When I reviewed the Hello Kitty 18750 at Ace Sewing and Vacuum in Pompano Beach, Florida, my belief that computerized sewing machines should not be used by children was shaken.
When you are in the market for a sewing machine for a child, you want to make sure you are getting one that is not only easy to learn, but you want the most user friendly machine you can find. This is possibly the most kid friendly computerized sewing machine I have seen.
At A Glance
Without the Hello Kitty logo and lettering, this machine looks an awful lot like the Janome 3160 QDC. The 3160 QDC is a somewhat different machine in that it has a few more stitch options and is built to handle thick quilting jobs.
The dimensions and many of the features, however, appear to be the same. The Hello Kitty 18750 has a stitch selection guide on the front column, a backlit monochromatic LCD screen, a start/stop button, needle up/down button, reverse stitch button and a variable speed slider which uses pictures of a tortoise at the slowest position and a hare to indicate the highest speed rather than the arrow graphics you find on machines built for adult use.
It also has an easy to follow threading guide and an on board accessories case which when removed, gives the user access to a functional free arm and four directional buttons next to the LCD screen to assist with stitch selection and stitch length and width adjustment.
There is a thread cutter on the side of the machine, as well as a see through bobbin cover and the needle plate has a seam guide to the right of the needle.
- 50 stitches
- 3 one-step buttonholes
- Manual tension adjustment
- One-hand needle threader
- Slide-On presser feet
- Needle up/down button
- 7-piece feed dog
- Free arm
- Drop feed
- Start/stop button
- Variable speed control slider
- Lock stitch
- Reverse stitch
- Auto-declutch bobbin winder
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Monochromatic LCD screen
- Jam-proof horizontal full rotary bobbin
- Adjustable stitch length and width
Working on the Hello Kitty 18750
A youngster who has never before touched a sewing machine will be able to learn how to wind the bobbin and thread the Hello Kitty 18750 with ease.
Making a stitch selection is as easy as touching the directional buttons next to the backlit LCD screen. Each stitch is shown on the column with a numerical assignment.
To select a stitch, first use the left or right directional button until the underscore is highlighted in the correct position. Then press the up or down button until the number you want appears. Repeat the process for the second position and sew.
If you want to change the default settings for the stitch length or width, merely use the left right directional buttons until the length or width setting is highlighted, the use the up and down buttons to adjust the length or width upward or downward.
The settings are adjusted in increments of .1, an ideal feature, especially when you consider the fact that this is a machine built for use by a child.
The quality of the stitches is comparable to those made on a machine designed and built for an adult… a major advantage for those older kids who might be taking their Hello Kitty 18750 with them when they go away to college.
I like the way this machine feels. The Hello Kitty 18750 definitely doesn’t feel like a sewing machine that was made for children. It is a bit on the noisy side and vibrates a little, but nevertheless has a solid feel to it.
It bears repeating here… if the Hello Kitty logo and name were not on the front, it could be easily mistaken for a variation of the Janome 3160QDC.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 4 Presser feet
- Zipper foot
- Buttonhole foot
- Zigzag foot
- Button foot
- Extra bobbins
- Spool pin felt
- Extra needles
- Extra bobbins
- Seam ripper
- Lint brush
- Small spool holder
- Large spool holder
- Spool stand
- Instruction manual
- Soft cover
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
The Hello Kitty 18750 (official Janome page) is definitely a good option for someone nine or ten years of age or older. This sewing machine is not what I would necessarily call a child’s machine, but of course the Hello Kitty logo and name clearly say that it is.
I like the way it handles. Faye Nicholl, owner of Sunshine Sewing and Quilting in Margate, Florida, told me that she taught her seven year old granddaughter to sew on a Janome 3160QDC.
When she first shared this info with me, I concluded that the little girl only learned to sew on this particular machine because her grandma is a sewing machine maven and held fast to my belief that children should not be allowed to work on computerized sewing machines.
However, after taking a very close look at the Hello Kitty 18750 and comparing it with the 3160QDC, I can see how teaching a youngster to sew on a computerized sewing machine is not only possible, but actually easy to do.
I do not believe little ones younger than seven or eight should be allowed to work on a computerized sewing machine, however. Their little fingers and hands are far better suited for mechanical or electronic machines like the Hello Kitty 15822.
With this in mind, I think the computerized Hello Kitty 18750 is a better choice for the older child. I have seen people in middle and high school with Hello Kitty merchandise.
Having a computerized sewing machine with Hello Kitty emblazoned across the front is more than likely a fashion statement for someone in middle or high school.
So, if you are thinking about purchasing a computerized sewing machine for an older child, take a look at the Hello Kitty 18750. It is affordable; lightweight enough to carry to class and to the dorm; is easy to learn and to maintain; brings computer technology to the sewing room; and the Hello Kitty accents make it a trendy choice.
Purchasing a first sewing machine for someone may seem like an inconsequential act. Far from it. The truth is the first sewing machine a person works on has a great impact upon whether they like to sew or not.
If the young person you are shopping for has never used a sewing machine before, it is entirely possible that working on a machine that is overly complicated or one of inferior quality will turn them against sewing before they even begin.
The gift of a computerized Hello Kitty sewing machine will have the exact opposite effect. In fact, they just might decide that they want to be the next Project Runway All-Star. Receiving a well-made, dependable high performance sewing machine as a gift when they are still very young could make all the difference in the world.
Why not call or visit your local Janome dealer and ask for a demonstration of the Hello Kitty 18750. The staff will be more than happy to assist you.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Fully computerized sewing machine designed for use by children
- No thread cutting button/blade on the left side