At first glance, the ProvoCraft Tools Sew Crafty (TM) Mini looks like a great idea. Its compact, appears to be easy to use, and has the ability to be battery powered or can plug into the wall, if you purchase the separate power adapter for it. At around $ 10, it is also affordable. The machine itself comes with a bobbin of white thread, a needle threader, and a couple of replacement needles. For an additional $ 10, you can also purchase the accessory pack, which comes with bobbins threaded in every color, several more replacement needles, and another needle threader. Geared more towards a tool for scrapbookers, I was intrigued by this product and purchased one for my supply cabinet.
What feels like a good idea actually is; at least, until you start using it. While the compactness comes in handy when you're cramped for space, and the lack of wires makes it portable, that's where the advantages to using this sewing machine end. Once you've gotten your thread through the needle eye, and you start sewing, you'll find that the thread does not want to stay in the tensioner. Once this happens, your stitches are loose and pull out easier. Tightening the tensioner does not help this problem, and often if you're in the middle of sewing something, you can not easily slip the thread back in. Instead, you have to stop by pushing the awkwardly placed on / off button and reinsert the thread. If you're trying to sew a longer item, you're in for a lot of starting and stopping.
The Sew Crafty (TM) Mini is also incredibly loud for being such a small tool. It makes an almost deafening whining sound as it works, making it impossible for me to do any quiet sewing when my 10-month old sleeps in the next room. You can also forget trying to watch television or talk on the phone while using this item, because the noise is just that bad.
While it's easy to figure out how to thread the machine, and how to use it, it is also difficult to remove your item from the machine once you've completed your stitching. Many times, the thread gets used in the area below the foot. Pulling on it to try to remove it threatens to pull out your stitching (which, if the tensioner has come loose several times, has taken a while to accomplish), and adjusting the needle wheel to move the needle up and down and release the thread only works half of the time.
Stitch selection is also a minimum. The Sew Crafty (TM) Mini only does one stitch: a straight line. You can not really expect more than that for $ 10, but it would be nice if it did another stitch for those who do not own a full-sized sewing machine.
All in all, if I have the time to sit down and try to create a straight line stitch with the Sew Crafty (TM) Mini, I also have the time to pull out my bulky sewing machine and use it, instead. If you would like a sewing machine, but do not have the money or space for one, this is the perfect tool. Otherwise, your money is best spent on the real, life-sized thing.