A hugely popular hobby for teens right now is crafting. Not only is it a great creative outlet for young people who need a way to stave off the stress of high school and peer relationships, it can also turn into a real talent. Of course, it is important to have hobbies that keep us relaxed and having fun, but it can be just as enjoyable to then turn these hobbies into a way to make some extra money. Teens across the world have been successful lately selling their crafts on sharing sites and social media, as well as in person at craft fairs.
One craft in particular that has surged in popularity is sewing. Teens are becoming influenced by the costumes and elegant looks fashioned by their favorite celebrities, and they are ambitiously trying to recreate these looks. Other young people are designing and sewing their own clothes when they are pleased by the merchandise offered for their favorite band or TV show. With shared interest in popular culture being a surefire way to make connections with peers and end up with lasting friendships, teens are eager to show off the things they enjoy, and they won’t let a lack of availability stop them. It is amazing what teens can do when they put their minds to it, and a lot of the time the products come out looking professional!
It can be overwhelming for teens to initially pick up a new hobby, as they feel they will never be as good as it as the work they see of professionals or even other amateurs online. However, with time and practice, anyone can be successful. To get started turning your interest into something you can make an income off of, or even if you are just incredibly passionate about your hobby, you should probably consider investing in a long arm sewing machine.
Longarm machines are made up of an industrial strength sewing head of 19-30 inches, a 10 to 14-foot frame, a table on which to lay out the large material, and rollers which hold the fabric layers and batting. These are massive machines and should not be used for simple sewing projects. Rather, they are better for heavy, even industrial use, and are meant for users who are looking for seriously fast results. Longarm sewing machines can be an overwhelming field to navigate, especially for teens at the beginning of their sewing careers. I have found the best longarm sewing machines for teens to alleviate some of the stress of the search. Keep reading to see my selections.
How We Chose Our Ratings
I scoured the internet for the qualities of each of these longarm sewing machines, and then I assessed what other users had to say about their experience with them. I considered the price of the machine along with its performance and the satisfaction of those who purchased it. I then assigned a rating out of 5 stars for each of the longarms I researched, to give you an idea of how the price matches the quality of the machine.
1. Juki TL-2010Q
This model has a five-star rating on both Amazon and Sewing Machines Plus. It was also one of the least expensive longarm models, even though Juki is a well-known sewing company with quality products. The TL-2010Q is considered a semi-professional machine, meaning it can easily be used in the home with or without the table but will give professional quality results. The machine is made of aluminum die-casting, ensuring it is durable and strong, capable of handling all industrial-sized projects.
This longarm sewing machine comes with a quilting frame, a SureStitch regulator, pattern templates, 100 needles, 20 bobbins, an extension table as mentioned before, and QuiltCAD Pattern Design software. This software allows the user to print pantographs, blocks, and borders of any size you wish from your home computer. All the features are customizable, to ensure user satisfaction.
The SureStitch regulator controls the speed of the stitch, making sure it stays constant when you need it to. Because the machine comes with all the pieces necessary to undertake a hefty project, it is a great choice for the committed teen who is ready to begin more ambitious sewing endeavors. Sewing Machine Warehouse provides YouTube video tutorials not only on how to use the machine, but also on how to originally put the machine together. Customers do not have to worry about getting frustrated with the process of setting up, because the videos provide enough details that even a teenager could put together the machine pretty quickly.
The TL-2010Q sews at 1500 stitches per minute, making it perfect for people who do light industrial work at home, such as quiltmakers, dressmakers, and curtain makers. Users praise the ease of using the machine, as well as the smoothness of the sewing jobs. They are also pleased with the selection of features and accessories accompanying the machine: a foot controller with a thread trimming function, a bright LED light for working in dark rooms, a subtension unit to prevent thread quivering, an automatic thread trimmer, an even feed foot, two quilting feet, a hemming foot, a zipper attaching foot, a compensating presser foot, a knee lifter lever, an automatic needle threader, a thread tension scale, easy bobbin replacement, and a presser foot pressure adjuster.
Also included with the machine are two screwdrivers, a cleaning brush, an oiler, a spool cap, and a sewing machine cover. I was unable to find any significant complaints about this machine, and again the price can’t be beat. The TL-2010Q usually costs $1,699 but is currently on sale for only $999 with free shipping from both Amazon and Sewing Machines Plus. With all the features, the ease of operation, and the inexpensive price, I rate this longarm sewing machine 5 out of 5 stars.
- Throat Area: 8.5(L)x 5.9 (H) inches
- Sliding Speed Control + One Pedal foot control
- Auxilliary table included: dimensions 590 mm x 277 mm (12 x 23)
- LED light
- 1500 stitches per minute; stitch length 6 mm
2. Artistic Quilter 18 Sit Down Long Arm
If you would like to save space in your house or crafting studio, you may consider purchasing a sit-down machine rather than a large standard extension frame. The Artistic Quilter 18 Sit Down is perfect for those crafters who need to save space or who are not able to stand and move around for long periods of time.
The AQSD is an incredibly sturdy machine with an 18-inch throat space, meaning heavy and thick quilts can fit in the machine with ease. Features of this model include an automatic needle positioner, which helps keep needles from bending or breaking when attempting to stop the needle in its position. Unique to this machine is the self-contained oil reserve, which allows the user to forgo worrying about having oil on the quills or making sure to oil the hook every time they change the bobbin. The bobbin is M-sized, giving it the largest possible bobbin capacity. This allows the user to sew for longer periods of time without being interrupted by the need to change the bobbin.
If you want an easy to use longarm sewing machine for your teen, this is an excellent choice. It is more expensive than the Juki model, coming in at $2,999. The price discrepancy is due to the ease of the sit-down model, which is important for some users but not necessary to make a solid machine. However, the Artistic Quilter 18 is originally listed at $5,999, so the price it is currently being offered is a real steal!
Users are pleased with this machine, as it gets any sewing or quilting job done well. Several sewing websites have provided videos of the machine in use, and it is easy to see the smoothness with which it operated. The AQSD can sew the sturdiest or most delicate pieces, all in a very short amount of time. Teens should have no problem getting used to this machine and using it for all their sewing needs, whether it be for fashion, décor, or something else entirely.
Customers particularly praised the adjustable and flexible lighting affixed to the top of the machine. The lamp has a long reach, and it is easily bendable so you can place the light wherever you may need it, to see all those tiny details you are carefully sewing. You can work without worry, especially because the machine is not terribly noisy. The user could definitely put on a movie or some music without turning it up too loud, and still be able to hear it over the hum of the sewing machine. This is especially perfect for teens, because they are known to always be multitasking.
There’s no need to stress about focusing all attention on the sewing job, because as long as the user keeps their hands on the machine and the material, guiding the machine where they want it to go, the rest of the work is done for you by the automatic needle. This model is very easy to use, and it is the perfect balance of industrial strength and easy home comfort. It’s also ideal for a first serious at-home machine for a young teenager. I rate the Artistic Quilter 18 Sit Down Long Arm 4.3 out of 5 stars.
3. Janome 1600P-QC Sewing Machine w/ GQ Frame
The Janome 1600P-QC is another longarm sewing machine with extension frame that teens are sure to find easy to use and adaptable to projects of any size. This machine is slightly faster than the other two listed, as it is capable of sewing 1600 stitches per minute (hence the name). As we all know, teens are always in a hurry and looking for instant gratification, so they would definitely be pleased with the speed of this machine. They could easily and quickly get their projects done and move on their next activity.
This model has many features similar to the previous two machines listed, including an automatic thread cutter, a knee lift to adjust size while keeping your hands free to continue working, an independent motor that allows you to wind bobbins even as you are sewing, and an extra wide work area.
The Janome 1600P is clearly a very popular model, as it was almost sold out at both Walmart and Amazon when I checked. Customer reviews were positive, lauding the machine’s ability to sew and quilt through any thick material without slowing down or stalling. Users have stated they were able to complete both quilt piecing and free motion quilting with no issues. The machine smoothly worked through material of any density just as easily as it would through the thinnest of fabrics. Teens get frustrated easily sometimes, but with this longarm sewing machine, they would be able to sew stress-free, ending up with quality products in no time.
When purchasing with the extended frame for quilting, this model costs $2,695, with free shipping from Walmart (it is not currently available for store pickup). This is not very costly when considering all the professional-quality work the machine is capable of. Also available is an optional protection plan running for 3 or 4 years, at $58 and $77, respectively. I recommend purchasing one of these plans, as something could go wrong with the sewing machine if it is being used heavily by teenagers. No matter how careful we may be, accidents do happen, and you want to make sure you are still able to use your machine for all important projects. As with the other two machines, the Janome 1600P is a real workhorse. I rate this model 4 out of 5 stars.
- Presser Foot Sensor: This unique sensor system will not allow you to start sewing with the presser foot in UP position
- Memorized UP/DOWN Needle Setting: The exclusive Up/Down needle button lets you control the needle's position when you stop sewing. Set it for UP when you want to move your fabric; DOWN for corners and pivots
- Independent Bobbin Winder: The independent bobbin winder works separately from the main motor so you can fill your next bobbin while you sew
- Variable Speed Control: Slide setting from about 70 stitches per minute to 1600 stitches per minute
- Automatic Thread Cutter Cut the top and bobbin threads at the push of a button. ALSO can be used from quilt frame handle via cable hookup
These longarm sewing machines are meant for heavy duty sewing and quilting artists, so it is important that they be durable and efficient. When you are doing your own research, check to see the speed of the machine, how much space you will have to work with, what accessories come with the machine, and of course how the price compares to other models on the market. You want to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck, so you can use your new machine to make anything your teenage heart desires.