The art of sewing checks all the boxes for a kid’s activity. It’s an art, a life skill, enhances concentration and motor skills, and doesn’t have the “screen-time” issue. Your kids can stitch for hours and not harm their eyes. Over that, they will learn something new.
It’s a fantastic idea to buy or gift your kid the best sewing machine for kids and teenagers. Like a skateboard or a bicycle, a sewing machine can be the best birthday gift for any child. The stereotype suggests a sewing machine can be a great gift for daughters, but we believe it can be a valuable present for kids of all genders.
It could be for your own kids or grandkids or for a friend’s kids. You may want to teach your child sewing and use that time to bond with them. Sewing not only checks all the boxes but also helps foster a strong connection between you and your little one.
Like any other product these days, finding the best and the most affordable sewing machine for children can be a challenge. There are so many options out there and you don’t want to end up with a wrong one. A nice, easy-to-use, kid-friendly machine with all the basic features is what you’ll ideally want.
And in this guide, we have rounded up the most recommended sewing machines along, with a parents’ buying guide and FAQs. Check out the kids’ sewing machine reviews below and know more about the machines than what the sellers tell you.
Start with a quick buying guide (if you’re short on time because that birthday’s just a few days away). Order now!
Best Sewing Machines For Kids - Quick Guide
These are the 8 best sewing machines for kids. We looked at 3 parameters: it has to be a real sewing machine (not a toy), should be kid-friendly, and must be affordable.
Best Sewing Machines for Kids Reviews
We’ve reviewed all 8 sewing machine models across 4 brands, namely Janome, Brother, Baby Lock, and Singer. If you prefer to choose one brand over another, go ahead and check out those specific reviews.
These reviews are categorized into 2 sections: affordable and premium sewing machines. Apart from what the names suggest, these products are better suited for specific age categories. The premium options have more features and are suitable for teenagers and young sewing students.
1 – Janome Fun Colors Sewing Machine Series For 10-Year-Old
Janome is a Japanese company and one of the most popular sewing machine brands in America. The Fun Colors series is its best sewing machine for girls and boys.
- Comes with all the essential features for kids
- Super easy operation
- Available in 3 vibrant colors that kids will love
- Comes with an illustrated guide and a library of tutorial videos
- Weighs 13 pounds
- Sewing area is very compact
Sewing Machine Review
Under $200, with a decent library of 15 preset stitch designs, and mechanical operation, this Janome kids’ sewing machine is the perfect pick for beginners. What we love about the Fun Colors series is the no-fuss operation. It doesn’t have too many knobs or levers. Just 2 stitch selection dials, a reverse lever, and the handwheel.
Our testing revealed that kids get attracted to this Janome machine as easily as they would to a toy. The illustrated sewing guide is the best part. Not to mention the 3 available colors help reduce the nervousness of first-timers. The dull color scheme of adult machines usually put off some kids.
We recommend the Pink Sorbet color but the machine is also available in Arctic Crystal and Blue Couture. Perhaps choose your kid’s favorite color?
The only major drawback is the weight. It weighs 13 pounds, so not easily portable for kids in the age group of 5 to 9 years. If you plan to use it on a table mostly, it’s suitable for all age groups.
Pro Tip: Janome has a host of resources for your kid to learn. Its official website lists software lessons, virtual events, and webinars on sewing.
If you’re looking for a basic device, this Janome model is the best sewing machine for 10-year-olds and older kids. It’s suitable for younger kids too but with close adult supervision. Trust us, a regular machine doesn’t get simpler than this.
2 – Brother XM1010 Easy Sewing Machine For Kids
Brother is another well-known Japanese brand that has a strong presence in America. Most professional tailors and textile designers prefer Brother over other brands due to its innovative machines and reliable customer support.
- Lightweight and portable at 7 pounds
- Simple sewing operation
- Drop-in bobbin makes it easy to install
- Comes with a detailed instruction manual
- Video tutorials come in a DVD
- Comes in only white color
Sewing Machine Review
At less than 7 pounds, this lightweight sewing machine for kids is a better option (than the Janome model above) if your child goes for coaching classes. Carrying it around will be easier for kids above 10 years of age.
Its drop-in bobbin is a feature we like the most. Young kids can easily install the top-load bobbin and carry out the entire sewing process on their own. As a parent, you want a machine that is both simple and takes a little effort to operate. How else will your kid learn effectively? The XM1010 beats all competitors in that area.
There are no major disadvantages but it comes with an illustrated manual and a DVD. No one uses a DVD in 2023, so we’re not sure why Brother would include it. However, we were able to run it on an old computer and we think the contents are super helpful.
The Brother XM1010 is a good basic sewing machine that checks all the boxes. It’s lightweight, has all the essential features, and fits under a $150 budget. Get it or gift it – you won’t regret it.
3 – Brother CS5055 Computerized Sewing Machine For Teens
Another Brother machine but this time it’s a computerized model. The CS5055 is an intermediate-level machine as it comes with 60 stitches and a few extra features.
- Basic machine with a lot of features
- Computerized operation with digital stitch selection panel
- Comes with an automatic needle threader
- Not beginner-friendly
- Does not come with product-specific instructional videos
Sewing Machine Review
This is a machine that requires a bit of sewing experience. It’s similar to a regular machine and is designed for those with experience. Even the features are meant for non-beginners. Like the automatic needle threader, which will make your kid’s sewing process a lot easier. Once they learn the whole process on their own.
Our testing and research suggest that a 1-step buttonhole works better for kids. The Janome Fun Color series has a 3-step buttonhole in comparison. This reinforces our view that this affordable sewing machine is ideal for teenagers and those kids with sewing experience. They will be able to take advantage of the accessories, the digital stitch selector, and all the built-in stitches.
Pro Tip: Brother has a special sewing guide (PDF) for this CS5055 model.
If your kid is tech-savvy and in the age group of 13-18, this is the best Brother sewing machine for kids and beginners. This is a machine that your kid can develop and ultimately master their sewing skills.
4 – Baby Lock Zest Sewing Machine For Children
A list of the best sewing machine for teens isn’t complete without a mention of Baby Lock, another Japanese manufacturer. As a parent trying to buy or gift one for your kid, it’s perhaps impossible to miss the Baby Lock brand. If that’s true in your case, out of the nearly 20 options, we recommend the Zest.
- Simple machine with all essential features
- Compact build with a retractable handle
- 25-year limited warranty
- Small sewing area
Sewing Machine Review
What we love about Baby Lock machines is that they come with detailed, colorful instruction manuals. This is true for the Zest too. You can refer to the manual and teach your daughter to sew. The machine itself is super easy to use, with not many features and a simple stitch selector.
This is a mechanical machine and has a lot of knobs and levers, especially when compared to the Janome Fun Colors machine. However, it’s compact, weighs about 10 pounds, and comes with a retractable handle for easy portability.
Above all, the Baby Lock Zest is not a frustrating machine to use. If, in the rare case, it gets frustrating, Baby Lock has a lot of videos on YouTube that will guide you and your little one. Its official website also has a lot of resources.
The Baby Lock Zest is one of the best sewing machines for teens as it’s both easy to learn on and filled with essential features to develop their sewing skills.
5 – Brother LX3817A Full-Size Sewing Machine For Kids
If Janome can bring some color into its line of full-sized sewing machines, Brother can too. This one here is preferred by parents for its cute design.
- Cute design on an aqua (blue) machine body
- Easy to use and lightweight
- Comes with all the essential features for kids
- Manual threading can be a pain for non-beginners
- Initial setup may be difficult for some users
Sewing Machine Review
By now, you must have realized that choosing one machine over another is just a matter of trading features. For instance, the LX3817A is a fancy-looking sewing machine for 8-year-olds and above. It has all the basic features required for children to learn, comes with 17 stitches selectable through a dial, and retails for less than $200.
However, if you look closely, it has a manual needle threader. Compare this to the CS5055 which has an automatic needle threader. Here’s where you should depend on your judgment to select the best one for your kid.
We recommend the LX3817A as the best first sewing machine for a child because the biggest challenge in that phase is to attract your kid into sewing. Needle threading and other associated actions can be taught with patience. It is only when your kid has machine sewing experience will they want to automate certain functions. At a young age, they have to learn it manually first.
If your kid responds to a cool design and a lively aqua color more than dull white paint, go with this Brother machine. It’s perfect for beginner boys and girls.
6 – Janome C30 Computerized Sewing Machine For Teenagers
If you can push your budget a little to between $200 and $300, you can explore the featureful C30 from Janome. It has all the essentials available in the 5 models we reviewed above. Plus, it also has features that make sewing more convenient for, say, your 14-year-old daughter.
- High-quality, error-free stitches
- Comes with an LCD
- No confusing knobs and an easy-to-use panel
- Built-in needle threader
- Highly durable body
- No speed control slider (as available in Janome C30s)
Sewing Machine Review
For the extra dollars, you get more number stitches, quiet sewing, and easy portability. There’s also a lot of space in the sewing area for your kids to experiment with different stitches. While we tested this with only cotton and nylon, Janome suggests a lot more types of fabric.
This C30 comes without a speed control slider, so you have to depend on the good old foot pedal to speed up and down. The user manual is straightforward and there are a few help videos on Janome’s official website.
This computerized sewing machine for kids is perfect for those above 10 years. It has enough features to help a “tween” stitch through their teenage and even graduate from sewing school.
7 – Brother XR9550 Computerized Sewing Machine For Youngsters
This Brother machine has a wide sewing area for larger projects (wider than the Janome C30), making it a good buy for teenagers and young adults.
- Has a speed control slider and 3 speed presets
- Has an automatic needle threader
- Wide sewing area
- Instruction manual may be difficult to follow
- Not ideal for first-timers
Sewing Machine Review
Who doesn’t like more space in and around the sewing area? If your kid is the type of user who always removes the detachable accessory cavity, then they’ll love the XR9550. It is also the only other machine on this list with over 165 built-in stitches.
Your kid can practice both sewing and quilting on this sewing machine with a slider speed control. As you can see, it’s the first machine here with a slider. It’s more convenient for kids than using a pedal. Just slide to the slowest speed and you’re good to go.
If you need more features and specifically a speed slider over a foot pedal, choose this one. It’s the best sewing machine for teenagers under $300.
8 – SINGER Stylist 7258 Beginner Sewing Machine For Teen Sewists
The last product on our list is a Singer sewing machine for kids. It’s similar to the Brother XR9550 and retails in the same price range and has a better speed slider.
- Speed control slider with 5 presets
- Over 200 stitches for different fabrics
- Easy one-step buttonhole
- Comes in a good-looking white-aqua color combination
- May more frequent oiling
Sewing Machine Review
If Brother XR9550 has a 3-set speed slider, this Singer machine comes with a 5-set slider. We tested both and found Singer’s slider more ergonomic. For instance, you can set it to the lowest and teach your kid at about 100 stitches per minute. This way they can follow your commands and learn the art more easily.
Apart from that, there’s the usual automatic needle thread, drop-in bobbin, and a bright light for sewing way into the night. You can also go beyond the usual fabrics and experiment with cosplay and costume-making.
At less than $250, this is a good beginner sewing machine for kids. It has all the bells and whistles of a machine meant for teenagers.
Checklist – Buying a Sewing Machine For Kids
Overchoice is more of a bane than a boon when it comes to sewing machines. While there is always the risk of buying the wrong machine, not knowing what you need can pose a bigger risk. You will need to consider the age of your child, type of machine, and must-have features.
As experts in testing sewing machines of all types, we have been creating comprehensive buying guides for years. Our in-house expert sewers test and deeply examine each machine to see what works and what doesn’t.
For this guide, we tested over 20 models across price ranges and brands to shortlist the best 8 sewing machines. We used a thorough checklist – with both technical and non-technical parameters – to evaluate the machines.
The buying checklist below was derived from our own, which will further help you make a wise decision.
Kids’ Sewing Machine Buying Checklist
Use this questionnaire to really know what you need, what features to go for, and why one model is better than the other. More important, use this sewing machine buying checklist to get your child the machine they will love.
- How old is your kid?
- How familiar is your kid with sewing?
- How skilled in sewing are you or the guardian?
- Should you buy a sewing toy, a mini-unit, or a regular machine for kids?
- Should you go for a computerized or a mechanical sewing machine?
- What are the top 5 features you can’t do without?
- What is your kid’s opinion?
- What is your budget?
Answers to these 8 questions will help you narrow down your requirements. And those requirements will help you find the right machine for your child. Here are the checklist pointers in more detail.
Choose a Machine for Your Kid’s Age
Your child’s age and development are the most important parameters when choosing a sewing machine for them. Mental and physical abilities required for sewing take time to develop. Sewing also demands attention, dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and a desire to learn.
Hand sewing can be taught at any age (generally after 3), but we recommend introducing a kid to machine sewing between 5-7 years of age. While there is no study or research on the right age to start sewing for kids, what matters more is their willingness. Is your child interested in learning to sew? Are they willing to learn?
Children above 6 years of age can be gradually introduced to a sewing machine and its basic operation. Not all kids may be ready for or interested in sewing.
If your 7-year-old is unable to grasp the machine’s workings, do not worry. As a parent or elder, you will need to rely on your judgment. Give them time. Remember: not all kids are alike.
A rule of thumb while considering sewing for kids:
- Use a regular sewing machine for a 5-year-old or those above (up to teenagers)
- Use a toy sewing machine or consider hand sewing for kids below 5 years
The best sewing machine for teens is the one that you, an adult, are comfortable with. You can gift them an entry-level model that may be cheaper than those suitable for kids. We recommend the Janome Fun Color series or the Brother XM1010.
Remember: you can always buy a new one after a few years based on how your kid’s interest in sewing grows. Perhaps, you can move them to an embroidery machine?
Assess Your Kid’s Interest and Skill Levels
Observe signs in your child to see if they are interested in taking up sewing as a hobby or a part-time activity. Noting their reactions when you sew will help gauge their interest level.
Here are some telltale signs that show your kid is interested:
- Do they observe you closely when you’re sewing?
- Do they get excited when you work on your sewing machine?
- Do they ask you to teach them sewing?
- Do they play with the machine, threads, and other accessories?
- Do they mimic sewing or associated actions in their playtime?
- How are their near vision, hand-eye coordination, and response to instructions?
While girl children may be assumed to show more interest in sewing, there is no scientific evidence that sewing is a female-only domain. By one account, sewing and embroidery were fused to femininity during Victorian times or before.
Young boys will also show interest. We recommend encouraging your children to learn to sew regardless of their gender and your predisposition.
Kids interested in art and crafts may take a sudden liking to sewing. Some kids may show curiosity at first but then gradually lose interest.
Weaning your kid off from hand stitching into a machine is the best approach. Invest in a good sewing machine for kids only if the interest lingers for a while. Start with hand sewing and see how far they go without losing interest.
For kids who are already skilled in hand sewing or handling a sewer, choose a model with the most features. We recommend Brother CS5055 or Brother LX3817A. Here you’ll need to keep in mind their future needs. Buy a machine that will be relevant to them throughout their learning phase.
For example, buying an entry-level model for your novice teenager may make sense at first. But can they improve their stitching skills with the machine? Will they need an advanced machine when they cross 18 years?
On the other hand, a simple sewing machine would make sense for a 7-year-old as they still have several years before they’ll need advanced features like variable stitch width, auto reverse, and drop-in bobbin.
Keeping the age curve of your child in mind will help you choose the right sewing machine.
Assess the Sewing Skills of the Parent or Guardian
Before gifting a simple sewing machine for kids, see if a person is available in the family to teach them. If you are a parent and already own a sewing machine, introduce your child to sewing in the same machine. Then if they show continued interest, you can gift them one.
If you are gifting your nephew, niece, grandchild, or someone else’s kid, make sure there is someone to guide them. Or at least the kid has experience handling a sewing machine. Otherwise, your gift will most likely never be used.
If you already own an advanced sewing machine, this can be a good opportunity to buy a less-advanced model for parallel use. Perhaps a sewing machine for your daughter? Later in life, you both can use both machines for specific purposes.
Pro Tip – Buy a sewing machine of the brand that you are familiar with. Buying a different brand will make it tough for you too.
In some cases, kids may need coaching. In such a scenario, it’s better to gift a portable machine like the Brother XM1010.
Focus on the Type of Sewing Machine
The rule of thumb here is:
- Below 5 years – get a toy sewing machine or teach hand sewing
- New learners above 5 years – get a mini sewing machine
- Hand stitchers above 10 years – get a regular sewing machine
- Experienced teens – get a full-sized sewing machine
Toy Sewing Machines
A toy sewing machine is a fancy toy meant for playing only. Kids below five years can print preset designs onto fabrics and tinker with it. It doesn’t have a needle, bobbins, or threads, and often works with a single switch. The Cool Maker Sew Cool Sewing Machine is a good example.
In some cases, only the shape of the toy resembles a sewing machine. In effect, it’s a small colorful printer with preset designs.
We do not recommend toy sewing machines as they are not meant for serious sewing. You cannot stitch a real garment with it. Hand-crank toy sewing machines are cheaper and have fewer mechanical parts than a real machine but we don’t recommend them either.
Mini Sewing Machines
A mini sewing machine is the most basic version of a regular machine. It’s small, has a single stitch type, and uses a basic threading system. Perfect for young users between the ages of 5-10, it’s also easily portable.
If your kid is between 3-6 years and shows interest in stitching, get them the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine. It’s simple to use and teach, has a lot of accessories for experimentation, and retails for a few tens of dollars.
Regular Sewing Machine
If you’re serious about teaching your kid sewing, we recommend getting a kids’ real sewing machine from a reputable brand. Consider the SINGER Start 1304 Sewing Machine, meant for beginners. It’s a plug-and-play machine with 6 built-in stitches, automatic bobbin winding, and easy portability.
Teenagers and kids below 13 years can easily learn stitching with this beginner-friendly machine. It has all the basic features essential to learn sewing.
When it comes to regular machines, safety is more important than features, especially if your kid is below 13. In that case, choose the safest kid’s sewing machine from our list above.
Mechanical vs Computerized Sewing Machines
Mechanical sewing machines depend primarily on gears, levers, and motors. On the other hand, computerized or digital sewing machines have electronic circuits that handle operations like stitching speed and threading.
Mechanical machines are usually heavy-duty and are capable of stitching on thick fabrics like leather. They lack the ease and convenience of digital machines that we are all so familiar with now.
We recommend computerized sewing machines for beginning teen sewists. They are not only easy to learn to operate but also have convenient features like auto winding, easy speed control, and needle function. In comparison, a mechanical model will tire your kid out with just the foot pedaling.
Some of the great starter sewing machines for beginners on our list are digital models. They are also easy on the pocket, which can be a win-win situation for both you and your child. However, mechanical models are cheaper.
Must-Have Features in a Children’s Sewing Machine
For some adults, the thought of their child sticking their fingers under the needle by accident is menacing enough. However, it’s a myth that children are more prone to injury from sewing needles. Based on our research, kids as young as 5 years old will manage a needle and a thread responsibly under supervision.
Others worry their child may not be able to understand the winding and threading processes. But let us assure you that this worry is also unfounded. Sewing machines for young sewists available in the market today are safe, thoughtful, and come with a load of supportive features.
As an adult, your aim should be to pick the essential features and leave the experimentation to your kid. Here’s what we recommend:
- Safety first – Look for must-have safety features like speed control and start-stop button
- Convenience second – Must-haves are threading system, bobbin auto-winding, tension control, drop-in bobbin, and needle control
- Functionalities – Other than basic stitching, aim for automated functions and decorative stitches
- Clear instructions – A detailed, kid-friendly, graphic instruction manual and videos are essential
- Kid-friendly form factor – Choose a lightweight machine (2-4 pounds) with a catchy design or color
- Durability – As long as you choose a reputable brand, you should be fine
- Warranty – The best sewing machine for children comes with at least more than 5 years of warranty
- Price – Always have a budget. It’ll help you narrow down your options to a good extent
Choosing the safest sewing machine for children will mean compromising on convenience or advanced features. Finding a balance may be tempting but we recommend safety first in general. If your kid already knows their way around a basic mechanical machine, then it may be worth finding a balance.
Ask for Your Kid’s Opinion
Finally, talk to your kid to understand what they need. A teenager might even sit with you while you both choose among the best. Two or more perspectives are better than a single person going shopping.
Pro Tip: If your kid already sews on your machine and loves it, it may be better to give it to them and buy a new one for you instead. This is because they may be happy with that machine and may not soften up to a new one.
If you’re gifting someone, it may still be worth asking the kid or their parents. Though, if it’s a surprise gift, include the relatives in the buying decision. Make sure you fix a budget before you invite others’ opinions.
Quick Kids’ Sewing Machine Buying Tips
- Choose a machine with a start-stop button than one with a foot pedal
- Do not compromise on speed control so that your kid can learn at super-slow speeds
- Look for a good and large library of decorative stitches. Kids love them.
- Look for a machine with a finger guard or buy it separately
- Focus on safety features more if your kid is below 13 years
- Download and explore the instruction manual of your chosen machine before buying
- Consider a refurbished or used sewing machine if you’re on a low budget
Best Sewing Machines for Kids – FAQs
Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about kids’ sewing.
What age should kids learn to sew?
There is no minimum or appropriate age to learn to sew. According to us, 3-year-old kids can learn to hand sew. Children above 5 years can be introduced to a sewing machine.
How much does a sewing machine for kids cost?
Kids’ sewing machines retail from as low as $50 and can go up to a few hundred. The best small sewing machine for kids costs between $100 and $400.
Should I buy a used or brand-new sewing machine for my kids?
Buying a used or refurbished sewing machine is better if you’re on a tight budget. It’s also recommended if you feel your kid might lose interest after a couple of months. Make sure the machine is in good working condition, has all the required features, and costs a fraction of its original price. Some used machines may not come with all the accessories or may require more maintenance. Keep these in mind before buying.
What’s the best beginner sewing machine for a child who's never sewn before?
We recommend the all-rounder Janome Fun Colors series, Brother XM1010, or the Baby Lock Zest for first-timers.
How to keep my kids safe when using a sewing machine?
- Impart the basics by teaching them to hand sew first
- Always supervise
- Invest in the best sewing machine for a child to learn on
- Configure the lowest speed during the learning phase
- Buy and make them wear safety glasses (to prevent injury from needle breaks)
- Buy and install a finger guard
- Buy a sewing machine with a child lock so that your kids cannot use it without you
My daughter loves to sew but I don’t think she’s ready for a machine. What should I do?
Go with your instincts and delay the purchase. You can teach her to hand sew and help you with your machine sewing till you feel confident.
The key to teaching your kid to sew is to start without a machine. Hand sewing is criminally underrated in this digital era. Most of us end up buying a good kids’ first sewing machine without understanding our kid’s interest or experience levels. And the machine eventually ends up in the attic gathering dust.
Once you’re confident about your kid taking up sewing as a hobby or a part-time activity, then we recommend getting a machine. You could also teach them in your own machine and delay the purchase by 6 months or more.
In case you’ve already decided to buy, here are our top 3 recommendations:
- Janome Fun Colors Sewing Machine Series
- Brother CS5055 Computerized Sewing Machine
- Brother Computerized Sewing Machine XR9550
All three are good, affordable sewing machines for youngsters. They’re under $300 and will easily run for 8-10 years with proper care. They will not only help your kid wean off from hand stitching but also motivate them to do more. Don’t forget to look at the safety part and invest in a finger guard and goggles.
After all, the goal of every mother, father, or grandparent is to see their child excel.