Stitch ‘n Kids: the Sewing Machine

Last year we gave Sara a sewing machine for Christmas. She was five at the time, and had always shown an honest interest for sewing (she would almost sit on my lap when I was busy with my machine). So after reading up on the best age to give a child her (or his!) first sewing machine, and not finding a very clear answer, we decided to just go for it — if she would still be too young, she would certainly grow into it at some point.

I’ve rarely seen a child so excited by a gift as Sara when she opened her package, and her sewing machine is still one of her most treasured possessions. So, what does she sew? First of all, she still needs a lot of help. Preparing the machine (inserting the bobbin, leading the thread through the machine, pulling it through the needle etc) is something she can’t completely do herself just yet. But she’s getting quite good at cutting the fabric, pinning it together, and sewing straight lines. So far she’s made lots of little pillows, an easy thing to make (with fast results) and a great present for her friends (doll’s cushions!), or teachers and grandparents (pin cushions!). Simple bags are a step up from the pillows and she needs a bit more help with these. She also made a little dress for her little sister’s doll, and this was something we did together according to her design, and it turned out really nice!

All in all, I think we made the right decision to give her the machine fairly early. In case you’re interested, Sara’s machine is a Janome Sew Mini de Luxe.

xxx Esther


Comments (22)

April 19, 2012

wow – i have several decades on Sara and i still need help from my mom with the threading, bobbins and stuff. it’s a beautiful skill to pass on to your daughter. way to go Sara!

Patricia Gill
April 19, 2012

We just did the same for Clemmie who turned 8. We bought this mini one from John Lewis in London and I can definitely recommend it. We too made a little cushion last weekend and I’m a bit stumped for other ideas so am going to buy this book which looks fab. Esther, please get in touch if you want to review as I know the PR.

Esther in Amsterdam
April 22, 2012

That little sewing machine looks very similar to the one Sara has! And the book looks great — thanks for the tip!! xxx

Courtney in London
April 19, 2012

I think it is so cool that you’re teaching Sara to sew at such a young age. She’ll be an expert by the time she’s a teenager! What a gift.
And it’s so sweet that you do it together.

April 19, 2012

I’m just trying to learn how to sew myself, but my boys are really interested, too (five and three). I think it’s a fabulous gift, thanks for sharing!

April 19, 2012

I think I’m going to get Mia a sewing machine for her birthday. I have so many friends that wish they could sew. Its a great skill to pass on.

April 20, 2012

What a great idea. I really want to learn to sew myself, so perhaps my daughter and I can learn together! Is there a sewing machine that you recommend for adult beginners (me!)? I would love to sew simple things for my kids….

Esther in Amsterdam
April 22, 2012

Hi!! My own sewing machine dates from the 50’s of the last century — I inherited it from my grandmother! It can’t do anything fancy like modern day sewing machines, but it’s heavy and sturdy and does the job perfectly well. I think you could probably just get one machine that would work for both you and your daughter, as long as it’s fairly simple to operate. I find that you just need the basic stitches for most, if not all, sewing projects. What about having a look for second hand machines?? xxx

April 22, 2012

[…] Blog: Meet Sara, the five-year-old sewing enthusiast. […]

June 16, 2012

[…] Stitch ‘n Kids: the Sewing Machine ( /* Incoming search terms:printable notepad with quoterecipes card […]

October 3, 2012

Where can I get one of these Janome machines? We are looking for one for our 6 year old who loves creating new things with bits of material.

Esther in Amsterdam
October 3, 2012

Hi Maria, I think it’s best to call your local sewing machine store and ask them, or maybe do a Google search in your area… Good luck! xxx

October 9, 2012

[…] photo) we played games and had cake. Afterwards, we let the girls sew the sides of the bags using Sara’s sewing machine (step 6 below). Nothing but two straight lines, but except for Sara, none of the girls had ever […]

December 3, 2012

What kind of sewing machine did u get her and how much did it cost?

Esther in Amsterdam
December 3, 2012

Hi Kaysie, Thanks for your comment. We got Sara a Janome Sew Mini de Luxe, I don’t remember how much we paid for it.

December 4, 2012

Hi Esther. We’re thinking about getting our daughter a sewing machine for Christmas. Has Sara’s machine got a peddle and if so, is she able to reach it/use it? Just trying to work out if we should get one with or without a peddle. Sorry! Can you tell I’m a complete novice? 😉

Esther in Amsterdam
December 4, 2012

Hi Eleanor, good question! Yes, Sara’s sewing machine has a peddle. And we put it on the foot stand of her Trip Trap chair, or she uses the machine on a kids size table. Let me know if you have more questions! 🙂 xxx

December 7, 2012

Teaching kids to sew will develop their creativeness.I’m glad that Sara is enjoying it.I will teach my daughter when she is 7 years old.

August 9, 2013

It was so great reading yoru article as my daughter is turning 5 and is desperate to have her own sewing machine and after searching internet had no idea which one to get her and if 5 was too young but your experience has reassured me. Thanks

Gill Bitcon
February 12, 2014

I have tried and tried to buy a Janome Sew Mini de luxe sewing machine for my Granddaughter and can’t find one anywhere. Has anyone else bought one recently or recommend a similar machine…she is 8 years old. Thanks

February 15, 2014

I’m looking for one too. It looks very similar to the John Lewis Mini sewing machine??

February 26, 2015

I bought this machine, Stitch ‘n Time for a little girl and there was no manual in it…we’ve tried to catch the thread from underneath the needle like you do any other machine and we just cannot accomplish it. I have been asking people that shows or talk about this machine and hoping someone will have the manual and would be kind enough to print it out for me. These machines btw are no where to be found anymore, they don’t sell them and that particular company doesn’t exist!

Leave a Comment