I was in for a pleasant surprise when I reviewed the Singer Pixie Plus. I had no idea it had so many plusses. For such a tiny sewing machine, it really was a treat to find so many features normally reserved for larger, more costly sewing machines.
At A Glance
I had seen pictures of the Singer Pixie Plus many times before actually taking time to review this diminutive little machine. It can’t be more than 12 inches across.
It’s marketed as a ‘craft’ machine, but from the first time I saw a photo of the Pixie Plus, in my mind, this is a child’s sewing machine. A tiny drawer slides out of the lower right hand side.
This drawer is large enough to hold the standard accessories that come with the Pixie Plus, but not all of the other value added accessories described in the accessories section of this review and other sewing notions a user might want or need.
As far as features go, the Pixie Plus does not have many, but it does have many more features than I had expected to find.
- 8 on board utility stitches
- Top drop in bobbin
- 2 speed slider
- Operate with or without foot pedal
Working on the Singer Pixie Plus
There are things about working on the Singer Pixie Plus that for lack of better words simply astounded me. First of all, I would have never thought that a ‘craft machine’ built so that little children would be comfortable using with or without adult supervision would have so many add-ons.
The Singer Pixie Plus is very easy to thread. The bobbin winder is equally a simple to operate. I am not particularly fond of the fact that the clear plastic bobbin cover is completely detachable. In order to access the bobbin, the cover must be taken off.
Since it is made of clear plastic, this tiny two inch square piece can very easily be lost of misplaced – especially by a child. Even some adults may have a problem keeping up with the bobbin cover if they get distracted by a phone call, a knock at the door or a crying baby.
The foot pedal is attached at the rear, and controlling speed by increasing or decreasing pressure on the tiny foot pedal is easy enough. However, this tiny, lightweight sewing machine has a large, child friendly purple slider button on the lower right hand side.
The only markings were L – Off – H. L stood for low speed and H for high. After sliding the button to the left, the Singer Pixie Plus took off at a slow pace. When I slid it to the right, it went faster, but still very slow when compared to full size sewing machines.
Stitch selection was as easy as turning the large purple dial to the left or right. Each click of the dial accessed a different utility stitch. The issue for me, however, was that there was no way to adjust stitch length or width.
While not having the ability to adjust the size of your stitches is not an issue for some, it is definitely an issue for anyone who is involved in sewing just about anything. The inability to adjust stitch length and width makes it quite clear why the folks at Singer decided to call the Pixie Plus a ‘craft machine’.
The stitches are very large – impossible for clothing construction of any kind. The stitches produced by the Singer Pixie Plus are, however, great for certain craft projects and for demonstrating to young children how sewing machine stitches are formed.
The other drawback for me was the fact that there is no on board light – absolutely none whatsoever. Aside from treadle and crank operated sewing machines, I have never seen a machine without any type of illumination whatsoever. Even people who use the tiny Pixie Plus could benefit from having a little bit of light shed on the subject.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
The list of standard accessories included with the Singer Pixie Plus is very non-descript:
- 1 extra sewing machine needle
- Multi purpose presser foot
- Needle threader
- 4 class 15 bobbins (2 pre-wound – 1 black/1 white)
- 2 spools of thread – 1 black/1 white
- Owner’s manual in 3 languages – English/Spanish/French
The big draw for Singer Pixie Plus is a tiny white corrugated cardboard box with the words… “Value Added Accessories” printed very discretely on top. Inside lies a treasure trove of accessories that is not found with many larger, more costly machines:
- 20 pre-wound bobbins (5 black/5 white)
- 10 cardboard thread spools
- Straight pins
- Snaps (2 cards/3 sets each)
- Tape measure
- Seam ripper/lint brush
- Hand needles
- Extra needle threader
- Extra thimble
- Plastic storage bags
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
The Singer Pixie Plus is an inexpensive sewing machine that I think would be a good teaching tool for elementary school children as an introduction to sewing machines and their basic operation. The inclusion of the value added accessories kit and the speed control slider/start-stop control are wonderful add-ons.
My first sewing machine was a battleship green all metal crank operated thing that needed to be clamped to a table. It was a straight stitch only machine. As I recall, the stitches were smaller, but the basic premise was about the same as the Pixie Plus.
That little sewing machine was my introduction to what evolved into a lifelong love of sewing. In all honesty, I cannot think of any reason someone might want to purchase the Pixie Plus for anything else.
Given the fact that the stitches are one size only, it is not difficult to see why it is marketed as a craft machine. However, in my opinion, any serious crafter would be dissatisfied with a machine with such a limited range.
Children younger than 10-12 years of age, on the other hand, could benefit greatly from a sewing machine like the Pixie Plus. No one should expect it to last more than a couple of years, after which the child would be ready for a sewing machine with more functionality than this one.
It is, however, an ideal teaching machine for little hands and fingers. The large buttons and dials, the colorful whimsical design and ease of operation are great for young students.
The very low manufacturer’s suggested retail price is low enough that a parent would not be disappointed if, after purchasing the Singer Pixie Plus for a child who shows an early interest in sewing, the young seamstress or tailor loses interest.
The Singer Pixie Plus is cute and a great teaching tool, for very young children. However, this is not the machine for a child who is 10 or older.
The very simplistic styling and operation that make it ideal for the young child are the same characteristics that make the Pixie Plus a poor choice for older children to learn to sew. An older child would be bored, an possibly insulted if called upon to use a machine with such juvenile appeal.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.