Love it or hate it, the Michley LSS-202 Lil’ Sew & Sew sewing machine is a lightweight and ultra-compact machine that will save you hours of hand sewing if you offer it just a little bit of patience. It lacks all the bells and whistles of a more expensive machine as it knows only one simple lock stitch, but it is very good at it. Now let’s see what makes this little machine the perfect machine for simple stitching and why so many users have sadly developed a love-hate relationship with it.
About the Michley LSS-202 Lil’ Sew & Sew
Specifications and Description
- Stitches: 1 (straight) stitch
- Speeds: 2
- Product size: 7.7″ x 4.5″ x 8.3″ (19.5 x 11.4 x 21 centimeters)
- Product weight: 1.76 pounds (800 grams)
- Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
- Battery operated: Yes (4 AA batteries)
- AC Voltage: 110V (it comes with a 110V-240V adapter)
This handy bare-bones entry-level machine will impress with its reliability unless you are looking for the finesse of a feature-rich machine. The Michley LSS-202 comes with the bare minimum but even though it looks like a toy we do not recommend giving it to kids to learn how to sew on. It makes a great gift for pre-teen, teen, and adult sewers that are just starting out sewing but aren’t confident enough that they would not irremediably abuse a larger and more expensive machine.
But the Michley LSS-202 is not only for beginners. Advanced sewers will find it very useful when handling small projects that don’t require any finish works. Many users have praised the machine for being able to pull off a tight stitch that looks surprisingly good. However, those happy souls have had to first watch a handful of online tutorials on how to thread this girl first as the unit’s manual doesn’t help and the whole process can be quite nerve wrecking if you are a complete beginner or lack the necessary patience (more on that in a bit).
What’s more, this tiny machine is extremely portable. Being the size of a clothes iron and weighing just 1.76 lbs, the LSS-202 can be taken anywhere with you. Also, even though it runs on U.S.A. voltage , it comes with a power plug adapter that can pair it with European outlets. In addition, the machine can be battery operated for extra portability but we don’t recommend using the batteries as you’ll get low on battery juice in no time. On the other hand, being this lightweight is not always a good thing as the machine can tip over when handling larger projects. For more portable machines, check out our review here.
According to multiple users, this machine has outperformed many of the handheld sewing machines out there as it is capable of very tight and strong stitching even though it is limited to a single simple stitch (no reverse stitching on this one either). While the lack of a reverse button might be a nuisance to many sewers, you can always turn the fabric around to lock your stitches in or just use the good ol’ knot-tie on both ends of the stitch.
All in all this tiny machine is ideal for quick repairs (when you don’t want to bother getting out the larger and more expensive sewing machine), small craft projects, last-minute straight stitching, basic curtain trimming work, light pant hemming (don’t use it on thick denim or thick fabric overall as it is a low voltage machine and can’t handle it), zippers and seams. It struggles with multiple layers of thick fabric but it does have a jam prevention system that locks the machine down to prevent irreparable damage. For machines that can exquisitely handle thick denim, see our list here.
The product comes pre-threaded and ready to go out-of-the-box and it retails for around $20 (without the accessory sewing kit) or $30 (with the kit) on Amazon. It has a standard 1-year limited warranty which isn’t much but for the minuscule price we couldn’t ask for more.
Standard Accessories & Features
- Starter sewing kit (photo above) – contains needles, 16 bobbins, 16 spools of thread, a seam ripper, a needle threader, tape measure, a thimble, and two pairs of scissors (classic and electric); The colorful threads in the kit are very handy when trying to get the hang of threading the needle (Warning: many threads will break!); however, the machine runs smoother with stronger threads;
- Foot pedal – Very handy but a bit flimsy and it doesn’t switch speeds;
- Basic drop-in bobbin system and bobbin winder– The bobbins in the accessory kit can be reused; keep in mind that this machine can work with full-size spools of thread not just bobbins;
- Presser foot – make sure that you keep this one down when sewing to prevent any broken thread accidents;
- AC adapter – for use outside the U.S.A. and Canada;
- Instruction manual – not very helpful – we recommend watching some YouTube tutorials if you are a complete novice to sewing or this particular machine;
- The Michley LSS-202 comes with a single stitch type (straight) a single stitch length (1/8″).
Pros and Cons of the Michley LSS-202
- Compact and ultra lightweight
- Easy to use and wind the bobbin
- Decent quality mini sewing machine for the price
- Produces tight and strong stitches
- Foot pedal and AC adapter included
- Great for small projects and simple repairs
- No reverse mode
- Thread tension is not numbered so most beginners will have a hard time with controlling the tension
- Foot pedal cannot control speeds
- No light
- No cover/ carrying case
Opinions About the Michley LSS-202
Current and former users are very divided over the functionality of this machine. While many users are so unnerved by the threads keeping breaking on them that they wouldn’t give this machine as a gift not even to their worst enemy, other users are simply in love with it. The negative reviews are spurred by the machine’s complex threading system and the manual not helping either. For many users, not being able to thread the needle in one go has been a total deal breaker.
More patient sewers, on the other hand, acknowledge that there is a steep learning curve for beginners but learning to properly thread the needle and master the machine should happen in a short while with lots of practice and patience. Sewing a straight line with this machine takes a lot of practice as well but once you get the knack of it, you won’t let this machine go. For the price, we recommend giving this tiny machine a chance… and a dash of love.
How to Thread the Michley LSS-202
Here’s a step-by-step guide to winding the bobbin, threading the needle, and sewing a straight line on Michley’s mini sewing machine. It is 100% more helpful than the machine’s instruction manual. Enjoy!
The Michley LSS-202 is a practical travel sized sewing machine that will spare you hours of hand sewing if used correctly. However, if you are new to sewing machines, it will take a lot of learning to get the hang of this machine. Also, bear in mind that it operates very similarly to old-school manual sewing machines, so if you have a friend or a grandma that knows how one works, the learning curve would be quite short. We highly recommend this no-frills mini machine for DIY work and small repairs. You won’t be disappointed! Have you tried the LSS-202? Share your experience in the comments below.
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