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Forum > Sewing Machines > What machine to get my 5 year old? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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What machine to get my 5 year old?
sewingismyhappyplace
sewingismyhappyplace
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 11/4/08
Posts: 6
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Date: 11/4/08 2:33 PM

Hi! I'm Rachel. Totally new to this site...about 10 years into sewing. Anyway, I was thinking it would be fun to get a machine for my daughter, who is 5 1/2. I have seen ads for toy-like machines, and they all look pretty junky. I really don't want to get anything that would break and discourage her. On the other hand, I have no clue if she'll take to this, so I don't want to spend much money either.

Any suggestions? If she was about 5 years older, I'd just hand down my Brother VX-1500 (been a gem all these years on my journey through teaching myself to sew!) and splurge on a new machine for myself. You know, we all have to make sacrifices for our kids... However, I feel that machine is a bit large and scary (?) for her.

Thanks for you opinions!
-- Edited on 11/4/08 2:35 PM --

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More fabric! I need more fabric!

Carrie-Jane
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Carrie-Jane
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UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 12/9/06
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In reply to sewingismyhappyplace


Date: 11/4/08 3:13 PM

Sorry I will not be much help on advising you on a machine but wanted to say good for you for encouraging your daughter to sew.
My daughter is only just 3 but when I went to an exhibition by the embroiders guild they had a table set up for the kids with felt and bits and bobs for the older kids to sew. They also do the young embroiderers club too. She was keen to watch and see what they were doing and loves pinching all my machine test strips especially if they have a decorative stitch on. She even took one with hearts on to bed the other night.

Also I have seen locally stitch clubs advertised for kids where they can make puppets and other cool stuff. In a magazine article about the classes I'm sure they were using the basic small Janome machines.

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My machines; Bernina 135S, Elna 2300, Bernina Serger 800DL.
http://fenullapolkadot.blogspot.com

Re Becca
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Re Becca  Friend of PR
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In reply to sewingismyhappyplace


Date: 11/4/08 3:59 PM

I second the notion of starting your kids early. I remember sewing stuff for show and tell on my moms machine and I admit that it was rather brave of her to let me use it.

I used our old elna SU Air electronic and I think that it was perfect for me. It was good because it was simple to load the bobbin (drop in right under the presser foot) it was (is) VERY dependable and rather simple to use. I also liked it because the foot pedal was easy to press and release for my little foot.

I know that this might not help much, but it does give you an idea of what was helpful for a 5 year old learning to sew.

I hope that you find the perfect machine that allows her to sew with the fewest frustrations.
If you are lucky she might just grow up to have a sewing addiction like us

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http://beccabeckstuff.blogspot.com/

Damn the muslin, full speed ahead!

runnerchicki
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runnerchicki  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/4/08 4:50 PM

The small Janome Jem mechanicals are very good machines. Simple to use, but just as reliable as a full size machine. Sears has a Kenmore mechanical on sale for $99 right now. I don't know the machine, but it looks like it is worth checking it out.

Hope that helps.

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There's no such thing as too much fabric.

sewingismyhappyplace
sewingismyhappyplace
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 11/4/08
Posts: 6
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In reply to runnerchicki


Date: 11/4/08 5:06 PM

Thanks for all the advice and especially the encouragement! I really appreciate it. I wasn't sure if it was too early to start her on sewing or not. I just know how much pleasure I get out of it and she's really getting interested in it. She was home from school when I was working on her poodle skirt for Halloween, and she had a blast making her own "creations" out of my scraps.

I will check out the Janome. Thanks!

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More fabric! I need more fabric!

Emi1yKate
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Emi1yKate
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Date: 11/4/08 5:10 PM

If your can get ahold of an old 2000-series Viking (they were made in the 60s-70s), they have a reduction-gear that is a really great low speed for beginners/children.

Of course, many of the new machines have speed selection too. But the old Vikings are really great workhorse machines. And Mommy might like using the reduction gear for sewing things like denim and leather or lots of layers :o)

-- Edited on 11/4/08 5:31 PM --

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www.thisisemilykate.blogspot.com

katlew03
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katlew03  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/4/08 5:29 PM

You might also want to check into getting a needle guard to keep little fingers out from under the needle. I think most brands make them, but they might have to be special ordered. If you have a speed control, you may be able to use the lowest speed for additional safety.

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Sewn in 2012: 176.212 yds.
2013 Goal: 400 yds (again)
Total sewn in 2013 -- 225.848 yds.
Total yards in inventory 1/1/14 -- 1752.5
Goal for 2014 -- 400 yards (for the third time)

Machines: Designer Diamond, #1+, H Class 100Q, and Viking 400 Serger: 936

Bill Holman
Bill Holman
Wisconsin USA
Member since 8/29/04
Posts: 566
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In reply to Emi1yKate


Date: 11/4/08 6:51 PM

"If your can get ahold of an old 2000-series Viking (they were made in the 60s-70s), they have a reduction-gear that is a really great low speed for beginners/children."

Be aware that while the low gear in those old Vikings slows them to a fifth of their normal speed, they also increase their power by five times. I hate to be the wet blanket, but I feel that five is quite a bit too soon to be operating machinery like this. These little minds just do not have the capability of comprehending the possible consequences of making a mistake.

Bill Holman

LBWalkup
LBWalkup
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Texas USA
Member since 9/24/08
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Date: 11/4/08 7:06 PM

I bought a kids machine for my son when he was about that age. He was good at fabric handling and he has always like machinery. He lost interest after a while so the $25 I spent on the eBay machine was no big deal. Something slow and safe is best for that age. I started sewing on a full size machine at 9 or 10 after starting on a hand cranked chain stitch machine then an electric chain stitch.

goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/4/08 7:08 PM

I think it probably depends a lot on the 5 year old.

My daughter started sewing on my old Bernina 830 when she was four and a half and she/we had zero problems. But she always had very good small motor skills and was a very careful child.

Her brother didn't start any sort of sewing until he was 7 or 8 - he never had any interest in it before that.

In contrast, my daughter had been chomping at the bit to sew... ...begging for fabric and projects in the fabric store, sewing projects with needle and thread while she waited for permission to use the machine, watching my every move when I was sewing, loving her 'fluffy-ruffle' dresses that I made her....

I really think the age to start is a matter between the parent and the child...

And I think a very simple-to-operate machine like the Bernina 830E (not the new multi-thousand dollar model!) is a great way to start!

I'd definitely upgrade MY machine and give her the old one, if my budget could handle it... :)

Edited because I remembered:
I did not buy my daughter her own machine until she was about 10 or 11. At that time I bought her a used Pfaff Hobby, which even I found frustrating to sew with, due to the thread coming out of the takeup lever every five minutes or so, until I jerry-rigged a solution...
-- Edited on 11/4/08 7:41 PM --

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