Do you have a young, wannabe fashion designer in your family?
I’ve put together a list of the best sewing machines for kids based on ease of use, price and overall quality. In this article, I also cover the key points you need to look out for when choosing a sewing machine for little girls and boys as well as common mistakes parents make when choosing.
Trust me… if you get this wrong you could end up ruining an entire career choice, but if you get it just right, you may very well have the next Stella McCartney on your hands!
I’ve been lucky enough to test hundreds of machines over the last few years and this is my ultimate list of winners…
Don’t forget to see our other adults sewing machines reviewed here.
Best Sewing Machine for Girls and Boys
1. First Time Beginner Sewing Machine for Kids – Varmax Mini
The super affordable Varmax Mini Sewing Machine is great for little girls who just want to have some fun sewing easy projects and learn the very basics of sewing. For the price, you cannot go wrong. It’s the perfect way to see if your child wants to take the hobby further. It will not be the ultimate machine by any means, but it makes sewing fun, easy and very cost effective. Not only that but it’s also small, lightweight and easy to move around the house, or even to visit friends. (It can also be run by batteries!)
- Small Extension Table
- Built-in Light
- Low Learning Curve
- Super Low Price
- Battery Power Option
- A Little Cheap for Some
- No Reverse Function
How to Choose a Good First Time Sewing Machine for Kids
We know that this will not be there ultimate machine. It’s purpose is to make it as fun and easy as possible while giving your child the opportunity to fall in love with sewing while learning the basic operations and terminology.
Not every aspect on this list is a must-have, but they add up to make sewing easier and more fun. See how many you can include in your choice.
Safety is #1
A sewing machine for kids should have a protective needle covers or finger guards making it impossible to cut a finger with the needle while sewing. Of course, this extends to child safe fabric scissors and other pieces too. Even with all this, good supervision is very important, especially in the beginning.
Confidence in sewing is probably the most important thing when learning to sew. They need to be able to sew by themselves with little to now help from mom or dad.
From threading needles to replacing bobbins, you don’t want your child to get stuck on complicated technical tasks when what they should be doing is creating masterpieces.
It can sometimes be a little scary to handle a sewing machine and this is made so much worse when the machine is loud. Choose a soft running sewing machine which quietly purrs along. This will make the world of difference.
Sewing machines that have uncomplicated features and buttons, tend to also focus your child’s attention more on the sewing and less on the machine. This is absolutely key.
Fun Starter Sewing Machines Designs and Fabrics
From the overall machine design, down to the bobbins and even the box it arrives in should “look” fun. Choosing your child’s favorite colors or patterns (like flowers) might be just what’s needed to make them feel truly engaged.
Some machines even come with decorations, colorful pieces of fabric and some batting included so your child can have some fun experimenting sewing pieces together.
Whereas adults will usually have a dedicated space for sewing, children tend to move around a lot and having a lightweight sewing machine that can easily be moved from the bedroom to the living room floor, is quite important. You don’t want your daughter lugging around a heavy duty sewing machine and hating the thing after a few days. You may also want a convenient carry handle to make moving around even easier. What about a battery operated option for even more portability.
Weight does add stability though, so It’s important to have at least some. The products listed above find that balance very nicely.
Manual Dials vs Automatic Buttons
At this stage of their little “careers”, you don’t really need all the automation of more advanced sewing machines. In fact, I would argue that it’s quite important for them to learn to do the basics manually anyway.
Things like automatic thread cutters and programmable stitches or LCD screens are just going to get in the way o the learning the basics in a simple, more tactile way.
We do need some extras to keep it interesting though, but this can be limited to a few extra stitch designs and some accessories.
I would suggest at least 5-10 stich designs but no more that around 30.
Kids love to play around with different stiches and it keep the whole experience more interesting and creative.
On the other hand, more than 30 can become overwhelming and detract from the experience. As they grow into sewing, they’ll begin to realize that you really only need about 2 or 3 stitch patterns. (Straight, wavy and zig-zag)
This is by no means a must-have but will make the task of sewing sleeves much easier. A free-arm refers to when the base of the sewing machine is separate from the section holding the needle/throat plate. You can pull a shirt sleeve over the free arm in order to get uncambered access to the entire sleeve or cuff.
You will be replacing this sewing machine. It’s designed to be outgrown so don’t spend too much on it.
The products listed above fall well within a fair price range for children’s sewing machines and make entry into the hobby as easy as possible.
How to Get Children into Sewing
Here are some tips which should help your child build a love for sewing.
They key is to begin with very simple projects. In fact, simply sewing pieces of fabric together with no real purpose other than just having fun is a great way to begin. Make sure you have loads of off cuts and colorful fabrics and decorations which your child can use to create anything they want, while they learn. Mistakes will be made… a lot of them. So make this experience fun and enjoyable by allowing those mistakes to not affect any particular projects they are doing. For starters… just play!
If you’re into sewing, this will be a breeze. You should find the aspects of sewing you love and see if your child loves them too. Perhaps it’s the creativity of doing whatever you want or maybe it’s being able to follow a step-by-step instruction perfectly that excites them. Either way, you should be right there in the beginning to help them find their groove.
If you don’t know much about sewing, don’t worry. There are hundreds of excellent videos on YouTube, made by adults and children alike, which will make the job of learning how to sew much easier. Simply go to YouTube and search for fun sewing projects for kids to see a myriad of options. Don’t be afraid to abandon a project halfway if it’s too difficult either. You can always set it aside for later, once their skill level has improved.
Proudly Use Whatever They Make
This one’s kind of obvious, but you’ll want to make use of their completed projects throughout the house, whatever the outcome. There’s nothing more special for a child to see their parents proudly using their newly sewn cushion to decorate the living room couch. Stitching their name into the item make sit even more of a trophy of their achievement.