The Pitch: "Even if you've never sewed a stitch, you can sew like a pro with Sewing Genie."
March 2009. The Sewing Genie is a tiny 3-pound sewing machine that promises to offer all of the benefits of a larger machine. It is only 8 inches high and runs on 4 AA batteries or an AC/DC adaptor. A foot pedal controls the speed of the needle. Unlike full-sized sewing machines, the Genie can only make a standard straight stitch (no zigzag or anything else). You also get a couple of spools of thread, some extra needles and a threading tool.
Reviews are not good for the Sewing Genie. The most common complaint is that the bobbin is difficult to thread. Many reviewers barely get a chance to try the Sewing Genie because they can't figure out how to thread the bobbin. The instructions in the manual are unclear or -- according to one reviewer -- incorrect. (And in some cases, a manual isn't even included in the package.) Owners also complain about the plastic construction, which makes the Sewing Genie unsteady and loud. There are reports of bent or jammed needles and broken thread. Overall, the Sewing Genie gets low average ratings from owners wherever we looked.
People with sewing experience seem a bit happier with the Sewing Genie than are beginners. Jackie Reis, a quilter who reviews the Sewing Genie for a Texas news show, praises the Sewing Genie for its good stitch quality. Others say the machine is fine for sewing on patches, simple hems or for mending a seam. However, most say the Sewing Genie is just too limited for much more; you can't sew in reverse to lock a stitch and there's only one stitch size.
The Sewing Genie has not been included in professional comparison testing. In a news report for a television station in Texas, a reporter brings the machine to a quilt store for testing by a woman who sews. We found detailed user reviews at AssociatedContent.com and Epinions.com. The Sewing Genie is also reviewed by users at Amazon.com and InfomercialRatings.com.
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1. WCBD (Lubbock, TX)
On this television news show, a reporter takes the Sewing Genie to a quilt store for testing by Jackie Reis. Reis says that the machine provides a "well-balanced" stitch that holds the fabric closely together. However, she also notes that it feels unsteady and is noisy.
Review: The Sewing Genie: Does It Work?, WKCBD staffers, July 10, 2002
The Sewing Genie receives one review at Epinions.com, but the review is very detailed. The writer is a professional sewer who was hoping to find a portable machine for travel. She states that the Sewing Genie is ideal for light jobs, such as patching a seam or sewing a hem, but not for much else. The machine is also judged loud and hard to control until you get used to it.
Review: Sewing Genie Sewing Machine, Contributor to Epinions.com, Aug. 7, 2004
In this long user review, Slate Stone says the Sewing Genie works fine for patching, to add a hem, or to finish a seam or edge. The writer does note that threading the bobbin is difficult at first. After the article, a few readers beg for instruction on how to thread the bobbin.
Review: Sewing Genie Product Review: As Seen on TV Portable Compact Sewing Machine, Slate Stone, Oct. 5, 2006
A handful of contributors to Amazon.com give the Sewing Genie overwhelmingly negative reviews. Complaints include bent needles, jammed needles, and broken thread. The one reviewer who is happy with this machine states that it is essential (and tricky) for the bottom bobbin to be loaded correctly.
Review: Sewing Genie with BONUS Handstitcher, Contributors to Amazon.com
The Sewing Genie receives poor comments from reviewers here. Many say it's cheaply made. Several people have trouble threading the bobbin and complain that the needles break and the machine jams. The one reviewer who is pleased with the Sewing Genie concedes that threading the needle takes practice.
Review: Sewing Genie Reviews and Ratings, Contributors to InfomercialRatings.com
There are no reviews on this site, but people post questions about problems they are having with the Sewing Genie. The two main problems concern missing instructional manuals and bobbins that are difficult to thread.
Review: Problems with As Seen On TV Sewing Genie Mechanical Sewing Machine?, Contributors to FixYa.com