Best Sewing Machines & Sewing Supplies For Kids, Teens & Adults!
Here at Cupcakes and Lace Sewing Studio in Loudoun County Virginia, we offer lots of private sewing lessons for kids and teens (and adults too!).
We often get asked which machines may be great for beginners (kids, teens and adults!) and intermediate young sewers. Below is are list of recommendations on machines and also supplies that we would recommend not only for kids and teens but adults too!
A few things to note:
- Sewing machines in general have gone up in price due to COVID. They are also not being produced as often or resources are more limited so hence the higher price tag that you may see when you click on the links below. Note that they are all normally a lot cheaper but things have changed due to COVID and slower production etc.
- You do have to be careful when getting a machine just because it says “Singer” brand or recommends “best machine” does not mean it is good. There are TONS of terrible machines or “temperamental” machines out there and it can be very frustrating for a child’s learning (and a teen and adult!).
- In my experience the starter Singer machine and starter Brother machines are not really that great and you may end up wasting your money. The tension is terrible on those machines and the bobbin always acts up. They also do not sew well with knits, stretchy fabrics, and thick fabrics. We would NOT recommend these specific machines as well: Brother XM2701, Brother LX3817a, Singer Start 1304, Singer 3232, Singer 2277, Singer 1234, and the colored Janome New Homes.
- ALSO the tiny sewing machines on Amazon or other similar places (DO NOT BUY THESE AS THEY ARE TOYS and you will waste your money: UFR-505, Cool Maker, NEX, Sew Crazy, Made by Me, MagicFly, Sew Cool, Sew Mighty) are just toys and anything under $150 is really not good at all! You will waste your money and the machine will not be good for your child for learning purposes. The tension is terrible on these machines, has no speed setting making it more unsafe, and they just don’t sew through much of anything.
Our Favorite Sewing Machines: (In our preferred order!)
- Singer Stylist: these are the machines we primarily use at our studio! They are GREAT! I usually recommend these ones FIRST for kids and our adult students as well. And normally when in stock on amazon prime about $170 (during COVID times they are closer to $200) which is an amazing price for this machine. I love this for kids and teens because there is a speed setting which is rare in a cheaper machine and as they gets more experience they can turn up the speed etc. It also comes with a bunch of fun stitches. We’ve had 6 of those for about 7 years with tons of kids and adults using them and none have ever broken or given any issues. This machine also has tons of decorative stitches, several types of buttonhole stitches and attachment and several presser feet for various uses. Sometimes it goes out of stock on Amazon but usually pops back up a few weeks later.
- Singer Fashion Mate: Very similar model to the Stylist above! The main difference is that there is no speed setting on the machine. The first machines we suggest is our favorite for several reasons listed above but mainly for the speed setting (which is especially great for kids and teens). But this machine is very similar. Almost identical stitch options. So when the above is out of stock or you want a slightly cheaper price machine this one is great! This one also has the extension table which the other machine does not have. This helps if you are sewing things that need more space, that table provides that. Additionally this comes with a hard cover case. The Stylist just comes with a fabric cover.
- Singer Heavy Duty: Another great machine we have used with our students (kids AND adults) many times. Sews through lots of different fabrics and layers! Great little workhorse machine.
- Janome 2122: This is a really good machine for this price! We have used these many times when students have brought this in and they are pretty easy to learn on. Not to many stitches but enough to have some variety. Sews through many layers of different types of fabric and as far as we can tell also a little workhorse. Great value for the price! Definitely no complaints with this machine.
- Janome 5812: Another great machine! Pretty heavy duty and has several fun stitch options. Has a button hole foot, and zipper foot too.
- Janome Hello Kitty: Ok so this machine we would only recommend for the younger sewers and beginners. Now this is a very close model to these old Janomes we used to LOVE called Janome Sew Mini/Janome New Home. We have about 6 of the older Sew Minis and use them for traveling to teach at schools for After School Enrichments etc. They are very light and great for very young sewers. There is a finger guard and everything is very basic and starter friendly. So this is pretty close to those old models we love but don’t make anymore. Perfect for little sewers about 7-9 years old. Note there is no light on this one like most machines have.
- Fabric Scissors: We use Fiskars a lot….these ones are great for teens and adults. For kids this size is a little easier for them to use. Also little thread scissors are super handy for cutting all your threads and these are better for your hands over time when cutting tons of threads.
- Thread: coats and clarks is good, dual duty is good, gutterman is very high quality amazing thread but more expensive. Would not recommend cheap quality thread as it’s not great to sew with and messes with your machine tension.
- Hand Needles: for hand sewing!
- Pin cushions: magnetic pin cushions are great, or fun ones like a hedgehog are always cute!
- PINS! (Or clips for kids) long pins! Long pins are ideal as they making pinning easier…these are great for kids and adults. OR for kids you can get these fabric clips for at home use…less worry of picking up pins on the ground in your house. Also no chance of accidentally pinning your fingers! =)
- Bobbin Storage: smaller bobbin storage, larger bobbin storage
- Great Iron! We use this Singer one at the studio. You can also get a small ironing board as its easier to store.
- Cutting Mat: great for at home use especially if you do not have a designated sewing table to cut on. This prevents your kitchen table from getting cut up.
- Rolling Sewing Machine Case
- Sewing Supply Caddy
- Tracing Paper: Great for when you want to duplicate or transfer sewing patterns to something more sturdy (than the tissue paper store bought patterns) or create your own
- Kids Sewing Books: Sewing School Book, Fun Dolls: Make Cute Stuff, Cute Doll’s: Let’s Make Cute Stuff, and Sewing School Book 2
- Teen & Adult Sewing Books: One Yard Wonder , Tilly & The Buttons , Fun Accessories to Sew For Your Dog, and Project Teen