What’s the Best Kid’s Sewing Machine?
How to Choose a Child’s Sewing Machine
Once a child shows an interest in sewing, parents want to find a child’s sewing machine that will introduce them to the craft without investing a lot of money just in case their interest doesn’t blossom. There is no set age that kids typically start to look at sewing seriously and children of the same age differ greatly in their ability to follow directions as well as in dexterity.
Choosing the best kid's sewing machine will depend on the child as well as the sewing machine’s features. For this review, I chose the line of Janome Hello Kitty machines including the models 15822 and 11706 and the LCD Screen Saving model as well as the Fast Lane which is also from Janome. Janome is considered by many sewers to make the best quality sewing machines for home use and they have the best variety of sewing machines targeted at children.
|Sewing Machine||Janome Hello Kitty 11706||Janome Hello Kitty 15822||Janome Hello Kitty 18750 LCD Computerized||Janome Fuchsia Fast Lane|
|Number of Stitches||11||24||50||10|
|Size (Inches)||9 x 5 x 10.5||14.5 x 10.8 x 7.5||14.8 x 11 x 6.6||10.5 x 5.8 x 9|
|Stitch Length||Up to 4mm||Up to 4mm||Up to 7mm||5mm|
|Easy Reverse Button?||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Button holes?||Yes, One-Step||Yes, One-Step||Yes, 3 One-Step||Yes, Four-Step|
|Available Color(s)||Aqua||White/Red||White||Fuchsia, Lavender, Yellow, Blue, More|
|Standard Accessories||Zig-Zag Foot, Sliding Buttonhole Foot||Screwdriver, Darning Plate, Plastic Bobbins, Needle Set, Buttonhole Opener||Zig-Zag Foot, Sliding Buttonhole Foot, Specialized Bobbin, Satin Stitch Foot F||2 Bobbins, Needle, Threader, Foot Control, Power Supply Cord, Instruction Manual|
How to Choose the Best Machine for Your Child
Not surprisingly, many parents’ first concern in choosing a sewing machine is the safety of their child. The addition or absence of a finger guard is a point of controversy among sewers and parents alike. Of this list of the best sewing machines for kids, only the Fast Lane has a finger guard on the sewing foot to ensure little fingers don’t slip under the foot and get stitched! This is why smaller children will fare better with this model or with the Janome Hello Kitty 11706. While the latter does not have a finger guard, it is made so that the up position in the presser foot is not as high as in a normal machine so there simply isn’t enough room to stick fingers underneath.
It is important to note that there are significant differences between these sewing machines which are made for kids and those that are full-size sewing machines made for adult use. Although adult supervision is always advised, a child’s sewing machine should be easy enough to use on their own from threading it, to selecting stitches, to guiding the fabric through the feeder. Often, people will purchase a full-size standard machine that has only basic stitches as an entry-level machine instead of purchasing one that is made especially for children thinking they will get a better quality machine that will last longer. In reality, the best kids’ sewing machine will often be more durable than a standard machine at a bargain price.
In addition, the fact that these are made on a full-scale is likely to mean that the features will be harder for kids to use effectively and safely. Full-size machines also operate with a faster stitch speed that can be difficult for kids to control.
The prices are not included in this review because they vary greatly from one retailer to another. In all instances, you can expect to pay significantly more for the Janome Computerized 18750 because of its sophisticated design. This is probably not going to be an optimal choice as a first-time sewing machine for kids of any age but it is a great choice for teens and older who have had some experience using a mechanical machine and are ready to advance to the next level. Although it includes a much larger range of options to choose from with 50 stitch types, the LCD screen instant selection and other features are geared towards ease-of-use.
Parents often find themselves turning to their child’s sewing machine for fast sewing jobs due to the ease and quality of sewing that makes it easier than using their standard sewing machine. Sometimes children’s sewing machines that are smaller and lightweight are also a better choice for taking classes. The Fuchsia Fast Lane is a great classroom tool since its 5-pound weight makes it highly portable. One thing to keep in mind with this model and the Hello Kitty 11706 is that neither model has an easy reverse button for finishing off seams.
The Janome Fast Lane is referred to as the “Fuchsia” Fast Lane at many locations but this is not the only color choice available. Kids can also choose from lilac, yellow, blue, teal and more colors to suit their personal taste. The different models of the Hello Kitty sewing machines offer a cute and colorful Hello Kitty print that kids love. The cartoon graphics and fun colors shouldn’t mislead you into thinking any of these children’s sewing machines are toys. All are made with the same quality workmanship and technology that the Janome name is known for.
Simplicity like that found in the Hello Kitty 11706 and the Fuchsia Fast Lane is what you should look for in a sewing machine for the smallest children who are just starting out. For older kids and those who are more advanced at sewing, the Hello Kitty 15822 and the Hello Kitty Computerized 18750 LCD are great choices that will work for all of their sewing projects as well.