Find The Best Sewing Machine for Kids
Congratulations! You're thinking of starting your child on an exciting path that is not only interesting and fosters creativity but also may prove very helpful in their future life. Introducing your child to a sewing machine can help them become creative, as well as self-reliant. Once you've noticed that your child might have an interest in sewing, the next step should be to check out the marketplace, and see what kinds of sewing machines are out there.
This guide was written to help you with your research. There are literally thousands of sewing machines and kits out there, but most of them were constructed with adults in mind. If your goal is to give your child a new life-skill, the worst thing you can do is to make them try to learn on a machine that is too complicated and even too unsafe for them. Nothing can take away a kid's interest faster than forcing them into using the wrong tool for the job at hand.
There's no set age for teaching your child to sew. Some kids are old beyond their years and can handle learning to sew when they are just 3 to 4 years old. Other kids take a bit longer to acquire an interest in using a sewing machine. Whatever age you start them at, this guide will help you to choose the safest and best machine for your child.
My Top 10 Best Sewing Machines For Kids
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What Sewing Machine Features Are Important For A Child?
Choosing the right sewing machine for a kid is a matter of matching their personality to the different features that beginning sewing machines can offer. The features that we will be looking at include speed control, brand names, automatic needle threaders, and large dials.
A sewing machine for kids must have good speed control. It should be able to adjust to your child's expertise and level. Kids will get frustrated if they feel that their sewing machine is running away from them and that they don't have any control over it. It's good for the sewing machine to have an automatic stop so it won't keep operating when it runs into some resistance and might even hurt the child.
There are many sewing machines on the market today, but it never hurts to buy a machine with a brand name that has a track record of quality. Singer is one of the most recognized names in the industry and has a stellar reputation for well-built, basic machines. Singer sewing machines come with easy to follow diagrams and instructions. Three models that will be discussed here today are the Singer 3232, the Singer 1304, and the Singer 2259.
Brother sewing machines are also very highly regarded by parents who want good quality machines that have excellent stitch quality and can deal with a bit of rough handling. Here we look at the Brother XL26001, the Brother LS21251, the Brother XM1010, and the Brother XM2701.
The Janome brand has become increasingly popular for its safety features and multiple options that children and adults can appreciate. Today's contenders are the Janome Fastlane and the Janome Hello Kitty machines.
Rounding out our list is the fabulous Michley-Tivax Lil' Sew & Sew. This is a high quality, lightweight, relatively inexpensive machine that children will love to carry around. It works well for basic mending without expensive, unnecessary, extras.
Automatic Needle Threaders
Ask any kid who has tried to work on a sewing machine without an automatic threader and they will tell you. It's far better and safer to pick a machine that has this option. Kids will be able to immediately get right into their sewing project without extra muss and fuss.
Kids will definitely appreciate a sewing machine that has a large stitch selection dial, preferably located front and center for easy access. Easily accessible tension dials and reverse levers also get a high mark from children beginning to sew.
No matter how vigilant a parent or guardian is, there are always those times when an accident occurs. That's why it's so important to pick the correct sewing machine from the start. A child should never start sewing on an industrial machine made for adults. Beginning sewers will naturally make many mistakes on the path to successful sewing. They will put a bobbin in wrong, break needles, jam threads, etc. For these reasons and more, you should start your child's journey into sewing on a lightweight machine that's been constructed with the kids' safety in mind.
Machines with plastic parts are good for beginners since they won't have complicated parts and features. Portability is also important. Carrying a lightweight machine into the garden to sew some doll clothes is usually a lot less dangerous than having your child be saddled with using a giant, heavy machine that could do some serious damage to your child's fingers if used improperly.
A few safety tips for kids:
- Wear solid shoes when sewing and always have the pressure foot down before starting to sew
- Check to see if there's anything under the fabric before starting to cut
- When finished sewing, use the hand wheel to put the needle down, then put pressure foot down before turning off and covering the machine
Different Types of Kids Sewing Machines
There are a number of sewing machines on the market designed especially for kids and beginner sewers. The first important consideration is, do you want to prepare your child to be ready to sew in the real world? If the answer is yes, steer clear of any of those toy sewing machines that are proliferating in the market right now.
Real sewing machines that are perfect for both kids and novice sewers are available at very reasonable prices. Safety is the number one feature to look for, of course, but there are other considerations and machines to consider, depending on the age, interest, and skill level of your child.
Kids 7 and above are at the perfect age to learn on a mechanical sewing machine. There are many models out there that are easy to thread, the insertion process, and the bobbin winding is uncomplicated, and stitch selection is also a breeze. It's important to choose a machine that complement's a child's personality. If they get bored easily, you will want to consider a sewing machine that has a lot of features and options.
The Brother LS2125i exemplifies many of the different options that are appreciated in kids' sewing machines. It's lightweight, budget-priced, and easy to set up. Ten stitches can be selected by turning a dial, including an automatic four-step buttonhole stitch. It offers the variety that kids love - it's a top-loader and even winds the bobbins for you! It has a variable-speed pedal control that helps your child to keep up with needle speed.
Another recommended option for kids is the Brother XL26001 Sew Advance. It has a switch selection dial, a simple free arm for hem sewing, and a drop-in automatic winding bobbin. It also has 25 unique stitch types that will be ready and waiting once your child has mastered zigzag stitches and a basic straight line.
Is My Child Too Young To Sew?
Children as young as 3 or 4 can be started on a small, lightweight machine that can do standard sewing. Start them off by practicing sewing using no needle, so that they'll get used to the machine. Once you're confident that they know how to keep their fingers out of harm's way, you can put the needle in and have them sew with careful adult supervision at first.
Some kids may do well with a sewing kit designed especially for them. If you need a complete set, that includes kids patterns, machine and accessories, that may be a good option for you as well.
A first sewing machine for kids should be a great deal lighter than standard machines, have child-friendly safety features, and be less expensive than larger adult sewing machines. Studies confirm that kids who start sewing at a younger age are capable of understanding necessary safety measures, can learn early how to protect small fingers from a presser foot, and in general will have a higher level of safety knowledge than children that start at a later age.
Online reviewers speak very positively about the Janome 3/4 size Hello Kitty Sewing Machine for the youngest children. This machine offers a free arm, 11 stitches, a four-step buttonhole, and a convenient carrying handle. There's nothing fancy here, but there's enough functionality so that kids can learn basic skills on an inexpensive, reliable machine. The extra high presser foot snaps on, and its hold is errorless. In fact, the three feet that are included are as secure and stable as any screw-on feet. The tension dial and reverse lever are also easy to reach.
Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine - Editor's Choice
Why It's Great For Kids: Young sewers will appreciate its light weight, many sewing options, and built-in needle threader.
- Contains 27 built-in, unique stitches, including zigzag, blind hem, decorative, quilting, and an auto-size one-step buttonholer that makes nearly perfect buttonholes
- Comes with a bilingual (Spanish and English) user manual and an informative instructional DVD
- 25-year limited warranty, and includes free technical online and phone support during the entire life of this product!
- Not for use in any country that doesn't support 120V AC
- Foot pedal is a little too sensitive
This inexpensive sewing machine is a dream machine for young sewers. With a rating of 5 stars, the Brother XM2701 is lightweight (7.2 pounds), has a one-step auto-size buttonhole, an instructional DVD, and 6 fast-change sewing feet (zipper, buttonhole, zigzag, blind stitch, narrow hemmer, and button). In addition, this fabulous machine has a needle threader that's built in, a top drop-in bobbin that's jam resistant, an entirely automatic bobbin-winding system, and a bright LED work area.
The Brother XM2701 has a complete range of easy-to-use features that will please beginners, as well as intermediate sewers who are looking for adaptability. Its built-in free arm is specially made to simplify sewing cuffs, pant legs, and sleeves. Just turn the dial to select a stitch, and touch a lever on the machine's side to automatically thread the needle.
Singer 3232 Simple Sewing Machine
Why It's Great For Kids: Kids will love its automatic needle threader and one-step buttonholer
- Free accessories include lint brush, edge, seam ripper, pack of needles, quilting guide, bobbins, thread spool caps, darning plate, L-screwdriver, foot control / power cord, instruction manual, and a soft-sided dust cover
- Includes a buttonhole foot (for adding ribbon slots and buttonholes), 4 presser feet (button sewing, zipper foot (adds piping, cording, and zippers), button sewing foot, and a free arm that allows easy access to collars, cuffs, pant hems or any other hard to reach areas
- Weighs only 12.2 pounds
- This 110-Volt machine can only be used in the US and Canada
- Bobbin can be tough to access
The Singer 3232 Simple Sewing Machine with 32 Stitches and Automatic Needle Threader has a 4.8-star rating and is reasonably priced and simple to use. It features 32 built-in stitches (6 stretch stitches for mending and construction, 6 essential stretch stitches that move along with the fabric used, an automatic, 1-step buttonhole maker, and 19 decorative stitches), a timesaving automatic needle threader, and an adjustable stitch width and length, which prevents fabric from bunching and keeps all seams strong. Its completely automatic one-step buttonhole gives professional results with one button touch.
This Singer product has online support, including social media support for connection to other sewers for tricks and tips of the trade. A number of online tutorials are available on threading, bobbin installation, and training on presser feet.
Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine & Instructional DVD
Why It's Great For Kids: Children will love its easy stitch selector dial, bright LED lighting, and automatic bobbin winder
- Includes a bilingual (Spanish - English) manual, an instructional DVD, and a 25-year limited warranty, which includes free technical support as long as the product exists
- Easy stitch selector allows user to dial stretch, utility, and decorative stitches, as well as buttonhole
- Includes many useful accessories, including a three piece needle set, darning plate, 4 feet, 4 bobbins, foot controller, screwdriver, and quick-start guide
- Power cord could be longer
- Integrated light is a tiny light bulb, which only lights up left side of presser foot
The Brother XM1010 Auto-Size, 4-Step Buttonholer, 10 Stitches, 4 Sewing Feet and Instructional DVD is an inexpensive and thoroughly useful machine that enjoys a 4.8-star rating. This is a lightweight, full-size, portable machine that is specifically designed for everyday mending and sewing. It's ten different, built-in stitches include stretch, zigzag, blind hem, and an auto-size, 4-step buttonholer. Four sewing feet are included - zipper, zigzag, zipper, and buttonhole. It also includes these easy to use features: drop-in, jam-resistant top bobbin, automatic bobbin winder, reverse sewing, easy stitch selector dial, thread tension control, built-in free arm, and bright LED lighting.
Singer 1304 Sewing Machine with 6 Built-In Stitches
Why It's Great For Kids: Beginner sewers will enjoy the easy threading system, with clear instructions printed directly on the sewing machine
- A free online owner's class instructs users on how to change needles, thread the machine, sew on buttons, sew seams, hems, zippers, and more
- Preset stitch width and length makes getting started a breeze
- Free accessories include darning plate, class 15 bobbins, pack of needles, spool pin felts, needle plate screwdriver, lint brush, seam ripper, foot control, power line cord, instruction manual, and quick start guide
- This 110-V machine is only designed for Canadian and US use
- Machine shakes while sewing
The Singer 1304 Start Free Arm Sewing Machine with Six Built-In Stitches allows the sewer to change the stitch in one simple step. This very reasonably priced machine with a 4.5-star rating. It has six built-in stitches - zigzag, satin, straight, scallop, blind hem, and buttonhole. It has a four-step automatic buttonholer and dual spool-pins that provide twin needle sewing in parallel rows. It also features free accessories (three snap-on presser feet - zipper foot, all-purpose foot, and buttonhole foot), a heavy-duty metal frame, and an automatic bobbin-winding system. A removable free-arm allows easy access to collars, pant hems, cuffs, and other hard-to-reach areas.
Singer 2259 Tradition Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine
Why It's Great For Kids: Perfect machine for the sewer that's just learning - has easy threading and stitch selection
- Accessories include buttonhole foot, all-purpose foot, zipper foot, button sewing foot, two thread spool caps, edge / quilting guide, screwdriver, class 15 bobbins, lint brush, seam ripper, needles, power cord, foot pedal, machine intro DVD, and instruction manual
- Has a 25-year limited warranty with online and social media support, as well as video tutorials on installing a bobbin, threading, and presser feet training
- Has adjustable tension, automatic pressure control presser foot, a four segment feed-dog system, and a heavy-duty metal frame
- The automatic threader did not work as well as competitors
- Too many needle jams
The Singer 2259 Easy-To-Use Free-Arm Tradition 19-Stitch Sewing Machine saves time with its easy, quick threading, plus it has a 4.5-star rating. Newer sewers enjoy the customizable adjustable zigzag width and stitch length. This machine features 19 built-in stitches with a fully automatic four-step buttonhole, four snap-on presser-feet, and easy stitch selection. This reasonably priced machine has a free arm and on-board storage, as well as a simple stitch selection dial. Nineteen built-in stitches offer many options for decorative sewing, home decor, crafts, and fashion sewing.
Brother XL2600I 25-Stitch Sewing Machine
Why It's Great For Kids: Fantastic choice for the novice sewer and for those daily sewing projects
- Compact, lightweight style (11 pounds) and simple bilingual instruction manual (Spanish and English) is ideal for beginning sewers
- Quality accessory pack includes blind stitch, zipper, buttonhole, narrow hemmer, and button sewing foot, class 15 bobbins, screwdriver, twin needle, standard needle pack, darning plate, small screw-base light bulb, and extra spool pin
- Has an outstanding 25 year limited warranty, plus free phone support for entire life of this product
- Can't be used in countries that don't support 120-Volt AC (even if voltage adapter is used)
- Reverse stitch option does not work as described
The Brother XL26001 Sew Advance Sew Affordable Free-Arm 25-Stitch Sewing Machine features a thread cutter, needle threader, auto bobbin winding, drop-in bobbin loading, a one-step auto-size buttonholer, and is rated 4.3 stars. It also has 25 built-in stitches (including decorative, utility, and heirloom stitches), each one capable of multiple stitch functions, and a free arm that permits fast and simple sewing of shirt sleeves or hems on pants. This very versatile machine is ideal for creating or altering clothing, quilting, crafting, home decor, and so much more. This is a fantastic piece of machinery for a very inexpensive price.
Janome Fastlane Fuschia Compact Sewing Machine
Why It's Great For Kids: This machine weighs only 5 pounds and features a presser foot with finger guard to protect small fingers
- Can be used with chiffon, flannel, knits, cotton, and lightweight denim
- Ideal for dorm living and apartments, as well as for sewing with friends or taking to classes
- Has a built-in accessory tray, a 4-point feed dog system, and an adjustable tension control dial
- Stitches don't feel as quality as competitors
- Bobbin occasionally does not pick up
The Janome Fastlane Easy-To-Use Fuschia Basic, 10-Stitch Portable, Five Pound Compact Sewing Machine With Free Arm, is one of the finest, most reasonably priced sewing machines on the market today. Rated 4.3 stars, this portable machine is the right choice for sewing and alterations on the go. It's ten built-in stitches include zigzag, crescent (for custom hems), and straight with 2 needle positions, accessory storage, a free arm, easy reverse, a top drop-in bobbin featuring a transparent cover, and threading diagrams. Its multiple sewing functions include paper crafting, scrapbooking, mending, general crafting, creating doll clothing, applique, seaming, quilt piecing, and zipper insertion. This product comes with a 25-year limited warranty.
Janome 11706 Hello Kitty Sewing Machine
Why It's Great For Kids: A durable sewing machine that's a reliable product for children to learn to sew on
- The front-loading bobbin is perfect for children and is a "real" sewing machine, not a toy
- It's lightweight, has an excellent stitch quality, and the sound is uniform
- Plastic bobbin can be replaced with Singer class 66 metal bobbin
- Needle timing was off and wouldn't pick up bobbin thread
The Janome 11706 3/4 size Hello Kitty Sewing Machine has a rating of 4 stars and features a free-arm, carry handle, 4-step buttonholer, and eleven stitches (including two stretch stitches). This lightweight machine (12 pounds) is portable and is an excellent choice for taking to sewing class or dorm rooms. The Janome Hello Kitty also has a three-piece feed dog, an extra-high presser-foot lift, a push-pull bobbin winder, snap-on presser feet, stitch selection dial, and a vertical oscillating hook bobbin. This sewing machine is well made, has an easy-to-follow manual, and creates nice, even stitching.
Michley-Tivax Lil' Sew & Sew Sewing Machine
Why It's Great For Kids: Can be used by children as young as 4 years old (with supervision)
- Good instructional video is available on their website (under LSS 505)
- Ideal for simple stitching and hemming with such light fabrics as cotton
- Can be controlled either by a switch on machine or by the foot pedal
- The bobbin threader is plastic and feels cheaply made
- Many users have reported having problems with the tension setting
The Michley-Tivax Lil' Sew and Sew LSS-505 Combination Mini Sewing Machine, 100 Piece Sewing Kit, and Electrical Scissors is rated 4 stars, and provides eight built-in stitch patterns, double thread, and double speed, forward and reverse sewing, and two speeds for easy use. It sews sleeves, features a built-in sewing light, and includes an adaptor, drawer, thread cutter, thread bag, and foot pedal. This machine uses DC 6Volt power and comes with a one-year limited warranty.
The Lil' Sew & Sew is one of the least expensive products on the market today and has a reputation for efficiency and ease of use. Its light weight (5 pounds) allows sewers to carry it anywhere, and its built-in LED light does an excellent job of illuminating the entire work surface.
After looking at and comparing hundreds of sewing machines, and reading what seemed like thousands of reviews, we came up with a list of what we consider the top 10 best sewing machine for kids. We considered simplicity of use, safety features, variety of options, and cost. The top sewing machine for kids, in our opinion, is the Brother XM2701 full-featured, lightweight sewing machine, which earned a "stellar" five-star rating. Its broad range of simple to use features will please even the most finicky new sewer. This machine's 25-year limited warranty attests to the fact that you have found a superior, long lasting product.
Two machines are tied for second place with a rating of 4.8 stars - the Singer 3232 and the Brother XM1010. Both are simple to use and reasonably priced. The Singer 3232 has 32 built-in stitches (19 of which are decorative), in addition to an automatic needle threader, one-step automatic buttonhole, and an adjustable length and width stitch. The Brother XM1010 shines with bright LED lighting and has an easy-stitch selector dial, plus an automatic bobbin winder.
Thank you for checking out our list of what we consider to be the best sewing machines for kids on the market today. Good luck, and happy sewing!