Many parents struggle to identify the perfect time to make the bold step to buy their kids a first sewing machine. It’s difficult to pin-point because they have spent so long being small and completely accident prone their whole lives. However, I usually believe that by around 8 or 9 years old, young girls usually have the dexterity and motivation to begin sewing from time to time.
Finding the best sewing machine for kids can be a particularly difficult job for several reasons. Firstly, very few sewing machines are designed to be used specifically by children and those few that are, tend to under perform. The machines that many parents have in mind as being ideal for their kids are usually covered in pretty patterns, but essentially always perform badly. They usually have cheap components and this leads to poor quality stitches being made that will often come loose within a few days, essentially ruining the fun in this otherwise truly enjoyable hobby. In many cases, it is far more beneficial to provide your kids with an adult machine that has a relatively simplified sewing mechanism and minimal customizable features. I honestly feel that this is the best way to teach your children how to sew while still permitting them a good time too. If you are keen to learn more about how to identify the ideal model for your children, then continue to read on.
The Best Sewing Machine For Kids Chart
Without a doubt, the most essential feature of a sewing machine for kids is the presence of safety mechanisms, after all, they can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Similarly, it is important for them to be lightweight, unlikely to fail and ultimately designed to be easy to use. The below chart is aimed at helping you identify exactly this.
The Best Sewing Machines For Children
I reviewed this exact model, the Brother CS6000i, as the best sewing machine of the year earlier on this month and there’s a huge number of reasons why I made that choice too. Firstly, it was designed by the revolutionary brand Brother who are renowned for producing sewing machines that not only stand the test of time, but are capable of functioning well for a variety of tasks. It is this multi-faceted nature that has made me select the Brother CS6000i again, but this time as the best sewing machine for children.
This classically styled sewing machine has been flawlessly produced, right out of the box it is easy to get going and beginner users will have no difficulty in using it too. It is because of this outright simplicity that the Brother CS6000i stands out from the crowd. Your kids will effortlessly be able to learn all of the basics of sewing so that they can become competent seamstresses in no time whatsoever. While it does come with a catalog of 60 stitch variations, these are by no means complicated to use due to the diagram visible on the front of the machine and a simplistic user interface on the LCD screen. There are only a few buttons to learn how to use and these provide the ideal first steps into the world of computerized sewing machines.
Another great benefit of the Brother CS6000i is the fact that it is lightweight, I mentioned earlier in this article that the ideal weight for a beginner sewing machine was 20lbs. This particular model weighs in at only 12.5lbs, considerably less than what we originally were aiming for. Not only does this make the machine relatively safe for young children, it also makes it incredibly portable too. Moving the CS6000i around the house is extremely easy and can be done with one hand if you place it back within its carry case. To add to this, Brother did a great job of including a large extension cable to the machine so that it can easily be stretched across a normal sized room without too much difficulty.
The sewing mechanism itself is straightforward to use, the velocity control is easy to manage and there is plenty of room for your child to put their hands while they guide the fabric through the presser feet. In many cases it is beneficial to introduce your children to the world of sewing by letting them first use a mechanical sewing machine, however in this instance it is certainly not the case. The LCD screen of the Brother CS6000i has a range of different warning signs if the wrong components are placed onto the machine, or if pieces are missing. This will help to quickly improve the competency of your young ones as they learn the tricks of the trade.
As I allured to previously, most of the best sewing machines for kids have only a few stitch options and additional functionalities. The CS6000i has 60 stitch variations, an automatic needle threader, LCD screen and 7 one step button holes – this is completely the opposite of what is traditionally a good choice for children. But the beauty of this machine is that it always safely guides kids into using tools the correct way, enabling them to become better at sewing over time without becoming frustrated or at risk of being injured. Ultimately there are a few negatives of the machine that could be improved upon, but these are comparatively minor to the vast number of positives that I have just discussed.
Interestingly enough, the Brother XM2701 was also within my top 5 all-time sewing machines. In fact, even today, the XM2701 remains one of the highest regarded models around. I have spent many days of my time using this particular product in my work room over the past few years and intend to carry on doing so in the future. It is however, for the same reasons that this machine is one of the best sewing machines for beginners that it is also for kids.
Its stunning aesthetics aside, the Brother XM2701 boasts a whole collection of useful features that make it perfectly suitable for beginner adults and children alike. Firstly, this model is an awful lot cheaper than many of the other products that are currently being offered by Brother and many other sewing machine brands such as Singer and Janome. Being affordable is a highly sought after feature for the beginner after all, it’s pointless hunting out machines that costs hundreds of dollars more when you won’t be using all of their features for some time to come. Fortunately, becoming a master of the XM2701 won’t take too much to master for a child. This machine is extremely straightforward and the perfect model to aid in learning the basics of sewing.
The Brother XM2701 comes with a total of 27 varied stitches, this is more than enough for a child and so it makes a nice first step into the world of varying their designs – once they are competent enough. I think that the added stitch types keep your kids motivated to carry on sewing so that they can learn to use them all. Similar to the previously discussed Brother CS6000i, the XM2701 also has a large space for your child to put their hands on as they guide their fabric towards the needle. This is an excellent safety measure for beginners of all ages as it really does substantially decrease the risk of any injury occurring. I personally let my daughter have a go on this machine only last weekend and she was having an absolutely great time.
One thing that I like about the XM2701 is the very simplistic dial that is present on the front of the machine. This dial effortlessly lets your child select what stitch pattern they want, they must simply look at the chart and select the one they want on the wheel. It doesn’t really get any more basic than that, perfect for young children and amateur seamstresses alike. Another of the features that I was extremely pleased to see was the automatically winding bobbin. When you want to load the bobbin onto the sewing machine, you simply open a flap that is child friendly, pop it in and it will take it from there. There is nothing that could potentially be a challenge for a young child and so this is another reason for why this model stands out from the crowd. One thing that many children find difficult is locating or opening the slot, which is not an issue here, but having the automatically loading bobbin is also extremely useful too.
The speed control mechanism of the Brother XM2701 is also very child friendly, my daughter had no issues using it and she is by no means a skilled seamstress. I honestly had difficulty picking between these two (the XM2701 and CS6000i) sewing machines, both of them are brilliant beginner sewing machines and are certainly the best sewing machines for kids.
You should not be surprised now to see Brother sewing machines outperforming those of Janome and Singer. The Brother XL2610 is a close relative of the XL2600i that was ranked as one of my favorite sewing machines of all time, and it is for exactly that reason that it is at number 3 on my list. Both of these simplified sewing machines do a brilliant job at keeping sewing fun and easy, which is exactly what children new to the trade are in need of. Designed to look appealing for young girls, this model has a modest pink design. The XL2610 is an ideal sewing machine that maintains a safe work space due to the extended sewing space for kids to use as a support. This should sufficiently keep their hands away from the needle.
Similar to the XL2600i, the XL2610 also has 25 different stitch variations which will help your children progress by motivating them to use each of them. This is another reason for why this model is a great machine for beginners and not only kids too. Simply having the capacity to try out the sewing machine on a variety of project types, ranging from simple hem stitching, to basic quilting or even progressing onto items of clothing. The XL2610 comes with an automatic needle threader so that children do not need to risk putting their fingers anywhere near a potentially sharp needle. Another great feature for kids is the button hole mechanism that makes buttonholing a relatively straightforward task for anyone.
When my daughter was able to finally have a go with the Brother XL2610 she managed to produce a great design with few mistakes. I couldn’t highly recommend this model enough, everything about it is designed to be well suited to novice seamstresses. The fact that it doesn’t have a computerized display is a plus as it avoids the sewing machine from becoming too over complicated for young ones. The simple dial, much alike the one seen on the XL2600i, is easy to use – you must simply select the stitch pattern you would like from the list and then turn the dial to the appropriate pattern.
Another of my favorite things about the Brother brand is that they always provide a 25 year warranty with any of their sewing machines. This is by no means the industry standard, which is usually around 1-5 years, depending on the brand. Brother have always stood by their products’ quality and that is really beneficial when you are buying a sewing machine for a child. Kids are considerably more likely to cause damage to the machine and this warranty will ensure that you can easily get it fixed or replaced at a moment’s notice (figuratively speaking). For the money, you will find it extremely difficult to beat the Brother XL2610 or XL2600i. They are both some of the best sewing machines for kids and I expect them to remain high on this list for many years to come too.
Janome Fastlane Fuschia Basic
While I certainly wouldn’t be purchasing a bright pink sewing machine for myself, my daughter was extremely keen to tell me how keen she was to get her hands on it. Janome have clearly done a wonderful job of making the Fastlane Fuschia Basic appealing to the little ones. The great thing for us parents too is that it ticks a number of other boxes that I deem essential to be considered as one of the best sewing machines for kids. Firstly, it’s super affordable, you can actually pick this item up for under $100, which is pretty amazing given all of the features that it has.
Janome have also put safety as one of their core features of this sewing machine, it’s fairly lightweight at just under 5lbs and so it isn’t likely to cause any serious harm whatsoever if it falls onto anybody. It’s also actually light enough for them to carry around with them, which will save you a job of carrying it. From a portability perspective, it’s a very ideal size to fit in the boot of any car without any difficulties and it is made of a durable plastic too so should avoid becoming scuffed in transit. Similar to what we saw on the CS6000i, Janome have also included a safety presser foot with this sewing machine and so your little one’s hands aren’t at too much risk of being sewn together.
Janome only included 10 different stitching patterns with the Fastlane Fuschia, while this isn’t quite as many as some of the other machines on this list, it’s definitely enough for your kids to get started. The best sewing machine for children is often, as I mentioned previously, one that offers a gentle way into the hobby. The last thing that you want your girls doing is getting overly confused or hung-up on all of the different functions of a sewing machine. They should first learn the fundamentals and then take it from there when they pick up the skills over time.
The Fastlane Fuschia by Janome has a top loading bobbin that is simply dropped right into its slot, nice and easy for the little ones to get the hang of. It comes with only two needle positions, so not much customization on this front, but to be honest this is all that is required for beginners on their first sewing machine. All in all, I can highly recommend this model for little girls, it’s a truly great sewing machine for kids.
While the Singer 1234 sewing machine might win the award for the most plain sewing machine in the world, it could also be one of the most refined machines for children. Firstly, one great thing about the Singer 1234 is that it comes with an online machine owner’s video class which teaches you (the parent) or your child how to use the sewing machine. I think that this is an absolutely excellent touch by Singer as it ensures that it is a truly great entry level product.
The machine itself is extremely lightweight and quaint, it doesn’t look anywhere near as intimidating as some of the more expensive models on the market and you can pick one of these up from Amazon for around $80. I think that it’s always beneficial to buy your kids a cheap entry level model to begin with, let them discover if they enjoy sewing and then look to purchase a more refined model in the future. The Singer 1234 does however do everything that a novice seamstress could ever need. There are instructions for how to use the machine printed directly onto it, this guides the user through every single process and really does help to improve their skill level.
It has a free arm, stitches with a pre-set length and width, a four step buttonhole, an all-purpose presser foot and it comes with a whole host of additional extras such as bobbins, lint brushes and seam rippers too. While it only comes with 6 different built-in stitch patterns; straight stitch, zig-zag, blind hem, scallop, satin and a four-stop buttonhole – these are easily enough for a beginner and so you shouldn’t judge it in a negative light. It has an automatic needle threader to avoid fingers going close to the needle and all in all I feel that it is a perfect starter machine for your kids.
Belonging to part of Singer’s tradition and easy to use range of sewing machines, the Singer 2259 is a great sewing machine for kids to use, it has been built to be able to be used by complete novices. To be able to get such a high specification sewing machine for so little money is quite amazing really. You can pick the 2259 up from Amazon for less than $100 and it will perform on par with models almost twice the price.
The Singer 2259 comes with 19 different built-in stitch patterns and one four-step buttonhole that will enable your kids to have plenty to play around with as they pick up the necessary skills to become a great seamstress. It comes with four different snap-on presser feet that not only afford your children the capacity to be even more creative, but also they protect their fingers from harm too.
Singer have ensured that the design of the 2259 is very minimal and it is unlikely to pose too much of an issue for anyone in terms of complexity. You really can simply pick it up and get going right away, twist the dial to select a stitch and off you go. Singer have put an awful lot of effort into all of their entry level sewing machines and to an extent they are dominating the market alongside Brother. The 2259 is a brilliant choice for kids looking to improve their sewing skills in a safe environment.
The fact that this machine is known as an easy-to-use “everyday” sewing machine should be enough to convince you that this is a great model to hand to a beginner learning the trade for the first time. In fact, Brother have noted that this particular product is a great introductory sewing machine for kids that will help them learn all the nuances of sewing. Now, it is a full sized model, but it is still fairly lightweight and so it is in our eyes suitable for a young girl to use. Due to not weighing very much, the Brother XM1010 is very transportable and can be moved throughout the house with ease.
It comes with 10 built-in stitch variations and a four-step buttonhole, similar to many of the sewing machines for kids on this top 10 list. The automatic buttonholer is a great additional feature because it really does enable you to customize your sewing to your particular button designs. Other features of this stunning sewing machine include having a free arm, carrying handle for portability, a number of extra presser feet for creativity and a built-in storage compartment too. All of this together points towards being a fantastic entry level sewing machine for young children and I really do rate it very well.
I managed to get going with the Brother XM1010 within half an hour of removing it from its packaging, which is quite the feat. I didn’t even have to read any of the particularly detailed instructions, it’s quite straightforward and therefore ideal for kids. As with all of Brother’s sewing machine models, the XM1010 comes with a 25 year warranty – this betters pretty much all other manufacturer’s guarantees.
The Singer 1304 was release slightly after the Singer 1234 that was mentioned earlier on in this article, it was designed to be its successor and in many ways it does indeed succeed. The 1304 has a number of additional features which were missing from the 1234, these do make the machine marginally more complicated, but these are still very easy to use models – perfect for kids. Much alike the 1234, you can purchase the Singer 1304 for around $80 and so it really is an entry level sewing machine.
I tend to benchmark all other entry level machines based on these two models because they really have set the bar high for the quality of cheap sewing machines. After playing around with it for only half an hour, I quickly got to grips with why it was so popular among parents and children across the USA. Singer have essentially removed all of the complicated features from their more premium models, but kept the fundamentals in place so that novices can pick up the required skills quickly without becoming side-tracked.
The Singer 1304 comes with 6 different built in stitches that have been specifically designed to ensure that you can quickly and easily thread. There is a customized threading diagram that is found directly on the machine itself so you will be guided how to use it at all times. This makes a great reference point for the young ones and they really do use it frequently, a thoughtful addition. I was thoroughly impressed by this product and would definitely recommend it to parents who are looking to help their young girls progress in the world of sewing.
Janome 11706 Hello Kitty
Now, I’ve never personally been a fan of Hello Kitty, but the kids these days seem to love her and I’m definitely not against a bit of branding on a sewing machine to get them interested in the hobby. The Janome 11706 is an entry level sewing machine that has been specifically designed for children. It’s a very lightweight model at under 10lbs and it is three-quarter sized so that it’s the perfect shape for children using it. The light blue aesthetics are clearly appealing to young girls and in my eyes, it is perfect for those looking for an entry level machine for their kids. You can pick one of these up on Amazon for approximately $100 and so it’s not going to cost too much money.
The Janome 11706 is a well-built machine that has a wide range of features on it, while still remaining at its core a fairly basic machine. It comes with a total of 11 stitch patterns and a four-step buttonhole. Because it weighs less than 10lbs it can be easily moved around the house, even by your little girls, if you’d like. Selecting a stitch pattern couldn’t be simpler, you just have to twist the dial to the pattern you require, these are denoted on the dial itself.
Janome have ensured that the 11706 three-quarter sized Hello Kitty sewing machine is safe to use and appealing, there are a selection of different safety mechanisms installed on this device and so its highly recommended for kids.
Last, but certainly not least, the Janome 2212 sewing machine makes an entry on my top 10 best sewing machines for kids list. The Janome 2212 was designed with simplicity in mind and that is precisely what you should be aiming for when you’re buying for a young child. The 2212 has a small set of features that are all extremely easy to manipulate, even for kids. This sewing machine is great for learning all of the basics of sewing and would be a welcome addition to any home for sure.
It is very lightweight, easy to pick up and use and it comes with a detailed manual to train how to use this excellent model. It is very small too which ensures that it remains portable at all times, it also means that young children can use it without it being too imposing or large for them.
Important Features of a Sewing Machine for Kids
In order to actually improve your little one’s sewing capabilities, you will want to firstly ensure that any sewing machine you purchase is easy to use. Many sewing machines on the market today, and particularly computerized ones, are overly complicated and should not be considered for a young person. Purchasing an over complicated sewing machine will simply hinder the performance of their sewing and slow development. In fact, I would say that it could even be off putting and lead them to lose interest in pursuing this skill. For this reason, the number of built in stitches and thread/buttonhole variations are fairly insignificant when it comes to improving your child’s capacity to use a sewing machine correctly.
It’s first crucial for you to assess your child’s existing skill level before taking things any further. Some kids have the “knack” for sewing and will quickly display raw talent in how they gradually feed the fabric around the needle, while manually controlling the speed and avoiding jamming the needle too regularly. Others (the majority) however will have obvious difficulties that can only be ironed out with ample amounts of practice over time. Some of the considerations that you must make for your child, if they are a beginner, include ensuring that the sewing machine weighs very little. Lightweight sewing machines are ideal for children, simply because they are less likely to cause any damage if it falls onto them. While these machines tend to cost more money, your child’s safety is paramount and should come before anything else. Most lightweight models weigh approximately 20lbs, or slightly less.
The majority of injuries to people, not only children, are caused by fingers being caught within the sewing mechanism. Unfortunately, while some of the best sewing machines for kids do a great job at reducing this risk, it is an unavoidable incident. Ultimately, in order to sew, your child must work to feed the material being used around the needle and while this is a typically straightforward job for adults, children often lack the hand dexterity required. Some additional safety considerations must therefore be made for kids using sewing machines.
Various sewing machine models have a presser foot that prevents hands from being stuck underneath it. When any force (fingers pressing against it) is applied to the side of the mechanism, or underneath it, the whole sewing machine will stop functioning and hopefully little damage will be caused.
Another feature that I think is extremely undervalued by parents when it comes to choosing the best sewing machine for kids is an extended sewing surface. Having more surface to put their hands on will further reduce the risk that their hands will be moving close to the needle.
Pedal vs. Button
It is a well known fact that traditionally, sewing machines have always used a foot pedal to control the velocity of the needle. However, in more recent years there has been an increasing number of models that use a button instead. Before purchasing any sewing machine you should ensure that your child is capable of using a foot pedal, if they are not then you should opt for the button instead. I often find that the younger the child is, the less likely that they will have the co-ordination to use both their hands and feet to sew.
Manual vs. Auto Threading
A hugely frustrating task for many adults is even more excruciatingly tedious for most children. Threading a needle is a very difficult task that requires a lot of hand dexterity and this is not something that most kids are famed for. The best sewing machines for kids will always have an automatic threading mechanism to save them from losing interest. Likewise, it could be slightly dangerous to let your child try and thread a needle themselves if the needle in question is sharp.
Number of Stitch Patterns
One trend over the past 10 years has been an increasing amount of built in stitch variations on both mechanical and computerized sewing machines. Anybody that is new to sewing should not be concerned about having an amalgamation of stitch types to test out, rather they should be focussed upon learning the trade. This applies to kids too, it’s important to first teach them good technique before letting them loose on more complicated designs.
On sewing machines that have internally located bobbins, it’s crucial that children can easily identify this slot and open it safely. Similarly, they should also be able to load the bobbin successfully too. I often find that the externally situated bobbins are slightly easier, but there is only a limited selection of these sewing machines available and not all of them are child-friendly.
Nothing is more frustrating than buying your kids a brand new sewing machine, letting them have a go with it and then having it broken only a few hours later. This is an unfortunate circumstance that is often closely tied to having kids. Luckily there is a solution to this issue, and that is to ensure that any model you buy comes with a lengthy warranty.
Obviously above all else, you will want to set yourself a budget before you buy anything. Most of the best sewing machines for children cost less than $300 and more than $100. Depending on what you are searching for, there is an awful lot of variety available within that pricing bracket. Below I have identified my top 10 sewing machines for kids, please take a look and let me know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
I’m a true sewing enthusiast and have spent almost the entirety of my adult life practicing this age old art. Sewing genuinely has a special place in my heart and I’m glad to be able to share all of my experiences with each of you.