CraftsSewing

Best Sewing Machines for Visually Impaired People

Whether it’s aging, a degenerative eye illness, or poor vision as a result of an accident, you don’t have to let this condition keep you away from what you love. If what you love is sewing or quilting, all you need is the best sewing machine for visually impaired people.

While the various brands don’t actually make sewing machines for people with poor vision or blindness, it’s all about choice.

A sewing machine for visually impaired must have few – ideally none – computerized functions, and it must be intuitive to use by simply operating some knobs. Luckily, many brands still manufacture traditional sewing machines, so you have quite a few models to choose from.

To make it even easier for you, we selected the most promising models. Check them out in our rundown below.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some links in the post are affiliate links meaning we may earn a commission. This does not affect the price you pay.)

Galadim Sewing Machine

// Last update on 2020-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Brand: Galadim
  • Model: GD-015-AG
  • Weight: 5.23 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 11.8 x 5.8 inches
  • Color: White/lilac

The name might not ring a bell, as Galadim is an entry-level sewing machine geared towards beginners. But it’s exactly this simplicity that makes it perfect for visually impaired people. While it’s not big enough for quilting, it’s an excellent choice for most sewing projects.

Simple functionality and 12 built-in stitches give you plenty of options to choose from. Two knobs –one near the needle and a larger one on the front of the machine – help with threading and setting the stitch length.

Various stitch lengths make it easy to use this machine for different projects. The various stitch styles can be selected easily thanks to the individual buttons. If you can still see a little, you can check the intuitive stitch style sketches on each button. Alternatively, you can label them with 3-D Braille labels.

Another nice thing for those who can still see is the built-in LED light that illuminates the fabric as you’re sewing. Furthermore, an automatic thread cutter and reverse stitch function add further value. It may not be the most performing sewing machine out there, but it’s simple and intuitive to use – just perfect for the visually impaired.

Brother GX37 Full Featured Sewing Machine

Brother Sewing Machine, GX37, 37 Built-in Stitches, 6 Included Sewing Feet
  • 37 UNIQUE BUILT-IN STITCHES: The GX37 features 37 unique, built-in stitches and an auto-size buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: this sewing mAChine includes an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes thread through the needle and a convenient, jam resistant drop-in top...
  • Included ACcessories: the gx37 includes 6 sewing feet, needle set, bobbins, instructional DVD, manual and more

// Last update on 2020-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Brand: Brother
  • Model: GX37
  • Weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 14.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Color: White

The Brother GX37 is a full featured sewing machine designed with serious seamstresses in mind. It’s powerful and capable, yet extremely easy to use by the visually impaired.

A series of knobs allow you to set the stitch length and type, for easier working on all sewing projects. We particularly like the throat that is wide enough to accommodate thicker materials – just perfect for quilting. Furthermore, we also like that it comes with six different sewing feet.

Making it easy for visually impaired people to operate it, the sewing machine also boasts a quick bobbin thread function, an automatic needle threading function, and quick thread cutting.

An oversized knob allows for quick stitch type selection, and you can even switch from one stitch to another quickly and effortlessly. Moreover, the lack of any computerized functions can help you leave the guesswork out of the game and just rely on your instinct to get it right.

Going up to 850 stitches per minute and boasting reverse stitch too, this sewing machine is perfect for avid amateurs and semi-professionals who don’t want to let poor eyesight condition their lives.

Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

Sale
Brother Sewing Machine XM2701, Lightweight, Full Featured, 27 Stitches
  • 27 UNIQUE BUILT-IN STITCHES: The XM2701 includes 27 built-in stitches including decorative, blind hem, zigzag, and stretch stitches and an auto-size buttonhole
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER AND DROP-IN TOP BOBBIN: This sewing machine includes an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes thread through the needle and a convenient, jam resistant drop-in top...
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: The XM2701 comes with 6 sewing feet, 3-piece needle set, twin needle, 4 bobbins, instructional DVD, manual and more

// Last update on 2020-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Brand: Brother
  • Model: XM2701
  • Weight: 12.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 5.9 x 15.3 inches
  • Color: White/blue

The smaller brother of the Brother GX37, the XM2701 model, is another superb choice for seamstresses and quilters with poor eyesight. It’s so intuitive to use that it can even be operated by blind people, as long as you don’t mind sticking Braille instructions near the various knobs.

On top of the machine, three knobs allow you to adjust the thread tension, stitch length, and stitch width. On the front, an intuitive knob lets you choose the stitch style from the 27 available variants.

Stitching aside, we also like the other intuitive functions. An easy drop-style bobbin and automatic needle threading function make it a breeze to operate this machine. Furthermore, six sewing feet allow you to transition from one sewing project to another in no time.

Those who still have some eyesight will also like the bright LED that illuminates the work area, while the wide throat allows for effortless quilting. All this at an incredibly attractive price point.

Bernette B35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine

Bernette 35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine
  • Stitch Width: 5mm
  • Hook System: Front Loading
  • Patterns: 23

// Last update on 2020-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Brand: Bernette
  • Model: Bernina-Bernette B35
  • Weight: 15.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.1 x 11.8 x 14 inches
  • Color: White

The Bernette B35 is as simple as it gets. A traditional sewing machine with no computerized controls – just what a visually impaired seamstress needs. More expensive than other machines in its class but built to last for a lifetime, it brings sewing versatility.

It only has three knobs, more than enough to control it. The first one lets you choose the desired stitch pattern from the 23 available options. You can also set the desired stitch length and the thread tension. That’s it! But it’s undeniably enough to tackle most sewing projects.

A one-step buttonhole sewing makes it easy to sew professional buttonholes quickly and easily, while 7 presser feet make it easy to tackle all sewing projects.

On the downside, it doesn’t have an automatic needle threading function, and you might also struggle to reload the bobbin. For this reason, the machine is more suitable for visually impaired people who still have a fairly good vision.

If that’s your case and don’t mind a slightly higher price point, you can rest assured this sewing machine will stay by your side for a really long time.

How to Choose a Sewing Machine for Visually Impaired

Most visually impaired and blind people can successfully use standard home sewing machines, as long as the model is simple enough to cater to their needs. Here are a few things to consider before buying:

Lack of computerized features

Modern sewing machines are designed to make it easier for seamstresses to sew intricate patterns. That’s why they have computerized functions and built-in stitches that can be easily altered or updated via USB or mobile devices.

However, the most important thing for the visually impaired is the simplicity of use. If possible, stick to a machine that only comes with manual dials or knobs.

If your vision is really poor, consider the possibility of labeling the various functions with Braille labels. In this way, you can rest assured the machine will do what you want it to do.

Automatic needle threading

While you should steer clear of computerized functions overall, you should still let technology help you. An automatic needle treader is a fine example of something you’d want a sewing machine to have. This function threads the needle for you, so you won’t have to spend ages trying to figure out how to thread the needle.

Another important function is a thread cutter, which basically cuts the thread when you’re done sewing.

Easy-load bobbin

Another essential feature you should have on a sewing machine is an easy-load bobbin. You can simply drop the bobbin into its slot, place the end of the thread into its channel, and let the machine do the rest.

LED light

This feature is only important if you can still see. The built-in light illuminates the work area,  making it easier to spot any mistakes or defects. Of course, if you’re completely blind, investing in a machine without this function might save you some bucks.

Apart from these important functions, the most important thing to remember is that you and the machine are a team. Label it with tactile markings and record its instructions for quick troubleshooting. Take it easy, get used to the machine and its controls, and practice with patience. Soon enough, you’ll be able to enjoy sewing arts and crafts even without eyesight.

Richard Hammond

I am the founder of 9Mousai and am deeply interested in creativity and what inspires it. My main passions are writing, film and music but I have huge respect for the arts. I'm also an animal lover and have a little cat called Winston and enjoy the occasional whiskey.

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