8 of the best basic sewing machines for kids in 2022
A child’s first sewing machine will be something they remember forever and will cherish memories of learning to sew with you. Find out what to look for when you shop for childrens sewing machines and discover a few of our favourite models to get kids started
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 next step that will allow them to learn yet another crafty skill.
Choosing a kid'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, its list of stitches and extra features, its price (most important for the adults) and colour (most important for the child!). If you have an older teenage child, you might want to skip straight to our round up fo the best sewing machines for beginners.
If you've got a younger child there are some great childrens sewing machines on the market with colourful designs and simple-to-use stitch options that they'll be able to handle easily. We’ve put together this handy round-up of top kids sewing machines to help you purchase a machine your child will treasure.
Looking for more sewing inspiration? Check our guide to the latest series of The Great British Sewing Bee.
Main image © T Turovska
What to look for when buying sewing machines for kids
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
Best childrens sewing machines
- Sew Amazing Sewing Machine Studio – Amazon, £52.99
- Brother LS14S Sewing machine – Amazon, £104.95
- Cool Maker Sew Cool Sewing machine for kids – Amazon, £20
- Singer Simple 2250NT sewing machine – Amazon, £140
- Barbie Sewing machine and doll playset – Very, £24.99
- John Lewis & Partners JL110SE Sewing Machine, Aqua – John Lewis, £120
- Singer Tradition 2250NT – Amazon, £150
- KPCB Sewing machine for beginners – Amazon, £62.99
8 of the best sewing machines for kids
1. Sew Amazing Sewing Machine Studio with Accessories
- Buy it now (Amazon, £52.99)
This award-winning starter machine and kit will support younger makers in sewing their own clothes and simple projects. It comes with large, clear buttons, a simple layout and a finger safety guard. You get full instructions so it's hassle-free to set up and great to learn on. Your mini maker can adjust the stitch length, speed and back stitch just as they like. This is a handy machine if you want a complete starter set for sewing as it comes with a cute kit including scissors, tape measure, spare needles, metal bobbins, thread reels, assorted fabrics.
2. Brother LS14S Sewing machine
- Buy it now (Amazon, £104.95)
Brother is one of the most trusted brands of sewing machines on the market for a reason; the LS14S is a trustworthy first sewing machine that's simple to use and will last for years. It offers an easy-to-thread drop in bobbin and 14 stitch options. 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!
3. Cool Maker Sew Cool Sewing machine for kids
- Buy it now (Amazon, £20)
Little makers will love this first sewing machine – it's a great option if your child isn't yet ready to thread needles and mess around with thread tension. Designed to be easy for the youngest of sewing fans to try, it works without thread, so it’s always safe and easy for kids to use. It's been designed to offer foot pedals, bobbins and needles to help kids feel like they're using a grown up version and comes ready to make 5 pre-cut projects – a keychain, pen holder, flower, pouch and stuffed kitty. Printed markings show children where to sew.
4. Singer Simple 3223 Sewing machine
There are a few essential things you need for a children's sewing machine – it needs to be easy to thread and choose your stitch, but with a few options to support them in learning sewing skills as they go. The Singer Simple 3223 is a great first sewing machine, ticking all these boxes. It offers 23 built-in stitches and adjustable stitch length to support younger makers in growing their love of sewing. It even has a handy automatic buttonhole function to help them learn to make their own clothes.
5. Barbie Sewing machine and doll playset
If you have a pink-fan in the family who's aged 8 or over, this could be the starter sewing machine of their dreams. Get kids sewing clothes for their dolls with this bright and simple kids machine. It even comes with a Barbie and her runway to help mini makers stage their own fashion shows. It's a nice touch that the needle comes with a protective cover to protect your child's hands. It measures 120mm x 335mm x 360mm.
6 John Lewis & Partners JL110SE Sewing Machine, Aqua
- Buy it now (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.
7. Singer Tradition 2250NT
- Buy it now (Amazon, £150)
This beginners sewing machine is great for teenage makers who want to get into dressmaking and small homeware or accessory projects. 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. This is a nifty first machine to learn the basics of threading and sewing and will last for years until your budding maker is ready to level up to a computerised next-level machine.
8. KPCB Sewing machine for beginners
- Buy it now (Amazon, £62.99)
We've included some of our favourite trusted brands in this round-up but there's also a place for trying out lesser known brands if you're just looking for a simple starter machine for budding makers in the family. This nifty little machine is a nice one to try for beginners. It's a multi-purpose sewing machine with fabric and supplies to make a zipper pouch, plus all the easy features a beginner needs, from reverse sewing to start and end your lines of sewing to 12 stitches including straight lines, zig zags and buttonholes.
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 website 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, or have a go at our really Easy Salt Dough recipe.
Looking for more ways to keep your children entertained? Check out our arts and crafts to do at home for lots of fun activities!
Simply Sewing magazine’s Technical Editor Roisin loves every part of the dressmaking process, from sketching to sewing the final design, and enjoys working with luxury fabrics such as silk and chiffon. She’s a sewing pattern pro with a skill for adjusting and hacking patterns to fit and for editing dressmaking instructions to make them accessible to sewists of all abilities. Before she came to Simply Sewing, the tea-drinking fabric-lover ran her own handmade Lingerie Etsy shop. She drinks a lot of tea and shares a mix of dressmaking projects and fashion history on her Instagram @roisin_handmade.