My 5 year old Little C had a really exciting last couple of weeks. Not only did she graduate playschool, she started to learn how to sew on her very own (pink!) little sewing machine. She's wanted to start learning to sew on a machine for a long time, and when Janome contacted me and asked for me to review their new line of portable & colourful sewing machines I thought it was the perfect opportunity for her to start. My other two machines (a regular sewing machine and a serger) are Janome brand and I've had them for five years! I'd definitely recommend this brand to anyone.
Needless to say, when we cracked open the box of this awesome pink sewing machine and set the machine up on the table, Little C was so thrilled!
Over the next few days, my mom and I helped her learn how to use her new machine. She even sewed a mini book bag that we brought to the library.
(Read my tips for teaching kids to sew and how you can win your own Janome portable machine at the bottom of this post!)
This Janome New Home portable sewing machine was really a perfect machine for Little C to start learning on. First off, they come in a variety of fun colours like the "pink lightning" version that my daughter fell in love with here!
These machines are small and lightweight, but they are much sturdier than the majority of portable machines I've seen around. There are 10 stitch options, which are definitely enough for the beginning seamstress.
The presser foot has a finger guard so that it's safe for little fingers - they can't get caught under the needle. I was really happy with this feature! The machine chugs along at one steady speed. This can be frustrating for the seasoned seamstress, but for beginner's and young children it's actually a great plus! It seemed like the perfect speed for Little C.
The thread tension is easily adjustable with a knob, and we were able to sew through a variety of different fabrics and produce lovely, even stitches. This machine could even hem a pair of jeans or drapes! We managed to test it on a few layers of canvas with ease.
One of the only downfalls of the machine is that it doesn't have a task light, but that could be easily remedied with a lamp nearby or bright overhead lighting. Overall, I was very pleased with how this little machine handled. I'd recommend the Janome New Home portable sewing machine (this one is Pink Lightning) as a great machine for children to learn to sew on, or as an affordable machine for the beginning seamstress that wants something light around to do a bit of hemming.
Are you thinking of teaching your child how to sew? Here are my tips.
- Use the right sewing machine. My recommendation is the Janome portable sewing machine in Pink Lightning or Purple Thunder, natch! Choose a machine that's slow & steady and small enough for little hands.
- Supervise (in a fun way)! Safety is of utmost importance, so always supervise your child when they're learning to sew with a machine. Give them rules and guidelines, but cheer them on and give them high-fives too.
- Use different coloured thread for the top & bottom threads. This was my mom's tip and it helps your child see how the machine works and where the thread goes when you're stitching.
- Practice on some scraps first. Practice different stitch types and lengths of scrap fabric first. Draw lines for your child to try to follow with stitches.
- Let your child choose their first project (from a list of fun, appropriate things)! There are a lot of great tutorials online for projects that kids can sew. Little C's first project was a tote bag similar to this one from ikat bag. This pleated headband tutorial would also be a good beginner's sewing project, and so would this gathered skirt (which will be my daughter's next DIY!).
Would you like to win one of these adorable little Janome's for your child (or yourself!) to start sewing on? Come follow me on Instagram and repost this image (with the tag #WinPurpleThunder) to enter to win. The contest ends on June 30, 2014.
Do you have any tips on teaching kids to sew? I'd love to hear them in the comments below.
Disclosure: I received a Janome Portable Sewing Machinefor free to review. The views and opinions expressed here are purely my own. This post also contains affiliate links.