Learning to sew will give your child a creative outlet and a practical life skill. But sewing machines can look scary and seem frustratingly complex for young children. Because of this, you should select one of the best sewing machines for kids before you start.
The best sewing machines for kids feature safety elements like a finger guard or adjustable stitching speed. They also have simple functions that kids can easily master. Many of the best kid sewing machines also weigh less than professional models, so children can lift them without struggling.
In this article, you will discover the 11 best sewing machines for kids. You will find tips on how to pick the best machine for your child based on their age. Finally, you will learn about how to help your child learn to sew.
At a Glance: Best Sewing Machines for Kids
|Best for kids 5-8
|Brother SM 1704
|Best for older kids
|Janome Hello Kitty
|Cutest kid sewing machine
|Brother XM 2701
|Singer Start 1304
|Best Singer sewing machine for kids
11 Best Sewing Machines for Kids
The best sewing machines for kids often have safety features to protect small fingers, weigh less than traditional sewing machines, and have a simple setup.
Most kid sewing machines have a needle safety guard. You can easily install this safety guard on most sewing machines! This guard blocks the child’s fingers from the rise and fall of the needle to avoid any accidents. Some child sewing machines also have speed settings so you can slow down the stitching speed to avoid accidents.
Some child sewing machines look tiny and can perform just one or two simple functions. But even the more advanced models of child sewing machines don’t weigh too much.
The average domestic sewing machine weighs about 20 to 30 lbs. As you can imagine, a seven or eight-year-old child would have difficulty lifting that! Because of this, child sewing machines often weigh much less.
Finally, all sewing machines designed for kids have a streamlined, simple set of functions. Some kid sewing machines only sew a straight stitch. Others offer more stitch functions but have simple dials and knobs for adjustments. Some kid sewing machines even use a threadless model to avoid the frustration of threading the needle.
1. Singer Start 1304The Singer Start 1304 offers 6 stitches, including a zigzag and buttonhole stitch. It weighs just 7 lbs and comes with all the accessories a beginning sewer could need, like a zipper foot and a seam ripper. It has printed diagrams on the machine’s body to make winding the bobbin and other functions easy to figure out.
The Start 1304 runs like any basic Singer machine, but it has parred down, simple functions you access through a simple dial on the front of the machine.
That said, you need to use the automatic bobbin winding feature and learn how to thread the needle with this model. It is a great overall choice for a beginning sewer, but young children will likely require supervision.
This machine runs with just as strong a motor as most other Singer models, which you may consider either a pro or a con, depending on how confident your child feels about a machine that can stitch fast.
2. Singer 3232The Singer 3232 offers everything an intermediate-level child sewer will need, including an automatic needle threader and 32 different stitches. Like the 1304, it operates via a simple set of dials. It weighs about 12 lbs and has a heavy-duty case for more serious sewing.
This is a great long-term choice for a child who loves sewing or fashion because the strong metal frame will hold up well over time. This model has features that can grow with a child’s sewing skills, like a presser foot that raises high enough to fit thick fabric beneath the needle.
This model will work best for an older child or a child with much sewing experience. It does not have special safety features and while it is fairly simple to use, winding the bobbin does have a bit of a learning curve.
3. Janome BasicThe Janome Basic line comes in several cute colors, like pink sorbet. These simple, child-friendly models have all the functionality a beginner or intermediate child or teen sewer will need, including a high-rise presser foot for thick fabric and 15 stitch options. The front-load bobbin may take some time, but it does come with an accessible diagram.
Plus, the machine comes with tutorial videos to help a young sewer learn how to thread the needle, wind the bobbin, and master the basics of sewing.
This model is one of the best choices for an intermediate-level child sewer because of its durable frame and more advanced features.
4. Janome Hello KittyIf you want the cutest sewing machine for your young sewer, look no further than Janome’s adorable Hello Kitty model! This simple model has limited functionality, including simple dials and 12 stitch options. Unlike many kid sewing machines, the Hello Kitty models offer manual tension settings so kids can learn how to sew with many different types of fabrics.
Janome sells several options within the Hello Kitty line, including a heavier-duty model with an aluminum frame and a red body. Because of the cuteness and the reliability of this machine, it makes a great choice for an older child or a teen just learning how to sew.
5. Brother SM 1704This lightweight, mobile solutions Brother model offers 17 different stitches and weighs just 10 lbs. It comes in full adult size and is not technically a child sewing machine, but offers easy functionality perfect for an older child or teen. It comes with a simple set of accessories like three backup needles and a darning plate.
This basic full-size sewing machine is designed for easy use on simple sewing tasks. But it does offer reliable, consistent success you can count on, unlike many cheap plastic kid sewing machines.
6. Brother XM 2701 LightweightThe Brother XM 2701 is a great choice for any beginner sewer or an advanced child or teen who needs more stitches and options than most kid sewing machines. The XM 2701 offers 27 different stitches, including fancier options like a blind hem stitch and a stretch stitch that you do not see on most beginner-level models. It also has 6 different presser feet and can sew 800 stitches per minute.
Another big benefit to choosing the XM 2701 for your advanced young sewer is that it comes with online help through Brother-At-Your-Side, with easy tutorials and even live chat options.
On the downside, this model does have a top-loading bobbin that beginner sewers could find challenging.
7. Varmax MiniMini sewing machines like the Varmax Mini make a great choice for a young child learning to sew for the first time. This tiny model can only sew a straight stitch, but it does come with 32 preloaded bobbins and a safe, easy setup.
Despite its super-simple one-stitch function, this model does teach a young sewer how to thread a needle and use a basic set of tension dials. With a price tag, you may want to invest in this basic portable sewing machine to see if your child enjoys sewing before you buy a pricer full-size model.
8. Cool Maker Stitch N StyleIf you want a sewing kit and mini sewing machine with everything you need to create 6 simple projects, the Cool Maker set has you covered! This mini, battery-operated sewing machine does not require threading, tension settings, or any other complexity you often find with sewing machines. It also has an automatic start and stop function to help protect small fingers.
The downside to this fun kit is that it is not a long-term sewing investment. The preloaded thread cartridges will run out, and once your child completes the 6 built-in sewing projects, the kit loses a lot of appeal. On the other hand, it might offer a good gateway to more complex sewing later in your child’s life.
9. KPCB Kids MachineThe KPCB mini is one of the more advanced mini sewing machine models out there, with the ability to backstitch, three stitch length options, and an LED light strip for greater visibility. However, like most minis, this tiny model only offers a straight stitch option.
Besides its tiny size and minimal weight, this model also has stitch speed settings, so you can sew more slowly with a very young child who may find the rapid rise and fall of the needle a bit scary. One of the great features of this mini is that it comes with video tutorials to help set up the machine. This mini does cost a bit more than some mini sewing machines, but it also offers better features.
10. MagicFly MiniThe MagicFly Mini comes with everything a very young sewer needs in a sewing machine, including a finger guard, a low sewing speed, and a full kit of tiny thread spools and preloaded matching bobbins. The model also offers an extension table so you can more easily sew larger items.
That said, like most minis, it only sews a straight stitch. Plus, the simple external tension setup does require frequent attention. But if your child wants to try sewing safely with a very simple machine, this handy kit will get you started.
11. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960If your older child or teen wants to go to fashion design school, loves to quilt with their grandma, or has generally just mastered all the sewing basics, you may want to look into a much more advanced model like the computerized Singer Quantum Stylist. This machine offers an automatic needle threader, 9 different presser feet, a blind hem foot, and 600 different stitch options.
It also comes with an extension table for quilting and speed control for faster or slower stitching. While not the best choice for a young child or a beginner, this advanced model offers everything you need to expand your sewing skills.
Best Kids Sewing Machine By Age
Now that you know what to look for in the best kid sewing machines, take a look at the best models for kids based on their age.
6-Year-OldThe best sewing machine for most 6-year-olds is a mini model with simple functionality, a slow stitch speed of around 200 stitches per minute, and an easy setup. Many 6-year-olds will not yet have the hand-eye coordination to thread the needle in these machines, so remember that you will need to provide support and supervision as they sew.
7-Year-OldA seven-year-old child may still prefer a mini sewing machine, but at this age, your child may prefer a little more independence through a self-sufficient sewing kit like the Cool Maker Stitch N Style, which comes with reloaded cartridges and does not require complex threading.
Letting your child independently explore the joy of creating a project can inspire them to move on to bigger projects, like sewing clothes, later in life!
At eleven years old, your child probably needs more than a mini sewing machine that can only sew a straight stitch.
You will want to look into full-size but lightweight options like the Brother SM 1704, which provides multiple stitch settings but still has a simple setup and basic dials to control the settings.
Depending on how much sewing your 12-year-old plans to do, you may want a solid beginner full-sized sewing machine or an intermediate-level machine with more complex functions. For a solid, full-size beginner model, check out the Singer 1304 or the Janome Basic line. For a more advanced option, you may want to consider the pricier Singer Quantum Stylist 9960.
Can 10-Year-Old Use a Sewing Machine?
Many 10-year-olds can safely learn to use a sewing machine, but this does depend on the individual child. At ten years old, some kids may not yet have the attention span to focus on the complexities of threading and operating a sewing machine.
But many ten-year-olds will enjoy the creative challenge. A ten-year-old with a few years of sewing experience may even prefer working with a full-sized beginner-level adult machine.
How Do I Teach My 11-Year-Old to Sew?
The best way to teach your 11-year-old how to sew is to find a fun project your child will care about. If your child loves superheroes, you could start by sewing a cape. Or, if they love princesses, sew a sparkly tie-on crown.
Besides picking a first project your child will feel invested in, you can check out these top ten tips for teaching a young sewer.
- Plan to work with your child for the first few sewing projects. This way, you can demonstrate key skills like threading a sewing machine instead of letting your child become frustrated as they try to figure it out alone.
- Pick an age-appropriate project. Simple projects with few pattern pieces to sew together will help a beginner avoid frustration. Once your child gets a few hours at the sewing machine under his or her belt, you can try more complex projects like sewing clothes.
- In the beginning, start with something small, like a tiny pillow. This way, you can complete the project in just half an hour or an hour, and your child will feel the buzz of success before they have time to feel bored.
- If you have time, come up with two or three options for a sewing project and let your child pick the one they like best. Having agency in the project selection will make them much more invested in the process!
- Promote a happy, judgment-free space as you sew with your child. If you roll your eyes or sigh every time you help your child rethread the sewing machine, they will think you find sewing a chore and likely disengage from it as soon as possible.
- Likewise, avoid criticizing your child’s finished project, even if it looks nothing like what you had intended! In the early stages, sewing is about learning the process, not the finished product. Crooked seams today will lead to perfectly straight seams a few months later if your child keeps practicing.
- Even at 11 years old, kids can get a little carried away when given access to “grown-up” tools like a sewing machine or sharp scissors. Make sure you calmly but firmly explain the use and potential dangers of these items before you begin.
- If you plan to use a full-sized sewing machine, buy a needle guard to give you peace of mind as your child sews.
- Add fun decorations like buttons, glittery felt, or ribbons to the project to make it more exciting.
- Sewing well is a learned skill, and your child will improve with practice! If you can set aside an hour a week to sew with your child, you will see their skills develop in leaps and bounds.
Which Singer Sewing Machine is Best for BeginnersOne of the best Singer sewing machines for beginners is the Singer Start 1304. Its smaller size, minimal weight, and basic functions make it ideal for someone learning to sew.
When you look for a good beginner sewing machine, start by looking at machines at the lower end of the price range. You don’t need to invest in a professional-grade machine as you learn how to sew, though if you find that you love making your clothes, you may eventually want to invest in a more complex model.
You also want a machine with limited functionality for easy use. These days, fully computerized sewing machines can do all kinds of crazy things. But if you just want to sew patches on your clothes occasionally, a machine with 15 stitch options is all you need!
Choosing your first beginner-level sewing machine from a reputable brand like Singer is a good idea, too. This is because you know you can find all the help, support, and video tutorials you need from these prominent companies.
What Type of Sewing Machine is Usually Used in School
Schools use a variety of sewing machine types, including simple mechanical or elaborate computerized sewing machines, depending on the kind of school and the skill of the students.
High schools that offer a sewing or life-skills class often use a basic model like the Brother XM 2701. This machine can handle most sewing projects but does not have an overwhelming amount of functions. Another good feature to look for in sewing machines used in schools is clear diagrams printed on the machine for threading and bobbin winding.
On the other hand, colleges, fashion schools, or sewing schools often look for more advanced sewing machines from reputable companies like Bernina or Janome. These machines often have heavy metal frames for extra durability and feature computerized controls.
What to Look for in the Best Kids Sewing Machine
The best kid’s sewing machines have a simple, easy-to-use design and safety features like adjustable stitch speed or a finger guard before the needle. Most children’s sewing machines also weigh very little compared to adult sewing machines, making it easier for a child to move or carry to a sewing class.
Mini sewing machines that can only form a straight stitch make a good choice for very young children, but older kids will want the creative flexibility offered by a full-sized, beginner-level model instead.
The best sewing machines for kids have safety features, minimal weight, and limited functions. Safety features like a needle guard will protect small fingers while sewing. A machine with limited functions is easier to understand than a complicated model, encouraging your child to keep sewing without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated.
Sewing machines for kids range from tiny, mini sewing machines that can only form a straight stitch to basic full-zed beginner sewing machines. Once your child has the hand-eye coordination to thread a needle, you probably want o move up to a full-sized machine that can sew many more pieces than amini model. If your child already knows how to sew, you may even want to consider a pricer intermediate-level sewing machine with functions like a blind hem or stretch stitch.
Have you ever sewed with a child? What is your best tip for helping a young person learn? Leave a comment below to let us know!