Your child wants a sewing machine.
The fact that he or she is showing an interest in one of your favorite pastimes is pretty exciting. What parent doesn’t want to share common interests with their kids?
But now, here’s the big question: What kind of sewing machine should you buy for your child?
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Avoid “Toy” Sewing Machines
You’ll find these sewing machines on the toy aisle of your local department store. They come in bright colors like sky blue and neon pink. And they’re often decorated with pictures of flowers, clouds or cartoon characters.
Toy sewing machines can be fun…for a while. But, because they are cheaply made, they don’t tend to last long. And the projects created on them don’t last long either. A big complaint about toy sewing machines is that the stitches they create are weak and don’t hold.
On top of all of that, toy sewing machines aren’t the best tools for teaching a child real sewing skills.
If you think your child is too young to use a “real” sewing machine just yet, a toy sewing machine might be fine for now. But if you have an older child who has a genuine interest in sewing, it’s better to buy them a “real” sewing machine. Not only will it last longer, it will also help your child truly develop their sewing skills.
Choose Quality Over Price
There are plenty of cheap sewing machines on the market. And buying one for your child to “play around on” can be tempting. But if you truly want to foster your child’s interest in sewing, it’s better to buy them a quality machine that’s built to last.
The best sewing machines for kids are standard sewing machines made for beginning sewers. And you can find quality, name-brand sewing machines for $100 or less.
But keep in mind that a sewing machine that costs less than $150 is usually pretty basic. Your child might outgrow such a machine in just a year or two, and you’ll have to replace it sooner rather than later. These machines might also lack some features that could help your child learn to sew faster.
If you want a machine that your child can continue to use as their skill level grows, consider paying a little more.
There are many sewing machines that are marketed for children. They are often as bright and colorful as toy machines, which might appeal to your child. Unfortunately, these sewing machines aren’t always of the highest quality.
If you want to buy a “kids sewing machine,” buy a name-brand from a company known for producing quality products. Also check out reviews from parents who’ve purchased the model you’re considering.
One place you can save on price is in how many stitches a sewing machine has.
Many sewing machines come with a library of dozens, if not hundreds, of stitches. These stitches can be a lot of fun, but they can also add to the price.
Most young sewers only need 10 to 12 stitches (including basics like the straight stitch and zigzag stitch) to start.
Choose a Sewing Machine That’s Sturdy and Safe
One of the biggest concerns for parents buying a sewing machine for a child is safety. That’s one reason you should buy a high-quality sewing machine.
Cheaply-made sewing machine are usually flimsy, unreliable, and ultimately unsafe. Quality machines, on the other hand, tend to be more sturdy and reliable.
Look for a quality sewing machine with plenty of safety features, like finger guards.
You don’t want your child’s fingers getting jabbed by a sewing machine needle. But it can happen no matter how careful the child tries to be when they sew.
A finger guard can help protect your child’s little, vulnerable fingers from those sharp, pointy needles. So buying a sewing machine with a finger guard is an excellent preventative measure.
Unfortunately, many sewing machines, even quality ones, don’t come with finger guards.
The good news is that, for less than $10, you can buy a finger guard from many online and offline retailers. Just make sure the one you buy will fit your child’s sewing machine.
Choose a Sewing Machine That’s Simple
On the one hand, you want to buy your child a sewing machine that they can grow into as their sewing skills develop.
On the other hand, you don’t want to buy a machine that’s so complicated your child has a hard time learning to use it. Even a child with a genuine interest in sewing might give up in frustration if they can’t figure out their sewing machine.
When considering a particular sewing machine, try to remember back to when you were just learning to sew. As you read over the instructions and features, imagine how easy or hard the machine would’ve been for you back then. If you think you would’ve had trouble with that particular sewing machine, it’ll probably be too complicated for your child.
Choose a Sewing Machine That’s Easy to Use
Many sewing machines have features specifically designed to make them easier to use. And, when buying a sewing machine for your child, try to choose one with as many “ease-of-use” features as possible.
For example, threading a sewing machine needle can be challenging for even experienced, adult sewers. Imagine how hard it is for a child who’s just learning to sew. But an automatic needle threader will make the job a whole lot easier.
Other things to consider are how easy it is to load bobbins into the sewing machine, and how easy it is to use the foot pedal.
If your child has shown an interest in sewing, you want to do all you can to help nurture and encourage that interest. And buying your child a quality sewing machine that’s safe, simple, and easy to use is the perfect way to do just that.
If you give your child a sewing machine they enjoy using, they will spend countless, happy hours having fun and expressing themselves creatively. And, at the same time, they’ll be developing a valuable life skill.
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