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Sewing is an excellent way for children to express creativity while making something useful, such as a quilt, or just stitching fabric pieces together. But like many other kids hobbies, it requires some equipment. It might take a while before they settle on something they really enjoy, so you don’t want something too elaborate. And before you buy your child a sewing machine, there are a few things other you must consider.

In this article: Janome Graceful Gray Basic, Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine and Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machine.

Buying a kids sewing machine

Child size vs. full size

It can be a challenge to get the correct size sewing machine, especially for kids close to their teens. You don’t want to limit their creativity with one meant for children, but a full-size machine might be too big and complex. There’s a delicate balance between first-time learning and turning it into a hobby, so it’s best to get a kid-sized sewing machine first. If the interest remains, it will be worth looking at larger models. 

Modes of operation

Children are usually still figuring out their hand-eye coordination, which can affect their sewing. The most common way to engage the machine is by stepping on a foot pedal to operate the needle electronically. But it is tricky for some, as the needle moves faster the harder they step. 

An alternative to the step pedal is push-button operation. This is usually a large button in a convenient location for small hands. Instead of coordinating a foot while threading the fabric underneath the needle, they simply use the button.

Stitch options

Sometimes children just want to get on with their sewing and don’t care much for different stitch types. But there might come a time when it’s necessary, and having a few options will be handy. Complex machines offer various stitches, but kids usually only use only a few for whatever project they are working on. There is no need for the machine to have more than the basic straight stitch, backstitch and zigzag stitch. 

Drop-in vs. front-loading bobbin

The bobbin of a sewing machine is a tiny spool of thread that sits inside it and helps hold seams together. Generally, there are two types of bobbins: drop-in and front-loading. Both perform the same function by making stitches on the bottom side of the fabric, but the difference is how they are loaded.

  • Front-loading bobbins need a bobbin case and can be tricky to thread. The case is then inserted vertically into an opening underneath the needle. 
  • Drop-in bobbins (also called top-load bobbins) don’t need a bobbin case and go inside an opening on the top of the sewing machine. Especially for kids, a drop-in bobbin is much easier to handle. 

Best kids sewing machines

Best Janome Graceful Gray Basic

Janome Graceful Gray Basic

This is a great sewing machine for any child already familiar with the basics. It has 11 built-in stitches, including straight, zigzag and crescent. It features two needle positions, a pull-out accessory tray and a drop-in bobbin, and it weighs only 5 pounds. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

This machine is a little more complex but perfect for those with a bit more confidence. It has 27 stitch types, including an automatic buttonhole maker, automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin. It comes with a three-piece needle set.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machine with 6 Built-in Stitches

Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machine with 6 Built-in Stitches

This is a great starter sewing machine with six stitch types, 57 stitch applications with pre-set stitch width and stitch length and an automatic winding bobbin. It weighs only 7 pounds and comes with several accessories.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Nex Portable Sewing Machine Double Speeds for Beginner

Nex Portable Sewing Machine Double Speeds for Beginner

This mini multifunctional sewing machine is great for beginners. It has 12 stitch patterns with easy-to-press buttons, two-speed selection and an automatic rewinding bobbin. It operates on either household power or batteries.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best CraftBud Mini Sewing Machine for Beginners with Sewing Kit

CraftBud Mini Sewing Machine for Beginners with Sewing Kit

If a child is just starting to show interest in sewing, this machine is a great choice. It comes with a foot pedal, 10 sewing needles, a thimble and 50 pieces of 10-by-10-inch patterned fabric. Inside the included accessories case are 16 spools of thread, 16 threaded bobbins, four spare bobbins and five machine needles. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

KPCB Mini Sewing Machine 2.0

KPCB Mini Sewing Machine 2.0

This beginner sewing machine comes with an LED light strip to better see what you’re sewing. It also comes with accessories, such as needles and bobbins and a foot pedal. Speed control is great for beginners and kids. Operation manuals are very detailed and there are instructional videos to illustrate the art of sewing as well. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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