Monday, October 3, 2011

Kiddie Sewing Machine Needed!

I need your help!!! A couple of weeks ago my 4 year old  (aka "The Wee-One") asked if she could have her own sewing machine so she could sew with me. I almost fell out of my seat. Well at least I would have if I weren't driving at the time. Now I'm on a mission to get her a sewing machine so she can try her hand at what I consider to be "the Greatest Craft on the Planet". I blogged about my desire for her to pick up the craft in this post.  I'll try to refrain from getting emotional and fantasizing about the two of us sewing together---side by side.  Ok, back to the request. I'm particularly excited about this because it was a request she made all on her own. I didn't coax her or anything. She loves to hang out in my sewing room ( a little too much at times) going through my books, touching my fabric, and playing with my notions. So I think it only fitting for her to have her own little machine so we can see where this goes. So my question for you is can you recommend a good sewing machine for kids? Everyone I've seen at Amazon.com have had so-so reviews. Here's the Hello Kitty one here.  It may be worth the shot but it's sorta hard to tell from the reviews. Anyone have any experience with this machine?

I found one here but I don't know if I want to shell out $60 and my daughter completely lose interest. If she were older that would be one thing but again she's only 4. You know they tend to like things one day and not so much the next. Plus this machine may be a little too mature for my daughter. Again I don't know, that's why I'm asking you. Know of any good sewing machines for kids? Also, do you have any kid(s) who sew with you? What's that experience like? I look forward to hearing your answers!!! Thanks in advance!


25 comments:

  1. I wish I could be helpful, but I am is sort of the same boat. My daughter LOVES to be in my sewing room and has already asked if she can sew with me and have her own machine. She's only three and a half though! A mature 3.5, but still. I'll be excited to see if your readers leave any good tips!

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  2. So cute!! When my 5 year old wanted her own machine I found a vintage kids sized chain stitch machine. It worked well, and was safe, but it had one speed, super fast which was frustrating for both of us. If you can find a similar one that is hand crank--they are often on ebay--that might be easier. In the end I purchased a "real" machine, a Janome Gem, that wasn't too expensive and had a speed control on it so she could sew as slowly as she wanted. It also had an on/off button so she didn't have to reach the pedals. I figured if she liked it she could use if for a long time and if not, I could use it as a back up. Two years on she still loves it and has made a bunch of little things for herself and her dolls.

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  3. I would suggest getting a real machine, maybe second hand from a reputable dealer. The kiddie one just aren't worth the money you pay for them and might turn her off from sewing.

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  4. You have to remember that these types of sewing machines are toys. I think they only chain stitch (but I'm not sure) so there would be no bobbin. I would go with the cheaper one, as they are probably about the same other than cost. If you really want her to learn to sew, a real machine will be needed. If she just wants to play away sewing scraps together this would probably be fine. I have started my girls with hand sewing first, and then machine sewing. They don't have the patience for sewing a whole project- even a simple, short one. I have them practice with embroidery floss on muslin on an embroidery hoop. I draw simple shapes with a pencil and they stitch around it. It is definitely tough to know how and when to start teaching them, and every child is different.

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  5. Oh, I've got to weigh in here. I gave my 6-yr-old niece one of these toy machines that does a chain stitch, and it apparently broke right off the bat so she never sewed a thing and was reportedly frustrated with sewing - the exact opposite of what I was trying to achieve. So when my 8-yr-old son wanted to sew on my machine all the time, I went for a cheap REAL machine. This is the Hello Kitty machine (Janome 3128 in a non-girly color) that Hancock puts on sale at $80 every few weeks, and here's the link where you can see him actually sew on it. I thought that would help you see how loud it is (it is SOLID) and the speed.

    http://drfunlivinglavidaloca.blogspot.com/2010/07/birthday-sewing-machine.html

    He sewed several things on his own and we made some pajamas and a hat together, but he's apparently outgrown sewing now (I'm okay with that - more time for my own clothes!) so I now have a second machine that's much more portable and light! Now you may not need another machine, but I would say that I enjoy sewing with this one when I'm on vacation, so I don't mind that he outgrew it. Also, there's only $20 difference between this and the one you linked, and this will really make clothes! Hope that helped a little...

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  6. My daughter was given a kids sewing machine and it was just frustrating because the pieces would not stay sewn together.

    I ended up buying her a bottom of the line Elna when it was on sale. I have an Elna, so all my different feet fit on her machine. (Hers did not even come with a zipper foot). She is 8 and has been sewing for 2 years now...mostly just scraps together or bags, but every now and then we sit down and do a project together from a pattern. I find if we leave it set up all the time, she can just go and sew when she feels like it. her brothers sometimes use it as well.

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  7. At such a young age, I understand how excited you are when someone like your daughter expresses an interest in what you enjoy. My older sister and I have been sewing all our lives, yet we have not yet had one of our children feel the spark of creative fire from watching or receiving the results of our labors.

    When my niece was young, I created her a small sewing basket of her own. She also spent hours in her mother's sewing room and wanted to participate. I made her the sewing basket I wished I had. It had many pockets and fabric-covered elastic to hold child-safe notions in an organized manner. I chose a basket with a lid and chose a pretty fabric in her favorite color. I stuffed it with childsafe notions, scissors and things that would allow her to become familiar with the basic sewing fundamentals: measuring, cutting and 'joining' (aka sewing).

    You will have control of how fast she learns to sew and be able to teach her the all-important fundamentals. She can amuse herself while you two work in the room together. As her interest grows (hopefully it will) she can work on making doll-sized projects and simple crafts from your fabric scraps. A length of yarn and a tapestry needle with a couple of squares of plastic will keep her busy imitating your actions and learning how to make the stitches that join fabric pieces. Starting out demonstrating simple handwork teaches her its importance and she will use many of the tools while waiting for the day when she gains the skills to control a machine.

    My fondest memory is standing in front of my grandmother as she showed me how to guide the fabric under the needle while she pressed the pedal on her machine---the same machine I use to this day.

    I just gave my oldest grandson a child-size electric sewing machine I found while clearing out my mother's home. The chagrin on his mother's face told me she had no enthusiasm for watching him use the machine, but he was really an excited 10-year old!

    I'd love to hear how it all turns out!

    My niece?....not a sewer...but, she can now describe exactly the garment she wants her auntie to make next! lol

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  8. I never had kids so mmm no help on a kiddo sewing machine :O), but that is very fun she wants to sew with you.

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  9. I bought the one pictured above for my daughter and it is rubbish. It only does chain stitch and is really cheap. She was left very frustrated and dissapointed cause it won't do what mom's does.
    Proper sewing machine for her this year.

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  10. My daughter is 7 and dances through the sewing room wanting to make something. I set up one of my old machines and let her use it. Doll clothes have been great for her to make since they take little time and little fabric. Her interest comes and goes depending on what other forms of entertainment are available. Even with her background of watching me constantly, I still feel she needs more maturity to really dig into the topic of sewing.

    FYI, once those beautiful visions of sewing side by side come to pass, you can't get a thing done for all the questions!

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  11. http://savannah.craigslist.org/search/?areaID=205&subAreaID=&query=sewing&catAbb=sss

    I'm constantly scouring Craig's list for sewing machines. You never know when you find a good deal on something u need.

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  12. Check your local goodwill, too!

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  13. You are so lucky to have so many choices! All the little machines I could find were girly and pink and my son would have nothing to do with them! We finally found a white brand one (called a sew mini) that only does a straight stitch and its white with purple knobs....he covered the knobs with cars stickers to make it more "boy"...but literally it was the ONLY non-pink, non-flowery model I could find that was small for him (he's only five and the thought of him using a "real" machine just left me with mental images of him sewing through his fingers!)...he loves it! He really likes making pillows, and has made a tote bag out of fabric he picked out himself. Its got a foot pedal like mommy's machine and also a button on the front if he'd rather use that...he can even thread it by himself! We found it at Joanns on sale for $29.99 a few months ago!

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  14. Aww, that is so nice that your 'Wee one' wants to sew.... I suggest getting the real sewing machine instead of a kiddy toy one. I am sure you will find use of it later if she looses interest. Please encourage her now! I wish my parents did when I was young. I just had to learn every thing on my own with scrap clothes.

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  15. I'd start her out on a real machine -- something basic, with maybe a zig-zag option. If she ends up liking to sew, moving from a toy machine to a real one will be just as hard as starting out on a real machine. If she ends up not liking to sew, used machines are easy to sell/give away. Nice that your enthusiasm for sewing is so contagious!

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  16. I sewed by hand until around 8, when I was allowed to use the sewing machine. I would introduce her to hand sewing doll clothes before going on to a machine. If you do a machine, I'd suggest a simple real one rather than a kiddie one.

    I knew my mom sewed with a machine, but the hand sewing didn't make me resentful. I must have sewn miles by hand back in those days!

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  17. I'm pretty sure by the time I was 5 I was using my mums machine, but it was an oldie, one of those indestructible pre-60s all-metal machines so she didn't mind me learning on it. I'd suggest finding an old machine like that (My mums was a Globe Club 3 - http://thecuriouskiwi.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/a-little-reminiscing/) She might drift away from sewing in a little while but with creative mum around I'd bet money she'll end up coming back to it eventually...and if not, well you've got a great indestructible machine back up.

    Now, back to that cute little pink machine: I'd love one of those for myself! ;)

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  18. When I was little I had a Singer Tiny Tailor. It was a real machine but made to be portable and _very_ basic. As an adult I'd had a crappy cheap machine that totally turned me off sewing for years! (just got back into it a couple years ago)
    So....my only opinion would be that whatever you get, make sure it works well enough that she won't just be frustrated and give up all together.

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  19. Ms Victoria....
    I just had to make another comment to tell you I just left JoAnns where I saw a similar sewing machine made by Singer and Martha Stewart called 'The Pixie". It was on sale for only $39.99!

    It may be worth investigating.....
    Good Luck!...

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  20. Sorry Victoria, I can't help on this one but I sure think it's really cute that she wants to sew with Mom!! Good Luck!

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  21. I love the fantasy of sewing side by side too! My daughter is 7. She has been asking to sew on a machine for a few years now, but I have said no, just hand sewing until she is 8. Am I a meany or what!? I just worry about her hurting her fingers. Meanwhile, my old, simple, mechanical sewing machine is up in the attic and when she turns 8, I will get it down so she can use it. I looked at the kiddie-machines and decided the ones here were so plasticky and cheap that they probably wouldn't work at all and would just frustrate her. So, for now, she just has a little sewing basket for hand sewing. She has made a little heart-shaped patch work pillow and some doll clothes.

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  22. My 8 year old has decided on the green hello kitty machine from Janome for Christmas, but at 4 I understand the desire for a "toy". Even under close supervision a lot of things can go wrong with a real machine. We've had blood blisters and have even almost sewn through a finger and I'm right there watching. Despite the injuries she still really wants one so I still let her have a go on my machine but we have been focusing on hand sewing as of late. Maybe you can get her some other kind of sewing like craft project that she can do while mommy sews. I know there is a lot of those kits at Michaels.

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  23. Sorry - no info. My kid expressed interest at the age of 9 - and she got a grown up machine (a basic one!).

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  24. I have a 6 year old who sews and I got her the Janome Mini for about $40. My mom originally got her the machine in the link and it was a joke. It really is just a toy and I would definitely not recommend it.

    The Janome mini is working out pretty good for her. It has straight and zig zags in 3 different stitch lengths and widths. The stitches are good quality so she can really sew with it. I've even sew with it before because I didn't want to change the thread or tension setting on my machine. I think it is also good for her because it sews slower than regular machines.

    It is limited in features, but it does what its supposed to- sew. The only drawbacks are that there isn't any seam guides on the plate and there's not light.

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  25. My almost four-year-old has asked for one for her fourth birthday. I was going to teach her on my back up machine and she insists that she needs her own so I've agreed to let my MIL buy her one. Now I don't know how it will function, but here are some things I like about it. She IS only four, but if left unsupervised for even a minute I can see her trying to use my machine on her own since she knows how (after a lesson or two even though I've told her not to). I know this because she often tries to use the sandwich maker on her own. I like the fact that the toy (hers will likely be the Hobby Lobby model as my MIL has already talked about how she will use the 40% off coupon) has a guard around the needle so she can't sew over her finger. The other thought I had was that if she didn't care for it that I could leave it battery-less and my three girls could all use it as a real toy (like the toy coffee pot).

    Also, I did have a toy sewing machine when I was around 7, which wasn't near as sturdy as the toys I've seen. I'm basing this on the fact that mine had a plastic needle and weighed about a third as much. It also did only have a chain stitch, but I thought it was wonderful and had a lot of fun with it so I imagine that my daughter that will play with any toy will also like it even if it does nothing else.

    Good luck with your decision.

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