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Why I Gotta Have a Sewing Machine

Updated on February 14, 2013

Even Though I Only Sew Every Now and Then

Like many people, I do my sewing in spells. My mending pile and even my creative sewing pile can get larger and larger until suddenly KaBOOM! It's time. Out comes the sewing machine, other tasks get ignored, and I am sewing up a storm.

What about you? Here, I will give reasons why a sewing machine is a really valuable household tool. There will be video tips on how to sew with a sewing machine and how to maintain your sewing machine in good condition. I'll be asking you some questions you can answer to make this a more interactive page. Also, there will be a section on setting up your sewing area. I love easy sewing projects, so I will give you some links to things you can make quickly. Sewing can be fun and very satisfying!

Photo credit: Flickr.com

Why a Sewing Machine can be an Essential Tool

  1. It saves money (sometimes a lot) when you can mend or repurpose something rather than replace it.
  2. You can make clothes that nobody else in the world has.
  3. You could sew clothing or household items and sell them on Etsy.
  4. You could do sewing and mending for people in your community, either for income or as trades for the skills they have.
  5. Sometimes you just have to mend or alter a favorite garment immediately, so you can wear it someplace.
  6. Curtains are easy to make.
  7. Do you go to yard sales or thrift stores? A lot of things there would be perfectly usable with a bit of sewing. There is even a name for making something creative from old things: repurposing, and it is very chic.
  8. Have some beautiful fabric? Sew something from it.

First, Get a Sewing Machine, or Get Yours Out of the Closet...

It doesn't matter if you are using a new machine, an old machine, or one you borrowed from a friend or neighbor. To get back into sewing, just set the machine up, find a piece of fabric or something that needs mending, and start sewing. I find that whenever I get going on a sewing binge, one thing leads to another. Hmm, just writing this makes me want to start sewing right now...

I actually don't recommend buying a new sewing machine if you have an old one. That is, it's a great idea to do enough sewing with whatever you can get your hands on that you will know what you would really want in a sewing machine. Then when the time is ripe, you could get one or have someone give you one for your birthday or a holiday.

How My Viking 6460 Sewing Machine Came Back to Life

They couldn't repair it at the shop, but it got fixed and I am happily using it now. Here's a blog post about what happened.

If I Were Getting a New Sewing Machine Today - I Would Take a Good Look at the Singer 9960

The Singer 9960 could be called the best sewing machine at Amazon. It's the top rated one as I write this, which means that people gave it the highest rating. I generally consider a number like this to mean more when there are a lot of reviews. When I was reading the ratings, a good number of people (more than fifty) had rated it and by far the majority had given it the most favorable rating possible.

So I took a good look myself. The manufacturer's description mentions the computerized stitches, all 600 of them. Not sure how many I would ever use but it's fun to have a lot of choice. It has several fonts too, for sewing words onto fabric. That got my creativie ideas going.

The automatic needle threader could be quite an improvement on the shut-one-eye-and-squint method I currently use. The drop-in bobbin looks nice. And the automatic thread cutter and the speed control are enticing.

When I starting reading the reviews, I became even more sure that this would be my machine of choice! So do take a look if you are curious.

How to Use a Sewing Machine

How to Sew Straight, Zigzag, Buttonhole, and Blind Stiches - On a Sewing Machine

Two of the Best Books on Sewing Machines

The first one is all about sewing machines and the second one includes a section on choosing a sewing machine and is a best seller for learning to sew.

How to Hem Jeans

Try These Things Before Taking Your Sewing Machine in for Repairs

More Sewing Machines to Consider if You Need One

All Sorts of Sewing Machines Turn Up on eBay - I recommend evaluating the seller before deciding to buy.

Also be sure that they are going to ship the machine with insurance and careful packing.

Something else to watch out for is that sometimes used machines will sell for more than you would have to pay for a similar brand new one at Amazon. So a little comparison shopping is worthwhile.

Still, sometimes you can get great deals on eBay. (Another possible place for deals on sewing machines is Craigslist if you know what you are doing and how to check out a sewing machine.)

By the way, this list automatically updates so everything you see should be available.

Easy Sewing Projects

I love to do easy sewing projects that I can get done relatively fast. Right now I'm about to make a new apron, using my old one as a pattern. I've even found a good fabric in my collection, so it's just a matter of a little time.

Here are some resources around the web for finding good sewing projects that are easy, fast, and quite likely free.

Setting Up Your Sewing Area

Here you'll see what I've done. I didn't show you my dining table, but that is where I cut fabric. And my cardboard mat that I cut it on is in the hallway coat closet. So you could say that my sewing area is pretty much the whole house.

My sewing machine, wrapped in a white fabric cover I made for it, sits in a convenient spot in my home office, on the antique desk on the left. I like it there, partly to remind me of its existence, and also because it's an old machine and weighs about 40 pounds. I keep the foot pedal plugged in, so it's all ready to go!

Since my office is a corner of our living room, I didn't make space for storing fabric or supplies right there. This isn't ideal but actually it works fine for me, especially since I only sew now and then, usually on the weekends.

These Mexican baskets in our bedroom are crammed full of fabric. I've traveled to many places in the world and have brought back gorgeous fabric that is waiting for the perfect project. My mending goes in one of the smaller baskets. And there is a place, ahem, for favorite clothes that used to fit me but don't now!

The laundry room is home to over a dozen plastic storage bins, filled with various supplies. The sewing supplies that I use all the time are in my office, but most of them--along with knitting and other handicraft supplies--live here. This can be a little inconvenient, but it isn't bad. Hey, we chose to buy a small house that we didn't need to get a mortgage for, so a little compromise is just fine.

I did make labels for all the bins, and the sewing ones are pretty detailed about what is in each bin.

Shopping List

What do YOU need to organize your sewing machine and supplies?

I Really Should Get One of These for my Thread!

Mega Rack II Thread Rack and Organizer
Mega Rack II Thread Rack and Organizer

Can be set up on a table or mounted on the wall.

 

Some Storage Bins at Amazon

These are all from Sterilite. I've found the bins they make hold up well.

Please note that if you click through to Amazon.com from here and if you buy something, Squidoo and I may share a commission, at no cost to you. Clicking on some of the other links might also yield me some commission. I appreciate the income, as it enables me to spend time doing writing like this.

Do You Sew? Do You Mend? - And if you don't what do you do with things that need a bit of mending?

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