Ever since starting work on this website, I’ve been wanting to review decent quality sewing machines for that were specifically designed for children.
After all, I got my very first sewing machine when I was just eight years old. That tiny green straight stitch only hand crank sewing machine was the beginning of a lifelong love affair between me and the art of sewing.
While visiting Ace Sewing and Vacuum in Pompano Beach, Florida, I was at long last able to review the 21st Century version of my first sewing machine – the Hello Kitty 15822 by Janome.
At A Glance
Even without the bright primary colors, the familiar kitten face and the words “Hello Kitty” emblazoned across the front of this lightweight sewing machine, the large dials and bright red and blue accents are dead giveaways that this sewing machine was made with the very young home sewer in mind.
The Hello Kitty 15822 has three large dials across the front. From left to right, they are the stitch selection dial, the stitch width adjustment dial and the stitch length adjustment dial.
There is also a dial above the needle that controls the tension adjustment and an on board needle threader. The thread guides are clearly marked, leaving no room for mistakes when winding the bobbin or threading the machine.
The front loading bobbin is situated behind the removable accessories storage case and the oversized reverse stitch lever is on front of the machine at the lower edge on the right side.
When the accessories compartment is in place, it gives your youngster plenty of space to work on. Once it’s removed, the free arm gives your little home sewer the freedom of sewing small things, like doll clothes, sleeve hems, pants cuffs, collars and the like.
There is even an easy to understand seam guide on the needle plate. If my first sewing machine had a seam guide like this one, learning fractions would have been a whole lot easier.
- Front loading vertical oscillating hook bobbin
- 22 Utility and decorative stitches
- 1 one-step buttonhole
- Manual thread tension control
- Built-in needle threader
- 3-piece feed dog
- Free arm
- Reverse lever
- Declutch bobbin winder
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Stitch selection dials
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- On board thread cutter
- On board needle threader
- On board accessory storage
Working on the Janome Hello Kitty 15822
I approached this review as someone who was in the market for a child between the ages of five and nine. Working on the Janome Hello Kitty 15822 was a fun experience in that it is not only very easy to use, it is also designed to make learning to sew a fun experience.
Easy to follow, kid friendly guides take young fashionistas through the threading steps of winding the bobbin and threading the Hello Kitty 15822 in such a simple way that even a five year old will be able to master these tasks after just a little bit of supervision.
I’m not crazy about the fact that the accessories case must be removed in order to gain access to the bobbin case. But the front loading bobbin, once you get to it, is very easy for children to work with and understand. There are actually four dials, all of which are very easy to understand and even easier to turn.
The upright numerical dial just above the needle is for adjusting the tension; the dial with the apple in the center surrounded by the letters A through L is the stitch selection dial; the center dial, with a picture of a flower is the stitch width selection dial; and the dial all the way to the right, with the bowtie, is used to adjust the length of the stitches.
The Hello Kitty 15822 has an on board stitch selection card which attaches to the top of the machine head, giving your little one immediate access to a graphic display of all the available stitch choices. All that is needed to gain access to a desired stitch option is to turn the dial to the corresponding letter.
The quality of the stitches produced by the Hello Kitty 15882 is very, very good. I wouldn’t really compare I with a full sized machine designed for use by adults, but for a child’s machine, the stitches are better than those produced by nearly all of the other sewing machines designed specifically for use by children.
Unlike many of the other children’s sewing machines I have reviewed, the Hello Kitty 15822 delivers stitches that are sturdy and secure, leaving no question whatsoever that they may come apart even before you move away from the sewing table.
- 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 Clip on presser feet
- Multi-purpose zigzag
- Lint brush
- Seam ripper
- Extra bobbins
- Extra needles
- Owner’s manual
|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 15822 (official Janome page) is a great sewing machine for the very young child who wants to learn to sew. Learning to sew on this machine is bound to be a fun experience … and the things your child makes will be around for more than a few weeks.
The bright primary colors, large, easy to manipulate controls and the familiar Hello Kitty motif are welcoming to children under the ages of nine or ten.
I wouldn’t recommend purchasing this for a child ten or older simply because most children that age will be outgrowing the Hello Kitty phase. I say that with the full knowledge and awareness that some girls in their teens are still very much into Hello Kitty.
The best way to determine whether or not to give a Hello Kitty to an older child is to know that child personally and to have a very clear idea of whether or not she is still a Hello Kitty diva.
The Hello Kitty 15882 is economically priced so that even if the child you are shopping for has not indicated any interest in sewing, you will not feel as though you wasted your money if it turns out that there is no real interest in sewing after the first few months.
With a machine as easy to learn and dependable as this one, however, you just might be the catalyst behind another person getting bitten by the sewing bug.
Wouldn’t it be great if it turned out that you laid the groundwork for a lifelong tradition of sewing with your daughter or granddaughter just by giving a simple gift like the Hello Kitty 15822?
I remember lengthy hours of bonding with my aunt and grandmothers over sewing projects. Even when health challenges made them quit sewing altogether, we continued to share ideas and bond over sewing.
When my own granddaughter was just four years old, I sat her on my lap and guided her little hands as I taught her how to make an elastic waist skirt. From there, she insisted upon making something every time she came to visit.
She’s in her 20s now and although she doesn’t sew much anymore, some of our best times together still take place in my sewing room. Just imagine the strong bonds you can build with your own children and grandchildren in the sewing room… and it can all start with the gift of a sewing machine of their own.
If you are going to give a sewing machine to a young person in your life, I recommend the Hello Kitty 15822 for the very young sewer. This fun machine is a perfect introduction to a lifetime of great sewing experiences filled with memories of good times with the person who gave it to them.
- 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.
- Child friendly – ideal for young sewers
- Cannot access the bobbin without first removing the accessories case