Sewing4Everyone

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!

National Sewing Month – September

refurbished sewing machineIf you’ve just bought one of our refurbished sewing machines, why not join in with National Sewing Month?

The celebration of all things needle and thread is an American initiative promoted by the Sewing & Craft Alliance in partnership with the American Sewing Guild. It began in 1982 when the then President Ronald Reagan declared September as the sewing month “in recognition of the importance of home sewing to our nation”.

The organisers say it presents the perfect opportunity to indulge a passion for sewing or introduce yourself to the craft if you’re a newbie – or the recent purchaser of one of our refurbished sewing machines! Free sewing projects and guidelines for sewing, craft and applique and embroidery articles are available on the Sewing & Craft Alliance website (www.sewing.org)

Sewing, the organisers reckon, is creative, therapeutic and calming, and its effects can be celebrated all year.

Ways to get involved include:

  • Teaching a member of your family or a friend to sew
  • Volunteering your time at a voluntary organisation to teach sewing
  • Sew more often – find a new project, start making your own clothes or do some repairs that you have been putting off
  • Sign up for some sewing classes
  • Create your own sewing group or circle – it’s much easier to learn (and fun to do) if you have company.

You can’t accuse sewing of not moving with the time, as free projects for September include a sew your own Kindle cover and a 1 in a Minion quilt.

Themes for past years have included Go Green, Sew Green, which encouraged people to use organically-grown fabrics and to re-use, re-make and restyle. Here at Sewing4Everyone, we definitely encourage reusing and refurbished sewing machines, so fabric scraps used for contrasting pockets or applique work well here, as does snipping buttons from old jackets to use on a new suit.

Sewing isn’t just fun, though. It can be a terrific way to save money. Hemming skirts and trousers, replacing buttons or zips, and repairing rips and tears are a better way to budget than buying new items (and then adding to landfill). And it’s always wonderful to create or recreate something through sewing. The results can be dramatic, and that can be with just a few hours spent on your refurbished sewing machine.

We hope you find some way to celebrate National Sewing Month!

Where Does Quilting Come From?

heavy-duty sewing machineA heavy duty sewing machine can make light work of the thickest quilt – but have you ever wondered where this hobby comes from?

Quilting can be enormously satisfying, as well as very creative. Quilts can be personalised to the recipient, and there are many beautiful examples of specially made-quilts. Quilting uses a needle and thread to join two or more layers of material together, and a heavy duty sewing machine or a machine with a walking foot will make light work of this task. The most commonly-used stitches are rocking, straight or running stitches.

People have been quilting for practical and creative purposes for centuries, although few surviving examples pre-date the 18th Century. At that time, silks were the most commonly used materials for quilts, and quilted petticoats were popular.

By the end of the 18th Century and into the 19th Century, changes in textile manufacturing saw the spread of printed cotton fabrics, and these were incorporated in quilts. Cottons were pieced together using a mosaic patch work method. By the mid-19th Century, cotton was much cheaper and rich, contemporary quilters began to favour silk and velvet. Synthetic dyes had been created too, which gave rise to vibrantly coloured and patterned cloths.

In Victorian homes, you might see patchwork cushions, throws, tea cosies and more, beautifully embellished and trimmed.

The wholecloth quilt flourished in the late 19th and early 20th Century, particularly in Wales, the Scottish borders and the north of England. A wholecloth quilt is as the name suggests, made from one continuous piece of fabric. They rely on elaborate, decorative stitching and often incorporate embellishments such as beading. Quilt stampers were professional markers who drew the designs onto plain or pieced material. Different areas developed their own unique style – feathers and twisted ropes were common in the North Country, and in Wales, you would find leaves and spirals.

In Colonial America, quilts were mostly wholecloth and medallion style (a quilt with a central ornamental panel and borders). Patchwork quilting dates back to the 1770s and quilts often mixed silk, linen, wool and cotton in the same piece. As paper was so scarce, women often used letters, newspaper clipping and catalogues to provide the pattern and insulation.

In the UK, quilting became less popular in the 20th Century, thanks to two world wars and a scarcity of materials, and competition from commercially made products. But by the 1960s, there was a resurgence of interest in this beautiful art form, and in 1979, the Quilters Guild was established to ensure the craft was kept alive and passed on to new generations of quilters.

A heavy duty sewing machine can help you with thick quilts, as can a walking foot. Check out our selection of sewing machines to find what you need for quilting.

 

With thanks to the Quilters Guild.

 

How to Use your Used Sewing Machine!

used sewing machineMany people who buy a used sewing machine have some rudimentary knowledge of sewing, but what if you’re a complete beginner?

First of all, congratulations on taking that first step! Your used sewing machine will provide you with years of service. It’s a great investment. Here are some ideas for getting you started on your sewing journey. We’ll turn you into an accomplished seamstress in no time!

There is a brilliant and thorough guide to using a sewing machine here by Dwellonjoy. The writer reckons it took her longer to write the ‘how to’ post than it did to figure out how to work her used sewing machine.

Another great website is How to Sew, which offers sewing tips and patterns for beginners.  First projects they suggest include winter coasters, star pincushions, Easter egg decorations, Valentine’s Day garlands, place mats, Christmas cocktail napkins, tissue holders, hair turbans and more. All of them are straightforward and yet satisfyingly crafty at the same time.

Another useful resource they offer is How to Thread Your Sewing machine, two tips to make the job easier.

Patterns will refer to different kinds of stitches so make yourself familiar with the differences between basting, zig-zag, double needle and more here.

We’ve blogged about it before. You can find many inspirational and helpful videos on YouTube. Often, it’s much easier to learn by watching someone do something – and with YouTube, you can watch over and over again. There’s a beginner tutorial here (part one of five).

Does your local community college offer lessons or evening classes? Learning with others is incredibly useful, and it can be a way to make new friends too.

Buy a book. The great thing about a physical guide is that you can have it open next to you, beside your used sewing machine. A Beginner’s Guide to Machine Sewing: 50 Lessons and 15 Projects to Get You Started is one we recommend. Get it here on Amazon.

Finally, this won’t be news to most of you, but the best way to learn to sew well is to practise, practise and practise some more! Why not offer a hemming service to your family and friends? Unless you’re buying tailor-made, it can be difficult to buy trousers that fit perfectly, and many people need them taken up. You’ll be very popular if you can offer this service to people!

Sewing4Everyone specialises in the used sewing machine, refurbished and heavy duty sewing machines.

Image by rok1966 posted to flickr and shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

 

How to Grow Followers for Your Sewing Blog

vintage sewing machineDo you love sewing and your vintage sewing machine so much you have to write about it all the time?! We don’t blame you! Sewing is something that has become more popular in recent years.

Older generations all knew how to sew, but sewing as a skill died out in the late 20th Century. Clothes had become so cheap, it didn’t seem worth making your own. But then ethical concerns came in – how were these cheap outfits being made? And is it sustainable to create a demand for tops and trousers that can be thrown away after only a few wears?

There are lots of brilliant sewing blogs out there. If you want to create one or you want to make yours more popular, read on for our tips to grow your followers…

  • Link your blog to your social media accounts. WordPress, for instance, can be set, so your blogs appear on Twitter, and Facebook et al. the minute they are published.
  • Follow other people with the same interests. They will follow you back, and you might find their audience likes what you do.
  • Write relevant information that helps people. If you type sewing queries into Google, the autocomplete will often suggest what other people are asking – things such as how do I care for my vintage sewing machine, or how do I use a heavy-duty leather sewing machine. A mix of general and niche is good.
  • Make sure your blogs are easy to read. Use short sentences and paragraphs, and check for typos before you publish.
  • Use plenty of pictures – or videos. They often demonstrate a point in the best way.
  • Use good keywords thoughtfully. Keywords are the words associated with a particular business or topic that people type into search engines.
  • Guest post on other sewing or craft blogs. If you can offer well-written, useful information, other people will want it. Encourage guest posts on your own blog.
  • Update your blog regularly. You don’t want to bombard people as they will stop following, but once a week is a good target to aim for.
  • Respond to likes and comments. It’s only good manners to reply to any comments. And it makes people feel the time they have taken to say something was worthwhile.

Good luck with your sewing blog!

Sewing4Everyone specialises in the sale of refurbished sewing machines, including the vintage sewing machine. Check out our full range here.

 

 

Why Second-hand is Best!

IMG_4725Sewing4Everyone specialises in the sale of second hand sewing machines (such as this lovely Singer 29k sewing machine), but why is it better to buy refurbished sewing machines, rather than new?

In general, second-hand goods are much, much better for the environment. We live in an age of things. If you talk to your grandparents, they will tell you people lived with a lot less stuff in Ye Olden Days. And you know what? They didn’t suffer for it.

When you buy second-hand goods in general, you cut down on manufacturing demands, and you keep items out of landfill. Huge amounts of man-made goods are routinely thrown away, but refurbished sewing machines give longer life to items other people can use. Let’s save the earth, one Singer 29k sewing machine at a time!

If you are someone who likes good-quality items refurbished sewing machines make perfect sense. You will get a reliable, premium machine at a reasonable price. Wouldn’t you rather spend money on a stellar, old sewing machine than a brand-new lesser make? Here at Sewing4Everyone, we sell some of the best makes of sewing machines there are – the Singer 29k sewing machine, for example, and the Jones Brother Heavy Duty sewing machines.

There is also the thrill of the hunt that comes from second-hand shopping. If you love sewing you will know there are iconic sewing machines out there. By browsing these pages, you’ve just found your paradise!

Finally, a second-hand sewing machine is an investment in quality. We only provide the very best refurbished sewing machines. We hand-select our machines (and we are experts when it comes to the world of the needle and thread) and we are always on hand to give you advice, should you need it. Your sewing machine will be an investment for years to come.

The quality is assured. Before our machines leave us, they are serviced by our trained sewing machine mechanics to check that they meet our standards for reliability, performance and style. Our heavy-duty sewing machines are perfect for thick and/or tough fabrics, and you’ll receive a manual and help guide to get you started.

Why not start your sewing adventure today? From the Singer 29k sewing machine, to the Janome Semi Industrial Zigzag Sewing Machine, we’ve got them all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Sewing Machines – Facts

singer 29k sewing machine

Singer 29k sewing machine

If you’re a fan of used sewing machines, then the Singer name will be familiar to you. Singer is synonymous with sewing machines, and for almost one hundred years, it was the best-known sewing machine in the world (and still is to an extent).

There are plenty of interesting facts about Singer. Here are just some of them…

  • Isaac Merrit Singer (1811-1875), the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine company, patented a prototype sewing machine that could sew 900 stitches in a minute
  • Singer is thought to have fathered at least 24 children with his wives and mistresses
  • used sewing machines

    Singer Model 1

    The first Singer sewing machine was known as the Model No. 1

  • Singer’s general manager George Ross McKenzie was given the job of finding Singer’s first overseas factory. A former Scot who’d emigrated to American in 1846, he chose Glasgow.
  • The company soon outgrew its Glasgow location, and it purchased land in Clydebank – the Kilbowie factory and building was completed on this in 1885
  • By the summer of 1885, Singer’s Kilbowie factory was the largest one in the world
  • Best-selling Singer domestic sewing machines include the Singer 12K, the Singer 99 and the Singer Featherweight. If you like used sewing machines, you’ll be able to find these
  • Clydebank’s most famous landmark was the Singer 200ft clock tower – the largest four-faced clock in the world. Each face weighed a massive five tonnes, and it took four men 15 minutes twice a week to keep it wound up.
  • The company began mass-producing domestic electric sewing machines in 1910
  • Singer’s success was also credited to its instalment payment plans. The company offered credit purchases and arrangements for rent to own where people could rent the sewing machines and eventually buy them
  • In 1913, at the peak of production, the factory shipped more than 1,301,000 sewing machines around the world, thanks to its 14,000 employees.
  • The factory was bombed during the Clydebank blitz in March 1941. No-one was killed at the plant, although 39 workers died in the town
  • Many Singer used sewing machines and vintage models are now collectors’ items
  • The Singer Corporation is now part of SVP Worldwide, and it produces a range of consumer products, including electric sewing machines.

Sewing4Everyone specialises in the sale of used sewing machines, including Singer sewing machines. Check out our range to see if we have the sewing machine that suits you needs.

 

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