Kids that start sewing at a young are opened up to a world of creativity. Cute hats, scarves, shirts and everything in between can be made exactly to their liking. This is obviously a huge thrill to most children. Being able to express themselves while creating their own crafts is something most children will be thrilled with. Once they have mastered hand stitching, they will likely want to get their hands on your sewing machine. You may not want this as your machine may be expensive or not very kid-friendly. We hope this article will help you make the right choice.
While each machine basically does the same thing, this doesn’t mean every model is a suitable sewing machine for a child.
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What Features Do You Need For a Child?
Kids need a simple machine that is easy to use and reliable without compromising safety. If you gave a child a computerized sewing machine, you’ll probably find that these models are simply too complex and overwhelming for the average child to learn.
You want a machine that allows a child to easily develop their skills without overwhelming them.
A few key areas to consider are:
- Feet: The feet of a sewing machine will either snap on or attach with a screw. For kids, you want feet that attach with a screw so that the feet stay in place. Many kids have sewn through their own clothing or fingers because of snap off feet.
- Pedal: Some children, especially younger sewers, will have a difficult time using a standard pedal. If this is an issue for your child, I highly recommend using a push-button model that provides a consistent stitch speed.
- Speed: When using a push-button model, you’ll want a machine that has a consistent speed. This will allow for garments to be made with precision and won’t take away from the control that is lost when not using a pedal.
- Weight: Depending on the child’s age and size, the weight of the machine is a major consideration. Dropping a 15 pound machine on his or her foot will cause far more damage than dropping a 5 pound machine.
- Warranty: Kids have a way of breaking even the most durable equipment. Safeguarding your investment with a warranty is a wise choice.
In terms of price, you’ll spend $70 – $150+ on a good quality starter machine for a child. The main difference between less expensive and the higher-priced models is that the most expensive models offer a higher level of durability and often include more built-in stitches – many which your child will never use. Some also provide a higher level of automation.
Starting at a Young Age
The art of sewing is starting to become lost with younger generations. Kids that know how to sew are learning a life skill that will allow them the creative freedom to sew their own clothes or even make an outfit for their favorite pet if they see fit.
How young can a child start?
I have seen children start at the age of 3. While they may not be the world’s best seamstress at this point, they will start developing basic skills, exploring their creative side and gaining confidence. Once they gain some experience they can advance to difficult patterns quickly.
Choosing a smaller machine for a child is ideal because they are usually:
- Considerably lighter
- Less Expensive
- Come with kid-friendly safety features
Kids that learn to sew at a young age will have a greater respect for the art and will understand the safety measures needed. I have found that kids that start earlier in life learn to protect their fingers from the presser foot and have an overall higher level of safety than a kid that started at an old age.
Also, the earlier a person starts, the more time they will have to enhance their skills and gain confidence.
Which Machines Do We Recommend for Kids?
There are a few machines for kids that we can’t help but recommend. These include:
Janome 11706 3/4 Size Hello Kitty
- 11 stitches
- Free arm
- 4-step buttonhole
Weighing only 12 pounds, kids will not have a problem transporting this machine. It also has a handy handle that makes carrying this machine a breeze.
This model doesn’t do the “fancy” stuff, but it provides enough functionality for kids to learn the basics and advance their skills. It is a reliable, inexpensive machine that is easy to use. Presser feet simply snap on, but don’t worry, the hold is impeccable. We never had an issue with them and the 3 included feet are as stable and secure as screw-on feet.
We were very impressed with this model. It looks cute and performs great too. You and your child are guaranteed to love it and is definitely a favorite in this age group. m
Janome Mini Sewing Machine
- 10 stitches
- Free arm
- 5 pound weight
- 9 color and design options
- 2 needle positions
- Stitch dial
Small and easy to carry around, this model has unique presser feet that ensure kids don’t put their little hands underneath and in the way of the needle. This is not a commercial machine that can withstand 6 hours of use a day, but it has all of the safety features needed for a younger user to safely sew his or her next garment.
I was pleasantly surprised with the results when were testing with this model. My 6 year old niece had no issues using it and was eager to learn more when she was finished her first project. If your child is just starting out you can’t go wrong with this portable sewing machine.
The Brother XL2701 fills the gap between a kid and a teenager. This model is meant for the older kid who wants a great beginner sewing machine that has an abundance of features, such as:
- 27 built-in stitches
- 59 stitch functions
- Free arm
- Automatic buttonholer
- Drop-in bobbin
This model works perfectly for the mature kid who wants to learn how to sew. It is also suitable for adults for advanced projects thanks to the variety of stitch options available. Easy to use with advanced features that are a necessity for complex patterns, this is the perfect model for kids or beginners no matter what age.
NEX Sewing Machine Free-Arm Crafting Mending Machine
Great for beginners, this sewing machine still packs a lot of power in a small machine, offering:
- 12 built-in stitches
- Double threading and speed options
- Operates off DC 6V or battery
- Forward and reverse sewing options
- Two-speed design
NEX’s portable design includes a carry handle, and small dimensions of 10.6″ x 4.7″ x 9.” With a weight of just six pounds, this machine is user-friendly – even for kids. The right choice for DIY sewing, this small, sleek sewing machine can do it all with hems, button-holing and other advanced sewing made simple with the FHSM-505.
Thickness can go as high as 2.5mm, allowing the user to quickly sew through six layers of denim with ease. Stitch length is adjustable, and there’s a flat-bed that allows for maximum adjustability when sewing.
This ABS+Metal model includes everything kids need to get started sewing, including:
- Foot controller
- Thread spools
- Needle threader
- Extra needles
Kids and tweens will find this sewing machine to be robust yet intuitive. You’ll love this machine’s low noise production and easy-carry handle that allows for the utmost in portability. Perfect for kids and tweens, this model is even ideal for the on-the-go seamstress who must make quick adjustments to garments.
I am very happy with this model, and my niece loves the look and ease-of-use, too. When teaching a child how to sew for the first time, a minimalistic sewing machine that’s lightweight is a great option.
Singer 1304 Start Free Arm Sewing Machine with 6 Built-In Stitches
This model comes with everything a novice needs to begin sewing, including:
- Simple stitch selection
- Easy threading system
- 6 built-in stitches
- Winding system
- Free arm
Singer’s 1304 isn’t as lightweight as some of the other models on our list (weighing 12.7 pounds), but it’s still a great option for your standard seamstress. This model has dimensions of 13″ x 7″ x 11.5″.
Easy threading is offered, with diagrams printed on the right side of the machine. Setup is made simple, and users can quickly adjust between six different stitches along with a 4-step buttonhole that allows you to add buttons to any garment with ease.
Twin needle sewing is provided thanks to the dual spoon pins that make this machine perfect for hemming or decorations.
Kids and adults will love the free owner’s class that’s provided to help you learn how to properly thread and set the machine up. You’ll also find that this model has a heavy-duty frame and three presser feet, which make it easy to get started.
Preset stitch lengths and widths are provided.
I like the lack of length and width adjustments because it allows kids to get started sewing quickly without needing to worry about adjusting different settings. The tension is also automatically adjusted for you so that you never have to worry about thread breaking.
I highly recommend this sewing machine for younger kids who want to get a feel for sewing and don’t need to be overburdened with a slew of different features. There’s even a free arm for more advanced sewing needs.
All three of these models are a great option when looking for a suitable machine for kids. The main difference you’ll find is that the Fast Lane is more affordable than the other two machines listed, but you will sacrifice advanced features that may be needed as you gain more experience. However, it is a great little machine for your child to grow on and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. If your child is a bit older then the Janome Hello Kitty or Brother XL2701 may be more desirable.
We are glad you are interested in getting your child into sewing. It is a life skill that allows every kid to have endless hours of fun away from the television.