Getting children interested in sewing at an early age, can help give them the foundations of a lifelong skill.
At some stage teaching a child how to sew is going to include showing them how to use a sewing machine. Many people are nervous about letting a child use a sewing machine, worrying about the safety of the child. Some sewing machine owners don’t like learners using their sewing machine regardless of the age.
Therefore when considering teaching a child to use a sewing machine it is important to weigh the alternatives.
Children’s Sewing Machine
There are sewing machines specifically designed for children. These have been created taking all aspects into account, including small hands, safety and ease of use. Generally all children’s sewing machines are recommended from 8 years of age upwards. These machines vary in type; some are powered by battery, others by electric.
Most children’s sewing machines will use bobbins and be foot controlled, teaching children a couple of the key aspects of using a sewing machine.
There are mixed responses to the efficacy of children’s sewing machines and it is very worthwhile reading reviews, talking to other people and generally researching whether you feel that this is right for your and your child.
Using a Full Sized Machine
Some sewers, however, recommend skipping the purchase of a special child’s machine and purchasing a basic, simple small full sized version. The argument is that this machine will then grow with the child, giving them many years of pleasure and use. They will argue that regardless of whether a sewing machine is made ‘for children’ it is not a toy and the use of the machine should be supervised. Therefore if you are going to supervise a child using a sewing machine why not supervise them using a full sized machine.
With a children’s sewing machine starting at around $40 and a basic full sized machine starting at $70, this is quite a persuasive argument.
Types of Children’s Sewing Machine
There are several brands of children’s sewing machine available. Some of the key ones and most readily available are detailed below:
Bratz: The Bratz ‘Design Your Own Sew Stylin’ sewing machine is part of a range of products by this popular brand. Within the ‘Design Your Own’ range there are also some kits. These include kits to make iPod covers and other accessories, which can be sewn on the sewing machine. This runs on electricity.
Alex Sew Fun: This machine is battery operated with the option of running it on electricity. It has two speeds and is foot controlled.
Singer: There are a variety of Singer models available, including the Singer Chainstitch. There is a small version of the classic singer hand operated sewing machine also available.
There are some books available teaching youngsters to use their sewing machines. Some examples are listed below
- The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids (Spiral-bound) by Lynda Milligan, Nancy Smith
- Simply Sewing (Kids Can Do It) by Judy Sadler
- My First Machine Sewing Book: Straight Stitching (My First Sewing Book Kit series) by Winky Cherry today!
- Sewing Fun for Kids: Patchwork, Gifts and More!
Teaching a child to sew may give them a lifelong interest in this craft, and perhaps even lead on to a future career.