Kids that start sewing at a young age will open up a world of creativity. Cute hats, scarves, shirts and everything in between can be made to the exact liking of the child. While each sewing machine has the same outcome – to speed up the sewing process – this doesn’t mean every model is the perfect sewing machine for kids.
What features should you look for in your kid’s sewing machine?
What Features Do Kids Need?
Kids need a simplistic machine that is easy to use without compromising safety. If you gave a child a computerized sewing machine, you’ll probably find that these models are simply too complex for the average kid to learn.
You want a machine that allows a child to easily develop their sewing 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 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 sewing 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 sewing machine on his or her foot will cause far more damage than dropping a 5 pound sewing 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 sewing machine. The main difference will always be that the higher-priced models come with 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.
Sewing at a Young Age
The art of sewing is starting to become lost with the younger generation. 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 sewing?
I have seen children start sewing at the age of 3. While they may not be the world’s best seamstress at this point, they will start developing their basic skill foundation so that they can advance to difficult patterns quickly.
A small sewing machine for kids is ideal because it is:
- Comes with kid-friendly safety features
Kids that learn to sew will have a greater respect for the art and will understand the safety measures needed when sewing. I have found that kids that start sewing earlier in life learn to protect their fingers from the presser foot and have an overall higher level of safety than a kid that starts sewing as they get older.
The earlier a person starts sewing, the more time they will have to enhance their skills.
Which Sewing Machines Do We Recommend for Kids?
There are a few sewing machines for kids that we can’t help but recommend. These include:
Janome 11706 3/4 Size Hello Kitty Sewing Machine
Cute, affordable and perfect for kids. The Hello Kitty by Janome is smaller than an adult sewing machine, but still offers:
- 11 stitches
- Free arm
- 4-step buttonhole
Just 12 pounds, kids will not have a problem transporting this machine, and a carry handle is included for ease-of-use. Presser feet are snap on, but the hold is impeccable, which makes the 3 included feet as stable and secure as screw-on feet.
This model doesn’t do the “fancy” stuff, such as advanced stitches, but it provides enough functionality for kids to learn the basics and advance their sewing skills. It is a reliable, inexpensive sewing machine that is easy to use. Your child is guaranteed to love it.
Janome Fast Lane
Janome’s Fast Lane model is made specifically for kids and is so affordable (under $70), that it must be in consideration for any younger sewer. This model is very lightweight, at just 5 pounds, and features:
- 10 stitches
- Free arm
- 5 pound weight
- 9 color and design options
- 2 needle positions
- Stitch dial
Small and easy to carry around, this machine has unique presser feet that ensure kids don’t put their little hands underneath and in the way of the sewing 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 using this machine. 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 sewing machine.
The Brother XL2610 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:
- 25 built-in stitches
- 59 stitch functions
- Free arm
- Automatic buttonholer
- Drop-in bobbin
This model works perfectly for the mature kid who wants to sew. It can also be used by adults for advanced patterns 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 sewing machine for beginners despite their age.
All three of these models are a great option when looking for a sewing machine for kids. The main difference you’ll find is that the Fast Lane is far more affordable than the other two machines listed, but you will sacrifice advanced features that will be needed by an experienced seamstress.
Sewing is a life skill that allows every kid to have endless hours of fun away from the television.