Leather sewing machine, hoverboard hub motor. Low speed high torque?

I have a hoverboard motor and just purchased a hand cobbler sewing machine. It’s a $100 sewing machine that you assemble yourself. There’s a great community surrounding the little machine, but mostly they’re focused on improving the machine itself rather than motorizing it. I’d like to add a motor. My goal isn’t to go ‘really fast’ with the machine. Slow and steady stitches, like the second hand on a clock.

I could buy a $20 speed controller for a bike that would work with it. I found oDrive, but don’t know if I can justify $100 on something that I’d use like this. Would the oDrive be worth it? Is there… like a single motor oDrive anywhere?

I’d also take suggestions on specific hardware to use. I’ve heard that slow operation of the hub motors can be difficult.

Slow operation of this kind of motor is difficult, as a general rule. You’re best off if you can gear it down… an ESC is probably fine here, to be honest. ODrive may be better if you want to do something where you have to run a specific pattern rather than just run the motor at some set speed.

You can get hub motors that are internally geared (e.g. 5:1 planetary). This will offer better low speed performance than a direct drive hub motor.