Children can easily pick up new skills and sewing is no exception; you’ll be amazed at how quickly your child will take to sewing. If you’ve started off teaching some basic hand stitches, a machine is a natural progression that will allow them to learn yet another crafty skill.
Choosing children’s sewing machine can be a tricky job as there are so many with varying features. As with sewing machines for adults, there are many things to consider when purchasing a kids sewing machine. How easy will it be to use, it’s list of stitches and extra features, it’s price (most important for the adults) and colour (most important for the child!) We’ve put together this handy round-up of top kids sewing machines to help you purchase a machine your child will treasure.
What to look for when buying a child’s sewing machine
Mechanical or computerised? – Some sewing machine for kids have a 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.
Stitch range – The basic stitches that you will need on any machine are straight stitch, zig zag stitch, lightning stitch (for sewing stretch fabrics) and buttonhole stitch capability (if you plan on sewing buttonholes!). Blind hem stitch and edge finishing stitches are useful but not essential. Machines with 50+ stitches are unnecessary for children (and most adults!).
Design – Children (and lots of adults!) will be draw to a machine that has a design featuring their favourite colour but it’s important to not let this sway a decision. A plain machine might have more features for the same cost.
Price – While price will be a big deciding factor it’s important to not instantly opt for the cheapest machine available. Do your research and then shop around!
Suitability for children – when deciding which sewing machine for kids to buy think about your child’s age and attention span. Machines with more advanced functions are better suited to older children/teenagers or to children who have a strong interest in sewing and will enjoy learning about all of the features. For children who just want to dive in, a simpler machine will be best suited.
Safety features – Several features are available that can make a machine safer for children to use, being able to control the speed of the machine using a slider (not simply the foot pedal as it is easy to slip when applying pressure!). Finger guards are another common feature on children’s sewing machines but again these are best suited to young children, teenagers should be able to get by without a finger guard.
Still looking for a machine yourself? Check out our best beginner sewing machines and best overlockers.
5 of the best kids’ sewing machines to buy
John Lewis & Partners JL110SE Sewing Machine, Aqua
John Lewis, £120
This attractive machine is available in a range of colours so will appeal to lots of children, however it is more than just a pretty retro outer. The machine boasts 14 stitches, a front-loading bobbin and a free arm for stitching smaller areas such as cuffs/trousers or even simple coin purses! You can also choose from multiple colours.
The Brother LS14S Drop in bobbin and 14 stitch variations. There is no need to select width and length with this machine, simply turn the dial for a longer or wider stitch. This will help children get used to the idea of stitch length and width without intimidating buttons. This will also be a handy machine to make quick mends to school uniforms or stitch Brownie/Scout badges in place!
Singer 1409 Promise
This simple machine is great for absolute beginners, it has a choice of 9 stitches including blind hem stitch and a 4-step buttonhole stitch, all of which can be selected using a simple dial. Stitch length and width are also control by simple dials. The bobbin is front-loading which is a great skill for older children to learn, or something parents can help younger children with. The machine comes with a great starter kit including basic presser feet, spool caps, a screwdriver, spare bobbins, a lint brush and oil making it a great kids sewing machine.
Singer Tradition 2250NT
John Lewis, £139.99
This beginners sewing machine is great for dressmaking and small homeware/accessory projects. The machine has 10 stitches including straight stitch, zig zag, 3-step zig zag, blind hem stitches, a couple of decorative stitches and a 4-step buttonhole stitch. The Singer Tradition comes with a small selection of feet for sewing buttonholes, buttons and zips. The bobbin is front loading, so it will be great for children to learn how to insert a bobbin case into a machine. Tension, stitch length and stitch width are controlled by simple dials as are the stitches.
Singer Simple 3221
John Lewis, £180
The Singer Simple was created with beginners in mind and is designed to make learning to sew enjoyable. The machine is great for those who want to start out simple but have the ability to move on to more complex fabrics like jersey and denim later on. The machine has an impressive 21 built in stitches including a one-step buttonhole for super simple buttonhole stitching. As with most beginner machines you will receive a selection of tools to get you up and running including a selection of basic presser feet, extra needles and bobbins and care tools such as oil, a lint brush and a screwdriver.
Sewing pattern ideas for kids
Now that you’ve got your kids sewing machine ordered it’s time to look at some simple patterns for them to make. We have hundreds of free sewing patterns on our blog but here’s three of our easiest projects that are perfect for children.
Children’s sewing machines are designed for simple projects and our fabric heart tutorial is just that. Let your kids choose their favourite fabric, sew up these hearts and then hang them as bunting in their room.
Keep pocket money safe with our Velcro wallet tutorial. This project would also make great gifts for their friends! Just get their kids sewing machine and materials set up then get them to stitch away.
Finally, get them feeling creative with these easy DIY pinwheels. They’ll need some supervision but our step-by-step tutorial breaks down every stage simply so that they can become sewing stars.
We hope you’ve found the perfect kids sewing machine and project for your little ones. If you try any of our projects tag us in a picture using #gatheredmakers on Instagram and check out our Kids Crafts for more activities.