The 4 year old can operate my sewing machine.

I am like a proud mother hen. Do you know what this is?


It’s the first bit of sewing Elliot’s ever done completely on his own. He doesn’t nap anymore in the afternoon so after his quiet time is over he wanders upstairs and (go figure) I’m almost always in the sewing room. Often I keep him busy while Clementine finishes her nap with games on the tablet or coloring or cutting or we play a (real) game. The other day he told me he wants to “sew something.” I gave him this scrap of fabric and put the pedal on a box so he could reach it with his foot and this was the result.

He did it all himself. There isn’t a bit of this that I helped him with. Here’s a little video so you can see for yourself:

If the embedded video isn’t working, click here:

I have to admit that as a mother of two young children, I usually feel a bit envious when other bloggers show off crafts they do with their kids. The craftiest I ever get with my kids is painting or play-dough. Wait, I think last winter we dyed noodles. Somehow though the creativity I feel when it comes to my own sewing never seems to translate into crafty activities with my children. So let me walk you through our process so you can see if this is something you think you might do with your own children. And if you’ve had success sewing with your little ones, please share!

It started with him sitting in my lap while I sewed, probably as early as two years ago. He has always been fascinated by the needle going up and down and after I put the proper amount of fear in him regarding the needle, he would watch and we’d talk about what the machine was doing. The next step was me I guiding scraps of fabric under the needle while he pushed the pedal with his foot. This always elicited much giggling and excitement as he learned what happened when he pushed the pedal down really hard or not so much. We made a simple two-layer blanket together a couple weeks ago, and I let him lift and lower the presser foot. I let him cut the thread with the little thread cutter or a kiddy scissors. And then last week he made this, all by himself.


I’m a bit frustrated at the prospect of trying to buy him his own machine. If this interest continues there’s going to be a wait at the sewing machine unless I can find him one that he can have all to himself. How annoyed am I though that the only truly functional “kid” sewing machine (i.e. one that is not a toy) that is on the market right now is the Hello Kitty one? When I showed a picture of it online to Elliot he thought it was really cool, but it irks me enough on principle that the Hello Kitty and flowers are meant to be girly that I really can’t get behind it. Sewing in and of itself is not girly. So why can’t we make simple beginner machines for girls and boys? We have plenty of stickers here if bling really is the issue. There’s also the issue of getting a machine that can handle a little abuse. Most beginner machines aren’t built very well; I don’t want him to get frustrated if the thread starts jamming up all the time. Ironically he’s probably better off just using my Bernina.

Anyway, now that he can pretty much sew a line, I think he could sew something more practical and fun. He gets a little bored with the cutting out part of sewing, so it think it will have to be something small and simple. Any ideas?

102 thoughts on “The 4 year old can operate my sewing machine.

  1. I am with you on the fear factor. My son ‘helped’ me sew when he was 4 and I just couldn’t handle it. He hasn’t wanted to be my helper since! (He’s 6 now.) I think I freaked out a little!!

    What about sewing a simple snuggly pillow? Doesn’t have to be perfect and he can keep it to snuggle during ‘quiet time!’

  2. How exciting! I can’t wait to teach my boy how to sew. What about getting him a travel or compact sewing machine? I found this one, and I think it’s pretty gender neutral.

  3. I bought my five-year-old a used mechanical Pfaff that can be set to sew at half-speed, and I added a needle guard. I love the Hello Kitty machine, but my daughter could probably take a solid, made-in-Germany Pfaff with her to college.

    I’ve read that this cute, blue Kenmore is comparable in quality and features to the Hello Kitty Janome. It seems to get good reviews, and I’ve seen it on CraigsList fairly regularly. Might be worth considering?

    • I’ve asked about needle guards and always am told they don’t exist. :/ I’m so excited to hear they do as both my kids are interested in sewing, and it would be fun to use my machine with them.

      Is there a needle guard you’d recommend and where did you find it?

      Thanks so much!!

      • Hi Jody:
        I have never actually used or even seen a needle guard in person — I noticed some comments recommending machines with them though, THOSE people would be the ones I’d ask! Thanks for the comment!! πŸ™‚

  4. Maybe check out the Janome Sew Mini. I have one and it works pretty well and I think would be a decent starter machine for a child.

    • I also bought this machine for my 7 year old and she can operate it without any trouble and made a little hand-tied quilt as her first project (all of 8 squares – very small!). She loves it and so do I!

  5. I say buy a real sewing machine – just a cheap one. I saw one at my local big-box for around $70 last week. It was advertised as “portable”, I believe, but when I saw it I immediately thought “kid-sized”.

    As to projects, I just had a flash of brilliance that I am totally going to use with my own son: a simple drawstring bag! Or another style simple bag like a button-top bag (because the button-hole maker is really *cool*) or a flip-top sandwich-style bag. It’s perfect for storing rocks, lego men, and other treasures, and it introduces some basic concepts (like right sides together), has no complicated cutting, straight line sewing, etc. Thanks for the post, I’m inspired!

    • I agree – just buy an inexpensive “real” machine. I have a Brother XL2600i, purchased for under $100. I’m a new sewer/sewist/whatever myself, and just couldn’t justify shelling out $$$ for a Bernina or Janome when I wasn’t sure I would stick with it over the long term. So far, it seems pretty okay. Given that you’re a skilled sewer yourself, you’ll be able to determine when the errors originate with the machine and when they are a result of the user, which will be a huge advantage over what happens at my house πŸ™‚

      • I agree. I bought an Elna Mini Opal as my first machine for about $130 AUD and it was great — no jamming, really light and only had the six basic stitches, so nothing to mess up. It was strong enough to quilt something. πŸ˜€

  6. I had a child’s mini all white Singer when I was a little girl (I got it sometime in the mid to late eighties). Anyway, it worked well–though extremely basic. I even used it to make some pillows for my couch before I bought a real sewing machine! You might check to see if they still make them OR maybe you can find one on ebay or at thrift store or yard sale?

  7. What about bean bags? For a bean bag toss game? You could start with squares and then move on to other shapes if you want to add to the challenge?

    I’m totally inspired btw. I’ve been hoarding my extra sewing machine for far too long. I should let my 4 year old and 5 year old at it. πŸ™‚

  8. I thought about buying my 7 year old son a sewing machine last Christmas but was similarily annoyed at the lack of non-girly options. In the end, I got him a sewing book that wasn’t aimed at girls and skipped the machine. I’ll have to check out the links people are leaving, though.

  9. I have a Brother LS 2125i (it’s a Wal-Mart machine, under $80), and it’s been amazing. I think it’s a great beginner machine for anyone, and I’ve made everything from quilts to pillows to bags with it (I just finished a Show-Off Bag, actually, and my cheap machine didn’t even struggle with all of the layers of fabric and heavy duty interfacing at the top). I’m sure it’s not as great as a Bernina (or any other machine that costs 10 – 50 times as much), but it has always gotten the job done for me, and with very little frustration, too. I think it can take some abuse as well, as it’s been through quite a few moves with me, and I’ve taken it in my luggage on several long trips (even once on Amtrak). Also, I’ve (embarrassingly) never oiled it in the five years that I’ve owned it, and it just keeps on trucking!

  10. That’s awesome!

    I’d buy him an older model adult-size machine used at the thrift store or a tag sale. The old metal ones can take some abuse, and can be repaired if they get beat up. And he’s already comfortable using an adult one.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I sew on a Kenmore from the 90’s which is metal and it would be able to take some decent abuse and I think I saw them on ebay for around $30 so its not a huge investment.

  11. So awesome that he can sew! My little girl is just about 4, maybe I should let her practice when I’m sewing too. And my 1st project was place mats with matching napkins. All straight lines, and immediate gratification when you get to eat your meal on the place mat you made.

  12. I have a Janome machine that is basically a slightly-larger version of the Hello Kitty kid’s machine. It’s not much more complicated, was really affordable ($100 new on ebay). It’s really similar to this one: but an older model. Super beginner-friendly. This one might also work: The thing I really love about my machine is it’s super low-maintenance. I rarely have issues with thread jamming and so on, unless I’m sewing tons of layers or loose-weave fabric.

  13. I bought my daughter the blue sewing machine from Land of Nod when she was three years old for the same reason. Now that she is five she is sewing on her own (with me hovering above).

  14. I used to work in an after school programme and the first project I got them to make was a pillow because they were able to make something pretty decent looking and feel a sense of achievement. Well done Elliot!

  15. What fun! In your shoes, I would get one of the new bernette machines for my children’s use. Another option would be the Janome DC2010 (it’s been replaced by a newer model but I can’t remember it’s number. I was all set to purchase a new the bernette’s for my daughter & her 5 & 8 yr old daughters, but ran across a great buy on a used Janome DC2010. If money had not been an issue at the time, I would have gone with the bernette.

  16. I’ve found, with children, it’s best to ask them what they might like to make. You might need to give him some things to choose from. Have fun making memories with him!

  17. a bean bag
    a holder for lost tooth–likely he is too young
    a pillow that he can stuff
    a place mat
    a napkin/apron /bib
    Let him sew like a kid until he wants to change

  18. I bought my daughter a machine when she was 6. She liked the hello kitty one and all the other “pretty” little girl models. But I wanted her to have a machine that would really work well and not frustrate her, so I went to my Janome shop (it’s SO worth it to buy from a shop that knows how to actually fix the machine and troubleshoot on site!) and got their recommendations for a beginner machine. Then I bought some vinyl shapes– butterflies and stars, maybe?– and stuck them on. You could easily find some “boyish” shapes to put on a plain machine if he’d like that better than plain. Plus, that gives you an extra machine if you wanted to sew with a friend!

  19. The video was so sweet. I love that he was being “brave”. Reminds me of my own little man at home, who was “brave” for me this weekend. Makes me want to hurry home… πŸ™‚

    Great idea, though. My guy, who’s just a little older than Elliot, would love to learn how to do this. I once let him have a crack at the presser and he was appropriately delighted at what happened when he pushed his foot down hard.

    I think Belinda’s right. Giving him a few options would give him ownership into the project. Any one of those ideas above would be quick and simple for him to do in one sitting and then get to use right away.

  20. My mom had me sew my first project on the sewing machine when I was about 6. I made a little bathrobe for my teddy bear.

  21. So did not have time to read the other comments but my 6 year old loves to sew and he just sewed together some cloth napkins- we just put together two squares of flannel that he had picked out and then he sewed around the squares and then I am hoping they will fray on the edges and look like we intended it to be that way- rather than looking messy… they were about 6.5 inch squares so they would fit in our napkin holder . I could have taught him how to turn and top stitch but this was quick and he was able to finish them quickly so they kept his attention. They are not perfect but we are enjoying them just the same.

  22. You can always spray paint the hello kitty one! I was looking at it for mine, but am going to wait till he turns 6-7.

  23. So cute. I would frame it, his first piece of sewing! Just this weekend my 3 year old sat on my lap while we sewed a mitten. He was pretty thrilled, I let him hit the button to do the backstitching. I was gifted a old sewing machine a friend found thrifting, I’m pretty sure it’s brown… not sure how reliable a vintage toy sewing machine would be though πŸ™‚

  24. My siblings and I all started sewing on the machine at 5, which is when my mom and her mom learned (it’s a tradition!). We always used her machine as kids. Our first projects were little pillows or bags and then we got to pick what we wanted to make next. I think we all made shorts for ourselves as our first real project. We picked out the fabric, cut it from the pattern and sewed it together with mom only giving guidance.

    Maybe give E a few options and see what he’d like to make? I also think an older model ‘adult’ machine would be a good way to start. I didn’t get my own machine until I graduated college, but it would have come in handy before then!

  25. My kids LOVE to make pillowcases. They are quick and easy and require minimal sewing. We have fun ones, holiday ones, etc. They love to put their pillowcases on their beds to decorate for the month. I have a 10, 8, 4, and 2 year old (the 2 year old just picked out the fabric) If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.

    • I second this -we’ve made pillow cases with kids from 4 to 8 and they’ve loved choosing the fabric and the sewing is easy – all straight lines. They also overlocked the inside edges and they love the overlocker even more than the sewing machine. And they especially love that they use their pillow cases all the time. It really doesn’t matter if they go a little wonky on the lines either, provided you have a little extra fabric in the pattern.

  26. My son is way not old enough to sew with me, but I have a “travel” machine for when he is old enough to try on his own. If you live in the states, Big Lots usually has some for $15 in the small electronics section (ours has them next to the “overnight” blow dryers/hair straighteners)

  27. If he gets bored cutting, why don’t you buy a charm pack or a layer cake (5 or 10 inch pre-cut squares) and he can sew them together for his very own blanket?

  28. My daughter received the hello kitty machine for Christmas last year. It lasted a whole 3 sewing sessions before it was freecycled πŸ™ Don’t waste your money on it! The bobbin kept jamming. I looked it up online it is an issue that lots of people have and there is no fixing it. Every time she went to use it that happened. My 7 yr old went from loving to sew on my viking to tears from trying to use her own machine. And really, it was not her, I could not get it to work right either!

  29. this is awesome! my almost-3-yo totally wants to sew on my machine. we talk about how it works, but he has not yet used it since he can’t reach the peddle, but i think 4 years old is a good age! πŸ™‚

  30. Rae this is so adorable πŸ˜€ Vince loves to ‘sew’ with me but he only presses the backwards button for me. Sometimes I catch him trying to sew on his own D:

    At the local sewing shops here, Spotlight, they have little mini sewing machines for $100. They’re kinda like travel ones I guess? Why don’t you look for travel machines?

  31. My 4 year old granddaughter LOVES my sewing room. She sits in my lap and helps with sewing too. Her favorite thing to do though is take all the thread off my thread board and cut little pieces off. It usually takes me longer to clean up after her visit than to complete what ever It was that I felt the need to work on. lol

  32. I don’t have any ideas for things he can make, but I am so glad you posted this. My son is almost 3 and is obsessed with my machine – I’ve been scared to let him near it (its as old as I am and on loan from my mother-in-law, who is a little parsimonious). With your roadmap, now I feel like I can finally let him in on the action! He’s going to be so happy! Thanks, Rae!

  33. it’s funny, male pattern boldness just had a big post about children’s machines last week. While I had an ok time with mine, that was… let’s go with ‘many’… years ago and apparently a lot of the plastic kids’ machines that are available these days don’t actually sew reliably. I agree with many of the above posters – you’re better off getting an inexpensive machine that maybe is just smaller like the little Janome or Brother portables or something. Also, I’m so happy for you both. I loved learning to sew at that age.

  34. I have a Elna mini Opal, and I love it. It’s not much bigger than the hello kitty machines (or, the non-branded-but-exactly-the-same-$20-machine that was in my local sewing store a while back), and it’s very light, but sews well. I have made bound button holes, jackets, and skirts on it. It sounds a little bit like a kitchen mixer (it sounds a lot like my parent’s Kenwood, honestly) but i’m really happy with the results I get from it (I pull it out when I don’t feel like getting my old-school, heavy, 1980s machine out). And, it has more stitch length options than some of my friend’s full sized domestic machines. It has been discontinued in both Australia and New Zealand, but I don’t know about the rest of the world.
    Good luck sewing with your son!

  35. How fun! My almost 4yo daughter wants to sew and has already requested her own machine for her birthday! We have been stalking our Bernina dealer for used ones that they buy back. We’ve found a few Bernettes for under a $100.

  36. so fun!

    we recently ran into the same situation. my 4 year old son, quit taking naps, wanders into the basement, i can keep him busy for only so long, interested in sewing….

    i started out on a cheap little singer and have since upgraded. i put the singer on a shorter little table and let him have at it. he’s not really at a phase where i think he can actually make something. he just likes to sew lines on scraps of fabric. and it buys me more time. πŸ™‚

    i’ll be watching now for your son to post a tutorial for my son to do. πŸ™‚


  37. my little boy is 6 and he just recently became interested in sewing. i just let him sit on my lap bc he is only interested in it for about 5 minutes!!! but we made racoon and fox stuffed animals that disney has free patterns for on her blog i took him to the fabric store and let him pick his own fabric. which was a blast!!! he choose american flag print that we did the fox from and the racoon fabric has blue flames and yellow dragons!!! lol

  38. I taught sewing in my
    3rd grade classroom. Needless to say I couldn’t help individually, after teaching each kid to use the machine, with a class of 23. So I bought 3 self-threading, lever-operated machines by Brother. Some thread jamming sometimes, but in general satisfactory. Having the speed in 3 possible settings, and no foot pedal issues seemed to work well. I’m sure Mr. E. could operate it.

  39. When my daughter was 4 I bought her the Janome Sew Mini. She can operate independently and it’s been a great machine (she’s 7 now). I got it on sale at Hancock fabrics for $40. I’m preparing to buy another one for my other daughter who is 5 and absolutely has to have her own things….. in her defense, you never can have too many machines… right?!

  40. My daughter started sewing when she was 4 and we made the mistake of buying her a kids machine. It was an utter piece of crap. After it crashed and burned (literally – there was smoke) my mother in law gave her her old Singer. I put a little felt bumper (those stick-on pads people put under their furniture) inside the pedal so she couldn’t go all the way to the floor and let her go. I think I took the bumper out when she was about six. She’s nine now and is really proud to wear skirts she’s made herself – and she finished her first twin-sized quilt last year!

    I teach a lot of kids how to sew and I’ve NEVER had an accident with the sewing machine. The iron is actually the most dangerous thing in the sewing room.

  41. Check out the Baby Lock machines- they have some that are quite inexpensive (Molly and Anna). If your willing to spend a little more, their Sofia is incredible.

  42. How about little monster stuffies? The gingerbread shape is pretty simple to cut out, and he’ll have fun stuffing it full of cotton!

    About the Hello Kitty Sewing Machine – The good thing about that machine, is that its blue, how about making another Mother & Son “craft time” and buy a bunch of decals and stickers he likes to cover up the girliness of the machine? I’m sure if you wanted to, you can also take a few of the pieces off, and paint them. That way he has his own personalized machine πŸ™‚

  43. My son is my oldest kid, and the only one who’s had sewing experience. A few years ago, when he was almost 5, he really wanted to sew, so we made some bean bags (filled with lentils instead of beans) and that led to a lentil pillow for his bear, plus pillowcase, mattress, and blanket.
    I have recently inherited 2 cabinet singers from the 70’s from my and my husband’s grandmas, and they seem sturdy, reliable and simple enough for kids. Now I have enough machines to teach my 3 little girls to sew!

  44. Watch Goodwill or 2nd hand stores
    . They sometimes have good older models that sew a straight seam without all the problems a cheap kids machine would have. I have purchased them as low as $15. and taken them home and they sewed great!

  45. My daughter (almost 5) has shown interest as well and I am scared to let her do too much cause then “my” time turns into “our” time. And I am not ready for that yet. But I guess its ineitable as she is finally not taking naps regularly. Please let us know what you decide cause I have been wondering if its too early to get one for her too.

    Also, darn you for another cute pattern. I havent bought it yet cause I have soooo many other projects I want to do. But it haunts me at night when I am trying to sleep. I think it would make a rad shirt for Christmas since we dont do fancy dresses.

  46. I love this idea. I just asked my 5-year old daughter if she would want to sew with my machine and she got really excited. I love the idea of her making a pillow, she would be so proud of herself!

  47. just finally got a chance to watch the video – rae, he is SO CUTE. you are right for being a proud mother hen. πŸ™‚ i should start getting my 3.5 year old more involved in my sewing, you’ve totally inspired me! i wonder what she’d make…?

  48. I learned to sew when I was 7, and when I wanted my own sewing machine, I expected a toy sewing machine. I was very surprised when I received a real sewing machine for my 8th birthday!

    I asked my mom recently about what made her buy me a real sewing machine, versus the toy one, and she said she figured if she wanted to encourage me to sew, then I needed to learn on a real machine.

    That machine lasted me for another 10 or so years, and then I upgraded to a nicer machine with my first real world paycheck! I’m still sewing twenty plus years later, so I guess my mom’s idea worked!

  49. The first thing my then 6 yo made was a quilt. Simple squares sewn together. Much like your shower curtain! I let her pick the fabrics and I did the pinning together. She did all the sewing. The hardest part was to let her be a ‘kid’ and not get frustrated with her.

  50. I bought a heavy all-metal mostly basic machine at a garage sale for $20 and spent $45 getting it tuned and cleaned up…I think it will last forever. I gave it to my 11 year old for her birthday.

  51. I think a tote bag would be good… you could use webbing or similar for the straps, so then he’d really only have to cut two rectangles. And it would be something he could use/drag around/brag about to other people.

  52. I agree with all the comments that say go ahead and get a used older machine from a thrift store, auction or even sewing machine repair shop. My parents gave me my great aunt’s White from the 1970s when I was 6 and I sewed on it until I graduated college and left for the real world. My machine had its own little cabinet and it had a knee pedal instead of a foot pedal, so even as a small child I could operate it easily. I have a fancier Bernina now, but I still prefer the sturdiness of the White for certain tasks.

  53. With my daughter she loves to sew random things. I had her make a “doll” once, it was two pieces of fleece, that she sewed together and added some stuffing, I used fleece because we didn’t turn it out so no fraying was perfect. I made it shaped like a doll for her to practice her skills. Works great, straight lines, curves, circles, V shapes.
    And for a machine: I talked to the fantastic ladies at Hancock fabric about the same thing. I wanted to get a kid friendly sewing machine, one without lots of bling, since I was hoping for it to get passed down to her brother eventually. They told me it wasn’t worth buying any of the “kid” machines, and that it would probably be best to just let her use mine. The cheapest “worthwhile” machine I found was about 150.00 on sale. I wasn’t wanting to invest that into my daughter until I knew she was going to stick with it, so for now she still uses mine, or she uses the serger.

  54. Video was adoreable. He is so cautious! I will admit I was on the edge of my seat when he went for the backstitch button the first time. Thought that finger was going for the needle!

  55. I was JUST looking at the Hello Kitty machine at our local sewine machine store, while I have girls and the decorations would be suiting for them, I agree they should have a boy’s version too! But I found out that Janome makes 2 of that model, one is just decorated with the Hello Kitty. So you can get that EXACT machine without hello kitty. I’ve looked around for forever, and most kids machines are really a toy, not functional. But that one is a great choice- I’m getting it for my girls for Christmas!

  56. Sweet. I haven’t dare to put my daughter on my lap and sew. She wiggles a lot and likes to try to grab any scissors.

    For a suggestion, how about teaching Eliot to make his own toy or even a simple hat? Toy would perhaps be more complicated but when I first learnt to see at 6 or 7, I was darn proud of my hand sewing skills and of the little doll dress that I made.

  57. Just had to chime in here. I was having the same issue with my 2 girls and 1 boy wanting to sew. I finally ordered them a machine on and it is FABULOUS. It was about $140 and worth every penny. It has alphabet on it so the kids love to make bookmarks for friends, etc. on it. I also LOVE that is has a slow/fast setting that I feel is essential for kids AND it will not let you sew unless the presser foot is down. It is also a drop in bobbin which I think is the easiest one.

    Overstock does not have the same machine any more, but this one is similar:

    Also, you can see one of my kids sewing in my craft room here:

    I think you will regret spending about the same amount of money on a kid machine. You want them to be able to use it when they are big too!


  58. I have no idea if you will actually read my comment when you have so many to read, BUT I thought I would comment anyways, because I saw this idea and thought it was precious over at skirt as top. Her daughter colored a picture and she used fabric scraps to create the drawing into a stuffie. It was the cutest thing ever! Here’s the link if you want to see what I am talking about! And I think it is so cook your son is sewing. My son is 1, but very interested in what I am doing all the time at my sewing machine! I think it is great!

  59. How about a pillowcase? There are some neat organizations that give them to hospitalized children. He could make one for himself, and then for others! πŸ™‚

  60. my 4yr old son’s favorite thing to make is bean bags – quick and easy, and uses up scraps, plus he can do them in all sorts of colors (halloween ones for his friends right now).

    Also you can keep them in the freezer as “boo boo bags”.

    He also likes to make little drawstring bags, because he gets to use the iron for that and a lot more pins.

    We also do a lot of little things with felt, because its easy to sew and doesn’t fray.

  61. My son likes to make ‘shapes’. We started with triangles and squares. Then turned them into bean bags. now, he gets to throw them around. BIG fun. Little projects. And, a little math to boot! YEAH! My daughter likes to make pockets and put them on mini quilts. Because – what goes better on a quilt than pockets? LOVE their imaginations.

  62. Wow! That is so awesome! How about getting him started with hand puppets? When my husband was a little boy he sewed hand puppets on a treadle sewing machine.

  63. make an animal face pillow
    spray paint the hello kitty thing his fav color then put stickers all over it .

  64. A sewing machine IS a power tool!! The one I call mine really belongs to my husband–his mom bought it for him years. I had not thought of letting my 4 year old try the machine, but I bet she’d love it!! thanks for the idea!!

  65. My 3 kids all use my 50 year old all-metal Singer that my mother bought when she graduated college. They are 6, 8, and 10 and all pretty proficient (only the youngest is a boy though). With the older machines, they have less settings to confuse the kids, and the kids literally can’t hurt this machine. It’s almost like cast iron. Take a look on EBay, I bet you could get a great one for under $50.

    My 10 year old is just about done with the top on her first full-sized quilt… start them early!!

  66. when i was in first grade, my parents gave my younger sister and I an old trade in from the sewing machine shop, it lasted years. We learned to sew nice and young too – through my mom and 4H, but we loved a few books, as did my little brother… (i still have and use often two little bags he made for me! oh from almost 20 years ago!)

    i doubt they are in print anymore, but I’m sure you can find them. Besides the learn to sew material from 4H, which is amazing, these ‘I’ll teach myself books’ are runner up. We had a pile of them. I think it’s great he’s interested, I was always amazed at the clothes the teenage boys sewed in 4H, sewing a suit that fit so nice always seemed like a harder challenge than my dresses and such.

  67. Rae, I just wanted to let you know that since I posted my “leaf art” idea in the comments on this page, you have been my number 2 referring site, next to facebook! Thanks to your awesome readers, and you!!

  68. Too cute! My little guy (also an Eliott and just a few months younger than yours) loves to press the pedal for me. My first sewing projects were gifts. With Christmas coming, maybe he would enjoy making a simple bag, pillow, or basic skirt for his sister? Nothing compares to the pride you feel when you give a gift you made yourself!

  69. What an adorable little boy. I have been sewing for about 30 years and learned as a young girl myself. There is nothing more discouraging for a new sewer than a poor piece of machinery. What a great way to keep your children busy learning a much needed skill.

  70. πŸ™ my long reply was erased. I’m mainly wondering what’s gone you ended up with for your son? I’m looking for my daughter as well

  71. Yes it’s a bit scary. I tried to find a machine for my 5 yr old daughter that had a finger guard but no luck. Instead I got an Elna Mini which has a much slower speed than regular. And I might add it’s in a very non-girly red and white πŸ™‚

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