Think your kids might be too young to learn how to sew? You would be surprised at what a young child can do with the best sewing machines for kids. I’ve always been of the opinion that kids old enough to be in school are old enough to start quilting—or making whatever else their creative minds want to sew together.
Are you looking for the best sewing machine for your child? In this article, we’ll go over some of the best machines on the market, no matter your child’s age or experience level.
What to look for in a child’s sewing machine
If you’ve never bought a sewing machine for a child before, then you should take a minute out to familiarize yourself with some of the considerations that should top of mind when you’re shopping around. Although you might think that any old beginner’s sewing machine will get the job done, there are plenty of safety and sizing factors that should be considered when shopping for a child.
Below, we’ve listed some of the main considerations to keep in mind when looking for the perfect sewing machine for your little one.
Check out how much the sewing machine weighs. Not only do you want your machine to be portable if you want to take it up to the cottage or to their grandparents’ house, but your kid should feel free to move it around as they please.
Ideally, you will want to look for a sewing machine that weighs fifteen pounds or less. Otherwise, your child may have a hard time adjusting it or lugging it around the house which can dissuade them from using it.
Push model vs. Pedal model
Kids have a harder time adjusting to pedal-equipped sewing machines. If your child has no experience with sewing machines, you may be better off picking up a model with a push-button because they are less sensitive and can easily be turned on and off.
Sewing machines are one of those products that you shouldn’t cheap out on. After all, it’s your child’s safety at stake. To prevent injuries or mishaps when sewing, your best bet is to go with a brand that you can trust. Respected brand names that have been in business for decades and have stayed at the top of the market include:
You never know with kids. Even if a sewing machine looks sturdy, kids will always find a new way to break it or knock it off the table. That’s why you should always make sure there’s a comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty before you buy your child a sewing machine.
Markers on the machine
If you’ve ever used a beginner’s sewing machine, then you probably know what I mean by “markers” on the machine. These devices are beginner-friendly because they feature white arrows or guidelines written directly onto their surface.
Markers help the child remember where to thread the needle and how to load the system. Although these markers aren’t necessary, they’re a “nice-to-have” feature for total beginners or small children.
What are the benefits of a kid’s sewing machine?
A child’s sewing machine is specially designed for their small hands, weaker strength, and general lack of experience. Whereas some adult home sewing machines can weigh up to 30 pounds, a child’s sewing machine usually weighs half that or less. That means it won’t cause any serious injuries if it happens to fall off the table and land on your little one’s toes.
Ultimately, a child’s sewing machine is a safer, more intuitive, and more portable device that makes it easier for a young kid to learn the basics of sewing on. With an adult machine, they may feel confused or overwhelmed, which may cause them to give up on their projects.
Safety tips for using kids sewing machines
Teaching your child to sew requires you to first know a thing or two about how to safely operate a sewing machine. Below, we’ve listed a few of the top safety tips to keep in mind when getting your child up and running with their new machine.
- Start slow: Use a machine that has a “Slow” setting and gradually increase speed as your child progresses in skill
- Teach proper needle threading: Needles are sharp objects that present a danger to children who could prick themselves with them. Check out this excellent YouTube video to learn how to properly thread a needle while minimizing risk.
- No running with scissors: Sewing and cutting literally go hand-in-hand. To minimize the risk of accidents, make sure your little one knows not to run with scissors in their hands.
- Store your pins right away: Don’t leave your pins on the floor. If your kid drops a pin, make sure they pick it up and safely store it immediately. Stepping on a pin is one of the easiest ways to find yourself at the hospital for the day.
Reviewed: The 5 best sewing machines for kids
Now that we know everything there is to know about how to shop for and safely operate kids’ sewing machines, let’s take a look at our best kid sewing machine top picks.
Our best overall choice
This sewing machine is an excellent choice for parents looking to introduce their child to the art of sewing and quilting due to its lightweight, user-friendly design. With a “Quick-Set” feature built into the machine, you can easily drop a bobbin into the machine and it will automatically wind it for use. The Quick-Set feature removes much of the legwork involved in sewing.
The Brother XM2701 weighs a mere 12.6 pounds and is backed by a 25-year limited warranty from the manufacturer. With this machine, you can teach your kids to sew with peace of mind knowing that you’re covered by a full, long-term warranty that will remain in effect well into their adulthood.
Unlike some other machines, the Brother XM2701 comes with an instructional CD-ROM, a built-in LED light to keep your workstation safe, and 24/7 Brother At Your Side technical support that lasts for the lifetime of the device.
What we love
- 24/7 Brother At Your Side phone, chat, and email support
- Comes with 27 built-in stitches to teach your child a variety of techniques
- Jam-resistant top bobbin
- Only 12.6 pounds for easy portability
- The 3 control dials take some getting used to
- The back button isn’t always responsive
Our second choice
If you want the best of both durability and a lightweight form factor, the Singer Start 1304 is a worthy option. This is one of the best sewing machines for kids because it weighs only 9.6 pounds and doesn’t include any superfluous features and bells and whistles. Instead, you get a standard automatic sewing machine that is controlled by a single dial wheel.
The frame is made of metal, which makes it heavily durable and unlikely to dent or crack as easily as standard plastic or cheap aluminum frames. Best of all, your child’s toes will be spared if the machine falls off the table because the device weighs only 9.6 pounds. In other words, this is an extremely portable sewing machine that kids can easily pick up and learn the art of sewing with.
What we love
- Stainless steel bedplate makes it easy to guide fabric for kids
- Offers 6 built-in stitches to help kids express their creativity
- Dual spool pins prevent snags and add decorative flair to designs
- Great for hobbyists due to its large buttonhole and auto-threading
- The warranty isn’t as comprehensive as some others
Our third choice
The Singer Simple 2263 is a formidable competitor to the beginner-friendly Start 1304. As one of the best sewing machines for kids, the Simple 2263 comes with a free owner’s class online which provides a comprehensive tutorial to learn how to master the device.
Plus, with this device, you get all the standard user-friendly features that Singer’s are known for, including automatic needle threading, a durable foot lifter, and an automatic buttonhole.
This sewing machine weighs 12.8 pounds, which puts it slightly on the heavier side among kids’ sewing machines. However, it’s still easy to wield and operate for children and comes with a slew of intuitive accessories such as a darning plate, stitch guide, Intro DVD, metal frame, and adjustable dials for width and length.
What we love
- Easy 4-step automatic buttonhole makes it easy for kids to create buttons
- Metal frame prevents denting and scratching
- Adjustable width and length allows for personalized stitching
- The foot pedal has a slight learning curve
- Warranted for use only in the US and Canada
- Slightly heavier than other kid-friendly models
Our fourth choice
The Janome 2212 is a premium-quality sewing machine with 12 built-in stitches to help your child create a variety of patterns and quilting styles. With the Janome 2212, your kids’ creativity can roam free thanks to the many advanced features that this machine comes with. The stitch chart on the right-hand side of the machine lays out precisely what each stitch looks like and assigns it a letter. This can then be selected with an intuitive selector dial, making it really fun to use.
Backed by a comprehensive 25-year warranty, this sewing machine is a fantastic choice for parents looking to buy their child a machine without the worry of how long it will last.
What we love
- Runs very quietly to prevent unwanted noise
- Intuitive selector wheel to switch stitching styles
- Needle plate made of stainless steel to prevent damage caused by table bumps
- Guaranteed by a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Automatically threading removes much of the legwork your kid has to do to get started
- Some users report thread coming off the needle
- The thread reel sometimes spins off the holder which can be fixed with an easy adjustment
Janome Sewist 500
The Janome Sewist 500 is one of the best sewing machines for kids because of its intuitive design and signature one-step automatic buttonhole. The fully automated needle threader allows users to thread the needle with ease, regardless of their age or experience level.
Although the foot pedal takes a bit of getting used to, it lets the user make granular adjustments to the machine’s pressure on the fabric.
Since the Sewist 500 is operated with two adjustment dials, it may not be as appropriate for an absolute beginner as, say, a Singer or Brother model. However, that’s not to say that a newcomer to sewing can’t find success learning the ropes with a Sewist 500—it may just take a little bit longer. And if you can patiently ride out the learning curve, you’ll be rewarded with an excellent machine that will provide you with years of reliable use.
Ultimately, the Janome Sewist 500 is a great pick-up-and-use sewing machine that is lightweight, durable, and usable for experts and beginners alike. Whether your child is just starting out or has a couple years of sewing experience under their belt, the Sewist 500 is a worthy option.
What we love:
- Automatic needle threading leads to fewer snags and jams
- Free arm makes it easy to sew pants, collars, and sleeves
- Alphabetical numbering panel shows the stitching design of each setting
- One-step buttonhole lets users make buttons easily
Watch out for:
- Double dial control system is a bit too complicated for some beginners
- Heavier machine (17 pounds)
So, what’s our top pick?
When it comes to narrowing our selections down to the single best sewing machine for kids, we’ve got to go with the Brother XM2701. This machine is the perfect middle-ground solution that takes a lightweight form and bundles it with heavy-duty features such as 27 unique built-in stitches and super simple drop-in top bobbin loading.
As we mentioned earlier, the safety of your child is the top priority when shopping for a kid’s sewing machine. With the Brother XM2701, you get the best of both worlds by benefiting from the safety features of a 12-pound build, and the sophistication of a 27-stitch threading system. Best of all, it’s all backed by a comprehensive 25-year warranty.