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Thread: any recommendations for a child's sewing machine?

  1. #1
    Super Member katkat1946's Avatar
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    My granddaughter has watched Grammy sew and her mom's been picking it up a little and now she wants to have a machine. She's only 6 but as with ALL of our grandchildren, she seems very capable. She'll be frustrated unless she can actually sew two pieces of fabric together but I'm hoping there's a child's machine that won't have the force to sew right through her finger :oops: Any suggestions will be so appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Plumtree's Avatar
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    I recently started teaching quilting at our homeschool co-op and needed to get 5 machines. I went with Janome brand because my person machine is a Janome and I trust it.

    I got 5 Janome 3128 from Hancock fabrics, they were on sale for $89 each, great price when you need 5.
    4 of the 5 worked one didn't and had to get a Janome 5128 also from Hancocks, this one was $139;also on sale.

    They are both great learning machines but the 5128 is better for kids. The 3128 is constantly losing the thread in the "hammer" and constantly comes unthreaded if you don't pull a "long tail", both of these are very frustrating to littles.

    The 5128 doesnt' seem to have the issue with the hammer losing thread but also needs a long tail. It is able to drop the feed dogs and has a top loading bobbin instead of a side loading bobbin which the 3128 has--this is really hard for little fingers to get in place.

    My daughter who is 12 likes the 5128 better than the 3128.

    Good Luck

    I know I love teaching these littles a new craft and my own daughter loves sewing with me too.

    Tammy

  3. #3
    cls
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    I agree about the Janome...both are good machines. A good time to get her started...quiltingcher

  4. #4
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    When I was teaching kids, I really would have liked the option of slowing down the speed at least at first. I had one little boy-10yr old, who thought it was cool that when you stomped on the foot pedal all the way to the floor it sounded like a race car. I quickly moved him to my expensive machine and set the stitch speed waaaay down.

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katkat1946
    My granddaughter has watched Grammy sew and her mom's been picking it up a little and now she wants to have a machine. She's only 6 but as with ALL of our grandchildren, she seems very capable. She'll be frustrated unless she can actually sew two pieces of fabric together but I'm hoping there's a child's machine that won't have the force to sew right through her finger :oops: Any suggestions will be so appreciated.
    Get her a good machine. Teach her to not get her finger under the needle. Getting a machine small enough and lightweight enough that it won't put a needle thru a finger also means it probably won't be much of a machine and will be frustrating to use. Millions of kids learned to sew on their mom's Singer and lived to tell about it with all 10 fingers intact.

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Get her a good machine. Teach her to not get her finger under the needle. Getting a machine small enough and lightweight enough that it won't put a needle thru a finger also means it probably won't be much of a machine and will be frustrating to use. Millions of kids learned to sew on their mom's Singer and lived to tell about it with all 10 fingers intact.
    ditto on this advice.

  7. #7
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    I thing the Bernina Bernette's are a great starter machine. The cost is reasonable and they're simple. Bernina also makes a "finger guard" that can be place on it.

    My second choice would be a Kenmore (most are made by Janome).

    Does she want to make clothing, doll clothes or quilts? I usually choose a machine by its purpose.

  8. #8
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Quote Originally Posted by katkat1946
    My granddaughter has watched Grammy sew and her mom's been picking it up a little and now she wants to have a machine. She's only 6 but as with ALL of our grandchildren, she seems very capable. She'll be frustrated unless she can actually sew two pieces of fabric together but I'm hoping there's a child's machine that won't have the force to sew right through her finger :oops: Any suggestions will be so appreciated.
    Get her a good machine. Teach her to not get her finger under the needle. Getting a machine small enough and lightweight enough that it won't put a needle thru a finger also means it probably won't be much of a machine and will be frustrating to use. Millions of kids learned to sew on their mom's Singer and lived to tell about it with all 10 fingers intact.
    :thumbup: I started my daughter and one of her friends on my vintage sewing machines when they were 6. They are very careful to stay away from the needle and go very slow. and, the metal machines have the benefit of holding a magnetic seam guide. We tried one of those childs machines... I fought with it for about an hour and couldn't make it work right - so in the trash it went.

  9. #9
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I agree with getting her a 'real' machine. Don't bother with a toy or child's version. I'd also stick with the same brand as the one you have. You will be somewhat familiar with how it operates.

  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    an inexpensive brother machine with speed control-
    my youngest granddaughter was 4 when she started sewing- the $89 brother's from wally world have speed control so i could turn it way slow-
    set up on her little carebear table & chairs so everything was within her reach- was very usable for her-
    all of the girls learned on brother's - she was the youngest i had use one though- and it was great.
    i would recommend an inexpensive brother machine for any new sewer- regardless of age.

  11. #11
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    I bought Jem Golds for both my grandchildren
    It's a great little machine
    I used one myself for workshops, retreats etc til I upgraded to the Jem Platinum (just had to have the needle-down)

  12. #12
    Senior Member carolstickelmaier's Avatar
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    I agree on speed control....GD started out when only 2. I would let her guide fabric learning where and how to place fingers.....By time she was five she had made her own quilt and quilted it on a mid arm machine. Be mindful of their size and accordingly set her up with the proper height chair and table...Machine GD uses is a Brother..At this point (10 yrs old) she has temporairly lost interest in sewing and now into basketball and good grades...next I suppose will be boys.lol

  13. #13
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I think a great used machine with just the basic stitches is a good start. I recently gave my niece an older Viking that had very basics , non- computerized.. and its perfect for her needs.
    Check the local Sew and Vac or dealers as they take in great used machines and can offer some kind of warrenty. Plus you can test drive it prior to purchase , the cheaper machines sold at Jo'Anns or Walmart in the box , do not allow you to test drive.
    I tought several beginners who pruchased very inexpensive machines and had lots of frustration , but when they sewed on one of my older machines they loved sewing.
    I found one of the biggest issues with younger beginner sewers is they seem to want to pull the fabric through the machine . I make them use scrap fabric and sit back in the chair and see what happens when they let the machine just take in the fabric. I tell them they are doing it incorrectly if there hands are more than 1 - 2 inches in front of the needle. Once they really "get"that the machine will take in the fabric , the issue of getting finger in the needle is lessened.

  14. #14
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    It seems like the toy machines that I've seen have 2 speeds - fast and off. I would be more afraid of those machines than I would with a more control-able adult model. Make sure to tell her if she doesn't watch and take care the needle will go through her finger and it will hurt - a lot! Maybe let her see how sharp a needle is(off machine of course). I think you're doing great teaching her at a young age.

  15. #15
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    I was in high school home ec when I put a needle through my finger! It isn't always the little ones! I didn't have any home experience since my mom sewed but didn't teach. Start them out on a good machine and supervise. They will quickly learn how to the right way. Kids are so smart! I bought a kids machine for my 8 yr old granddaughter and it was so much a pain because it wouldn't stay threaded. Big mistake!

  16. #16
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    Start her out on a small machine like a featherwight. A lot of the companys have them now.

  17. #17
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    This machine is bought by a lot of quilters to take to retreats:
    http://www.overstock.com/Crafts-Sewi...7/product.html

    There is a nearly identical Janome marketed to adults (minus the Hello Kitty theme) and it's got a great reputation for ease of use and reliability.

    I have never heard of any toy machine that functions well enough to teach a youngster to sew. They are so frustrating to operate that they could turn a child off of sewing forever.

    The one exception is a Singer antique toy chain-stitching machine which is collectible and funtional, but I can't remember which one it was - the model 24, maybe?

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