and Coat Bottoms, Draperies, Negligees, Undergarments, Lapel Padding, Blouses Sleeves Machine

Highlighted Features

  • Perfect hemming on light and medium heavy-weight fabrics
  • Professional grade hemming and stitching
  • 1-1 2-1 skip stitching
  • Swing bed plate for more work space
  • Metal and plastic made durable and lightweight construction
  • Easy to carry in places

When hemming is your preference, you can’t go wrong with this sewing machine from Rex. For commercial grade hemming, it got all you would need to finish hours of hand-sewing in just a couple of minutes.

This machine works best for light to medium duty synthetic, knit, and wool fabrics. You can also stitch any denim material with a great quality finish.

For hemming dresses, pant cuffs, coat bottom, draperies, negligees, lapel padding, undergarments, blouses, and sleeves, you won’t find any better alternative to this machine.

This pants hemming machine features skip stitch for 1-1 and 2-1 stitching, which gives it a bit of versatility. If your project needs a bigger work space, you can swing away its bed plate to arrange more space.

Be sure to use blind-stitch thread for doing it correctly. Otherwise, this bilnd-hemming machine will give you a lot of headaches.

You might find it difficult to grab lighter fabrics and duck cottons with a single hem. Holding the fabric a bit higher above the plate will make it easier for you to deal with.

Compared to other compact sewing machines, threading can be a bit difficult in this machine.

Things we like:

  • Handles commercial grade hemming tasks with ease
  • Finishes projects pretty fast
  • Ideal for commercial and home use
  • Flawless stitching every time
  • Makes perfect blind-stitches in seconds

Things we don’t like:

  • Threading is quite difficult
  • Cannot handle thinner fabrics that well

Who Should Buy?

Whether it’s for home or commercial hemming purposes, this one stands out from others as the best sewing machine for hemming pants on the list. If you have to deal with a lot of hemming tasks, your investment would be worthwhile getting this machine.

03. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Portable Sewing Machine – Best Computerized

SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches, Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects

Highlighted Features

  • 600 preloaded stitches with one-touch selection
  • 5 Alphanumeric font and 13 built-in buttonhole styles
  • Mirror imaging and stitch elongation for creative designs
  • 850 stitches per minute
  • Extension table

If you have been looking for a computerized sewing machine, this machine puts an end to your search. This computerized machine does more than any average portable sewing machine. Sewing quality and conveniences of it will surely make much appeal to you.

Whether your sewing projects require basic, decorative or stretch stitches, you will find the machine quite capable of handling such tasks. Crafting, home decor, quilting, and fashion sewing will be much easier and convenient to do once you have this machine.

You can choose the right stitch-type from its 600 built-in stitches. In addition, as it’s a computerized machine, it comes preloaded with 5 Alphanumeric fonts for complicated designs. If you want to be more creative, you will find its mirror imaging and stitch elongation extremely useful and easy to use.

The motor is powerful enough to make 850 stitches per minute. You can handle commercial sewing projects pretty fast using this machine. It comes with 13 presser feet, which makes it a versatile sewing machine for alterations.

For making buttonholes, there are 13 built-in styles for you to choose the perfect one for your project. Threading the needle is pretty easy and fast. Within a few seconds, you can thread a needle and spool without eye strain and frustration.

Things we like:

  • Computerized machine for convenient sewing
  • Easy to select stitch type from endless options
  • Easy to thread needle with built-in threader
  • Drop-in style easy wind bobbin
  • 13 preloaded easy to make buttonhole styles
  • Durable metal construction for longevity

Things we don’t like:

  • Poor Alphabet functions
  • Not for heavy-duty sewing

Who Should Buy?

If you want the convenience of using a computerized machine for light and medium duty sewing needs, it would be the best sewing machine for basic alterations.

04. Axis 500-1 Portable Blind – Best for Hemming Pants

814r0TrfpQL. AC SL1500

Highlighted Features

  • Up to 1200 RPM max speed
  • Variable stitch pedal speed
  • Adjustable thread tensioner
  • Sews and hems well on light to medium heavy fabrics
  • True skip-stitch function

Another hemming machine on the list. When hemming pants with sewing machine is your preference, this one offers the best price with some exciting and useful features and specs.

Using this machine, you can stitch on light to medium woven fabrics without any struggle whatsoever. Be it wools, denims, cottons, and other fabrics, you can adjust stitch penetration, which allows you to use it as a versatile sewing machine.

For commercial grade hem pants, cuffs, sleeves, and similar other projects, you will find this machine more capable than conventional sewing machines out there. With its fast sewing speed, you can sew larger projects pretty quick.

You can also adjust blind stitch pedal spread as well. Depending on the project you are working on, adjust the speed and foot controller to get precise and delicate finish.

Installation won’t take much time if you follow the manual properly. Keep in mind that once all are set, the machine will cause a very strong oil smell for a few weeks. After that, it won’t bother you at all.

Things we like:

  • Fast stitching and hemming compared to other machines
  • Lots of adjustable options for versatile sewing
  • Deals light fabrics with precise sewing intensity
  • Useful skip-stitch function for wide array of creativity
  • For both home and commercial uses

Things we don’t like:

  • Initially it has strong smell
  • Doesn’t work well with thinner fabrics

Who Should Buy?

If you mostly deal with hemming pants, cuffs, sleeves, and other similar stuff, it would be a value for money sewing machine for your home and commercial needs.

05. Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine – Best Heavy Duty

Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine w/Hard Case + 1/4" Seam Foot + Blind Hem Foot + Overedge Foot + Rolled Hem Foot + Zipper Foot + Buttonhole Foot + Leather and Universal Needles + More!

Highlighted Features

  • 18 built-in stitches
  • Adjustable presser foot panel
  • Can sew on fabrics of different thickness
  • Easy turning dial to select preferred stitch type
  • Automatic needle threader

This is one of those household sewing machines that can be used for heavy-duty purposes with great convenience. Janome manufactured this unit to handle light to heavy-duty sewing projects without wasting much time. Thus, if you have a small business that has to do with sewing and stuff, you can count on this machine.

On this machine, you can work on a wide variety of fabrics of different thicknesses. From silky to heavy denim, just name it – this workhorse is more than capable of bringing you great sewing results all the time.

From its built-in 18 stitches, you can select the right stitch of your needs. Just take a glance with its flip-up stitch panel, and pick the needed stitch type turning dial.

The presser foot is also adjustable using a turn dial. Depending on the thickness of the fabric, turn the dial to prepare the fabric perfectly before sewing.

Compared to other heavy-duty sewing machines, this one operates relatively quieter. It won’t vibrate your table whatsoever.

The manufacturer included a whole lot of sewing accessories to make things easier for you. Also, any universal sewing item is compatible with this machine.

Things we like:

  • Great sewing speed even on thicker fabrics
  • Handles thicker fabrics well even if it’s denim
  • Quiet operation, doesn’t vibrate the table
  • Adjustable functions to meet versatile sewing needs
  • Easy to thread needle without straining eyes
  • Durably made for heavy-duty sewing needs

Things we don’t like:

  • Bobbin winder doesn’t wind bobbin evenly
  • Average backstitching quality

Who Should Buy?

If you need a home sewing machine, which can deal with all crazy sewing attempts, and at the same time can handle heavy-duty projects well, this would be the best sewing machine for alterations you can get at this price range.

06. WD-500 Portable Blind Stitch – Best for Lightweight Sewing

WD-500 Portable Blind Stitch Hemming Machines Alterations Hem Pants - Dressmaker Sewing Machine Desk Blindstitch Hemmer

Highlighted Features

  • 1200 stitches per minute
  • 7mm presser foot
  • Adjustable stitch penetration and stitch length
  • Skip stitch 1-1 and 2-1 feature
  • Swing-away bed plate for extended workspace

If you are an occasional dressmaker, and need a basic sewing machine for alterations, your research ends here. This machine from YEQIN comes with the most essential features you will need for alterations without making it inconvenient for you.

You can sew on light to medium weight fabrics with great results. Customers found this unit to be extremely useful to use for synthetic, knit, and wool fabrics.

As far as typical sewing operations are concerned, you will be able to get things done much quicker. This machine can make up to 1200 stitches per minute, thanks to its powerful motor for incredibly fast operation.

Sewing pant cuffs, hemming dresses, felling slack bottoms, coat bottoms, undergarments, blouses, etc. can be done with great finish.

If you have advanced sewing skills, its skip stitch 1-1 and 2-1 stitching feature will be very useful for your creativity and skills.

The unit comes with a swing-away bed plate to arrange extended space for larger fabric pieces.

Things we like:

  • Incredibly fast sewing speed
  • Can sew on thicker fabrics like denim easily
  • Adjustable stitch penetration length for precise sewing on different fabrics
  • Reliable blind stitching machine for home use
  • Great portability, can be carried easily

Things we don’t like:

  • Difficult to thread the needle
  • Doesn’t feel that heavy

Who Should Buy?

At this price, this sewing machine offers incredible values for home and small business needs. If sewing repairs and alterations are your prime concern, this one is definitely a go-to option.

07. Brother CS7000x Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine – Best Budget

Brother CS7000X Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine, 70 Built-in Stitches, LCD Display, Wide Table, 10 Included Feet, White

Highlighted Features

  • 70 built-in stitches
  • Auto-size 1-step buttonholes
  • Auto needle threader
  • Drop-in bobbin winder
  • Metal construction
  • Larger workspace

Those who are on a tight budget, and looking for a decent sewing machine to tackle light-duty and home alterations, Brother offers this budget-friendly sewing machine that meets such requirements.

Although it’s a budget-friendly product, intermediate as well as advanced craft-persons will find the product more than enough for most tasks.

There are in-built 70 stitches to choose from. No matter what you are up to, you will always find the desired stitch-type for your sewing needs. For decorative, quilting, heirloom, etc. stitches, you will find it as an extremely useful unit.

Like the rest of the other machines one the list, this one also features 1-step auto-sized buttonholes to make things superfast and easier.

You won’t have to struggle to thread the needle as it comes with an auto needle threader to make it an effortless task. It winds a bobbin in just 60 seconds, which is a great time-saving advantage.

As long as you will be using the unit for light fabrics, you won’t face any issue. It also comes with a generous amount of feet and accessories to make your initial sewing lessons easier.

Things we like:

  • Fast and accurate sewing on light fabrics
  • Lots of stitch types to choose from
  • Easy to thread the needle
  • Makes buttonholes like breeze
  • Lightweight construction, easy to carry
  • Value for money machine for beginners

Things we don’t like:

  • Not for thick fabric
  • Fabrics often jam under the needle

Who Should Buy?

As an inexpensive home sewing machine, it offers a lot more than you can expect paying such a low price. You can even use it for custom sewing and alterations without any issue.

08. Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine – Best Portable

Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine for Beginner, Dual Speed Portable Sewing Machine Machine with Extension Table, Light, Sewing Kit for Household, Travel

Highlighted Features

  • Dual power options AC or Batteries
  • 2 speed adjustments
  • Illuminating light
  • Finger guard
  • Foot pedal
  • Extension table

Sewing doesn’t necessarily have to have an expensive machine for you to start with. You can start as a beginner using this portable mini sewing machine. Although you cannot sew on thicker fabrics, the unit tackles thinner fabrics pretty well with its one stitching style sewing.

The unit can be used on both AC and DC power supply. If there’s no AC power outlet, you can leave everything up to 4 AA batteries to turn this little machine on. Turn on the machine with the physical button or foot pedal as per your convenience.

This unit offers adjustable sewing speed, which is quite impressive at this price point. Depending on your sewing skills, you can increase or decrease the speed for precise work.

It got a finger guard as well to make sure you don’t get injured accidentally. If you find yourself working in low light, turn on the machine’s light to illuminate your work area.

When sewing a large fabric, you will find its extension table very useful to get you the needed extra space.

Things we like:

  • Highly portable and lightweight machine to sew anywhere you go
  • 2 convenient power options to choose when needed
  • Foot pedal to ease of sewing
  • Physical and foot pedal options to turn on
  • Large extension table for medium larger fabrics
  • Comes with a small light to illuminate sewing area

Things we don’t like:

  • Adjusting thread tension can be frustrating for beginners

Who Should Buy?

For home sewing and alterations needs, you will find this mini portable machine to do its job perfectly fine. Just don’t expect anything overwhelming from it. It’s not for any thicker fabrics.

09. Singer Start 1304 Free Arm Sewing Machine – Best for Beginners

SINGER Start 1304 6 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Best Sewing Machine for Beginners, 11.46 pounds

Highlighted Features

  • 6 stitches for home and occasional uses
  • Automatic bobbin winding and needle threading
  • 4-step buttonholes
  • Dial stitch selection
  • Illuminating light
  • Durable metal interior frame
  • 3 presser feet

There are some beginner-friendly sewing machines from Singer, and this one is one of those. When compared to popular portable and high functional machines, Singer 1304 model seems to perform pretty solidly. You will have lots of features and functionalities to take your sewing to the next level.

This machine has 6 built-in stitches, which are more than enough for home sewing purposes. You need to just turn the dial to set the preferred stitch type to make it work.

Similar to some of the expensive machines I have listed here, this one also comes with automatic bobbin winder and threading features. It’s just a matter of a few seconds to tackle these two hazard-type tasks. Follow the number diagram to wind the bobbin correctly.

You can also make buttonholes in just 4 simple steps. The manufacturer provided 3 presser feet to meet your various sewing needs.

Singer didn’t compromise when it comes to its durability factor. The interior frame is made of metal to make sure the machine lasts long enough.

Things we like:

  • Pretty capable machine for home sewing needs
  • Threading needle and winding bobbin are pretty easy
  • Easy to make buttonholes
  • Illuminates dark area with light
  • Easy to turn dial for stitch selection

Things we don’t like:

  • Not that beginner friendly operation, it takes time to get used to

Who Should Buy?

There are cheap sewing machines out there. But if you want the durable build and sewing convenience, this would be the best sewing machine for cloth alterations you can get as a beginner.

10. Singer 01663 Stitch Sew Quick Mending Machine – Best Handheld

SINGER 01663 Stitch Sew Quick Portable Mending Machine

Highlighted Features

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Handheld machine for mending and repairing
  • Runs on AA batteries
  • Single thread sewing

For mending, using a handheld sewing machine seems to be more convenient and user-friendly for most cases. That’s why I have listed this handheld unit from Singer.

Not every time it feels like turning on a table-top sewing machine, especially if it’s for temporary basting and repairing anything quick. For lightweight fabrics, you would find this handheld mending extremely beneficial and super time-saving to use.

All you need is AA batteries to start this machine on. It only uses a single thread to fix things. The manufacturer was kind enough to include threads, bobbins, needles, and spindle to add more value to this deal.

If your kid likes the way you sew fabrics, this can be a nice gift for the little one as well.

Things we like:

  • Easy to mend fabrics
  • Suits best for lightweight fabrics
  • Easy to operate, much safe to play with
  • Can be used for sewing on-the-go

Things we don’t like:

  • Not for any serious sewing

Who Should Buy?

The machine isn’t for regular sewing. It will just make you more comfortable with mending tasks. Many tailors prefer keeping one of these handheld machines for simple sewing needs that don’t need a full-sized machine.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Sewing Machine for Alterations

If this is the first time you are buying a sewing machine or the above listed machines didn’t check your requirements well, keep in mind the following factors to get the best sewing machine for alterations to meet all your needs and preferences.

Number of Stitches

Compact sewing machines come with different stitch-types. You will find machines offer a few hundreds of stitches, whereas some only offer half a dozen.

The thing is, if you are looking for a sewing machine for commercial purposes, the more stitches, the better it would be. You will be able to select the desired stitch-type as per sewing projects require.

Fabric Type

Not all machines can handle each and every type of fabrics. Some seem to go perfectly fine with thin fabrics, whereas some heavy-duty ones handle thicker ones like denim and wool.

If you have to alter a lot of different kinds of fabric, get a heavy-duty sewing machine that can sew perfectly on fabrics of different thicknesses.

For home or occasional sewing needs, a light-duty machine would be a good choice for altering light and medium weight fabrics.

Stitching Speed

This refers to how many stitches a sewing machine makes within a minute. For home and regular uses, anything above 500 stitches per minute would be more than enough.

However, if you are to buy the best sewing machine for tailoring, make sure the stitching speed is more than 800 stitches per minute. You will be able to finish heavy-duty sewing projects within a short time to meet customers’ demand.

Adjustability

Sewing machines come with different adjustments. Some allow you to adjust the sewing length and depth, whereas some offer tensioning adjustment. Even portable ones come with stitching speed adjustments.

Length and depth adjustment is a must-have feature if you will deal with fabrics of different thicknesses.

Regular alterations would need to adjust the tension for versatile needs.

Be sure to get a machine with stitching speed adjustment if you will be making delicate stitches or designs.

Other Features

Needle threading causes a lot of frustration, especially for beginners. Be sure to get an automatic threading sewing machine to get rid of this frustration. It will also make sure you don’t experience straining eyes.

Bobbin winding takes quite a lot of time, which isn’t less frustrating than needle threading. Thankfully, there are machines that fill the bobbin in just a minute or less.

Buttonholes are something that more or less we all have to deal with. To make it easier, opt for a sewing machine with 1-step or 4-step buttonhole making feature.

How Can I Alter My Own Clothes?

Once you get the sewing machine shipped at home, no need to pay the tailor for altering your clothes. Be sure to follow the steps below to alter clothes easily –

  1. Get a tailor’s chalk. This is for marking the area you want to sew for altering the cloth.
  2. Determine how much you want to alter. Take the right measurement before proceeding.
  3. Use the chalk to mark the area where you will be sewing.
  4. Wind the bobbin and thread the needle in your machine.
  5. Set straight stitch option. If the altering requires any other stitching type, select the desired one.
  6. Raise the presser foot lever to lift the foot.
  7. Place the fabric under the presser foot, and lower the lever.
  8. Start sewing slowly following a straight line.
  9. Make backwards stitches to secure the thread on the fabric. There should be a button or option in your machine for it.
  10. Go back and forth until you sew across the marked area.
  11. When you are done, trim the threads. Wear the cloth to see if it’s altered as you expected or not.

FAQs

Conclusion

As different people have different sewing and altering needs, it’s difficult to find any specific one for all purposes.

If you want to alter clothes for basic home and small commercial needs, Singer 4423 Heavy-Duty machine will be the right pick.

For heavy-duty sewing needs, Janome HD3000 stands out against others for being the best sewing machine for alterations.

For a beginner to sew with great convenience, Singer 1304 machine would be the value for money pick.

About Zoe Craig

Zoe Craig is an expert on Fiber Science & Apparel Design, also a freelance writer with five years of writing experience. She works in product development and customer experience for fashion start-ups.

Leave a Comment