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!”
- 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
- 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.