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Suitable machines
Sophie26
Sophie26
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/3/12
Posts: 1
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Date: 11/3/12 8:32 PM

Hi,

I'm looking to start sewing lessons for children from age 6. I've seen the elna mini for $130 I need 4 machines so the price is good.

I just need to know if this machine is good enough for little users & are they reliable?



Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Illinois USA
Member since 10/27/10
Posts: 4686
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Date: 11/3/12 10:23 PM

I'm not sure if the Elna Mini is the same as the Janome Sew Mini. Janome makes Elna.

I know the Sew Mini has its fans, but the one I got from Overstock.com for $40 was completely unsuitable for use by children. It was terribly loud, the AC adaptor got REALLY hot, and the stitches were unbalanced. I tried several different threads and couldn't get a balanced stitch. I think it was also too light and unstable, and too small for new sewists. It also has no light

A world of difference in the Kenmore Mini Ultra, which I got at Sears for $50. Janome made Kenmores recently, too, until they were discontinued. I hope Janome brings those back, probably under the Janome name. A decent, but very basic machine.

In general, Janome, Kenmore, and Elna are usually great machines for reasonable prices. How much is the Janome 2212? Several PR members use those extensively for all kinds of sewing, so I can't imagine they wouldn't suit your purposes if the price is right.

In any case, $130 for the Sew Mini would be insane. When I searched "Elna Mini" I came up with the Janome Sew Mini.

The Baby Lock BL9 is currently $99. Looks pretty durable and a very good local dealer sells them, and she wouldn't if they were junk.

I'm sure you'll receive other suggestions including vintage machines.

I started teaching my sons to machine sew at ages 6 and 8. I sometimes teach a very basic sort of "intro to sewing" class to kids. A big hug to you in your endeavor. If you decide you wouldn't mind mismatched machines, I have a never used Bernette 46 you can have. I got it free with another purchase.


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🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

AminaHijabi
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AminaHijabi
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Date: 11/3/12 10:44 PM

My mom was teaching the kids in her neighborhood to sew on the Janome Hello Kitty Green 3/4 sized machine... available from Overstock.com and Target.com for around $110 when she got it. I think the non Hello Kity decorated version is Janome 3128 and can be purchased from Hancocks. My mom used the machine to teach all the little girls in her neighborhood 6-16 and as her primary machine until I got her something nicer. My oldest sister has now inherited the machine. If you want something more robust and top loading, what about the Janome Jem line?

Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Illinois USA
Member since 10/27/10
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Date: 11/4/12 0:05 AM

SewVacDirect (nayy) has the Kenmore 11206 (which looks like my Mini Ultra) for $90, the Janome 2212 for $150, and the 3128 for $120.

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🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 3/4/05
Posts: 3163
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In reply to Sophie26 <<


Date: 11/4/12 0:24 AM

Are you in Australia? That's where I'm seeing the Elna Mini being offered. I had the Janome version for my daughter as her first machine. It's OK...you can't change the presser foot and the bobbin housing is plastic. Stitches are pre-set. The Elna Sew Fun would be nice, too. It's the same as the Hello Kitty Green you see mentioned. You can change the presser feet on that one but the stitches are still pre-set so no need to adjust stitch length and width. My daughter used that one when she was 7. I later got a little Brother combo sewing/embroidery machine and she picked up on that one real quick!

Sibilance7
Sibilance7  Friend of PR
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Member since 8/10/11
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Date: 11/4/12 3:29 AM

I didn't have any problems with my Janome Sew Mini, but I don't think it's suitable for teaching anyone how to sew simply because its functions are so limited. As Karen149 says, you can't change the foot, and I really don't see how anyone can sew anything significant without the ability to use at least a zipper foot. When I learned to sew at a sewing shop, using a zipper foot was one of the first things they showed us because it can be used for so many different applications and you can always find a cheap zipper foot to fit your machine assuming it allows for the use of different feet. And while I didn't have any problems, it's really not a machine for extended use, I don't think, so I don't know how durable it would be for teaching children. My understanding is that it was meant more as a crafting machine. I got it initially because I wanted to put stitching on cards and scrapbook pages.

I think the other suggestions you've gotten here are excellent and hopefully even cheaper in your location than the Sew Mini.

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My blog: www.feministstitch.com

I sew on:
Olivia, my Pfurple Pfaff Creative Performance
BabyLock Evolution

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf
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In reply to Sophie26 <<


Date: 11/4/12 7:15 AM

We had a discussion about this before. Are you sure all you 6 year old students have the hand eye coordination to handle a motorize sewing machine? You will definitely need something that has a speed control on it so you can set it for them. I'm all for teaching kids to sew early but you don't want them to hurt themselves either and have a bad experience that they won't want to do it again.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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USA
Member since 12/3/06
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Date: 11/4/12 10:31 AM

I would do one student at a time on the sewing machine as I cannot imagine keeping an eye on more than just that one machine being operated by a child.

What will the student be using at home?

Will the student know how to wind a bobbin, thread a machine and do the routine cleaning and needle change?

Mom, Dad or Grandparent need to be involved, at the least for using the machine at home.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Steffie
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Steffie
Intermediate
Michigan USA
Member since 11/6/04
Posts: 895
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Date: 11/4/12 10:39 AM

My mom purchased the Babylock BL9 to use as a small portable machine. She has had no issues with it.

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