Sewing4Everyone

Winter Hobbies – heavy-duty sewing machine

Brother Industrial Sewing Machine

Brother Industrial Sewing Machine

Now that winter is definitely upon us, it’s time to put your vintage or heavy-duty sewing machine to good use.

Sewing is the perfect hobby for winter evenings and wet weekends. And if you are prepared enough, you can use your vintage or heavy-duty sewing machine to make home-made Christmas decorations and gifts at a fraction of the cost you would pay for ready-made products.

heavy-duty sewing machineWant a little black dress in time for all those Christmas parties? The little black dress is a staple in any woman’s wardrobe. You can pick the pattern that suits your figure, whether it’s for an A-line midi dress that skims the knees, a shift dress that works perfectly with a pair of boots, or something longer and more formal. The Fringe Association blog has rounded up some LBD patterns, from a slip dress to a gorgeous long version with a sexy slit to the thighs.

For decorating ideas, look no further than Sew News and this free template to create your own advent calendar. It’s a multi-dimensional wreath calendar, and you can decorate the wreath leaves with hand-embroidered numbers in little hoops that look like berries.

Or what about some beautiful advent calendar bunting? The Sewing Directory has this lovely tutorial pdf you can download to create a unique, home-made decoration. You can fill the bunting pockets with little treats that can be opened on the day, just like a traditional advent calendar.

Or why not try out linen placements for your Christmas table? The Sewing Directory’s ribbon and lace placements are suitable for beginners – why not try it out with your kids, for example – and they are great for experimenting with your machine’s buttonhole foot.

skirtSome people opt for a heavy-duty sewing machine from the start, the reasoning being that the machine will handle lighter AND heavier fabrics, so if you plan to do a lot of work with denim, for example, the heavy-duty sewing machine is your best bet. We really love these Allfreesewing’s ideas for what to do with old jeans, including this fantastic pattern that will transform a pair of worn-out jeans into a pretty skirt. Just the project for cold, dark nights!

As it is winter and cold, why not try out these scarves from Martha Stewart’s website? You take two pieces of fabric, one a wool material to keep you warm, pair it with cotton and voila! Simple and straightforward, and you can pick out the cottons that suit the individual person you are making the scarf for.

Have fun with your winter sewing projects!

Sewing4Everyone can offer you the perfect heavy-duty sewing machine. To see our selection, check out our shopDenim skirt image courtesy of imsewcheap.blogspot.com

Vintage Sewing Machine – Make Your Own

IMG_8979Did you buy your vintage sewing machine to create your own clothes? A story in the Eastern Daily Press caught our eye this week, reporting on a woman who has set up a company to cater for pear-shaped women.

It’s a common problem. Most ready-wear clothing is made for a particular body shape – the straight up and down one. Pear-shaped women, i.e. those who have bigger hips than shoulders, struggle. Skirts and trousers might fit at the waist, but they will be too tight over the hips. Or they gape around the middle.

This is precisely the problem that Vicky Young from Harleston faced. She describes herself as pear-shaped and realised there were plenty of other women suffering from the same problem, so she decided to c create clothing especially for this body type.

She already had sewing experience, having worked as a bridal seamstress for years, and having recently undertaken a City & Guilds Level 3 in dressmaking, which included pattern cutting.

Her company is called Kookie Cat, and she makes smart- straight-legged trousers, jeans and two types of jersey dresses. All her clothing comes in sizes eight to 18, and it can be custom-made if people send in their own measurements.

Vicky told the Eastern Daily Press that she knew it was very frustrating to go shopping and find that none of the clothes available in the High Street fitted. Her company was all about finding sizes and patterns for people who didn’t fit one size or a standard shape.

If your vintage sewing machine is to be used for making your own clothes—or even to set up a business, just as Vicky has done—we definitely approve. You do need a certain amount of skill to be able to alter patterns so that they are customised to your or others’ measurements, but it is one of those very satisfying things to learn.

We’re big fans of learning to sew through lessons. It’s sociable as well as the best way to pick up tips and work out what you’re doing wrong, but there are also some terrific books that can really help if there are no sewing lessons available near you.

One is Complete Dressmaking Skills by Lorna Knight, a step by step guide which also offers couture techniques.

If you like the Great British Sewing Bee, then Claire-Louise Hardy’s Fashion with Fabric has more than 20 patterns/projects you can do.

The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking by Wendy Ward covers the basic techniques for making clothes, and for everyday clothing too, rather than more formal outfits.

Sewing4Everyone is the best outlet for a vintage sewing machine. We also sell refurbished, heavy-duty sewing machines.

Home-Made Halloween

refurbished sewing machine

http://lincolnstreetblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/eighteen25-feature.html

Hooray – Halloween is coming up, which means lots of opportunities for using your refurbished sewing machine to create home-made costumes and gifts.

We know that Halloween is big business these days, and the shops are full of ready-made costumes, but there is nothing as charming as a home-made outfit. We’ve pulled together some great ideas for creating spooky outfits, gifts, decorations and more.

All you need is a refurbished sewing machine, plenty of enthusiasm and a desire to get creative.

refurbished sewing machineThis thoroughly creepy Pennywise costume on the Coolest Homemade Costumes website made by Kimberley is based on a pattern for a tank top and shorts, while the ruffle neck was made from a frilly skirt for a toddler. Isn’t it great? (And super-scary!)

By the way, if you have ever wondered why people find clowns scary, reasons include not knowing who is behind the mask, and because they have often been associated with danger and fear. It doesn’t help when so many horror films keep using them too!

Sewing.org has some wonderful, free patterns for Halloween. Projects include these fun lampshade covers – great if you are planning to have people around for a party. Or check out their instructions for how to sew a cape. The good thing about a cape is that it can be used on many other occasions. World Book Day, for example. Or your child might like his or her cloak so much, it gets worn daily!

refurbished sewing machineEver wanted to make your own witch’s hat – in a personalised size too? Delia Creates offers this detailed tutorial for the DIY hat that will fit any head size. You will need to do a few calculations, but other than that it is relatively straightforward.

Another easy idea is these Halloween cushions, pictured above. Once you have the hang of these, you can make up a whole batch of them as gifts, or you can keep them for 31st October year after year. Christina on the Lincoln Street blog made hers from flannel, although a stiffer fabric would also work. Once the cutting out is done, you can knock these up in no time on your refurbished sewing machine.

Elsewhere in the craft space, Readers Digest has some terrific ideas for home-made, cheap Halloween decorations, and if you love cooking, BBC Good Food’s Halloween baking recipes include spiderweb cupcakes, ghost cakes, toffee apples, Devil’s food cake and a pumpkin cider cake.

Happy Home-made Halloween!

Sewing4Everyone is THE premier destination for anyone seeking a top of the range, refurbished sewing machine. We also stock vintage sewing machines and heavy-duty models which are ideal for leather and more. All machines are serviced before dispatch and come with detailed instructions.

#SingerStories – Second-Hand Sewing Machines

IMG_8358Singer sewing machines feature extensively in our collection of second-hand sewing machines, so we were delighted to hear about an up and coming exhibition next year.

West Dunbartonshire Libraries and Cultural Services are looking for #SingerStories for a festival that will take place next year at Clydebank Town Hall. Clydebank was the home of the Singer factory, once the largest factory in the world.

The Libraries and Cultural Services want to hear from people who have memories of the factory, those who worked there, or their family members or anyone who has a Singer sewing machine and why it is special to them.

The factory was completed in 1885, and it gave Clydebank its most famous landmark – a giant 200ft clock tower, once the largest four-faced clock in the world. At its production peak in 1913, the factory occupied a site of more than 100 acres, more than double the area first purchased in 1881. It had manufactured more than 80 percent of the company’s product.

In 1913, it shipped 1,301.851 sewing machines around the world, thanks to its 14,000 employees.

Since its inception in 1851 to the production peak of 1913, the Singer Manufacturing Company saw continuous growth, but the First World War signalled the beginning of a general decline in demand for sewing machines and the Great Depression of the 1930s also hit hard.

During the Second World War, the factory won its first war contract and manufactured tools which were used for aircraft, munitions and equipment. The facility was also bombed during the Clydebank Blitz – March 13 and 14, 1941. It was extensively damaged, although no workers were killed on site. Sadly, 39 workers lost their lives in the town.

During the Second World War, the factory had its own Home Guard company. Platoon Commander Alexander Ballantyne was among them, and his actions during the Clydebank Blitz led to him being awarded the George Medal. He was one of only thirteen people from the Home Guard to receive this award for his work during the war.

When he retired, the Singer Manufacturing Company allowed him to stay in his tied house, rent-free, thanks to what he had done at the factory during the Blitz.

The post-war period saw a steady decline in orders, thanks to the growth in affordable fashion and technological challenges from other companies. In October 1979, Singer announced the factory would close in the summer of 1980.

 

The #SingerStories festival will take place next year – 3-5 May. If you want to own your little bit of a history, check out our range of Singer second-hand sewing machines.

 

October – Pants Month

refurbished sewing machineNeed a new project for your refurbished sewing machine? October is Pants Month so why not run up a pair?

Yes, we know. The American term for trousers can be a little confusing. We’re not advocating that you make yourself lots of knickers (unless you want to), but instead try your hand at trousers. After all, winter is just around the corner, and you’ll want to keep your legs warm.

One of the big bonuses of using your refurbished sewing machine to sew your own trousers is that you get to make ones that are perfectly tailored to you. The drawbacks of the ready-made are that they are often too long or too short. Most of us, after all, aren’t a standardised height.

Here are some tips for making sure you create the perfect pair of pants (trousers)!

Make sure you measure accurately.

You should measure yourself while wearing what you plan to wear under the trousers as this could affect the measurements if you plan to wear thick tights or Spanx. Measure at your waist and the fullest part of the hips. The tape should be snug, but not too tight. You want those trousers to be comfortable.

Choose the right pattern size.

Not all of us are a standard size 14. Maybe we’re a 15, rather than a 16 though. It depends on the style of trousers which size you go for. If the pattern is for very fitted trousers, then choose the larger size, but most trousers allow room enough for you to pick the smaller size.

Choose your favourite trouser style.

If you’re going to get good use out of your tailor-made trousers, then choose the style that you wear most often. Whether that’s straight leg, wide leg, harem style, cropped or slim style, you want something you know suits your shape and style.

Plan adjustments.

The great thing about sewing your own is personalising a pattern so you can make the perfect fit for you. Commons adjustments for trousers include adding or subtracting the length, altering the depth of the crotch, and adding or subtracting the width of the upper inner leg to suit the size of your thighs. If you know how to do all of these (or can learn), your trousers will be the perfect fit.

As velvet was a huge feature of the Autumn/Winter runways this year, why not make yourself some luxe velvet trousers to keep abreast of the fashion pack?

Sewing4Everyone specialises in the refurbished sewing machine, vintage sewing machines, heavy-duty models and more. Check out our range here.

You’re Never Too Old to Sew

IMG_7342A second-hand sewing machine from Sewing4Everyone might not be as old as 72, but a fantastic story on WBTV last week proved just how useful an old sewing machine can be…

What’s even more remarkable is the age of the sewer involved. Most mornings, centenarian Eva Bossenberger (who lives in Zionsville, North Carolina) gets up at the crack of dawn and sits down in front of her seven-decades old sewing machine.

Mrs Bossenberger spends hours every day, sewing together bits of material to make dresses for children in countries where it isn’t easy to get clothing. The outfits are part of Operation Christmas Child, a programme run by the charitable organisation Samaritan’s Purse, which sends out gifts to children in need all over the world.

According to the WBTV website, Mrs Bossenberger told reporters that her pastor had asked her if she could make 180 dresses for little girls which would be included in their shoebox gifts. The lady happily rose to the challenge, and since December of last year, she has sewn 114 dresses for girls in Bolivia.

She said she had been delighted to get to one hundred completed dresses, thought the pressure was still on. When asked if she would watch the news feature about her and her endeavours, Mrs Bossenberger said she didn’t have time as Christmas was coming and she still had more dresses to make.

Well, if that isn’t an incredible story about what can be done with a vintage or second-hand sewing machine, we don’t know what is!

Many people buy sewing machines because they want to make clothes for themselves or their families. There can’t be many people who purchase them with the express intention of making essential things for unknown people across the world. There’ll be others, of course, who end up making clothes for charitable purposes some of the time, and that’s amazing too.

If it’s something you want to do, then there will be plenty of aid organisations willing to take your efforts. What the enterprise will also do is give you plenty of sewing practice. Like 100-year-old Mrs Bossenberger, you’ll be knocking up those dresses in no time. If you baulk at the challenge of 180, we don’t blame you, though…

Sewing4Everyone offers a wide variety of refurbished sewing machines for sale – including a second-hand sewing machine if that is what you want. We sell reliable, quality machines and every model comes with a full instruction manual and handy help guide – an investment for years to come.

 

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.

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