In a Hurry ? Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
Taking full advantage of modern technology to bring out the best in any art project is no new trend nowadays. From using the internet and video streaming to learn sewing techniques from master sewists around the world to taking advantage of modern sewing machines that are jammed packed with new features to even using projectors to project the sewing pattern of your choosing, not jumping on this bandwagon is truly a missed opportunity.
Wait, you say. Do you mean actual projectors? Trust us, we get this question asked more than you can imagine. Though this may be a relatively recent development, we truly believe that it is a step in the right direction so do hear us out for a hot second. Think about one of the most annoying and tedious parts of sewing. If you thought of printing and assembling PDF patterns, you’re on the right page.
Imagine all that time spent on getting the right pattern and then spending even more time on careful printing, arranging, taping, cutting. This is where projectors come in: they eliminate all these lengthy steps. And the best part? You don’t need some sort of specialized sewing projector for this. Any solid projector will do just fine for this.
So, if you find yourself enticed by the idea of owning a sewing projector, we invite you to read on. Down below you’ll find some of our reviews on what we think are the best projectors you can get for any sewing project!
Best Projector for Sewing Patterns
DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector
Providing a full professional-level LED projector that’ll work great both indoors and outdoors, the first product on our list by Dr. J sets the bar remarkably high from the get-go. Loved by customers from every walk of life, from those looking to install a home theater entertainment system all the way to you, crafty sewist, a projector like this will not leave you wanting for more.
A cursory glance reveals that this projector is capable of projecting crystal clear images that’ll bring out even the finest, most minute detail of any sewing pattern through crisp, crisp images. This is made possible thanks to its 1080P resolution. Complementing this, you’ll also find even colors brought out to their most vivid thanks to its projection color contrast of 3800:1.
So don’t worry about your pattern of choice being too intricate, Dr. J will be able to handle it without breaking a sweat. You’ll be equally pleased to know that it’s designed with an emphasis on good eye health.
Through its unique diffuse LED light source system, not only will you be able to view all your sewing patterns with crystal clarity, but your eyes will be shielded away from the dangers of prolonged viewing. With its diffuse reflection system, your eyes even during the longest of sewing sessions will not be subjected to any direct light. This means that fatigue and wear will be kept to a bare minimum.
It doesn’t just stop there though. This product also features A built-in Stereo sound system that’ll let you enjoy some music during your sewing as well as a high-end cooling system that’ll let you run the projector with minimum heat and noise. It’s also fully compatible with smartphones through its HDMI/USB port and even beyond sewing, you’ll find it perfect for a range of activities including gaming, video streaming, and more.
Artograph EZ Tracer Opaque Art Projector-No Bulb
Big things come in small packages is a phrase that the Artograph Art Projector lives up to. Unassuming in size and weight, with it clocking in at just 2.15 pounds, though it may seem unwieldy compared to other options in our list, it’ll perform just as well as a sewing projector.
It’ll provide an enlargement to any printed sewing pattern from anywhere to as low as two all the way to up to ten times, which should be more than adequate even for the more ambitious of sewists out there. Its lens is also top-notch. With its 163 mm optical glass lens, it should bring out the details and nuances in any pattern irrespective of complexity.
And along with its 5.5-foot long power cord, you should be able to position this projector anywhere in your workspace without worrying about wires falling short of a length.
Of course, while portability is the game of the game when it comes to the Artograph thanks to its modest dimensions of 4.5 x 13.25 x 7.5-inches, there are a couple of caveats to mention. First, this projector does not include a lightbulb. You’ll have to purchase a 100-watt LED bulb to start using this product.
Also, note that you should not use an incandescent bulb as it will generate too much heat for the projector to handle. And second, you’ll have to manually print out a physical copy of your sewing pattern to use this projector. There aren’t any digital USB ports here!
Artograph Prism Opaque Art Projector
Another fantastic projector option for those looking for something simple, straightforward, and most importantly non-digital (we totally get how fiddling around with computers and phones can be headache-inducing!), the Artograph Prism stands as one of our favorite options.
Don’t be fooled though. Unlike Artograph’s more mobile counterpart, the Prism weights in at a whopping 11-pounds. Now looking past its weight spread across its 14 x 14 x 7.5-inch dimensions, you’ll soon notice that this product is second to none when it comes to magnifying any non-digital image.
Capable of either enlarging a sewing pattern up to twenty times or reducing it up to 80% with a flip of the lens, its 200mm optical glass lens will provide all the precision and accuracy any sewist may need. You’ll be able to insert your printed pattern on its top-loading compartment that’ll accommodate anything within 7 x 7-inches and with a flip of a button, its 500-watt lighting will give new, clear life to any sewing pattern.
Of course, with something as large as the Prism, one common problem often is heat. Thankfully this is a non-issue due to its dual-cooling system that’ll keep things mute and chill and in the case of unexpected heating, its programmed safety overload circuit will keep things safe.
If you do decide to stick with the Prism, do note that it is intended to be used in either dark or dim settings. Using a projector like this in a bright environment or outdoors during midday will lead to suboptimal and disappointing results.
APEMAN 5000 Lumen 1080P Supported Mini Projector
Returning back to the more conventional of projectors, the APEMAN Mini Projector is a fine addition to any sewist’s arsenal and offers some of the best value for money among everything we’ve seen. Fully capable of displaying 720P images along with a 3000:1 contrast ratio, this product packs everything that’s required to provide a crisp viewing experience in its unassuming size.
A size so unassuming that you could probably pack this up in your suitcase while traveling around! You don’t have to worry about compatibility here too. You’ll find that any mobile device, both Androids, and iPhones will work perfectly here. Of course, you can even plug in your home computer or laptop if needed too. And with its 5000 lumens, brightness is never an issue here. Even in the darkest or lightest of rooms, you’ll be able to view your sewing pattern with ease.
What really impresses us though is its cooling system. Even for the longer sewing sessions that span tedious hours, its dual fan system operates so efficiently in cooling the projector so as to be almost noticeable to the human ear. This means that those of you who need a silent workspace to sew your best will in for a treat here.
Once your sewing project is done and dusted and the time to kick up your legs comes, the APEMAN Mini will be ready to entertain. With its dual built-in speaker system, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find how such an assuming projector and produce such loud and clear sounds.
Whether you’re streaming Netflix or playing with your PlayStation, the APEMAN will be fully able to accommodate all your entertainment needs as well.
VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector
The choice product for any sewist looking for something that’ll provide sharp images and can double as an entertainment device, the VANKYO Leisure 3 offers more than meets the eye to any passing customer.
Powered by an MS Star Color engine and boasting a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels through its LCD display technology, it goes without saying that any viewing experience with the VANKYO is one to be enjoyed. This all is complemented by both its 2000:1 contrast ratio along its +60% brightness capabilities.
This is especially useful for the sewist, both amateur and professional, as what this enables you to do is to display every nook and cranny to every minute detail of any sewing pattern, no matter how complex or intricate. Of course, being a digital projector, you’ll have to use either a computer or smartphone unlike the non-digital options above, which you probably already have if you’re reading out the little article!
This is all made extremely easy thanks to its included USB wire that’ll work with any laptop model out there. Here’s the best part though – you’ll be able to view your pattern from a watching size from as small as 32-inches to as large as 170-inches thanks to its projection distance that spans 4.9 to 16.4-feet.
Of course, we don’t expect sewists to be using this projector to its upper limits but it’s always nice having that extra option which we think would be useful should you decide to host a sewing class or session with some friends.
It goes without saying that excess noise and heat is kept to a minimum with the VANKTO. Fitted out with a state-of-the-art cooling system that provides both heat dispersion and noise suppression systems, you won’t ever notice the projector running even during the longest of sessions. Especially so if you happen to use its in-built speaker system to stream some music while sewing!
A Buyer’s Guide to Sewing Pattern Projectors
Whether the workspace you choose to sew in is bright or dim, the overall brightness of your workspace will directly affect the type of projector you should opt for and its overall efficiency. The general rule of thumb is that the brighter your room, the higher the lumens you’ll need.
Regardless, if you stick to our list and opt for our digital projectors, you should be fine even in the brightest of rooms, but should you decide to go for our non-digital options, ensure your workspace is dim otherwise your projector just won’t fare well!
This is where things get a little tricky. To take full advantage of your projector, you’ll have to securely mount it somewhere overhead (e.g. your ceiling). None of our selected products come with an included ceiling mount so you’ll have to venture elsewhere for this. The good news is that it costs barely anything so you should be fine even on a tight budget.
Now if ceiling mounts and drilling aren’t possible, you can think a little creatively. The desk mounts that people use for tablets and boom mounts for mics can be adapted for projectors as well.
Probably one of the most important things for any sewist is their cutting surface. You’ll have to keep two things in mind here. First, ensure that it is as level and flat as possible. Anything that isn’t uniform will cause trouble later on and can even cause your projected pattern to not display as accurately as possible.
And second, measure the size of your cutting area and ensure that it matches the width of your projected area closely. If your projected area is smaller than your cutting area, all should be well. However, if your projected area errs on the larger side of things, you should recalibrate everything lest things turn messy.