You love sewing – it’s a passion and hobby for you. Eventually, your kids will get curious and interested in your fun pastime, and may even ask if they can sew along with you. Teaching sewing to children – no matter their age – can be a challenge, but the right machine can make the process so much easier. Kid-friendly machines are better suited for little hands, and their simple design makes it easy to master basic sewing techniques.
We’re going to be sharing our picks for the best sewing machine for kids, but first, let’s talk about the most important thing: teaching methods. How do you even begin to teach a child to sew?
5 Tips for Teaching Kids to Sew
Teaching your child to sew doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Start at the Right Age
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the appropriate time to teach kids to sew. Some parents have great success teaching their 4-year old child to sew, while others had better luck at the age of 8.
What it really comes down to is the child’s interest. How passionate is your child about sewing? The stronger the desire to learn, the easier it will be to teach. Even with the best sewing machine for a child, you won’t get far if your child is not interested.
I’ve found that age 6 is ideal to start. At this age, the child is old enough to use a sewing machine with supervision. Many 8-year old children are responsible enough to use a sewing machine without supervision.
2. Be Their Guide
Some kids start out wanting to learn on a machine, but then change their minds when they learn about safety. What I like to do is guide the fabric while the child works the pedal. This way, they get a feel for how the machine works without having to worry about their little fingers getting in the way of the needle. Shortly after, they gain the confidence they need to start sewing on their own.
3. Don’t Buy a Toy Machine
I know some parents won’t agree with this, but I don’t recommend starting with a toy machine. These machines are usually cheap, and they never truly teach the child how to use a real machine. There are plenty of simple, affordable machines on the market that children can use with ease.
4. Take Things Slow
Most kids believe that faster is better. But that’s not the case with sewing. Make sure that your little one understands the importance of taking their time when sewing. Just be prepared, some kids will sew at an incredibly slow pace. Be patient, and never rush them.
5. Encourage Creativity
Let your them choose the pattern and fabric. Being creative is a big part of what makes sewing so fun. Children will be more inclined to stick with a project if it’s something they choose. You enjoy picking out fabrics and patterns, so let your children enjoy the same excitement.
All of these tips will come in handy no matter which machine you use, but working on a kid-friendly sewing machine will make the entire process so much easier for your little one.
The 5 Best Kids Sewing Machine Models
Which machine is best? We’ve compiled a list of five excellent models to help you choose the right one for your child.
Janome 2212 Sewing Machine
From one of the best brands in the industry, the Janome 2212 is a beginner sewing machine that’s ideal for kids. It’s lightweight at 15.2 pounds, and includes all of the basic stitches they will need.
In total, there are 12 stitches and a built-in 4-step buttonhole. Choosing stitches is easy – simply turn the dial on the front of the machine. All of the stitches are pictured on the top right side of the machine, so kids can quickly and easily find the stitch they need.
Both the width and length of the stitch can be adjusted with the simple turn of a dial. The drop feed also allows for free-form sewing and quilting if your child gets interested in quilting in the future. A reverse lever also makes it easy to lock stitches at the beginning and end of the seam.
Janome includes everything you need, so kids can start working on their first project right away.
Janome 11706 3/4 Size Hello Kitty Sewing Machine
With a design kids will love, the Janome 11706 is a kid-friendly machine that features Hello Kitty. A 3/4 sewing machine, this model is pint-sized and weighs just 12 pounds. But don’t let its smaller size fool you – this is a real sewing machine.
A total of 11 stitches are included as well as a 4-step buttonhole. A free arm allows kids to work on small sleeves and legs with ease. All of the stitches can be selected using the dial on the front of the machine, and like the previous model, all stitches are pictured on the front for easy selection.
With a fun Hello Kitty design and all of the functions you’d find with a full-size standard sewing machine, Janome’s 11706 is one of our top picks for kid-friendly sewing machines.
Singer 3232 Sewing Machine
Singer is arguably the most well-known brand in the sewing industry and known for its quality, so you can be sure that their machines will last your child quite a few years. The Singer 3232 is a simple sewing machine that comes at an affordable price, and is so easy to use, kids will have no trouble learning how to sew.
One of the best features that this machine offers (especially for kids) is an automatic needle threader. Threading is usually one of the biggest challenges kids face when sewing, and this machine eliminates that frustration completely.
Altogether, there are 32 stitches included – more than your child will ever need. There are 6 stretch stitches, 6 essential stitches, 1 buttonhole and 19 decorative stitches.
The stitch length and width can be adjusted with the simple turn of a dial, and a 1-step buttonhole makes it so easy to add buttons to your work.
The heavy-duty metal frame adds a little weight to this machine, but it ensures skip-free sewing and the utmost in durability.
Brother XL2610 Sewing Machine
Brother’s XL2610 comes in a pretty pink and white design, and with just the right amount of stitches for beginners. Advanced features, like an automatic buttonholer and needle threader, make this machine a joy for kids to work with. And a built-in thread cutter makes it easy for kids to complete a seam without having to get out a sharp pair of scissors.
The XL2610 also offers a free arm, 25 stitches and 59 stitch functions. The automatic bobbin winder and drop-in bobbin system makes it easy to get started, and the built-in light helps kids see their project even if they’re working in the dark.
Because of its affordable price, we highly recommend this machine. It’s lacking some of the features the other machines offer, but it does not sacrifice the most important functions or on quality – and that’s what matters most.
Janome Fast Lane Portable Sewing Machine
A portable sewing machine offered in a variety of fun, bright colors. The Janome Fast Lane is the most affordable sewing machine on our list, and it’s probably one of the most kid-friendly options out there.
Small and compact, this machine weighs just 5 pounds. It comes with 10 stitches (more than you’ll ever need), and a free arm. The top loading drop-in bobbin makes it easy to set up the machine, and there are two needle positions available: left and center.
A manual thread tension dial makes it easy to adjust thread tension, and a finger guard helps protect young fingers while sewing.
Available in a vast array of colorful designs, this sewing machine is ideal for kids, and one of the machines we highly recommend to young sewists.