Help for buying sewing machine for a child

nausetNovember 21, 2006

I am new to this forum, but would appreciate any advice about sewing machines for children. My almost 7 year old granddaughter wants one for Christmas. She saw one in a toy catalog. Does any one have any experience with sewing machines for children. There seems to be quite a few out there.

Thanks in advance.


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I am sorry to burst your bubble but most of the toy machines are just that TOYS......IF she is serious about wanting to learn HOW to sew a second hand REAL machine is your answer. Get something with perhaps straight and zig zag and can go forward and back. Nothing fancy, call around or visit some sewing centres and see what is available and how much you are willing to spend, check the newspaper, ask around, you should be able to find an INEXPENSIVE genuine machine and your grandchild will be delighted to have a REAL machine. You might want to add some thread and fabric with the gift and make plans to sew with your grandchild....matching aprons or something like that.....straight seams and a bit ribbon is all you need, no pattern. That is what I would do. Stay away from TOY, they are not worth the money.....and yes you CAN find an inexpensive second hand machine for perhaps just a few dollars more....make sure the machine has a book so you can help even if the instructions are beyond your grandchild. IMHO...for what it's worth. Think of our young Diva here on the site.....she sews and is very capable. Budster

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 6:53PM
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I agree with Budster. I recently purchased an old Singer toy sewing machine (circa. 1960's) at an antique store just to have it. It will only do a chain stitch that pulls out very easily, nothing you'd want to use to make a garment that will last. Look for something gently used at a dealer or in the paper.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 10:44PM
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Thanks, Budster and Keepeminstiches~ I have sent your responses on to my daughter (the mother). Molly (my granddaughter) learned how to knit a year ago at 5. You have to be nearby to help at times, but she loves it! Now she thinks sewing might be interesting. I will look for reasonable priced real machines as suggested. Thanks again and have a peaceful holiday.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 8:51AM
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Budster was probably refering to my almost 8 yr old cousin, cause she is the DIVA. She has a real machine. She uses the serger and the embroidery machine with assistance. She's left handed and Mother got her the small fiskars squeeze scissors and she can handle those to cut out her patterns.
Good Luck,

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 7:01PM
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Estate sales are great for finding good sewing machines. Many people do not want their mother or grandmother's sewing machines. I bought several for our children for $25 each. Many just need a good cleaning and a little oil to purr....again!!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 1:18PM
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I am also in the same delima as my 10 year old grandaughter wants a sewing machine for Christmas. She really wants to be able to sew but I am concerned about fingers being sewn instead of fabric. Is there an attachment that might assist in preventing this if we purchase her a real machine. Thanks Bjackson

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 2:44PM
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I'd recommend a handcrank machine.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 9:22PM
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I agree with the others to get her a real machine.My GS has been sewing on my Viking Rose since he was 6.Of course i'm right there if he needs help,but he can sew,wind the bobbin,insert them almost as quick as i can.If kids have the interest in it,they will learn,and retain what they learn.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 4:25PM
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I have a 4-H sewing group with both boys and girls. I have 2 1970 to 1980 simple Singer machines. The kids range in age from 6 to 11 years old. The 6 year old was able to learn to thread the machine, fill the bobbin and control for curves and corners. The first project was a pin cushion or a small pillow. This was a girl who could not figure out how to put the stuffing into the pillow. She would put her hand in filled with the fluff and pulled her hand out with the fluff still in her hand - she was not able to open her hand when she could not see it. Her final project was a pair of shorts with an elastic band.
I would suggest a reliable, sturdy, and simple real machine rather than a toy.
The girls who are in 4th and 5th grade were able to follow patterns and do amazing work.
There are some great 4-H sewing manuals. The curriculum is geared for K thru 2nd grade, 3rd thru 5th grade and 6th - 12th grade. There is also a Sewing Skills Checklist that can be downloaded.
If your grand daughter lives close, it would be fun to have her bring a friend to learn to sew together.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Many of the Joannn Fabric stores have sewing classes for kids, they use the machines at the store. When I worked at Joanns I remember how proud the kids were when they made pajama pants and bags for them.
I too, vote for a real machine, forget the toy ones.
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 11:41PM
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It's called a finger guard (basically a plastic box that attaches around the foot itself....I'm not sure of the cost or which machines they are with). Ask at a dealer if they have such a thing. Budster

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 8:23PM
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Budster, I think I paid less than $30 for the finger guard and it is worth every penny. I also have 4-Hers sewing with me and no matter what the age, they tend to get fingers too close...I do also. This is a great addition to any sewing room

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:11PM
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