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. This is why we wrote this article.
While each machine basically does the same thing, this doesn’t mean every model is a suitable sewing machine for a child.
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?
Janome Fast Lane Fuchsia
- 10 Built-in Stitches
- Budget Friendly
- Lots of Color Options
- 25 Built-in Stitches
- Best Value
- 59 Stitch Functions
Janome 11706 Hello Kitty
- 11 Built-in Stitches
- Most Stylish
- 3/4 Size for Little Hands
There are a few machines for kids that we can’t help but recommend. These include:
Janome 11706 3/4 Size Hello Kitty
Cute, affordable and perfect for kids. The Hello Kitty sewing machine by Janome is smaller than a machine geared towards adults, but still offers:
- 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 Fast Lane Portable
- 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 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 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.
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 XL2610 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.
Janome 11706 3/4 Size Hello Kitty Sewing Machine
- Eleven stitches and a four-step buttonhole
- Features a free arm
- Portable - perfect for dorm rooms or bringing to sewing class
- Heavy duty sewing capibility
- Accessory storage
Janome Fast Lane Fuchsia Portable Sewing Machine
- 10 Stitch Options
- Lightweight and Portable
- Top Loading Drop-In Bobbin
- 2 Needle Positions, Left and Center
- Free Arm Sewing Capability
Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine with Universal Sewing Machine Carrying Case
- Free-arm sewing machine with 25 built-in stitches, each with multiple stitch functions; good for novices and everyday sewing projects
- Accessory storage built into free arm; includes 5 accessory presser feet and bilingual user's manual
- Features needle threader, thread cutter, drop-in bobbin loading, and auto bobbin winding; 1-step auto-size buttonholer
- Bundle includes 2-piece carrying and storage case
- Case is molded from durable but lightweight plastic