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Sewing machines for kids come in all shapes and sizes. But you know what many people don’t think about?
The best kid’s sewing machines usually aren’t made for kids at all.
We all want a simple sewing machine with a lot of opportunity to be creative. We all want simple to follow manuals. We all want keep our hands safe.
Why should the best best sewing machines for kids have to be for kids?
If you’re looking for a gift for your daughter, your son, your grandchild, these are the sewing machines you should go for. They all add something unique to the table, but the common thread is that they all make sewing more fun and less work. And the fun is why we fell in love in the first place.
Best machine for beginners
Our Rating: 5 / 5
For the Janome Arctic Crystal, simple is the name of the game. Sewing machines for kids need to have simplicity in mind, making the Arctic Crystal a great option. If you’re looking to teach someone your love of sewing, this is the machine for you. This sewing machine makes bobbin winding simple, while doing everything in it’s power to make sewing seem easy.
One of the many aspects that makes this a great sewing machine for kids is the aesthetic. In 3 bright, Easter-reminiscent colors, the Janome Arctic Crystal’s smooth shell is absolutely eye popping. And it makes aesthetic sewing feel easy, too. The Janome Arctic Crystal features 15 built-in stitches that are easy for beginners to grasp, giving a lot of options to even people who are just starting out.
The Janome Arctic Crystal has many other quality of life features that make it a great choice, too. Equipped with an easy-to-use four-step buttonhole, the Janome Arctic Crystal turns every missing button into a learning experience. The Janome Arctic Crystal also uses a front-loading bobbin that removes many of the obstacles that come with threading a needle.
In addition to the buttonhole and bobbin system, Janome has included a 3 piece feed dog system meant to make fabric feeding simple while sewing. Even the newest beginners will have no trouble feeding fabric to this machine, as they are given a lot of room to make mistakes without hurting their projects. Dual retractable spool pins help out here, as well, making the full experience smooth.
We love the removable free arm of this machine, too, as it allows smaller children to navigate the machine without much trouble. The adjustable length and width serve much the same function, allowing children and beginners to easily find the right settings for their stitch.
Also, the heavy duty metal frame of the machine makes causing damage to this machine nearly impossible. If your son or daughter can be rough on things (and we know most can), the Janome Arctic Crystal is built for them.
Perhaps the best part of this machine, though, are the external components that Janome has added to ensure that anyone who purchases it learns to love sewing. The Janome Arcitc Crystal is featured in a series of tutorial videos produced by Janome, which are perfect for children just learning to love their sewing projects. The projects included offer a good variety, and the options for projects with this machine are limitless.
There is a lot to love about this machine. (We even forgot to mention that kids can select their stitch patterns with a knob on the side of the machine.) It’s not without fault, though. The first detractor from this machine is that it feels a little stiff when first used. With regular usage, you can “break it in,” but that does take some time.
Additionally, many of the features geared towards beginners can take experienced sewers some time to get used to. If you’re looking to be a hands-on teacher, prepare to spend some time figuring out this sewing machine before you feel entirely comfortable. For example, threading the needle is much simpler to learn on the Arctic Crystal but the front-loading bobbin does make the process feel different form other sewing machines.
Best machine for kids who love sewing
Our Rating: 4 / 5
A classic white shell adorned with some lilac designs, the Brother XM2701 has many features that make it a great kid’s sewing machine. It’s lightweight design bleeds beyond the material and through everything that the machine is. Many features make the machine a more relaxed, natural sewing machine than many others. However, it’s simplicity is not always geared towards pure beginners. Instead, this is better for the young creative who only needs some help a long the way.
The first feature we should discuss is the one you’re most likely to notice yourself: the Brother XM2701 is equipped with an LED work area. Small lights within the machine keep things lit up at all times, making it easy for a beginner to see what they’re doing. We’ve all had those times where we have to double check what we’re doing, and the Brother XM2701 makes that very simple.
Beyond the lights, the Brother XM2701 continues to add clarity to the sewing process. The Brother XM2701 is equipped with 27 built-in stitches, including decorative and quilting stitches, which allow for a variety of creative projects. A dial on the side makes choosing between these stitches very simple, while also serving as an instructional reminder of which stitch is which while sewing.
This is where you might begin to see why this mechanical sewing machine might not work for every child. While all of the 27 included stitches are useful, they can sometimes add too much complexity for a newer sewer. Instead, these options are better for someone who has prior knowledge and simply needs to remove difficulty at the point of creation. In contrast with a kids sewing machine like the Janome Arctic Crystal, the Brother XM2701 is more concerned with simplicity in action than with removing the barrier to entry.
With that being said, the Brother XM2701 still boasts many features that make it one of the great sewing machines for kids. A 1 step, autosized buttonhole makes button repair a quick, simple process, while the built-in needle threader removes any potential difficulties with that step. A jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin keeps the bobbin moving steadily, allowing for a more even stitch without much trouble. This drop-in is exclusive to Brother machines, and can be very helpful for a new sewer.
Additionally, the Brother XM2701 offers more than 1 foot option, with 6 in total. The buttonhole foot allows for easier button repair, while the button sewing foot makes the process quicker. The narrow hem foot and blind stitch foot are for use with the special stitch patterns offered with the Button XM2701.
This sewing machine also offers an instructional DVD for your first time sewing. Of course, for children’s sewing machines at least, this isn’t necessarily very useful. The guide is very good, but is limited to a simple explanation of some of the basics of sewing. And the DVD seems a bit outdated with the advent of YouTube and digital based guides like those offered by Janome, which are much more comprehensive and varied. The DVD doesn’t add a lot, but is helpful for learning things from day 1. There’s not much in there that you can’t teach your daughter or son if you’re an avid sewer, though.
Finally, beware the speed of this machine. The tension in the Brother XM2701 is sometimes difficult to control, which can lead to a lot of mistakes at 800 spm. While the speed of the Brother XM2701 isn’t necessarily faster than other sewing machines, it certainly feels it. Make sure that you’re taking precaution and that your child is, too, or you might make some big sewing mistakes. A lot of this will be resolved with use over time, though.
Best machine for long-term use
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Much like the Brother XM2701, the Singer Simple 3232 offers more as a sewing machine in general than it does as a kids sewing machine. There is more than enough to love about the machine, although it might not immediately jump out as a great option for children. This lightweight, portable sewing machine adds many quality of life features as well as features that a child might not need. If you’re looking to make a purchase that your child will cherish for years, though, this is it for you.
The Simple 3232 offers 32 stitches that should work for sewing any fabric. These stitches include basic, stretch, and decorative designs. Like with other children’s sewing machines, you can select between these stitches with a knob on the side of the machine. Additionally, a second knob allows for adjustment of the stitch length and width. This helps to prevent bunching.
This machine also offers a 1 step buttonhole, which has been designed to automatically maintain consistent button sewing. The buttonhole stitch pattern makes buttonholing easier than every other machine on this list. The Simple 3232 also offers 4 presser foot options for all of your different needs. While this is less than other machines, these 4 should still cover a majority of common use cases.
The Simple 3232 also offers a variety of helpful accessories which you might need while sewing. These include a seam ripper, an edge/quilting guide, a pack of needles, spool caps, an L screwdriver, a darning plate, a foot control cord, and a soft sided dust cover. All of these can be kept in storage with the Simple 3232 when not sewing to make it more portable. The heavy duty metal frame maintains a lightweight feel while also protecting against the natural bumps and bruises of travel, and keeping the machine steady during sewing.
Additionally, the Simple 3232 is equipped with an automatic reverse sewing machine. With the click of a button the machine will reverse, making it simple to make more reinforced stitches. This children’s sewing machine also has an automatic needle threader, and a free arm. Like the Janome Arctic Crystal, this makes it easy to maneuver around the machine and reduces the risk for damage to the fingers during complicated projects.
The needle threader on the Simple 3232 does need to be very well protected, as it is prone to breaking during travel or use. Additonally, there are many complex elements that are easy to get used to but present a bit of a learning curve. For example, the stitch selection requires a few additional steps. There are guides both included and online, but they can be hard to follow. This machine is perfect out of the box and can last for quite some time, but doesn’t do any handholding or mental simplification for kids.
Best machine for first time sewers
Our Rating: 4 / 5
SPM: 350 - 400
If the issue with the other Singer option on this list is that it adds some complexity, the 1304 might seem like it’s come from an entirely different manufacturer. Sewing machines for kids are meant to be simplified, lightweight, and protective. The Singer 1304 is all of these things and more. This is likely the best sewing machine for kids who are very young, who who are just becoming interested in sewing.
The Singer 1304 is not as feature rich as other options on this list. In fact, the Singer 1304 is equipped with only the 6 most basic stitches that you might need. Like the other options, these stitches can be selected with a knob on the side. These stitches are: Straight, Satin, ZigZag, Blind Hem, Scallop, and 4-Step Buttonhole. As you can see, they are only the basics. The buttonhole is a 4-step and is automatic.
Dual spool pins allow for twin needle sewing, although one is not included. Threading on this machine is not automatic. However, they have simplified the mechanical process. You will find diagrams directly on the machine to help with needle threading and bobbin winding, as well as to drop-in. There is a removable extension to the machine that allows for a free arm for more control during projects.
You will also find the same reverse sewing with the Singer 1304 as the Simple 3232. A metal interior and three included foot options cap off the list of features included on the Singer 1304. In fact, the machine only offers preset stitch length and width, as well as a much slower sew speed than other options.
For this precise reason, it might be the best kid’s sewing machine. The slow speed makes fingers more protected, the lack of ability to adjust removes mental blocks that are in the way. Childrens sewing machines don’t always need to be their first and their last. This machine will not be a good last, but certainly makes a good first.
Best machine for forever
Our Rating: 5 / 5
SPM: MAX 850
In stark contrast with the Singer 1304, the Brother CS6000i offers nothing but control. We would recommend this machine for parents who love sewing and want to pass that on to their kids. Be careful, though – buy this for your kids and you might just become jealous of them. The CS6000i is packed with features which are useful for sewers of all kinds.
Like the Singer 1304, the CS6000i offers a diagrammed needle threading process if you choose to do it yourself, but it is also equipped with an automatic needle threader. Unlike the Singer 1304 and other options, though, the Brother CS6000i has computerized controls, with a bright LCD screen. The work area is also lit by LCDs, to give you better visibility when you need it.
The CS6000i is another free arm machine, designed specifically to help with sewing shirt sleeves and pants cuffs. It offers control over the sewing speed, as well. With a simple slider on the side of the machine, you can switch SPM during or between projects. When looking out for kids, you can use this in combination with the oversized table provided to add many degrees of safety. Simply lower the speed, and increase as your kids learn better safety habits.
If you’re looking for a variety of stitches, you’ll find that here, too. The CS6000i includes 60 built in stitches, as well as 7 styles of 1 step auto-size button holes. 27 of these stitches are designed specifically for common clothing fabrics and stitches to help repair and create clothing. If you or your kids want to branch out from clothing, several stitches are also designed for quilting and other home decor projects that you’ll love.
A super easy bobbin winding system makes things easy, too. The machine is topped off by the inclusion of 8 foot options, including a handful meant specifically for quilting, and a hard protective case for when it’s time to put it away. This sewing machine can help you teach your kids to clean up even!
No sewing machine is perfect. But for kids, this one just might be. You have to look very far for something not to like. If anything, the biggest thing to hold against it is that it goes very far beyond what a kid needs in a sewing machine. This machine is best used with parents close by, and actively helping out. If that’s the experience you want, then this is the one to buy.
Best machine for the go
Our Rating: 3 / 5
Donyer Power offers a slow and simple sewing machine for kids, that’s lacking in the argument for best. While the machine isn’t necessarily bad, there’s no strong argument for it over something like the Singer 1304. With a drop-in bobbin and 12 built in stitches, this is a very simple and extremely lightweight machine. A slow speed of 300 spm is quick enough to learn without having to stress over making too many mistakes.
The Donyer Power sewing machine lacks a buttonhole, although it does have automatic threading. The machine can also operate at two speeds, allowing for a little bit of extra speed control while sewing. The 12 built-in stitches are not chosen with a knob as with other machines, but instead with buttons on the side of the machine.
Where this machine does stand out among it’s peers is with it’s travel capabilities. The Donyer Mini has a carry handle built-in, so that you can pick it up and go. If you need it, there is also a storage compartment which you can easily use for storing sewing materials as you travel. The machine does not come with a case, but it does a good job of acting as one.
There are a few extra perks, as well. This machine also comes with a light to keep your working area bright. You will also be given some items that can help you get started on your sewing adventure. This won’t add much to a house with long-time sewers in it, but can be a nice perk if you don’t have a history. The Donyer Mini also has a tension dial built in, so that you can choose how tight or loose the fabric will be as it’s fed through.
The machine’s positives end there, though. While it is a great option for some cases (for example, it’s great for classrooms), it’s too small for many others. There are a few safety hazards to consider, as well. A big WARNING if you choose to buy this machine: using the power and the battery at the same time can cause the machine to shut down, suffer permanent damage, or become a fire hazard.
The Donyer Mini is also more trustworthy than it’s manufacturer. You will find no information about them online, and no other forays into sewing. Additionally, there’s little in the way of useful documentation to go along with the machine. The most that you’ll get out of them is the warning that we just provided. Finding the item listed can prove difficult, too. When all is said and done, we would consider this an option only where travel is a big concern.
Best machine for safety
Our Rating: 3 / 5
A less travel friendly, more traditional alternative to the Donyer machine, the NEX sewing machines for kids are all designed as such. The light pink Barbie house-esque color schemes show what the machine is meant to be: a sewing equivalent of an Easy Bake oven. This machine isn’t great, but it’s perfect for that role.
The NEX Sewing Machine offers 12 different built-on stitch options. The first four are straight line stitches, the next four are patterned, then 4 to buttonhole and 4 for curved lines. There is also a single design for a reverse sew, which can be flipped on with a switch. The other 12 options can be selected by a group of buttons on the side of the machine.
A pair of safety scissors are equipped on the machine for use as a thread cutter. This is the most child friendly thread cutter you’ll ever see, and are perfect for sewing machines for kids. A wheel on the side of the machine also allows for tension control, so that kids can easily choose the right option for what they’re doing. The machine also has a built-in light bulb for the work space for clearer sewing, and an easy drop-in bobbin.
A very lightweight machine, it is easily portable. However, it’s many buttons and switches are made of plastic and risk breaking. The machine has also been designed for a few simple creative projects. The NEX is designed more for making dolls and pillowcases than clothing. It’s plastic manufacture and lack of foot options and versatility makes this a good machine for a very narrow purpose.
When looking for a sewing machine for kids, you should really keep an eye out for 2 things:
The first thing that’s important is to offer your kids only what they need in a sewing machine. Sewing is a simple thing that can get complicated by mistakes, ambition, and many other factors. Look for a sewing machine that keeps things easy.
Automatic threading can cut a lot of the difficulty out. A drop-in bobbin can affect a lot, too. We don’t often think about how difficult a bobbin can be for kids, but it can be very hard. You don’t like to sew because of how fun prepping your bobbin is, so look for machines that can get it out of the way.
By the same token, things that add safety are obviously important. Sewing can cause problems, and you don’t want that for your kids. Make sure that the machine you buy doesn’t give them too much room to get hurt.
The big thing that takes kids from not caring to cute lil’ sew machines is their ability to be creative. A machine that helps them with specific projects can keep them on track and learning, but give them a little freedom, too.
There’s no hard and fast age! Anything over 5 is usually good, other than that there’s a risk that they won’t have the caution or patience.
No! You don’t need to look for kid’s designs specifically, as most sewing machines for beginners will work.
If you haven’t spent a lot of time sewing, then you need guides like those Janome offers and a bit of curiosity! If you do, you just need a fun project to start.
Finding good sewing machines for kids to let out the lil’ sew lovers inside is difficult. Because kids can be like that sometimes, and so can sewing machines. If you’re looking for the sewing machine to introduce your kids to sewing, though, the options we’ve listed will get it done. Kids will be happy sewing if you give them the right tools.