When children see their parents or grandparents participating in activities like sewing and they want to do the same thing. But once your child has an interest in sewing you want to be able to find the best sewing machine for kids. But when you start looking, it can be a very difficult task especially if you are not sure what you are looking for to begin with. You want to be sure that you get the best match for your child so you can foster their interest in sewing and not accidentally push them away from this skill they can enjoy the rest of their lives.
What Should I Look for in a Sewing Machine for My Child?
Kids do not need a lot of fancy gadgets on their sewing machines. It is important to find one that allows them to sew high quality items, but they are not going to start out needing anything super fancy. Actually, if you choose a sewing machine that has too many fancy features, then it can be overwhelming for them and they may lose interest before they even get started. Kids are going to need just the basic features since they are just starting out and learning how to operate a sewing machine. Here are some of the specific features that you want to make sure the sewing machine has:
- Type of feet: The feet on a sewing machine can be attached to the machine with a screw, or it might snap into place. As a matter of safety, kids need feet that attach securely in place. Some injuries have occurred when kids have sewn their fingers by mistake because the feet snapped off.
- Push-button or pedal: A regular pedal comes with a sewing machine, but for youngsters just starting to learn how to sew they can have some difficulty using the pedal. Some children might benefit from having a sewing machine with a push-button operation rather than a pedal. This of course, depends on the age and coordination of the child who will be using it.
- Sewing speed: For kids who use a push-button operated machine, it’s important the speed remains consistent. This lets the child make a garment using precision and helps them be able to maintain control without losing speed since they are not using a pedal.
- Thread feeding mechanism: Being able to thread the needle can be a very frustrating task for children who are just learning to sew. Make sure the machine you pick out has a good diagram that demonstrates how to thread the needle. Some of the sewing machines for beginners are designed to include a self-threading needle or an automatic threader. This can be very useful for kids just starting out.
- Bobbin slot: Make sure to purchase a machine that has an easy to use bobbin slot. It should be easy to open by a child considering their small finger size. It should be easy to put in the slot as well as wind up so it is not frustrating to children.
- Variety of stitching options: While you don’t want to go crazy picking a sewing machine that has too many stitch options, you might want to select one that has 5 or 6 different stitches just for some variety. Some children who are advanced might be able to handle 25 different stitches.
- Overall weight: How much the appliance weighs can be a major issue depending on how old the child is and what their body build is like. A child who drops a sewing machine on their foot can suffer a lot more damage from a heavier machine than one which is lighter. This is an important consideration.
- Manufacturer’s warranty: Kids can find a way to break just about anything no matter how durable it is. By purchasing a machine with a good warranty, you will be protecting your investment.
How Do You Know if a Sewing Machine Is the Right One for a Kid?
When choosing a sewing machine for kids it’s important to find one that has real features to help develop their skills. But it is also important to remember that you want to make sure they are safe for the kids to use. Look at all the features like the feet and the pedal to make sure they are safe for kids to use. You can select a kid’s sewing machine that has a push-button for starting and running instead of a pedal. That can help make it safer for kids. Be sure to look at a lot of reviews for the machines that operate using buttons so you can get the one with a sewing speed that is appropriate for your child.
The best sewing machine for any kid is one that is going to make sewing fun for them. Look at several models and consider each of the custom options they provide. Other than basic safety features, the most important thing is for kids to actually enjoy sewing. This will make them want to learn more about it and develop their skills more fully.
What Types of Sewing Machines Are Designed for Kids?
There are many sewing machines that are designed specifically to be used by kids. You will want to maximize the investment you are making by giving a lot of consideration to the type of machine you want them to use. Think about if your child is just setting out to learn how to sew, or if they have already learned some basics and now want to develop these skills more fully. This will influence the type of features you want to make sure are included on the model you select. Knowing exactly what you want can help you save on your initial investment.
Has your child been sewing for some time already? May they are a little older and have mastered the basics. It might be time to move them up to a machine that does just embroidery. You can add this machine to the already existing standard machine they learned on and give them more flexibility to be creative. A machine that embroiders offers the opportunity of creating patterns and designs and allows for more artistic expression. You might want to consider a computerized model that can hook directly in with your home internet so it can download firmware and patterns.
For the more advanced kids, you might even consider a lower level serger. These allow for the use of several different threads and make a safety hem. Once kids understand how to control their thread tension, and are able to thread the machine on their own safely with ease, you might consider this type of machine.
There are two basic things to consider when you are buying a sewing machine for your kid. First you want to choose a model that is appropriate for their use. Get the features you know they need and only the ones you are sure they can handle. But to do this effectively, you will also want to consider the ability, age and skill levels of the kid who is going to use the machine.
Are There Advantages and Disadvantages of Choosing a Sewing Machine for Kids?
The primary advantage to buying a sewing machine for a kid is that it can teach them a beneficial skill that they can use for the rest of their life. They can start learning how to sew as soon as they show an interest and have the physical ability and coordination to do so. It can be fun to sit at a sewing machine with another family member to learn a new skill.
Learning how to sew can also provide children with an extra dose of confidence while boosting their self-esteem. Sewing used to be a skill taught in home economics classes in many schools but over the years, educational programs have had to cut back on funds so these were the first to go along with other artistic programs. Sewing can be fun and useful.
It can also be a wonderful way to make some new friends. Every child is not going to show an interest in sewing. It can become an interest shared between kids when they both have the unique skill of sewing. It helps improve eye-hand coordination and at the same time they can make useful items to use in their home, room or gifts to give to others.
The only disadvantage to children learning to sew is the safety factor. It’s important to refrain from buying an a machine which is geared toward adults. This creates some spacing issues since kids and adults have different sized fingers and levels of coordination. Children’s models will also be quite a bit smaller and more compact. When a sewing machine is designed for use by children, it will have some built in safety features as well.
Keeping the Sewing Machine Safe for Kids
Since safety is one of the primary concerns when choosing a sewing machine for kids, it’s worth a little extra attention. There are some specific features that can make a machine safer for kids to use.
- Keep it Simple – Simple means the machine is easy for a child to use. Buying a complex machine with all sorts of stitches can be confusing to a child, especially if they are just trying to learn how to sew in the first place. Having too many features they do not understand or know how to use can be confusing and take their focus away from learning how to sew.
- Keep it Safe – Safety is the most important feature of all. Some models have an auto-stop feature which causes the machine to stop automatically when it senses a lot of resistance. Some of them have finger guards to help keep the kid’s fingers from becoming trapped. You can also buy an optional finger guard separately for most models. And finally, to make certain the machine is safe for kids to use it should have some type of speed control. The machine you choose should match the abilities of the child. Speed can be increased later on when the child gets more comfortable with sewing.
Other Features to Consider
There are three other factors that should be considered when buying a sewing machine for your kids. These are above and beyond the actual features of the sewing machine and they include:
- Durability – You want to make sure the sewing machine you buy for your child has a strong and durable body. It’s likely going to need to endure a lot of rough treatment so it should be up for handling it. Many come with a convenient carrying case that can also help protect it from being banged around too much.
- Budget – Of course you want to think about how much you are spending on this item. You will need to consider spending at least $80 to get one that is decent at all. You can get a toy for a much cheaper price, but a toy will not serve the purpose well. You want to purchase a good, quality machine that your child will learn how to sew on and be able to use for years to come. While you want to stay within your designated budget, you will also want to think of this purchase as an investment in your child’s future.
- Physical Appearance – What the sewing machine looks like is very important to a child. You might want to choose one in a specific color depending on their specific taste; or you might pick one that has a favorite character on it. It should ultimately look simple and be easy and fun to use.
What Will I Need to Teach My Child How to Sew?
You may have been sewing for many years now and your child has expressed some interest in learning the skill too. It can be a little intimidating to teach someone how to sew. You probably already have some sewing supplies on hand that can be used, but there are some tools and skills that are specifically needed before teaching your child how to sew.
- Manual for the Sewing Machine – It is very handy to have the manual that goes with the sewing machine you purchased. This will have a diagram that will help them learn the parts of a sewing machine. While your child will need to learn all the parts of the unit, you will also want to use the correct name of each part while you are teaching them the basics. The handbook will help you remember each of the correct terms to use.
- Gather up the needed tools – You might want to start by creating a list of all the materials and tools you are going to need. They will need their own sewing machine, thread and bobbins just to get started. Don’t overwhelm them by giving them a super long list. But make sure they have the necessary items on hand, like scissors, thread and fabric.
- Sewing Paper – Thanks to modern technology, you can print out some sewing practice sheets. This lets them practice running the machine in a straight line. One of the most basic skills the child will need is feeding material through in a straight line. The practice paper allows them to practice as much as they want without the chance of messing something up.
- Tote Bag – A good idea is a tote bag for your child. By providing them with a tote bag you give them a way to get and stay organized. Plus, it gives them a way to keep all their sewing supplies in one place so it’s not scattered all over the place. They can keep their scissors, thread, needles and a variety of other tools all in their bag where they are easily reached when they are ready to sew again.
Starting their First Real Project
After you are sure the child has mastered their sewing machine, you will want to encourage them to start a real project. Make sure the first project is a simple one that will ensure their success. They need to be able to make a project quickly so they can be rewarded for their work right away. Choose a simple one so they can finish quickly without getting frustrated.
There are a couple of ways to prepare for working with them on their first project. You might want to gather up all the materials and tools needed for the project so they can get started right away. Another approach would be to work with the child to help them gather up the proper tools to begin the project. You can show them how to select fabrics for different projects and show them how to cut the fabric properly.
Make sure to print out the directions so the child has them handy. They can keep them with their kit if they want to, at least as long as they are working on the project. Having a copy of the directions also means the child can make the project again at some time, but all on their own.
Choosing a First Sewing Project
Try to choose a very simple project to start with. There are plenty of beginner projects that are simple and can help the kid get started quickly. Some easy projects for beginners might include a nice scarf, a pillow case or a potholder. Be sure to allow the child to complete the project successfully before starting another new project. If you purchase a sewing pattern, make sure to purchase one that has an “easy to sew” label on it. As they continue to learn new stitches, strategies and techniques, they can start taking on more complex projects.
It is also acceptable to allow the student to repeat their first project if they want to. They will be learning many of the most basic skills needed for sewing. If they are having fun with the pattern, let them make and remake it as many times as they want before moving on to another project. They will learn and reinforce skills like cutting material, measuring and the actual sewing. These skills will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Guide them as you allow them to explore and learn everything they can about sewing. Once they are comfortable with the basic skills, they will be excited about moving on to more complex projects.
A sewing machine can be an excellent gift choice if you want to give your child the opportunity to learn a life skill that they can use for the rest of their lives. It’s a chance to help them learn a creative and useful hobby that they will ultimately be proud of.
Remember that safety and simplicity are the two primary considerations when making this purchase. Of course there are many factors to think about, just remember that you want your child to be able to enjoy their new sewing machine and to be safe while they are using it. Choose features that make it easy for the child to use.
If you are not sure what type of machine to get for your child, read through some reviews to help you isolate the features you prefer for your child in particular. Remember it’s all about making it easy for your child to learn the skill and it should be fun too. A sewing machine should have enough features to keep the child from getting board as their sewing skills improve; but you don’t want so many that they become frustrated before they get a good start. Just choose the sewing machine that matches with the skill level of your child.