Sewing Machine Transformer

When moving to London became a sure deal, I thought I might have to buy a new sewing machine for a couple of reasons. My US sewing machine plug wouldn’t fit a UK outlet. And the voltage in a UK outlet is about twice that of a US outlet, meaning my sewing machine would fry if I tried to use it.

After looking around I realized buying a sewing machine would cost more than I could get out of it for the couple of years I will be in London.  So this is what I came up with. Still cost some dough, but far less than buying a new sewing machine I can only use for a couple of years.

I bought a Step-Up & Step-Down Voltage Converter (transformer) from East West International. I plug the sewing machine directly into the transformer.

The transformer plug doesn't match UK outlets so I have to plug it into a UK adapter. Then the UK adapter plugs into the outlet. Overall, I spent about $120. The converter can also be used for other household items like curling irons, glue guns, printer, etc.

Do you have any experiences adapting your sewing machine to another country?

  1. We left our big appliances at home (TV, mixer, food processor…) and bought most of the little appliances here figuring it would be easy to sell them on Gumtree or to other incoming expats. Here's hoping that works! But we use adapters for the laptops, mobile phones and small things like that. But I did buy a sewing machine here. I decided to spend a biy more and buy a machine that has dual voltage. If only more appliances were like that.

  2. How far away do you have to use your curling iron/hair dryer away from the bath?  ;)  I had to use an extension cord due to no outlets allowed in bathrooms.  

  3. When we traveled in Poland and the UK we just used the adapter for our laptops and such.  This should work.

    • Hannah – Usually laptops and small electronics have dual voltage and are able to be used internationally with just an adapter. Some sewing machines and larger appliances do not have dual voltage and need a transformer.

  4. I am kind of wishing I needed to use a transformer because I was in the UK. I love reading about your new adventure. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I use our converter for our DVD player, food processor and KitchenAid mixer. Before moving to Germany I did research and found a lot of people said appliances with heating elements (slow cookers, hair curlers, etc) didn't do well and/or broke completely, so I sold those things off before the move. So I'm not too surprised to see that a sewing machine works, yay for you! I bought mine here and am ready for an upgrade…but not the Euro price tag that goes with it! =(   I still kick myself for having sold my ice cream maker though, argh! Things are soooo much more expensive in Western Europe than in the US!

  6. I made the mistake of just assuming that since my laptop was fine just being plugged into a UK converter, so would my little cuisinart… nope. I blew it's poor little engine :( I can't believe I lugged it all the way from my parent's house just for that! Now I know, however…

  7. I always wondered why my hairdryer always worked at half power when in America.  I'd much rather have had a slow hairdryer than a twice as fast sewing machine!  Gorgeous pics by the way!

  8. couldn't you just buy a UK power supply made for your model of sewing machine? that's what i was planning on doing with my janome…. no good?

    • Connie – If you find a UK power supply made for your model of sewing machine that should work. I opted to purchase a transformer/converter because I needed it for items as well. I did not want to buy a power supply specific to my sewing machine when the converter would work, too.

  9. I'm doing things the other way round in the U.S for a couple of years from London and just received my shipment, plugged my sewing machine in and…. NO power!! light really dim ans not enough juice to get the needle going up and down, any ideas??? Can't believe there's not a solution out there.  Please help!!

    • Armi – It sounds like you just plugged in your sewing machine without using a converter. The US outlets do not provide enough juice for UK items. Which means your sewing machine would only work half as fast, or in your case barely at all. Whereas the UK has too much juice for US items. So if I plugged in my US sewing machine in the UK it would get fried.
      You need a step-up & step-down converter. You can buy one from here:
      Let me know how it goes!

    • bought the converter on your advice and hey presto a fully working speedy machine. Brilliant, thank you soo much
      Armi :=)))

  10. Hi,
    Thanks a lot for your entry. I'll be moving from Denver to Malaysia for good end of this year and plan to bring along my Sapphire 835. I saw at the bottom of machine it says it's dual voltage but still i want to play safe. I definitely will get the voltage converter to make sure everything works fine :D
    Love you pics tho!

  11. I am dealing with the same issue – just moved to Argentina with my 110 sewing machine, need to convert to 220. What is the capacity of the voltage convertor you are using? I want to make SURE I bought one that is strong anough before I plug my baby in!
    Happy sewing!

    • Hi Sarah – I am converting from 110 to 220 also. Let me know if you have more questions.

  12. @Sarah, re: Argentina move.  Not sure if you've sorted your electricity out yet, but in case not… in answer to your question, I just read that you should use a transformer rated  ~3 times the wattage of your appliance, to handle the start-up surge.  If you don't know the wattage, multiply voltage (V) by amps (A).  I just ordered a sewing machine in Seoul, and was unpleasantly surprised when it arrived with N.American plug.  Guess I can take it back to Canada with me some day… in the meantime, now I need a huge transformer!

    • Angela,
      I purchased a Featherweight sewing machine and it, too, came from Canada.  My husband changed the plug part.  You can easily unsrew the original plug that came with your machine and replace it with a new plug from Home Depot.  You do not need a transformer.  You can also search on YouTube on step-by-step directions.  Hope this helps.

  13. Hi ,i received a Brother sewing machine as a present and its 110volt and by accident my daughter hooked the machine to the electricity and she said it was working very fast !!! and then the bulb blown up and the machine stopped working , I send brother an E mail ,till now waiting for their reply anyone can help me Do you think the motor been fried or its just the bulb blown and cause an open cct in the Machine . I am sad as i love this sewing machine . Thanks 

    • Clodia – unfortunately it sounds like the motor is broken. see what brother tells you.

  14. I have a US Brother sewing machine and need a stepdown converter for model number CP-6500.
    Can you advise me where I can buy one .
    Thank you

  15. YAY YAY YAY! So glad I found this post. I am moving to London in June. I want to bring my sewing machine, but it’s not dual voltage. Looks like I’ll be purchasing this, too. So now that you’ve used it for a while, did it work fine? No problems?
    Thanks so much for posting!

    • Sarah – My sewing machine was not dual voltage. And I never had any problems. Everything worked fine!

  16. Hi, I am moving from the U.S. to Ireland and have a Janome sewing machine. I followed your suggestion about getting a step down transformer from East-West. They suggested that a 200W one will work fine with mine (0.6W machine). I am just wondering why you purchased the 800W model. Also is your machine continuing to work well? Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Karen – I bought the 800W in case I needed to use it for kitchen appliances. If you only plan to use it for your sewing machine then East-West recommendations for a 200W might suit you well. Happy adventures in Ireland!

  17. Hi I forgot to check the email box.

    • Hi Karen – Have a look at your email. I sent you an email a couple days ago. :)

  18. I was encouraged to see that you have successfully used a transformer with your sewing machine since I would like to take my older sewing machine along when we move to the UK this summer. I do have a question about speed and HZ, though. What I’ve read elsewhere is that since you only get 50Hz in the UK and most US motors are made for 60Hz, you can run into issues with the speed of the motor (it runs only 5/6 as fast.) I take it that hasn’t been a problem for you?

  19. Thank you SOO SO much for posting this! I am moving to Finland in May and have been increasingly upset over the things that I couldn’t figure out how I would get them to work (sewing machine, serger, mixer, etc) You are a God send!

  20. That’s awesome!
    Checked their site, but can’t find that thing for the Life of me.
    Tried their search, no luck either.
    Any direct link to the thing by any chance? :-)
    Do you remember how much it cost approx.?
    (will be heading to the US for good and debating to take the machine or sell it….)
    Thx! :)

    • Dooh, nevermind, I checked the big online shopping center that starts with an ‘a’ and found them :-)

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