Do you have a child or grandchild who is interested in sewing? Do they ask to use your sewing machine? Sewing is an awesome craft for kids and young enthusiasts to learn. My daughter is very creative and enjoys crafts of all types. She became more and more interested in sewing and I didn’t feel comfortable letting her use my more expensive and complicated computerized sewing machine. So when she was old enough I decided to get her her own little girls first sewing machine. Whether you want to pass down your love of sewing or if you have a child who is self interested, choosing a good starter machine for a young girl or boy requires a different eye than choosing a machine for adults and advanced sewists.
This article will help you learn what to look for when shopping for the best kids sewing machine.
What Makes a Kids Sewing Machine Different?
I want to start out by making a distinction between two types of sewing machines for kids that you can choose. First you have very inexpensive toy-like sewing machine (sometimes called a pretend play sewing machine) that typically costs under $50. These are toys and won’t have the durability of a very basic true beginner sewing machine that a young enthusiast can grow on. If that is what you are looking for I won’t be doing any reviews for those here. I am more focused on beginner machines that have a solid build with simple and basic features perfect for kids (and a low price tag too).
Here are several great options for sewing machines for kids – some from each of the most well-known brands. Continue reading below for a more in-depth overview of each one.
|Computerized or Mechanical||Stitches / Buttonhole||Auto Threader||Bobbin Type|
|Janome Fastlane||Mechanical||10 / none||Yes|
|Singer 2259||Mechanical||19 / 4-step||No|
|Brother XM1010||Mechanical||10 / 4-step||No|
|Singer 7258||Computerized||100 / 7|
|Janome 13512||Mechanical||15 / none|
|Brother CS6000i||Computerized||60 / 7|
|Singer 3232||Mechanical||32 / 1|
What to Look for In a Kids Sewing Machine
Keep in mind that just because a machine isn’t specifically labeled kids sewing machine doesn’t mean it isn’t. What you buy for your child will depend on your budget, what features you need, and really how advanced or comfortable your child or grandchild is. There are many beginner sewing machines that are computerized and cost a little bit more that would be perfect for a mature child who is responsible enough to take care of it.
Here are some key things to look out for when you shop for a sewing machine for a child.
Computerized or Mechanical. On a very basic level there are 2 types of sewing machines. Computerized sewing machines have a computer in them so you get automatic features and touch button controls. With a mechanical machine there is no computer or digital LCD screen and you choose your stitches by a turn dial. Most kids sewing machines will be mechanical. I wrote a more in-depth article about it here.
Finger Guard. This is a safety feature used during sewing to prevent any unintentional touching of the needle during sewing. Some machines have them built-in while other brands have a guard you can buy separately and attach.
Built-in Stitches. There are some machines that have hundreds of stitches but for a beginner kids sewing machine this is really unnecessary. Most of the time sewing projects require just a basic straight stitch and any extras are just for fun. A simple machine with a few stitches is perfect for a child who is learning and building their skills. And for 90% of sewing you will use a very simple straight stitch.
Needle Threader. Threading the needle on a sewing machine could prove to be one of the more challenging aspects of sewing for a child, depending on their age. Some machines come with automatic needle threader. For the machines that don’t, your child may ask you for help.
Speed Control. Some machines have a way to speed up and slow down the sewing speed, which can be very helpful for a young sewer. Some kids may want to go very slow at first to gain control and experience. As experience grows they will be able to sew faster and faster. This is a helpful feature even for most adults.
Aesthetics. Last but not least you may consider the look of the machine – the colors, designs, branding and other aspects that may suit your child’s personality. In my reviews below you will see a fun Hello Kitty sewing machine that many little girls would adore as well as some machines in fun color combinations.
In Depth Review of Each Machine
Janome Fastlane Basic Compact Sewing Machine
The Janome Fastlane is an ideal choice for a simple, yet strong machine. At just 5 pounds it is portable and easily stored. It comes in 12 fun and easy color combinations so you are sure to find out that would be a fit for your child.
Features of the Janome Fastlane:
- 10 stitch options – including Straight, ZigZag, Multi-Stitch ZigZag, Crescent / Scallop Stitches.
- Top loading bobbin system with clear cover.
- Presser foot with finger guard protects little fingers.
- Left and center needle position.
- Adjustable tension.
- Four-point feed dog system.
- Easy stitch selection.
- Reverse lever.
- Free arm.
- Extra-high presser foot lift.
- Push-pull bobbin winder system.
This is a mechanical sewing machine and it has very basic features to get a child started with light sewing projects. Some features it does not have that you may want are an automatic needle threader and speed control.
SINGER 2259 Tradition Easy-to-Use Free-Arm 19-Stitch Sewing Machine
The Singer 2259 is a cute little sewing machine because it has the look of a full size advanced Singer machine but on a smaller level.
Features of the Singer 2259:
- Automatic needle threader (big time saver)
- Built-in thread cutter
- Adjustable stitch length and zigzag width allow you to customize stitches
- 19 built-in stitches with 1 fully automatic 4-step buttonhole provide endless project possibilities
- Four snap-on presser feet expand your creative sewing possibilities
- Easy stitch selection makes choosing your stitches a breeze.
- Interior frame is metal (exterior is made of plastic)
Another feature to point out is it has screw holes on the bottom so it can be mounted to a desk or sewing table. Overall this is a great basic starter machine. It doesn’t come in any bright colors but it has all of the features that many machines twice its cost have. This is also a mechanical sewing machine (no fancy buttons or computers) and it does do buttonholes as opposed to the Janome above.
The Brother XM1010 is another affordable lightweight full size sewing machine that is perfect for kids.
Features of the Brother XM1010:
- Full-sized yet lightweight and portable sewing machine, designed for everyday sewing and mending
- 10 built-in stitches – including blind hem, zigzag and stretch stitches
- Four-step auto-size buttonholer
- 4 Included sewing feet, with Buttonhole, zipper, zigzag and button sewing feet
- Automatic bobbin winder
- Jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin
- Easy stitch selector dial
- Reverse sewing
- Built-in free arm
- Thread tension control
- Bright LED lighting
At about 10 lbs it is not too heavy for a child and still portable. Keep in mind that when you compare a 5 lb machine vs. a 10 lb machine, the heavier machine will be able to handle more “heavy duty” projects. And I don’t mean you can sew through layers of leather or denim with this machine but it could handle a little bit more without scooting around and moving.
Singer 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
This is our first look at a computerized sewing machine. The Singer 7258 is another option if you think your child is ready to handle a more advanced machine.
Features of the Singer 7258:
- 100 built-in stitches
- 7 styles of one-step buttonholes
- Automatic needle threader
- Memorized Up / Down needle stop position (you are able to either have the needle always stop down or up)
- Variable speed control
- Twin needle capability (this means there can be 2 needles in one shaft, allowing for two different colored threads)
- Automatic Tension
- Top Loading Bobbin System with Clear Cover.
- Automatic Locking Straight Stitch Function.
- Automatic Reverse
- Automatic Presser Foot Pressure.
The SINGER 7258 Stylist is a two time Consumers Digest award winner, which means it received high marks by consumers based on their combination of eight criteria: performance, ease of use, features, quality of construction, warranty, efficiency, styling, and maintenance and service requirements. This is definitely a more advanced machine but still intuitive and easy enough to use for a beginner.
At 15 lbs it has a good amount of weight to it and it also comes with a hard case with convenient handle so it is definitely portable.
Janome 13512 Hello Kitty Sewing Machine
Yes this machine is absolutely adorable and is sure to light up the eyes of almost any young girl interested in sewing.
Features of Janome 13512:
- 12 built-in stitches clearly printed on the front of the machine for easy viewing.
- Easy reverse lever – simply hold down this lever to sew backwards to lock a stitch.
- Manual thread tension control -tighten or loosen then tension of the thread to your preference for your sewing project.
- Adorable design 🙂
At 14 lbs this is a solidly built machine from the trusted Janome brand. I adore Janome sewing machines. They are well built machines and this one is no different. Check out my other review of three more Hello Kitty Sewing Machines where I talk about how these machines are actually high quality machines not just for play.
Brother CS6000i 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
This is Amazon.com’s best selling sewing machine for a reason – it is versatile, feature-packed, and affordable.
Features of Brother CS6000i:
- Simple to use LCD stitch selector
- Automatic threading with clear instructions (once you get used to doing this is literally takes 6 seconds and you won’t ever want to be without it 🙂 )
- Adjustable sewing speed
- Stop/start button allows use without included foot control
- Built-in free arm for sewing sleeves, pant legs, etc
- An oversize table designed for larger projects
- Easy bobbin winding
- Jam-resistant Quick-set top drop-in bobbin
- Built-in accessory storage
This machine definitely has all the features a young enthusiast needs as well as anybody else in the home. It has a very affordable price tag that can comfortably accommodate most budgets.
This is another great basic beginner sewing machine from Singer and it costs right around $100.
Additional features of the Singer 3232 Simple Sewing Machine:
- 60 built-in stitches
- Fully automatic 1-step buttonhole
- Automatic needle threader is the biggest time saver
- Heavy duty metal frame for overall durability and skip-free sewing.
- Simple Stitch Selection
- Up to 5 mm Stitch Width
- Heavy Duty Metal Frame
- Extra High Presser Foot Lifter
- Automatic Reverse
- Accessory Storage
- Adjustable Stitch Length & Width
- Free Arm
This is the highest priced machine of the ones listed here and that is because it has a lot of features and can handle heavier fabrics. This machine will be great for a mature child or tween / teen interested in sewing and can also be a perfect machine for the entire household to use.
The Bottom Line on Kids Sewing Machines
If you’ve made it this far then you can see that there are many options for a great kids sewing machine and really the best sewing machine for your child will depend on your child’s age and experience, what features you really want (mechanical vs. computerized) and your budget (under $100 or over $100).
Here are my top picks:Janome Fastlane – Great machine if you want an ultra basic mechanical machine with fun kids colors for girls and boys. Singer 2259 – If you want a machine with a few more stitches that can also do buttonholes. Singer 7258 – This is an affordably priced computerized sewing machine with touch button controls and automatic features. Brother cs6000i – Amazon’s best selling sewing machine. This is a computerized sewing machine with lots of bells and whistles.
I hope this article helps you find the best kids sewing machine for your family’s needs and budget. Like I mentioned earlier there are so many
Let me know if you have any questions. I do my best to respond to everyone 🙂