These is something amazing about kids creativity! When your child starts to show an interest in arts and crafts, including sewing, it’s really important to nurture and encourage this. If your child loves working on projects and has shown an interest in learning to sew, then buying them a sewing machine of their own can help take their skills to the next level. With the launch of our latest course, Sewing Magic, we wanted to bring you an accompanying guide to buying a sewing machine for your child.
Things to consider when buying sewing machines for kids
Toy Machine or real machine?
Nowadays, miniature toy sewing machines are very common and easily bought from toy stores. We often find that these are quite unreliable, tricky to use and don’t sew very well when you do get them to work! In our experience, we would recommend you buy a basic level sewing machine instead of a toy machine. The great thing about a entry level sewing machine is that it will sew properly and the things your child will make will also last. You never know, you might even want to use it too!
We are also advocates of buying second hand or borrowing a machine from someone you know. This gives your child the opportunity to give sewing a try before you spend too much money.
Some sewing machines have a digital screen where you can select stitches and their width/length – this is a computerised machine. If the same features are operated by dials then this is a mechanical machine. Both types of machine perform the same function and can sew the same projects, its simply matter of preference.
The basic stitches that you will need on any machine are a straight stitch, a zig-zag stitch, a lightning stitch (for sewing stretch fabrics) and buttonhole stitch capability (if you plan on sewing buttonholes!). Other edge finishing stitches are useful but not essential. Luckily, these stitches come as standard on vast majority of machines.
Don’t be dazzled by hundreds of stitches, your child just wont need them for their project (and tbh, most adults don’t need them either!).
Colourful and fun looking machines can be an attractive drawn but it’s important to not let this sway a decision. A plain white machine will often have exactly the same features but the fancy machine may cost more because of the design.
Set yourself a budget and stick to it, don’t get swayed by fancy designs or extra stitches!
Price is, of course, a big deciding factor but it’s important to not instantly opt for the cheapest machine available. We will recommend below a few machines that are worth checking out when you do your research. Shop around and you may be able to save some money buying from a different retailer.
We recommend that you stick with the large names when buying a sewing machine. They have decades of experience in making machines and they come with a high standard of ‘engine’ and lots of support.
We work closely with Janome and would highly recommend their machines, but of course other brands are available, such as …
When deciding which sewing machine to buy, consider your child’s age and their attention span. For children who just want to dive in, a simpler machine will be best suited. A simple machine will often be enough and, in the long run, easier for you to understand and help.
Some features are available on sewing machines that will make it safer for children to use. For example, being able to control the speed of the machine using a slider (not simply the foot pedal).
You should also look for simple, easy to use controls and a machine that is solid and stable to use. Also, bear in mind the weight of a sewing machine, we generally find that the more expensive the machine, the heavier they are!
Some toy machines, which are aimed at much younger children can have finger guards but these do not come with basic level normal sewing machines. However, we feel that with patience, good practice and teaching, these should be needed.
Our Top Sewing Machine Picks
This is a great all round machine with a good selection of popular stitches and features. It is a really easy to use two dial model, one for stitch selection and the other for adjusting stitch length. It just couldn’t be simpler. The automatic 4-step buttonhole produces perfect buttonholes in one easy step and there’s plenty of accessory storage and a soft cover for protection. RRP Approx £130
A simple and easy to use sewing machine. The Brother LS14s sewing machine has 14 stitches and a 4-step buttonhole.
Includes a wide range of stitches, ideal for dressmaking and home furnishing. RRP Approx £89
The machine can sew a range of fabrics, including up to four layers of denim. It will also be great for quilting, allowing you to stitch creative patchworks with ease.
All of the accessories you’ll need are included with the machine, such as a seam ripper, bobbin pack and a soft cover, and there’s an instruction manual to help you set yourself up. RRP Approx £84
Suitable for complete beginners, this retro-inspired machine is ideal for hobby sewing, alterations or for those who regularly mend clothes. It can tackle both light to medium weight fabrics. Comes in a variety of colours. RRP Approx £135