Toy Sewing Machines?


I’ve been scouring the earth to find a toy sewing machine for Scarlet for awhile, but I’ve only encountered toy-looking machines that actually include a needle – too dangerous at her age.  There’s a barbie one, a hello kitty one, even a bratz one (no thanks).  My mom found this vintage fisher price cutie on ebay and won it for Scarlet, and she ADORES IT.  It has a plastic fake needle that goes up and down and makes a fun clicking sound when you turn the wheel. Scarlet dug up an old doily and says “Mommy I sew this for you” and pretends to run it through the machine. So cute.

Have any of you encountered a toy sewing machine appropriate for a child?  What do you do to help your kid feel included in sewing time?  let us know in the comments, you could win some beautiful pom pom trim in the color of your choice!

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44 Comments

Amber

Ugh – I agonized over wanting to get a sewing machine for my 4-year-old but ultimately decided she was too young for a needly kind (but too old to be satisfied with a mere toy). So for now when she wants to help me sew we stick to helping with measuring and when I have an easy straight seam sometimes she sits in my lap and helps me feed the fabric. She desperately wants to do her own project. A pillowcase might be in our future.

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Rory, Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care

wow, that machine is so cute! why don't they make stuff like that anymore. :-/ i include my 3-year-old by letting her work on her lace boards while i'm sewing. i think as she gets older i will let her use the plastic canvas with a plastic needle and go to town, but she lacks the coordination for that right now.

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Debra DeAngelo

I am looking for that same toy sewing machine for my almost 4 yr old Grandaughter. I wish Fisher Price would bring back that play sewing machine!! I can’t find anything appropriate for my Grandaughter! She wants to sew after watching videos and seeing things that I sew for her!!!
Sewing is a hobby at this time, not like, when I was a child. It was cheaper to sew back then. It will become a dying art soon. Help my generation pass sewing down to the next generation and keep sewing alive and affordable to future generations!!!!

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Nichmo

WOW! That toy is awesome–there may be some e-baying in my future :).
So far the 4 month old has not been interested in sewing.
My grandma started us all out on plastic canvas with big plastic needles before we were old enough to use a sewing machine or sharp needles. She started us sewing simple skirts, etc. by the age of eight.

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Steph

I had the "Sew Perfect" toy sewing machine when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Anyone remember that?! It really did sew and came with a panel to make a doll and a pattern to make a pillow. The needle was encased so it was safe for kids. Not sure if this is still on the market nowadays.

For now, my girls are 3.5 years old and their favorite way to help is to smooth out fabric as I fold it for storage or when I'm about to cut something. Otherwise they make commentary or ask questions (what's that?) and stack spools of thread, or I ask them to hand me things (that are kid-friendly). They love being included and feeling like they helped, and I love that they are interested in something that I love to do.

And one of them drew a "Sewing Machine Car" for me, which is what I'd want if I was on Pimp My Ride.

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Poists

My son loves to help when I'm sewing. He picks out the fabric for some projects and for others he picks the design.
When assembling his job is to be the fabric weight, the pin collector, and of course the all important reverse button pusher!

My favorite thing is he calls the feet "skis" He is almost obsessive about the different feet.

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indywriter

I bought a plastic machine with a real needle for my daughter. But it has a guard on the needle that prevents fingers from getting to the needle (yet still allows for threading).

It sewed with a chain stitch. I found this super-annoying. Every time she finished a seam, I would have to fix it so it wouldn't unravel. I let her sew on my machine on my lap for awhile (and still do this with little sister, who is now 5). She is old enough now that I gave her my old machine. She started 4H last year and completed a sewing project on my first machine. A champion project no less!

On a related note… She gets frustrated when she makes a mistake. "It's hard to keep it straight all the time. It's just not fair!" "Not fair?" I ask. "Well yeah. Shouldn't I have inherited your sewing ability?"

Poor baby, she doesn't know that she *did* inherit my sewing ability. Unfortunately she did not absorb all my years of practice 😉

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ahisma

I've had my eye on this one: http://www.etsy.com/listing/55429251/sewing-machine?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga;_search_query=wood+sewing+machine&ga;_search_type=handmade&ga;_page=ℴ=&includes;%5B0%5D=tags&includes;%5B1%5D=title&filter;%5B0%5D=handmade

Right now, I'm working on a train track friendly playmat for my son. We worked together to draw up a design and find fabric to repurpose. We've been working on one step a day, tonight is sewing the sand to the lake. It's great to see him so excited about it, I know that it will mean more to him than anything that we could buy.

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:Brittany:

I want one really bad for my daughter. I would get her the hello kitty one. BUT the one I found was a real one! So I am still on the hunt! And that little sewing machine is just darling!

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Melissa

My daughter likes to stand and hold whatever fabric is coming out the back as I'm sewing. She thinks she is helping me sew. She also thinks I sew everything now. Whenever I put a new shirt on her, she says, "Oh Mommy made it! Thanks! I love it!". I'll go on letting her think I'm a rock star for a while…reality will hit when she's thirteen.

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Jaime

melissa my daughter thinks i make everything too! like she thinks i made the couch and her rainboots, it's too funny!

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Katie @ Hippos and Dinosaurs

My 4 yr old LOVES to handsew. I give her a big, dull darning needle, some felt in an embroidery loop and some embroidery thread. This can keep her busy for a very long time. Especially if there are buttons to be sewn on.

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Jan

One day when I was watching my 3 & 5 year old grandchildren I gave them fabric scraps, trim and pom poms a bottle of glue and paper. When there project was finished and dry I hung it on the side of my cutting table. They love seeing there creations.

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elana

i let my two (almost 5) turn the wheel the put the needle in and help me feed the fabric. also, when i take out pins they can put them in the pin cushion!

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Vanessa/NessieNoodle

I actually let my son (28months) play with the pins and pin cushion… some moms mightnot like that idea, but he can't really hurt himself with it and it is good for his fine motor skills to pull them out and put them back in to the cushion. I also have a jar full of big butons that I let him open and dump out on the ground. He likes to look at all of them and tell me the colors while he plays.
I should say that he is past the "put everything in the mouth" stage, so I feel like it is okay for him to play with these types of 'chokables'.

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becky

My 1 1/2 year old loves to play with the fabric scraps. She sits in the chair next to me and attempts to fold and unfold and put on and parade all over the house.

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Dakota

haha luckky becky. my toddler hates when i sit down to sew. i give her fabric scraps and she throws them at me and unplugs the sewing machine. its so sad but kind of funny and cute. she does like when i finish and put things on her though. she appreciates even the not as nice creations.

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Amy Kirchhoff

My daughter will be 2 in a week, so we haven't gotten her the Hello Kitty or Singer sewing machine. I've occasionally looked for something like what you have now and haven't seen a thing! (Lots of toy cell phones and laptops…no sewing machines. At least they still sell kitchens…)

Anyway, I've given her very large wooden, colorful beads to thread on pipe cleaners and showed her how to close the pipe cleaners to create a bracelet or necklace. This works for about 10 minutes.

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Jessi

I don't remember how young I was, which means pretty young I guess, but my mom used to draw straight lines on a piece of paper and when she was pinning or cutting she'd let me run the paper through the machine until I got it just right on the lines. She'd then draw curving lines and then swirls and circles and other shapes. It kept me occupied while she was occupied and I learned a great skill that a lot of girls never learn! (PS it's how I'm teaching boyfriend to sew!)

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Lindsey

i bought the hello kitty sewing machine actually for my daughter when she was 4, I think, maybe 5. i ended up throwing it away seeing that it was a complete worth of junk, i hated to even give it away to charity. 🙁 the needle wouldn't stay threaded, it only did a chain stitch, it just caused me heartache to me and her than it wasn't worth it!! I couldn't stitch right with it, let alone a child!

so, i let her sew on my machine. she's made a couple of pillows, one of which sits proudly on her brothers bed as a christmas present. it makes me smile, that he loves the handmade pillow from his little sister!

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Patrick, Ashley, and Audrey

I L-O-V-E this little sewing machine! My Audrey must have one one day!
My girl is 14 months, but loves to "help" me sew. She sits on my lap and plays with her little plastic animals while I run little stuff through…she mainly watches and exclaims "whoa!". But she is also my helper in clean up. WHile I sew she picks up all my stray threads that are laying on the floor! She thinks she's being so helpful (and she is!-I don't vaccum enough!) and it keeps her busy!:)

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Kaci

bah! I'm pretty sure I was bidding against your mom! hahaha – I was just going to put it on a shelf in my sewing room so I'm glad that Scarlet got it! If you ever want to sell it – email me! lol

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amomwithalessonplan.com

AHHHH! I have so many things to say. I am totally going to look for a machine like this (once all the prudent baby fans stop bidding on any listed on ebay ~ I'm pretty patient). I made sewing kits for all of my nieces (under 6) and I will have a show and tell ready asap.
And on a totally unrelated note, I'm going on a short vacation. . .just realized I will not be able to check Prudent Baby 5 times a day. I don't wanna go.

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Mama Hoot

Yeah, all these people with toddlers who let them sew…not at our house. My daughter will have none of it. She's just over a year and a half and she wants to sit in my chair at the machine by herself and press buttons. I'd try with her in my lap but she wants to touch everything while it's moving – so not safe. She also has a knack for finding that one stray pin that I may have missed on the floor and somehow getting to at least one pair of pointy scissors. It seems like an accident just waiting to happen.

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ModernDayMama

Because my boys only have a passing interest in my sewing machine, they usually sit on my lap for about 5 minutes watching me sew and helping me "steer" the fabric.

A lot of times I toss them the scraps and a glue stick and let them make designs on paper or cardboard tubes or whatever they find. And I've found that letting them cut out felt shapes and designing clothes for felt people satisfies their curiosity as well.

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Bonnie

I had a very difficult time finding a toy sewing my daughter's 3rd birthday this past december. I wish I had of found something like you did! In the end I got her a 'real' cheap chain-stitch machine and took out the needle and power cord to make it age appropriate before I gave it to her. She raises and lowers the presser foot, turns the hand know and flicks whatever switches she can. She actually turned a laundry basked upside down to make a sewing table and can often be found making blankets and burp cloths for her babies!

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Shipley Mommy

I scored a Playskool sewing machine that is the neatest thing ever, at a thrift store. It uses markers and it actually feeds the material through and leaves stamped lines of different patterns on the fabric. Plus it sounds like a machine. I try to use it sparingly with my daughter since I doubt that replacement parts are anywhere to be found. But, it is such a neat toy, and she begs for any scrap fabric I have.

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Erin

I absolutely LOVE that sewing machine! My kids are 2 and 1 so a bit too small to even think about sewing, but they love to sit and play in my big bag of fabric scraps. I love that they sit and play at my feet while I am sewing 🙂

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Luch

That's an awesome toy! I scored a dinky sewing machine (toy-like but with a real needle like you've seen) at a garage sale for 3$ this summer. My 3.5 year old wanted to try and we ended up with her mostly pushing the foot pedal while I fed the material. Made a nice doll pillow and blanket before I decided it took took much supervision (I wanted more sewing time for me!). She does love lacing though…I like the other commenter's idea of getting plastic canvas as a next step. Anyway…good to know I have a machine for in a couple of years when she's old enough! (3$!! Couldn't NOT buy it!)
(I love that Scarlet said she sewed it for you!)

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liz

Having been a child once in my past life. I owned a toy sewing machine but it was the one with the real needle. I was probably about 7yrs old when I got my first one, and due to the flimsiness of the machine I had it replaced quite frequently because it jammed. I broke needles, tore thread, who knows what I was sticking under that thing.
Other then that my grandma would let me use her Bernina to make small handbags when I understood the concept of dangerous moving parts.
I did have lots of plastic canvas to "sew" with yarn and to be quite honest I still love how they look.
I'm starting a sewing club this Friday with my after school children for 6weeks and we'll see what the final products are after the 6th week when I let them try out my old sewing machine.

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TheStephanieMorris

For the momma's who can sew with your kids you are saints! 1st- It's best not to sew when the 2 & 3yo boys are around, unless the crooked stitch is in. 2nd- If they are around, I pull out the play-dough. It's crafty, easy to clean, & doesn't mark on fabric :))

When I was little I had the Easy Sew Sewing Machine (late 80's/early 90's) that sewed yarn onto paper. It's possible that it is still in my parents house bc my mom keeps everything! I looked around the internet but couldn't find one. Good LUCK!

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Sunni

Love the Playskool one. Wish it was mine!!
I found this one on Etsy, and I am in love, but it is a little outta my budget.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/58627877/vintage-childrens-fire-engine-red-vulcan?ref=sr_gallery_40&ga;_search_query=sewing+machine&ga;_search_type=category&category;=vintage&ga;_page=ℴ=&includes;%5B0%5D=tags&includes;%5B1%5D=title&filter;%5B0%5D=vintage

My oldest daughter learned to sew at 5. She is 8 now. She makes doll quilts, skirts and purses. She also likes to stick my scraps in her "scrap-book" (her joke, not mine)
My little one is only 15 months and not interested in my sewing machine. But, I sometimes sit in her room and read while she plays and she loves to get her book and sit and "read". I know that is off the subject, but I am a Momma and I gotta brag!

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Catherine

Yup. My two year-old son is constantly asking, "Where's my sewing machine, Mama?" You guys have given me a lot of good ideas on how to involve him in the process. He loves helping. Right now, I have some big wooden spools that he threads onto a rope and I tell him he's sewing. He keeps making a "necklace" for me (which is actually quite fashionable) and insists I wear it around the house. But I love the idea of giving him a machine that actually sews when he's a little older – a little gender-subversive, but he'd love it!

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Ali Smith and Noah Thomas

I just scored a playskool sewing machine on ebay, yipee! It's true, I think you just need to be patient to find one, but I am super thrilled to give it to my daughter for her birthday! Just be ready to pay a lot for the shipping.

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Christie

I began by helping my mama pull her embroidery needle through to the other side and by the time I was 2 1/2 was allowed to use a real embroidery needle, which I used to sew my doll clothes shut haha. I never wanted to put the needle in my mouth or anything like that. I had a toy sewing machine but it didn’t really sew. I was using my mama’s real machine with her help by the time I was about 6 and eventually in about 8th grade was finally able to buy my own. My baby (15 months) is wanting to help me crochet, knit, and now sew, so I have been looking for a toy machine that will be safe for her and finding that the only ones being made are handmade and are on etsy. They look great but are way more expensive than I can afford, so I will just have to keep looking.

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