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Small portable vintage sewing machine for a children

Small portable vintage sewing machine for a children

Old 08-22-2013, 02:56 PM
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Default Small portable vintage sewing machine for a children

My daughter is only 4 years old but she loves to watch me sewing. She is already asking me to "sew something" with me. I was thinking about buying her a Sewhandy, but the price for this sewing machine seem quite high to me (considering she may outgrow it in a few years). I read some post about teaching children to sew with a hand crank machine and it seem a very good idea. My daughter would love cranking! But buying another full size machine is not an option (space issue) So... how about putting an hand crank to a FW? I don't have one, but you can get one in my area for about 150-200$.
I'm not in a hurry because I'm thinking about this as a birthday present in January. I can take my time to find the right machine at the right price. I just don't know what would be best for a children young as she is. Any thought?

Last edited by profannie; 08-22-2013 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:24 PM
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torn on what advice to give here....

a "miriam'd" FW machine (putting a old car steering knob so they are 1 to 1 on the turn = stitch)

or a standard handcrank on an basic unit straight stitch, no bells and whistles to break when kids get rough.

You may also consider the attachment that may develop to the machine and make sure it is able to be preserved and used for decades.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:41 PM
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I started my kids with bean bags at that age. FW would be good if she could keep her little fingers away from the needle. But if it was hand crank that would not be an issue and when she is older you can put the regular wheel on it. Go for it.
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:10 AM
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You might want to look at a Singer 99, 3/4 size machine. Much cheaper than a featherweight and pretty common to find. Add a hand crank. And I got a needle guard from Sew Classic...a simple little attachment to help keep fingers away. You'll still have to be vigilent with a 4-yr-old, but it might help.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:39 AM
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I actually bought a 99 with a hand crank. I want to say I spent $60.00 but she is in perfect condition. I also got an electric 99 in a cabinet for $60.00.

My first sewing machine was a blue child's hand crank when I was around your daughter's age (many moons ago). I wonder what happened to her?
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:59 AM
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I agree with the others about a Singer 99. They are much heavier than a Featherweight and less likely to move while little hands are cranking.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:01 AM
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Maybe a Casige? There is one for sale in my area, but they are asking 100$ for it. A bit expensive for a chainstitch only machine...
There is very few hand crank for sale in my area; it seems like every portable machine were converted to electric at one point. On ebay I found only listing of 99 with handcrank coming from Great Britain; shipping is expensive!
I was thinking that I may found easier to move a FW from the family table than a 3/4 size; I don't expect my daughter to "sew" for more than 15-20 minutes at her age. Also, I remember reading some members of this forum saying that their children (or grandchildren) were attracted by the size of the FW.
Money is a consideration, but I can ask the grandparents to help; I would prefer them spending their money on a valuable and durable birthday gift instead of buying some junk plastic toy :-)
Still, maybe it would be better to buy a little chainstitch toy sewing machine for now (if I can find one at a decent price).
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:05 AM
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Oh, thanks Caroline, good point; I didn't think about the moving issue.
Then I have to find a way to put another sewing machine in my sewing room... would be nice for the machine to be at her level.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:10 PM
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I don't think it matters a whole lot what size you do. Just put a finger guard on it so they don't get vaccinated. My DGKs have their choice of a few old ladies I put steering wheel spinners on. They can be converted to treadle or electric later on. My DH made up a finger guard out of electrical wire and a connecter - fits on the back clamp foot.
This is an old Redeye - no motor mount for a hand crank so it has a spinner like Steve said:
Attached Thumbnails 4h-012.jpg  
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:55 AM
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Wow, Miriam, thanks for the picture. ?
Sorry if the question seems silly, but I don't have any hand crank or treadle machine, so I'm not familiar with the morphology: do you have to put a hand crank and than the steering wheel spinner or only the steering wheel instead of the hand crank?
And where do you find this steering wheel spinner?
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