Using a Handy Stitch Sewing Machine

November 22, 2016

I have a handheld sewing machine. The first time I used it, it worked perfectly. Then I used it on a cotton material, at first, it was skipping (jumping stitches) then it stopped stitching. Now the machine is working as if there is no thread in it when sewing. The sound is still the same when sewing, only it is not stitching.


Please I need someone to help me out. Thanks.

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14 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 15, 2007

Has anyone purchased a Handy Stitch Sewing Machine and had good results? I only do a little mending and I didn't want to spend the money on a regular sewing machine. I also don't have the space so I thought the handheld one would be better.

Caramel1 from NJ


By Hermgirl (Guest Post)
April 15, 20070 found this helpful

As a matter of fact, I did purchase a Handy Stitch machine recently, and I've used it to create a small drawstring bag already, and I have plans to make a matching tote bag.


My advice is, make sure you read the instructions thouroughly, because the locking mechanism while you're threading it can be tricky, but once you figure that out and practice with it a couple of times, it's a snap.

I was lucky enough to get mine at Goodwill for about three bucks--like new. I think the person must have gotten it and not read the instructions, and when they couldn't figure it out immediately gave up on it. I think that happens a lot because people don't like to read instructions.

April 16, 20070 found this helpful

I purchased one about 3 years ago. I had to return it because the bobbin kept popping out. It wasn't at all what I thought. I decided not to replace it with another one.

April 16, 20070 found this helpful

I have had two so far, I find the one produced by Singer the better of the two. Be aware that this machine does only what is called a lockstitch, this is not like a regular sewing machine stitch. They usually do not have reverse or backup, so you may have to hand knot the ends to keep them from unravelling. It is good for basic stuff, but the Handy Stitch model I have uses bobbins for the thread which you might have to wind yourself from spools.


Also found the battery positioning very wierd for the Handy Stitch I have. Singer model can be battery or plug in. Check Walmart, sure I saw a small sewing machine(half the size of regular or smaller) might be better.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 418 Feedbacks
April 17, 20070 found this helpful

Read the directions? How fun is that? I'd go to Goodwill or a garage sale and get a used sewing machine for $10 or so. Portables usually come in sturdy boxes (like luggage), they're easy to use, the older ones are reliable, and they don't take up much space.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
April 18, 20070 found this helpful

I bought one near Christmastime one year. I was making scarves for my sisters and mom and was tired of hand stitching them. I was able to sew about a foot before it conked out for good (not thick fabric either!). I would recommend getting a regular sewing machine if you plan to sew more than VERY occasionally, say once a year or so. Who knows, maybe you will get inspired to sew more often if you have the right device. I'm not a sewer, but I am tempted . . .


Jess in Portland, OR

By Judy (Guest Post)
April 22, 20070 found this helpful

Hi: Got one cause my special needs kids I look after was interested, thought it would be a great idea, it was impossible for them to learn on, it was a piece of junk. I ended up teaching them on my big machine and they had no problems. Try to find a regular machine, you would be amazed at how many times you would use it.

By Christal Knight (Guest Post)
May 2, 20070 found this helpful

I bought one at a thrift store, boy did I waste mine $4 bucks. This machine is not worth 2 cent. I wanted it for my sail boat, thought it would be handy to have. The first time I used it was a bummer. I plan to throw this away so no other sucker with waste their money.

By (Guest Post)
July 30, 20070 found this helpful

It is a piece of junk. It does not work, and if you manage to get it to work for any length, the stitching unravels very easily. I would send you mine just to be happy to get rid of it, but it's not worth the postage to do so. I saw one on Ebay for $1.

November 16, 20070 found this helpful

does anyone have a manual or maybe can tell me how to thread this thing cause every time i use it, the stitching pulls right out! I don't have a clue about sewing machines, never used one but I don't think the thread is supposed to pull out after the stitch is done! it looks good, but the end where i cut it from the handystitch just pulls the whole thing right out.


Now I bought this from a yard sale and stitched my pants on the top of my thigh (like two inches) and had to cut the stitches out! That was the end of the thread then when I tried to put more on or on the stitches pull right out,

By Q. (Guest Post)
December 24, 20070 found this helpful

LucyJew, December 24, 2007
By Black Queen

A piece of junk. It come out stitch at the end and beginning. I try to tight the knot and it keep coming out. It did not let me tight the knot when I tight 4 knots to make bigger knot so it won't come out. But the stitch still come out, then you will not have any stitch which mean you are not sewing. It does not work. It can not sew. A piece of junk. I will return. Hopefully they refund my money $18.00

By Fran M (Guest Post)
February 3, 20080 found this helpful

Does anyone know where I can get the instructions? Someone gave me one but I haven't a clue as to how to thread it.

February 9, 20080 found this helpful

I bought the singer hand held machine, an I have to say it was AWEFUL I got my money back fast!, The needles that were in the package for replacement didnt fit, A total waste of time an money, Look around in the hobby lobby, or walmart thay sometimes have mini machines, that are great, an not hand held :)

By jb (Guest Post)
February 26, 20080 found this helpful

Does anyone know when the handy stitch was invented?

By Sharyll (Guest Post)
April 9, 20080 found this helpful

I LOVE IT! it works great! easy to store!

By coolio (Guest Post)
May 11, 20081 found this helpful

I have a handy stitch, but once I used it for the first time and cut the thread, I can't stitch anymore. Help?

By Capp (Guest Post)
June 20, 20080 found this helpful

After days of trying to get this thing to work I gave up! I did read the instructions over and over again and still no results. The illustrations in the instructions are not very clear and the instructions are horrible.


I gave the thing to my girlfriend to take to work for some advice and she had no luck..... piece of garbage!

By Darren (Guest Post)
July 14, 20080 found this helpful

Please HELP Me! I gave my Sister a "Handy Stitch Hand Sewing Machine" that I bought for her at a yard sale, although the machine did not come with any instruction manuals, or how to thread the machine. If anyone could please help me out, I would greatly appreciate your assistance. Please feel free to contact me at the following e-mail address: DarrenS569 AT Thanks again for your help!

By Susews (Guest Post)
August 5, 20080 found this helpful

I received a Handy Stitch as a gift and it had no instructions. After a couple false starts I did figure out how to thread it (bobbin>hole on stationary thread guide>tension control> metal ring just behind where needle base goes into machine>needle threaded (back to front). I have no way of knowing if this is absolutely correct but it worked and I did get a pretty, durable stitch. The stitch is a chain stitch and does pull out from the end of the stitching unless the thread is pulled to the back of the fabric. I intend to use this machine for repairs on materials that are too bulky to get into a regular machine.

By jenn (Guest Post)
August 11, 20080 found this helpful

This thing is such garbage, it skips and then the entire piece of whatever you are making falls apart. I am so frustrated I threw it in the garbage. Good idea for a hand held, if it actually worked!

September 25, 20080 found this helpful

Bought mine, came without instructions. Tried to figure it out, finally did and turned out to be a piece of wasted money.

By Dustin (Guest Post)
October 4, 20080 found this helpful

I had problems threading mine, but the post above was very helpful. I have learned a some tricks to make this more useful.

1. Have a regular needle and thread handy as you work with it. Once you get the stitch started (a couple of inches or so) use the regular needle to lock the start of the stitch.

2. before you are done, leave the needle in the work and go back to your regular needle to tie off the end of the work.

3. Sew off the end of the work to get the machine free easily.

If someone knows how to use the machine to lock it's own stitches, I would love to know how.

By bubbles (Guest Post)
October 15, 20080 found this helpful

Can you tell me how to thread it please?

By Leah F. (Guest Post)
October 18, 20081 found this helpful

How do you lock the stitches?

By Diann (Guest Post)
November 7, 20080 found this helpful

How do you get the battery pack open to change the batteries?

By Clarice (Guest Post)
January 29, 20090 found this helpful

Well, my problem has been that the stitch from below breaks. I have loosened the tension, but it doesn't help. Pain to thread when you get to be my age. Great idea and material it is made out of seems to be sturdy. Looks nice too, but someone must perfect it.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
April 19, 20090 found this helpful

I would not get one. It's a waste of money, mend with your fingers or get somebody else to do it for you, maybe the cleaners will do it or put an add in a news paper, good luck.

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July 30, 2020

I am having trouble with my handheld sewing machine. I thread it as shown in the instructions, but it creates stitches from the thread already pulled through the needle rather than taking it from the bobbin. Originally it was dropping stitches so I lowered the needle, as suggested in other posts.

After that it was sewing perfect stitches, but from the wrong end of the thread. Attached are photos showing what I mean. Doesn't anyone know what is happening? To get a complete line of stitches I need to pull through massive amounts of thread.

Handheld Sewing Machine Keeps Unthreading? - long loose thread
Handheld Sewing Machine Keeps Unthreading?
Handheld Sewing Machine Keeps Unthreading?


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
July 31, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Whatever you try, be sure to check if it is working before going to something else.
First, try raising the needle as it was before as sometimes this will work.
Clean out under bobbin as this area can get very dirty.
Are you using new thread?
Checked for burrs on needle? Correct needle?

There can be differences in brands of this handheld machine.
Here is the basic threading diagram of one machine although you should continue to follow your diagram if it is easy to understand.

Sometimes you can Google your question with your brand name as there may be a lot of answers to check out.

This site has some good suggestions: (regular sewing machine but same problem).


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
July 31, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Normally the problem is with the thread tension on these small machines. If the tension is too tight or too loose this can happen. You will need to check the tension on the thread to make sure it is correct. Here is a site on how to troubleshoot this machine and adjust the tension so this quits happening.

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April 26, 2020

I have an old Singer Handy Stitch CEX300K that has no batteries in it. I've taken it apart, but can't find chamber for the 4 AA batteries it requires. How/where do I replace them?

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February 10, 2019

My Handy hand held sewing machine will sew, but as soon as you move the needle from material the thread pulls completely out of the material?

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March 5, 2012

Anyone have the owner's manual for a Handy Stitch handheld sewing machine? Or know where to find one?

By Vonna B


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March 6, 20120 found this helpful

The reviews on this little stitcher aren't very good, and most of those unfavourable reviews mention that the instructions are so worthless they had to Google around to find this helpful 'eHow' page:

I got my son a mini-sewing machine (not the Handy Stitch, he has something that looks like a toy mini sewing machine) at CVS last spring, he's learned how to sew using it for small mending jobs and he's moving up to a basic Singer now because he's fallen in love with sewing, lol.

One of his friends has the Singer Handy Stitch, and says it works OK, but sewing by hand is faster and more reliable, and that having a 'real' machine like the mini my son has would be a lot less hassle.

Good luck with your Handy Stitcher, I can see where it might be helpful on trips or quick hemming a curtain.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
March 6, 20123 found this helpful

Many manuals are available for printing online. Those that can't be printed will allow you to save or email a pdf to yourself.

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July 20, 2017

Where can I get a video instruction manual for the mini handheld sewing machine?

Video Instructions for Handheld Sewing Machine

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April 2, 2015

How do I thread and use a Handy Stitch?

By Debra E.

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August 18, 2011

How do I lock a stitch on the Handy Stitch? I'm a dad trying to teach my daughter how to use this frustrating thing. Thanks.

By Big Dummy


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August 19, 20110 found this helpful

I Googled and found the following links that seem to be clearly written, and I've included a YouTube link to a video that shows the operation too: (a five part series, follow the links to watch parts 2-5)

Good for you to try to teach your daughter how to sew with the Handy Stitch. I got a mini-sewing machine for my adult son while I was visiting him this past spring and he enjoyed it so much he is ready for a 'real' sewing machine. You can find a very nice inexpensive Singer at WalMart and similar stores (just under $100) with well written instructions that will help your daughter learn to use a 'real' sewing machine-my son can make his own clothing and really appreciates knowing how.

LOL, growing up he never showed much interest although he did appreciate the clothes he watched me sew for him.

August 20, 20110 found this helpful

Great idea Frugalsunnie! Great for kids going to college or back to college. : )

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October 7, 2010

I bought a Handy Stitch at a yard sale and need an owners instruction manual. I am also looking for a place to buy accessories for it.

By Darla


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October 7, 20100 found this helpful

You can try for a manual you can also try but I think they charge for manuals. No idea where you can get accessories.


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October 9, 20100 found this helpful

Visit They have helpful information, manuals and parts. I hope this helps.

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April 15, 2014

How do you secure a stitch at the beginning and at the end with a Handy sewing machine?

By Nithya T.


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April 21, 20140 found this helpful

With one of these machines the best and simplest way to secure beginning and ending stitches is to knot.

First, run a few beginning stitches then reach behind the needle, take the bobbin and upper thread tails hanging from the beginning and tie two overhand knots.

When finished stitching, do the same thing at the end - simply tie two overhand knots.

Be sure not to pull the knots so tightly the fabric develops a pucker (will look like the beginning of a gather). You want to pull the knots tight enough that the knots rest right at the edge of the fabric, only.

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June 2, 2010

I do not have a manual for my Handy Stitch machine. I have put new batteries in and cannot get the machine started. Also was I supposed to get parts for machine, like thread and bobbin? I don't think I can use the same size as regular sewing machines.

Please help. Or should I take someone's advice on it and just throw it away? I really don't want to do this as I think this would be great for small projects.
Thank you Mrs. P

By wcp from Margate, FL


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June 2, 20100 found this helpful

Take it back. I never could get the 1 I had to work, good luck.

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March 25, 2010

Where do the batteries go in the Singer Handy Stitch 300K?

By KRYSTLE from Reno, NV


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March 25, 20100 found this helpful

Contact - 1-800-4-SINGER
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. C.T.

Singer Sewing Company
1224 Heil Quaker Blvd.
P.O. Box 7017
LaVergne, TN 37086

Customer Service: 1-800-4-SINGER Customer Service Fax: (615) 213-0994

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September 19, 2014

I have had my Handy Stitch for at least 10 years. Over the years of moving and cleaning I have managed to misplace the bobbin pin. I need to know how I can get a replacement bobbin pin for my Handy Stitch.

By Rhiannon M.

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February 11, 2017

This little handheld sewing machine, made by Singer, is often purchased by people who want to do a bit of mending. Getting it threaded correctly is the most important step. This is a page about threading a Handy Stitch machine.

Handy Stitch Machine

Crafts SewingApril 23, 2014
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