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Hello Kitty Sewing Machine

Reported by Susie Ziegler

I couldn’t resist it! I had to get my daughter the Hello Kitty Sewing Machine for her birthday. She’s been wanting to learn to sew for a long time, but after a disastrous lesson in crochet at about age 5, I told her sewing would have to wait until she turned 8.

In the USA, this machine is manufactured by Janome. The Hello Kitty Sewing Machine is of course, super cute. I know it is manufactured by Janome only because of their large logo on the front of the machine. I can’t even guess why it isn’t listed at the Janome website. There was another adorable version in blue that is smaller and even more basic. My internet searches seemed to reveal that users of the little blue machine were unhappy with it. Additionally, there are some pink Hello Kitty machines which seem to be more toys than real working sewing machines. This one is definitely not a toy. It is a fully working, well-designed and constructed machine and is an excellent choice for any beginning sewer, or an experienced sewer who wants something portable and cute to take along to classes.

I ordered this green version from Target. If you are lucky, they might have them in your store. Mine didn’t, so I got it online instead. Good heavens, were we ever excited to open this gift! I also got my daughter a totally decked out sewing basket with some higher quality notions like a good seam ripper, scissors, extra bobbins, sewing thread, needles and pins, and a magnetic seam guide.

We learned very quickly that this machine lives up to all our expectations. It is extremely easy to use. There are the most basic of stitch choices including three lengths of straight stitches and three basic zig-zags. This machine also has a few hem stitches, that stitch you are supposed to use when putting in elastic, and three settings to use for buttonholes. It stitches slowly and steadily which is a good thing for children and beginners. My high end machine races along at breakneck speed, which I like, but that was way too fast for my daughter who is still learning how to keep her seam allowances even.

We love the lightness and portability of this machine. It weights about 13 pounds and measures just 10 inches high by 5.5 inches wide by12.75 inches long. It has it’s own little light so you can stitch anywhere and still see what you are doing.

We had to work out how to thread the bobbin case, but only because I’m not used to those. The thread tension was perfect, and needed no additional adjustments. The most difficult thing for my daughter to do is to thread the sewing needle. I think this is probably hard for most people, and we found that a needle threader helps considerably. She also forgets to check to see that the whole thing is threaded correctly when she starts out so sometimes she gets those “bird’s nests” on the underside of her work. We can even reverse stitch to reinforce our stitching!
The machine comes with the basic foot that you would expect, but that foot drops right out should you wish to change it with another one by Janome – like a zipper foot, or 1/4 inch foot – useful for quilting. Unfortunately, there isn’t a thread cutter attached anywhere, so you have to have your seam ripper or a pair of scissors close at hand at all times to trim your threads.

Together my daughter and I have sewn up some cute decorative pillows in novelty fabric. We trimmed some baby blankets with packaged bias binding, and began piecing a doll quilt. Um… it also appears that we need to put an ironing board cover onto our project list.

My daughter offers this wisdom: “I recommend having this sewing machine because it is nice and easy. I like the color and it is simple to see what the buttons mean. Sewing is fun and a nice skill!”

Pros:

  • Adorable Hello Kitty cuteness has a wide appeal
  • Simple stitches make learning to sew less confusing
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Illumination over the needle
  • Sturdy construction by reputable manufacturer

Cons:

  • No thread cutter
  • Maybe you don’t like Hello Kitty?

This machine is available online in the $90 to $110 price range at Target, Allbrands.com, and Sears. After some practice and supervision, my daughter felt confident enough to work on a “secret project.” This felt pumpkin was the result:

I think it’s pretty good for a young beginner with no help at all from any adult!

I’m so pleased to be passing on my love of sewing to my daughter. Please tell us your stories of how you learned to sew! If you have not yet learned I hope you plan to. It is such a satisfying hobby.

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12 Responses to Hello Kitty Sewing Machine

  1. Dana (*danavee*) November 12, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    That pumpkin turned out WAY cuter than my first sewing project!

    Great review… if I didn’t already have a sewing machine, I’d totally get this one. I need a little more Hello Kitty in my life!

  2. IamSusie November 12, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    Thanks, Dana!

  3. Kim November 12, 2008 at 11:51 am #

    Oh that is just the cutest. I would have loved one of these when I was a little girl rather than breaking my mum’s old singer hand-driven machine! kim

  4. sandra November 13, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    Maybe you don’t like Hello Kitty?

    thats hilarious.

    i wouldve loved to get this as a kid!
    i am for sure getting this for my niece when shes older πŸ™‚

  5. Krissi November 13, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    Fan-TAS-tic! Both of my machines are Janomes and they’re sturdy and easy to use. It’s a great way to teach youngsters a really useful skill!

  6. Cat November 14, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    they must have listened to you …. http://www.allbrands.com/products/abp11167.html

  7. Shell Mitchell December 2, 2008 at 11:51 pm #

    possibly the most entertaining sewing machine review ever… i really want this machine now. i heart hello kitty.

  8. Kelli January 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    I am now 29 years old and have been sewing by hand for many many years. Every time I head out with the goal of getting a machine, I get SO intimidated and confused! Lots of large machines with functions I don’t understand, and with a thousand different stitches and on and on. After reading the reviews on the Target website about this machine, I was nearly convinced. After doing a broad search and coming across this review by you and your daughter, I’m happy to report I just placed my order. I’m so excited! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this machine, it’s exactly what I needed to hear. Happy, Healthy, and Inspired 2009 to all!

  9. PattiM March 10, 2009 at 4:53 am #

    I love the Hello Kitty!! My singer is great but too big and heavy to lift. So, I recently bought the Janome mini sewing machine that is white/cream, I can’t decide which to call it. Anyhow, its like the Hello Kitty but not as cute. Only has the basic stitches, is small (perfect for my scrap space), also has reverse and easy to use. I have a hard time threading the needle too but having to wear glasses comes with age and the needle is small. Mine also sews slow but thats what I needed to sew on cards, ATC’s and layouts. Mine was cheaper and I bought it on-line but if I’d known about the Hello Kitty, I would have got that.

    So far I’ve only sewn on layouts and cards with it but I have some material (from the charm packs) and plan on making cloth book covers, a cover for my cricut, cover for my 2 printers and whatever else I can think of, just so I can use my Janome. Hope you and your DD have lots of fun creating with her sewing machine.

    BTW, if anyone is thinking of getting the cheaper $10 or so machines that some of the craft stores are selling, I’d check on those and the Janome. I bought a cheap one last year and it wouldn’t even sew on paper, had to send it back. HTH

    Hugs,

    PattiM
    (Pattie’s passion)

    I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!!

  10. Donna March 10, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    My Daughter is married but loves Hello Kitty and this would be such a great gift!! Thank you for the information!
    The pumpkin turned out super!!

  11. Anonymous February 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    there is a thread cutter on the back side of the post that holds the foot

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