Monthly Archives :

September 2017

Support Your Local Sewing Shop

heavy-duty sewing machine

Singer 96k industrial sewing machine

Need some sewing supplies for your heavy-duty sewing machine? Can we encourage you to shop locally?

Globalisation means there are fewer sewing and haberdashery stores than there once were. Fifty or 60 years ago, it would have been commonplace for every town to have a shop that sold supplies for sewing machines, heavy-duty sewing machines and regular ones.

Most households would have had at least one person who knew how to sew, and clothes were mended and repaired or created from scratch. Local sewing and haberdashery shops catered to their needs – you could stock up on all kinds of fabric and materials, needles, thread, zippers, buttons, pins and more.

Sadly, many of these shops are long gone. It’s had to be an independent shop these days, as rents are so expensive, but those few sewing and haberdashery stores that survive are a delight.

There’s something about the smell of a haberdashery shop that is nostalgic. It’s a distinct aroma, the smell of cotton and large swathes of material waiting to be cut up to the customer’s requirement. (And there is also something special about watching someone cut that material, the skill they use to cut it so quickly and cleanly.)

The best shops are usually staffed by people who are sewing enthusiasts themselves and can give you plenty of advice and help with your own project. You’ll find patterns, unusual materials which will make your own project 100 percent unique, and beautiful buttons that can add zing to an existing coat or jacket.

Some local shops even offer sewing lessons – and if you’ve just bought your heavy-duty sewing machines and you are at a bit of a loss as to how to use it, we can’t recommend these lessons highly enough. Another bonus of lessons is that you will meet other sewing enthusiasts, and those friendships are likely to last beyond the classes. After all, you’ll probably want to meet up with your new friends to discuss ongoing projects or show off your stuff when it’s finished.

Because we specialise in the sale of the heavy-duty sewing machine (as well as refurbished sewing machines and second-hand models), the ethos of shopping at small, independent sewing and haberdashery shops sits well with us. You might have to travel a little bit out of your area to find one near you, but go on. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

London Fashion Week 2017

pre-owned sewing machinePeople who buy a pre-owned sewing machine tend to have an interest in fashion – and September is an important month when it comes to the fashion calendar.

The UK’s £66 billion fashion industry accounts for 6 percent of the UK’s market, and £28 billion is the direct contribution to the UK economy (up from £26 billion in 2013).

London Fashion Week (14th to 19th September) is just finished. What did the show bring this year? For a start, the week was launched by the British Fashion Council, Dame Vivienne Westwood and the Mayor of London’s announcement that the fashion industry was to lead a campaign for ambitious climate action.

They reached out to fashion brands and businesses and asked them to commit to green energy suppliers by 2020. The date ties in with the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change.

Brands already committed to the campaign include Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Stella McCartney, Marks & Spencer and Vivienne Westwood.

The UK is half-way towards its climate change target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Caroline Rush, the CEO of the British Fashion Council, said: We are proud to launch this ambitious campaign to encourage our industry to be leaders of global change. It is our hope that the Fashion SWITCH campaign encourages brands and businesses to increase the demand for green energy; helping accelerate investment and the rate and scale of renewables in the UK.”

Fashion-wise, rope belts seemed to be a thing, tied around trousers, coats and jackets, along with smart tailoring – something anyone who has a pre-owned sewing machine will relish. Checks on checks seemed to be another key trend. Again, something you could replicate at home with a little smart joining together of two items. Pink – dusky pink in particular – was also everywhere on the catwalk. Buy yourself some metres of it in raw cotton and run up a beautiful skirt on your pre-owned sewing machine!

There were also plenty of dresses worn over trousers and white, ruffle-y dresses that looked distinctly bridal, but which weren’t aimed at that market. It might be a brave woman who wore one for anything other than marital reasons, though…

We’re delighted that there has been such a push on environmental action this year. After all, we encourage recycling and the home-made with the sale of the pre-owned sewing machine, heavy-duty machines et al. It’ll be interesting, too, to see how the high-end trends and predictions filter down to the High Street, too.

 

Sewing Sisters – Bringing Hope to Yazidi Women

IMG_6872Many of us are lucky enough to use our second-hand sewing machine to support a hobby or even a job, but what if you needed sewing to rebuild a shattered life?

This week, we are focusing on the charitable project, the Sewing Sisters, a collective of 15 volunteers who are based in the Rwanda Community Camp in Qadiya, Iraq. The project was set up under the auspices of the Lotus Flower charity and The Kindly Collective, and it supports women by teaching them income generating skills such as sewing and tailoring.

The project works mainly with female Yazidis refugees who have fled from so-called Isis soldiers who view the ancient Kurdish minority as ‘devil worshippers’. According to The Kindly Collective, many of the Yazidi women have suffered through unimaginable atrocities – from brutality at the hands of the Daesh (including kidnap, rape and slavery). The Collective says it is not surprising that many survivors find it hard to cope after surviving. Many of them have also lost family members.

The region is under significant financial pressure, so the women are in dire need of alternative ways out of the poverty cycle. Sewing Sisters gives the most vulnerable women in the camp the skills and confidence to sew – creating school uniforms that Lotus Flower sells to local schools.

A second-hand sewing machine and sewing instructions can save lives and make a huge difference to displaced and vulnerable communities. Those who were taught to sew have also become trainers and instructors, passing on their skills to others in need.

One of the women to benefit from the project is 24-year-old Sindus, who was interviewed for a feature in Grazia magazine. She was pregnant when the Isis soldiers drove into her village in 2014. She and her husband fled, and she gave birth to her child while on the run, but after her husband went off to search for food, she hasn’t seen him since.

Sindus is qualified as a Sewing Sister trainer. The project, she says, has introduced her to new people and helped with her depression. If her husband ever does return, she says she can’t wait to show him her tailoring skills.

Although Sinjar was recaptured from Isis in 2015, ongoing political and military conflicts mean that the Yazidi people cannot yet return home. You can donate to the Sewing Sisters through The Kindly Collective.

Sewing4Everyone offers a wide variety of refurbished sewing machines for sale, including the second-hand sewing machine. We also offer vintage Singer sewing machines. Check out our range here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second-hand Sewing Machine – Good for You!

second-hand sewing machineYou don’t need to convince us that sewing is good for you. Arm yourself with a second-hand sewing machine, some quick and easy projects and self-fulfilment is only a few hours away!

But there are plenty of other reasons why sewing is good for you. It’s good for your mental health and your social life. And it can help the environment. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of sewing…

Sewing is a mindful activity.

We live in busy times, and many things clamour for our attention. The internet and TV bombard us with marketing messages, while our social media feeds demand huge chunks of our time. Sewing is a focused activity that needs concentration. Threading your needles, feeding the material through your second-hand sewing machine, tacking, cutting out material – all these tasks need you to focus. Mindful activity is also relaxing and stress relieving.

Sewing can introduce you to new friends.

If you’ve just bought a refurbished sewing machine and you are new to the art, then you might want to join a class. Your local community centre or adult education classes might run sewing groups. There’s also the Women’s Institute. Learning with others is fun and educational. Why not sign up?

Sewing can prolong the life of your clothes.

And that’s good for the environment. Because clothes can be so cheap nowadays, it’s tempting to throw them out when tears develop or zips break. When you know how to fix things, you’ll be able to keep clothes for much longer as you’ll be able to repair them on your second-hand sewing machine. Once your skills develop, you can also look at embellishing old clothes. Add sequins, turn curtains into cushions, make dresses into skirts or tops and more.

Sewing can bridge generation gaps.

Want to develop closer bonds with your grandmother, another elderly relative or someone in your community? Ask them to teach you how to sew. Years ago, most women knew how to use a sewing machine and could turn up hems, add darts and more. We’re sure they’d love to share their knowledge with you.

Sewing is good for dementia patients.

Care homes often use sewing or knitting as a form of therapy. Because many dementia patients knew how to sew or knit years ago, the activity is familiar to them – even when other activities have become daunting.

Sewing is creative and rewarding.

Yes, you might be able to buy a fantastic dress, but imagine turning up at a wedding in an outfit you’ve made yourself. “This old thing? I knocked it up over a long weekend…” Sit back and listen to the coos of admiration and envy!

Ready to begin your sewing journey with a second-hand sewing machine? Sewing4Everyone stocks a wide range of second-hand sewing machines, including vintage sewing machines. Buy one today and find out why so many people find sewing so rewarding.

Cleaning your Used Sewing Machine

used sewing machineHave you bought yourself a used sewing machine? Naturally, the ones we sell are top quality items and will last you a long time. But sewing machines need a little love and attention if they are to work optimally and be one of the things you can leave your grandchildren!

Sewing machines will gather dust and tiny bits of fibre. Cleaning them helps performance.

Firstly, read your manual. Individual machines will have different components, so it’s important you clean according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have lost your manual, you might be able to find one online. Search for the make and model of the machine and Mr Google may well provide!

Gather together any tools you might need (a plastic brush, oil, cloth etc.) and turn off your machine, unplugging it too. Make sure the needle is in the ‘Up’ position, and remove the needle and pressure foot holder. Slide off the flat bed attachment, and slide the needle plate cover towards you. There will probably be lots of lint and dust underneath this.

Do brush your machine regularly. Many devices come with a small plastic brush that is used to clean out all the lint and dust that gathers in a sewing machine. If you don’t have one, you’ll find them in specialist sewing shops or computer supplies as they are also used for computers. Tweezers are also useful for removing gatherings of dust and lint.

Talking about computers, you might be tempted to use an air duster spray to blow out the dust – just like the ones that are used for keyboards. They use cold moisture to get rid of the dust, and this isn’t good for the metal parts of your used sewing machine so don’t use them.

Oil the machine precisely as the manufacturer’s instructions tell you. Some machines do not require oiling. Don’t over-oil either, as it will be messy.

Clean small parts at a time. This will help you do it precisely and minimise the risk of damage to your used sewing machine.

Keep your machine covered when not in use. Again, many machines come with a dust cover, and that’s for a reason. Use it to minimise dust build-up.

Change your needles as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Sometimes, this is as little as every four to six hours of sewing.

With any luck, regular care and attention will ensure your used sewing machine is good for years to come!

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