- Best Sewing Machine For Kids Reviews
- Should You Have a Sewing Machine for Your Kids?
- What makes a Sewing Machine Kid Friendly?
- Sewing Machines for Kids Buying Guide
- FAQ about Children’s Sewing Machines
- Best Sewing Machine For Kids Comparison Chart
- Wrap Up
Sewing is one of the most beneficial hobbies for children. It helps them develop their hand-eye coordination, it lifts their creativity and problem-solving skills, and it gives them the self-confidence boost that they can only get when creating something from scratch. On the other hand, sewing includes dealing with sharp tools like scissors and needles. With small hands and undeveloped dexterity, it can be hard for children to operate sewing machines.
If you’d like to enable your child to express their creativity through tailoring, you should get a sewing machine with special safety features intended for kids. We will help you choose the best sewing machine for kids in this review, and tell you more about the features you should pay attention to.
Janome Magnolia 7318
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Janome Fastlane Fuschia Basic
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Janome 11706 Hello Kitty
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Best Sewing Machine For Kids Reviews
1. Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
The reputable sewing tools manufacturer comes with this sturdy, higher-end model. Janome Magnolia is an amazing choice for an upgrade. If your child already mastered the basics of handling a sewing machine, this model is a great investment for your future fashion designer.
It’s suitable for children because it has a drop-in bobbin loading system that reduces jams and tangles. This machine has 18 different stitch options, which is more than average on our list. However, it also has an above-average weight. At 17.6 pounds, it’s unlikely your child will be able to carry it, even with a carry handle.
This is a foot pedal operated model, which makes it better suited for more experienced seamstresses. On the other hand, it has a staggering fabric feed power which it accomplishes with a 5-piece feed dog. The presser foot is snap-on, which is another feature that makes it unsuitable for very young and inexperienced children.
This model is covered by a 2-year warranty and a limited 15-year replacement warranty for extended parts.
2. NEX Children Sewing Machine
This pretty white-pink model by NEX is a great deal, as it’s one of the most affordable sewing machines on our list. It comes with all the necessary features. There are 12 stitch styles, chosen via buttons located on the front.
A great thing about this model is that it can run on both 4 AA batteries or it can be plugged into a DC 6V 1200mA power outlet. The unique battery option makes it extra portable, especially since this model only weighs 5.8 pounds. Your child will have no issues carrying this model around! A great feature that makes this model particularly suitable for children is that it can run on both the pedal and a button. The button controls two speed settings – low and high speed. The bobbin system is drop-in, making the machine exceptionally easy to thread. It also has a small drawer for accessories and small pieces like pins and extra bobbins. Overall, this is a great, inexpensive model perfect for children.
The downside of this machine is its very short 1-year long warranty.
3. MICHLEY LSS-505 Sewing Machine
Michley’s affordable, portable model is a perfect Christmas gift for your little one. This inexpensive model comes with a button controlled basic set of 8 stitch styles. It is remarkably lightweight with only 6.4 pounds, and it even has a built-in carry handle. It can be powered by a cord or by 4 AA batteries, which makes it very portable.
Most kids will have no issue carrying this machine around. However, that also means it cannot handle heavy duty work or thick fabrics. It has two speeds – low and high, which can be controlled by a pedal or with a push of a button. The bobbin is mounted in a magnetic, drop-in slot, making it very easy to thread. The one feature that makes this machine extraordinarily suitable for children is its screw-on foot. However, it only comes with an all-purpose foot, which makes it difficult to sew buttonholes and to do other special jobs.
The biggest downside of this model is its very brief warranty period of only 3 months.
4. Janome Fastlane Fuschia Basic Sewing Machine
This vibrant little model by the famous Janome comes in many color variations, so you’re bound to find one that your child won’t be able to leave aside.
This very compact model comes with 10 basic stitches – 5 specialty ones and 5 variations of a straight stitch with different stitch lengths. It has a small compartment for all the little accessories, so your child won’t lose any. This machine uses snap-on feet, but it comes with a finger guard – a special form of raised presser foot edges, which makes it harder for the child’s fingers to get close to a needle.
On the other hand, the stitching speed of this model can only be controlled by a foot pedal. It has a drop-in bobbin slot. At only 5 pounds, this model is very lightweight, but it doesn’t have a carry handle.
This sewing machine is covered by a 1-year long warranty.
5. Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine
This great model by Brother is perfect for any seamstress, young or old.
In contrast to other machines on our list, this is a full-size machine, weighing 11 pounds, which means it’s not very portable for kids. However, it’s great for older children and teenagers. It has 10 stitch options, including zigzag and stretch stitches, blind hem, and a four-step buttonhole stitch. This model must be run on a pedal, so it’s not suitable for very young children.
On the other hand, it has a jam-proof drop-in bobbin slot, which makes threading much easier. This machine is perfect for more experienced future tailors who are looking for a durable machine to do DIY projects.
It’s covered by a 25-year long warranty, with quality assurance of a big, famous manufacturer.
6. Janome 11706 Hello Kitty Sewing Machine
Your child will definitely love. The beautiful model comes in an enchanting teal color, which will keep your young one’s attention.
It has 11 simple stitches, enough for any beginner, and it comes with a four-step buttonhole sewing program. An amazing feature of this machine is its accessory storage, which is great if your child frequently loses small bits like bobbins and pins. This 11-pound machine has a carry handle, but due to its weight, it isn’t easy enough for a child to carry. It has a 3-piece feed dog, which means that the fabric requires no pushing through the machine. The bobbin system is front-load. The downsides of this model are its snap-on presser feet and foot pedal speed control, both of which are not ideal for children, especially not the younger ones.
This model is covered with a lengthy 25-year warranty.
Should You Have a Sewing Machine for Your Kids?
So, you have a future fashion design star in your midst? You see your child always playing with clothes, trying out different styles and cutting and gluing scraps of cloth to make the new fashion statement. This is a telltale sign of a promising creative genius, and of course, as a parent, you want to nurture this potential. However, in the children’s section of big stores, you can only find plastic toys that are just that – toys. These typically don’t use a needle and a thread, but instead, use pre-cut felt with limited design possibility. These toys mostly imitate the sound of a sewing machine, and they don’t help your child create something from scratch. For this, you need a real sewing machine.
1. How do children benefit from sewing?
There are numerous benefits of starting to sew early in childhood. Sewing and similar crafts are amazing for advancing your child’s hand-eye coordination. Early focus on hand-eye coordination development makes it easier for your child to understand and become skilled in arts and crafts later in life.
1.1 Family time
If your child is 12 years old or younger, it’s strongly advised for parents or guardians to supervise the use of a sewing machine and consider checking some tips about kids sewing. This can be a drawback for parents who are busy or those who are looking for a kid’s hobby that the child can enjoy independently.
On the other hand, this can also be a great advantage. Sewing is a phenomenal choice for family activity. There are many opportunities for collaboration, whether in designing, cutting, stitching or decorating garments and accessories. A result is a physical object that’s a symbol of collaboration, and it can become a treasured item which bonds the family closer together. Naturally, crafty parents are more likely to choose sewing as a hobby for their child. That’s great because they can tutor them and play an active role in their child’s pastime, leaving them with many pleasant memories.
Another advantage of sewing is that it’s a great way to build your child’s self-confidence and a healthy attitude towards work. Just like painting and sculpting, dressmaking is a craft which has a tangible, physical object as a result. Starting with basic materials – a piece of cloth and some thread – the craftsman invests his time and focus to end up with a useful and beautiful object. This is a very rewarding feeling. It will help your child understand work and the benefits of labor.
Also, it will build their self-confidence, as it proves to them that they can create something valuable on their own. On the other hand, it will also teach them to deal with failure. Sewing isn’t easy, and especially as beginners, they are bound to make many mistakes and face numerous failed projects. When children experience this early on, they grow into adults with the growth mindset – the way at looking at failure as an opportunity to develop, and the belief that every skill is built gradually. It is one of the best benefits of teaching kids to sew.
Sewing is also a great way to stimulate creative problem solving, as both tailoring and stitching require figuring out puzzling and unpredictable problems. This is challenging, and there are always ways to improve and advance, which makes sewing a great choice for a life-long hobby. It can also be a point of interest which will help your child connect with other children, and help them stand out in a healthy way by expressing their unique personality.
2. What are the risks associated with children and sewing machines?
Of course, we understand that you’re concerned about the dangers of using a heavy sewing machine with fast, sharp needles. Due to its nature, sewing comes with some safety concerns. Working with sharp tools and the machine with a quickly moving needle is dangerous to a degree. However, children around the world use sewing machines seamlessly, without ever getting hurt. It’s essential that children understand that they can get injured so that they’d be more careful. However, when they’re around 6 years old, an average child has already developed enough to start using sewing equipment with ease.
It’s hard for children to use just about any sewing machine. Even if you have your own machine, it’d be a good idea to consider getting another one that your child can use. This is because children require machines with special safety features that most adult-focused units do not have. Since children have smaller hands and less developed motor skills, it’s important to consider safety tips when choosing the right sewing machine for your little one. Further down, we’ll do our best to explain everything you need to know about sewing machines made for kids.
What makes a Sewing Machine Kid Friendly?
Sewing machines that were designed and manufactured with kids in mind aren’t that common. So, in most cases, kid-friendly sewing machines are simply normal units with extra safety features.
1. Easy To Use
Essentially, all the best choices are mostly beginner sewing machines. That means that they’re designed for complete novices in mind. They don’t normally have a lot of confusing options and features – they’re built so that they have all the basic features and so that they’re easy to understand. Naturally, this kind of machine will not have many different stitch options. You can safely assume that between 10 and 20 different stitches will be quite enough for a beginner. In contrast, advanced and industrial sewing machines can have hundreds of stitches!
Children hands and arms are very small, so regular size sewing machines can be quite hard for them to handle. To solve this problem, it’s enough to shift your focus to portable sewing machines. These are not only lightweight but also overall smaller, making them much easier to operate.
In addition, you should look for a machine that has easily accessible dials, levers, and knobs. Sometimes, the knobs for tension and the reverse stitching lever get placed on the back side of the machine. This is alright for long, adult arms, but it’s unlikely that a child will be able to reach these without special effort.
3. Button and Knob Placement
While the perfect choice would be a machine that has all its knobs and buttons placed on the front side, an optimal solution is also one with some of the less used knobs on the right-hand side of it. Most commonly, the knob placed on the right-hand side will be the one for the manual positioning of the needle, and this one is used only occasionally, so that’s not a big deal. Additionally, it would be perfect if the machine comes with large knobs, especially for the stitch style and stitch length. These are easier for children to operate than buttons or small knobs.
4. Needle Threading
Finally, the most frustrating part of sewing, no matter your age, is threading the needle. If your child is not particularly patient, threading will most likely be a painstaking feat for both of you. However, there is a solution. While most sewing machines have a rather similar way of threading, there are two features that can make this task easier to handle.
First of all, threading a sewing machine is not necessarily very straightforward, so having instructions for threading printed directly on the machine is a great help. Of course, this process will become second nature to your child with time, but in the beginning, your little tailor will require this visual guide. Secondly, some models have automatic needle threaders.
An automatic needle threading is a little construction placed on the left-hand side of the needle, which is used to put the thread through the needle hole more easily. Getting a machine with this feature can save you and your child a lot of stress!
Sewing Machines for Kids Buying Guide
By now, we’ve talked about the benefits and dangers of choosing sewing as a hobby for your child. Being in the tailoring business ourselves, we believe that it’s an amazing choice! So, let’s get onto the most important quest – understanding what exactly you should look for when getting a sewing machine for your little one. As we have already discussed, safety is an essential element when picking a sewing machine for a child, so let’s go through common safety features and concerns in more detail!
1. The difference between standard and kids’ sewing machines
If you search for children’s sewing machines that are not toys, you will probably come out empty handed. That’s because sewing machines made specifically for children are few and far between. The machine you should get for your child will be a standard sewing machine, but with some extra safety features.
First of all, the machine you choose should be smaller than the classic ones, mainly because smaller machines are generally more suitable for kids’ hands. Making sure that your child can grasp and manipulate every part of the machine is important. The added bonus of smaller sewing machines is that they’re typically lighter as well. This will ensure that your child can carry and move it wherever they want, but more importantly, that they will be able to push it in the off chance that it falls on them. If you’re interested in getting a small sewing machine, the keyword you should look out for is ‘portable’.
Sometimes, knobs and other control mechanisms on sewing machines can be quite tight and hard to maneuver. While it’s not a good thing for knobs and levers to be loose, these should be made in a way that a child can turn them without trouble. It won’t be hard to find out if a machine has exceptionally tight knobs, buttons, and levers, and doing so in advance can save both you and your child from unnecessary frustration! However, if you already got a machine and it turns out that its buttons and knobs are too tight for your child to use, you can try to work them until they loosen up a little, or oil them just a little bit underneath with machine oil.
2. Kid-friendly features to look for
Sewing can be an incredibly beneficial hobby for your child. While sewing, children can develop good habits, express their creativity and build self-confidence. However, sewing is a complex craft involving needles and knives, which is understandably unnerving to parents and intimidating to children. That’s why choosing the right sewing machine for your child is a must! In this part, we’ll talk about some sewing machine safety features which will give you peace of mind.
There are some which you should definitely consider, and we will talk about them in detail in the following paragraphs. There are many choices you should consider, including getting screw-in feet versus a snap-on, a button start versus a pedal, stitch style numbers, and so on. So, let’s jump right into it.
Since sewing machines are not made in kid size, the best existing alternative is getting a portable unit. These are both physically smaller and more lightweight. With smaller features, children hands will find it easier to grasp and maneuver the machine and its control knobs.
2.2 Presser Feet
A presser foot is an attachment that holds fabric while the needle pierces it. There are different kinds of presser feet, used for different jobs, such as all-purpose, embroidery, buttonhole, blind hem and overcast feet. However, given that your child is most likely a beginner in sewing, they won’t have the need to change presser feet frequently. As they will most likely spend most of their time sewing with an all-purpose foot, you can safely assume you can get one which isn’t removed easily.
When it comes to the way they attach to the machine, there are two kinds of presser feet: Snap-on, which are more common, and screw-in. As the name suggests, snap-on feet are attached to the machine via a spring hinge, which is great if you require flexibility. However, these can be unreliable as it’s possible that they fall off.
Because of this, the presser feet that you need to tighten with a screw are more secure and provide an additional layer of safety when used by children. However, the problem with screw-in feet is that they’re somewhat harder to replace, as you must find replacements with a suitable screw size. Alternatively, if you lose or damage the screw-in foot and can’t find a replacement, you can get a snap-on adapter.
In the old days, non-electric sewing machines were operated by a pedal that was used to control the needle. Today, electric machines continue that tradition, and normally come with a pressure-sensitive foot pedal, just like the car pedals. The harder you press, the faster the needle moves. This system works wonders for adults since we have higher levels of muscle control and coordination. However, children frequently experience hardships controlling this type of pressure sensitive pedal, frequently losing control over the speed at which their sewing machine runs.
Luckily, the digital age has brought us a great alternative – push-button start. As sewing-machines always have a couple of stitching speeds, button start ones usually have either a couple of buttons or a slider as a method of stitching speed control. These are a great choice for children, as they run in constant, predictable speeds in accordance with button settings.
With the exception of speed, everything about the way a sewing machine stitches are controlled via the knobs, buttons, and levers located on the machine itself. Most notably, that includes stitching style, reverse stitching, needle position, and thread tension. In most cases, knobs are large and have easy to understand symbols printed directly onto the machine.
This is great for child use, so make sure the model you’re interested in has this. Additionally, the knob position most suitable for children is at the front of the machine. However, most units have at least one knob on the right-hand side, most commonly the needle position one, which is used mainly before and after the stitching starts. As we have discussed earlier, it’s important to check if the knobs on the machine you’re interested in are unusually tight, because children might not be strong enough to operate them.
Threading is often a frustrating task for adults, and especially for children. Standard sewing machines require two spools of thread to be fully threaded – the top one that goes through the needle, and the small bobbin that goes inside the machine and under the needle plate. While bobbins are typically easy to insert, there are two standard machine types – drop-in and front load. The front load type of machine usually requires a bit finer hand motoric and has more steps. Because of the simplicity of drop-in bobbins, we recommend getting a machine with this feature.
When it comes to main thread setup, most machines require the user to take the same steps. These are normally printed directly on the machine, which makes learning how to thread much easier. Finally, machines with automatic threading do exist, though it’s a costly feature. However, automatic threading does not mean that everything is done by the machine. Instead, it means that there’s a system that pulls the thread through the needle hole. You still need to pull the thread throughout the machine and down towards the needle yourself.
3. Additional Sewing Safety Tips
Here are some more steps you can take to make sure your child doesn’t get hurt while sewing.
3.1 No pins
Avoid using pins when working with a sewing machine. Pins are a great help if you want to achieve professional results, but they can be quite dangerous both standalone and in combination with a sewing machine. If a machine stitches over a forgotten pin, the needle will most certainly break, resulting in a broken needle tip launching. Not only does a flying needle tip pose a danger for your child’s face and eyes, but it is also very hard to find on the table or the floor.
3.2 Needle thickness
The thickness of the needle you should use depends on the thickness and the consistency of the fabric you are using it with. Thick and heavyweight fabrics, like denim and corduroy, require a thick needle. Using a needle that’s too thin will result in the tip breaking and flying off.
3.3 Don’t pull or push the fabric
The feeder dogs, the two rows of little teeth located under the needle, pull the fabric for you. Hands should only guide the fabric through so you get straight seams. Don’t push the fabric faster than the machine does, as this will result in skipped stitches, jamming, and broken needles.
3.4 Regular maintenance
Just like with any other machine, the condition of sewing machines deteriorates over time, especially with heavier use. To make sure your machine is in top shape, oiled and working as safely as it should, make sure to service it at a certified shop at least once every two years.
FAQ about Children’s Sewing Machines
1. Should I get a toy instead of a sewing machine for my child?
When first looking for a sewing machine for children, you will likely encounter toys that cannot be actually used to make clothes. However, in this article, we discuss real sewing machines that adults could use to sew as well.
To a child, toys can be fun for a while, but you should expect your child to grow out of it after some time playing with it. With an actual sewing machine, your child can continue learning and developing their craft as they grow. We say from experience that after children learn to use the machine sufficiently, they will shift their focus to understanding dressmaking itself. In other words, they will become more concerned with the product they’re creating than with the tools they use. Effectively, it would be good to think of getting a sewing machine for your child as an investment, rather than a mere toy.
2. Which seams should my child learn to use?
When just starting to learn about sewing, there are only two stitches that children need to learn how to use. These are the straight stitch, which is used most often and on many different kinds of fabrics, and the zig-zag stitch, which is used on stretchy fabrics. Most other stitches have more defined uses, but your child can effectively make anything with just these two.
Additionally, every beginner should build the habit of using a back stitch early on. The back stitch, usually controlled by a lever or a button close to the needle, is used to reinforce the beginning and the end of any stitch. When choosing the back stitch option, the fabric will be pulled backwards, towards the user, and a couple of stitches will be made over that portion of the fabric. It is enough to use the backstitch option once, at the beginning and at the end of a seam, no more than an inch long. Don’t run the back stitch option (back and forth) several times as that may result in jamming or needle breaking due to thread buildup.
3. How often do I need to clean the sewing machine?
Ideally, clean the machine after every use, especially if there is a lot of lint build-up. The most important part of the machine to clean is under the needle plate. This rings especially true if you own a machine with a front load bobbin system. Clean the machine with the cleaning brush, or with a microfiber cloth. Since your machine is used by a child, occasionally clean knobs and other frequently touched parts with a regular cleaning liquid.
Best Sewing Machine For Kids Comparison Chart
|Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine||18.8 x 10.5 x 14.8||17.65||18||15|
|NEX Children Sewing Machine||10.8 x 4.8 x 10.2||5.85||12||1|
|MICHLEY LSS-505 Sewing Machine||10.8 x 4.8 x 10.2||6.4||8||3 months|
|Janome Fastlane Fuschia Basic Sewing Machine||10.5 x 5 x 9||5||6||1|
|Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine||5.8 x 15.4 x 12.1||10.8||10||25|
|Janome 11706 Hello Kitty Sewing Machine||17 x 9 x 14||11||11||25|
Getting a sewing machine for your child is a wonderful decision. From developing fine motor skills, letting them explore their creativity, to building a healthy attitude towards work, sewing is a hobby that can have numerous positive effects on your child. However, safety is a common concern, even among more experienced, adult users. Still, there are many choices if you’re looking for great sewing machines with extra safety features that make them suitable for children. Because of that, it’s not too hard to find the best sewing machine for kids, which is safe and simple to use and will give your child an opportunity to express their individuality.