Last Updated on July 3, 2023
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Rachael also contributed to this post.
After learning to sew a few months ago, it’s been fun to experiment with making different projects such as pillowcases, pajama pants, and other simple things. I learned to sew on a Bernina sewing machine, and my home sewing machine is a Singer 2250. Aldi brings out some different sewing machines and a handful of extra sewing accessories every once in a while, and sure enough, Aldi sold a sewing machine recently.
The Ambiano 12-Stitch Sewing Machine (Product Code: 14298) is an Aldi Find, which means it’s only in stores for a limited time, and once it’s gone, it’s gone until whenever Aldi may decide to bring it back. Aldi doesn’t have online ordering for products that aren’t in stock at your local store.
This machine is $39.99, which is much cheaper than other name brand sewing machines, which can range from $70 to several hundred dollars on Amazon. This Aldi machine actually looks practically identical to a JUCVNB mini sewing machine selling for $80 on Amazon at the time of writing.
Aldi has previously sold this machine under its Easy Home brand, which is an Aldi private label for various home goods. This year, Aldi is selling it under the Ambiano brand, which is unusual because that’s typically the private label Aldi uses for kitchen appliances. We also saw Aldi recently advertising a carpet cleaner and a desktop vacuum under the Ambiano label, so we’re not sure what Aldi is thinking.
Here’s more information about the sewing machine, according to Aldi:
- Features built-in 12 stitch patterns with variable stitch length
- Easy stitch selection
- Automatic bobbin winding
- Includes 2 thread spools, 2 metal bobbins, needle, threader, foot pedal, and AC adapter
- Two speeds (high or low)
- Offers lock stitch, top, and bottom threading mechanism
- Automatic thread rewind
- Free arm for circular sewing on cuffs or pant bottoms
- Interchangeable presser foot
- LED sewing light
- Anti-slip bottom
- Uses AC/DC power adapter or 4 batteries (included)
It’s meant to be portable, so it’s quite small. There’s a handle on top to carry it, though the handle can’t fold down, so it’s a bit annoying. One of the coolest features in my opinion is the fact that you can use the machine even if you don’t have an outlet to plug it into. You can put 4 AA batteries in it, and flipping a switch on the side of the machine will cause it to automatically sew without the foot pedal. There’s a high and low setting. On the high setting, the small light above the needle turns off. I’m assuming this saves power when it’s running on batteries.
One thing I noticed right away, looking at the machine in the weekly Aldi ad, is that it is white with light purple accents. While I enjoy the pop of color, I don’t like how it seems to reinforce the stereotype that only women sew. I frequently see men who sew on YouTube who create beautiful ballgowns and other pieces for themselves and others. So I would’ve preferred for this machine to not be purple, or at least it would have been nice to have a variety of accent colors to choose from.
Unboxing and Setting Up the Sewing Machine:
When I first got the machine out of the box, there was an instruction manual and a warranty card. The paper says it has a three-year warranty serviced by Wuensche, a common Aldi warranty service provider.
The instruction manual helped me out with threading the machine, plugging it in, etc. It also talks about thread tension and how to know if it needs to be adjusted, which I’ve learned can be extremely helpful if the stitches are too tight or loose.
This machine also came with a bag that has two full bobbins and another spool of thread. There’s also the piece that’s needed to make a buttonhole, although I don’t have much experience in that area. The instructions do cover how to do it, though.
If you’ve had experience threading any sewing machines before, this one is about the same. The instructions will guide you through it, but there are also images along the machine that show you where the thread needs to go. As the instructions state, make sure the thread comes off the spool counterclockwise, or else the machine won’t work properly. Before you actually sew, make sure the top thread is threaded properly. If it’s not, the machine will stop after a couple stitches, and you’ll have to yank your fabric out of the machine. I learned this the hard way.
There are instructions on how to make and insert the bobbin in the manual, but once again, winding the bobbin is like any other name brand machine. I’ll update this review once I’ve threaded a bobbin, but it’ll be a while. You get two extra bobbins, plus the once that’s already in the machine, so there’s no need to make a new one unless you want a different color. Unlike the other two machines I’ve used, the bobbin faces upward below the thread plate, with a clear plastic cover over it. So there isn’t any bobbin door. It claims to be magnetic, since it doesn’t click into place anywhere. I haven’t had any troubles with it so far. It needs to turn clockwise in the machine to work, though.
As for plugging the machine in, it’s a bit strange. If you aren’t using batteries and are using the foot pedal, there are two cords that are plugged into the back of the machine. One of them connects to the foot pedal, and one connects to a plug that goes into the wall. On other machines, all of these pieces are combined into one large cord.
One thing that annoyed me was how short the cords were. The foot pedal barely reaches the ground from my dining room table. The cord that goes into the wall right behind my chair at the table is so short that the sewing machine had to be kept close to the edge of the table for it to plug in. So if you don’t have an outlet really close, or if your machine is on a taller surface, using batteries may be your best bet unless you have an extension cord.
Using the Machine:
I decided to sew a small shoulder bag for 18-inch dolls to test the machine. I set everything up and, after a few stitches, it jammed. It did this a couple of times, but after looking the machine over, I noticed the thread wasn’t in one of the canals. That was probably my fault, so make sure to double check your machine before you start sewing.
After that small mishap, the machine ran smoothly, and I was able to complete the bag in maybe 30-45 minutes. There was a light above the needle that was helpful and, although I don’t often use it, there was a thread cutter attached to the side of the machine. I usually backstitch on everything to make my projects more secure. However, the backstitch felt weird on this machine. It swerved off to one side, and I couldn’t get it to line up with my previous stitches. I haven’t had this problem on any of the other machines I’ve used.
The machine is clearly advertised as a machine with a variety of stitches, and I was happy with it. I only needed the standard straight stitch for my initial project, but this has a nice variety to suit whatever project you’re creating.
Finally, along with the machine itself, Aldi was selling a variety of small sewing kits at the same time. I got the Easy Home Sewing Thread Kit, which has a massive number of full bobbins and spools of thread in different colors. The bobbins should fit in the Aldi machine, but I’m not so sure about the thread. For starters, the “spools” the thread is on are just cardboard, and they’re much taller than the spool the machine came with. Chances are the spool will fall off the machine. I don’t know what Aldi was thinking offering spools that aren’t compatible with the machine they’re selling the same week.
The Ambiano 12-stitch sewing machine is a success in my opinion. In some ways, I thought it ran smoother than my Singer. Obviously, the machine is small and portable, so sewing a large, poofy skirt on it might not go so well, but this would be a great machine for anyone who’s new to sewing. It’s cheap and easy to use. While this isn’t the most sophisticated machine ever, I’ll definitely use it in the future, and I think Aldi did a solid job.