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pre-owned sewing machine

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.


The Story Behind a Pre-Owned Sewing Machine

pre-owned sewing machineSewing4Everyone prides itself on its collection of antique sewing machines and the pre-owned sewing machine. One of those we have is an untouched Singer 99k, still with its original paperwork and dated back to the outbreak of World War Two.

The Singer 99k was introduced in 1911 and production continued until the 1950s. It was created in response to the demand for lighter, more portable machines that didn’t need a special table. In the 1920s, Singer introduced the possibility of an electric motor for the machine, making it the first portable electric sewing machine.

The 99k in our warehouse has to have a brilliant story behind it, seeing as the owner never got to use it… We don’t know, but we thought we’d try to imagine what happened to the owner of this beautiful pre-owned machine…

The Story Behind a Pre-Owned Sewing Machine

“This is the Singer 99k.” One of Mrs Gray’s talents was her ability to speak through a mouthful of pins. She patted the box. “I expect we’ll be busy over the next few months.”

Rose sipped her tea. Mrs Gray never needed much in the way of response. You just had to nod here and there. There was something she had to tell her employer, though, and she dreaded saying the words.

“I reckon there’ll be a rush on people getting married, don’t you?”

Rose found herself blushing. She lived in hope of marriage herself, though George had made no mention of it. They’d been courting for five months now and she thought that plenty of time for a young man to make up his mind. The outbreak of war would surely force his hand?

“People might not have time for wedding dresses, though,” Mrs Gray mused, and Rose’s heart sank. She’d set her mind on a beautiful organza, peach-coloured dress. Never mind that her seamstresses’ wages would barely cover the material costs. Or that George was yet to propose.

“We must give them beauty and hope in sad times!”

Mrs Gray stared at her. Responses from Rose were rarely that passionate, but she nodded, slowly.

“Yes, we must. I’ve had enough of black-out curtains, I can tell you.”

“I’ve signed up for work at the factory.” More unexpected words from Rose. The factory did more important work, she reckoned. And the pay was much better.

Mrs Gray made herself another tea. “I don’t know if we really will be busy. If this goes on, they’ll probably start rationing clothes as well as food. I’m too old for another war.”

She shooed Rose out, locking the door to Mrs Gray’s Finest Dresses.

“Come to me before you get married. I’ll make you a dress. No charge.”

Rose beamed at her, the vision of the organza dress appearing once more in front of her eyes. George would indeed propose some two weeks later. And a week after that, he’d be killed – an early casualty of a devastating war.

Want your own, amazing pre-owned sewing machine? Sewing4Everyone has a great collection of refurbished and second hand sewing machines.  

Photo from Charmainezoe on flickr reproduced thanks to Creative Commons







Celebrity Sewing Fans

pre-owned sewing machineHave you bought a pre-owned sewing machine and are poised to enter hobby world? You’re in good company.

Possibly the UK’s most famous DIY-er is Kirsty Allsopp, who has spent the last few years encouraging all of us to learn how to sew, knit and make our own furniture for our homes, but she’s not the only one with a passion for the home-made.

Another famous sewing fan is the American actress, Katherine Heigl. According to her official website, sewing is her new passion thanks to the photo-sharing site, Pinterest. Katherine’s mother sewed, but it hadn’t seemed like a cool hobby at the time.

However, when Katherine and her sister started following Pinterest accounts, this sparked the interest. Katherine decided to make baby clothes for her two daughters, and her mum bought her a sewing machine. She describes her hobby as “therapeutic”.

(We like to think it might have been a pre-owned sewing machine!)

Here are some others who can’t resist the call of the needle and thread…

Dannii Minogue’s famous older sister sometimes passed on her clothes. Dannii wanted to personalise them, so used her sewing skills to do so. Sweet, and environmentally friendly at the same time!

Julia Roberts took up sewing as a hobby to give her a ‘thinking’ hobby as she got older. Apparently, she’s a dab hand at cushions.

There’s a terrific picture of the actor Paul Newman sitting on a bed hand-sewing what looks like a jacket. Added cool comes from the Siamese cat stood next to him, who may or may not be criticising his skills.

While on the European leg of her ‘Femme Fatale’ tour, the singer Brittany Spears posted a picture on Twitter of her getting sewing lessons in Sweden from the wardrobe team. Handy, really. Especially when you are the mother of sons. Boys have a tendency to rip and destroy clothing, don’t they?

[Incidentally, if you have just bought yourself a pre-owned sewing machine, you might want to follow Brittany’s example and get some lessons before your start.]

Eva Longoria makes her own kid’s Hallowe’en costumes, which is kind of cool when you think how much easier it would be for her to buy something.

Betsy_Ross_sewingWe’ll finish with Betsy Ross, the woman linked with the American flag. The story is likely a myth, but it goes that Betsy, a seamstress living in the 18th Century, made the flag in 1776. She was visited by George Washington and asked to make up a flag for the new nation. Washington and the Continental Congress had come up with a design, but Betsy amended it so the cloth could be folded and cut out with a single snip.

Would you like a pre-owned sewing machine, perfect for starting your sewing hobby or even a business? Contact us on (01782) 943667 to discuss your needs.


Learning to Use Your Pre-Owned Sewing Machine

File:Young Woman Learning to Sew 1936.gifHave you just bought yourself a pre-owned sewing machine? Congratulations – welcome to the wonderful world of sewing.

The chances are that you might not have been taught sewing. There are classes that will teach you the basics and beyond, but if time, money and opportunity is limited, then there is always YouTube! Ah, what we would do without YouTube?! For skills such as sewing, visual learning is often easier than following written instructions.

Sewing4Everyone has its own favourites on YouTube. Here’s our roundup of who they are and where you can find them…

YouTube Examples

Let’s start at the very beginning… As you might expect, Good Housekeeping’s channel features a lot of sewing videos, and there’s a great 25-minute film called, Learn How To Sew, Easy Sewing Class For Beginners. Gretchen Hirsch promises to make you feel confident and comfortable at the wheel.

Threads offers garment sewing instructions and in-depth information tailored to suit the beginner and the advanced sewer. There are insider secrets, designer techniques for adapting your patterns to suit your body, fitting, tailoring and more. For the most part, the videos are fairly short – for the most part under five minutes.

How to Use a Sewing Machine + Sewing Tips is another great place to start if you’ve just bought your pre-owned sewing machine by Crafty Amy is a super easy to watch and follow video. Sit in front of your machine and listen along. This covers a lot of the basics.

There are lots of different options on Sewing TV (and it’s British too), so you should find something to help. The videos are well-produced, concise and waffle-free. Start with the Sewing for Beginners Basic Techniques Part 1. There are guides to pattern cutting, how to work with Lycra, and sewing jeans and tee shirts.

Desperate to create something easy, that will also give you a sense of achievement? Try Anita by Design’s Circle Skirt. You can make yourself a beautiful skirt – or a few of them. Why not? Anita’s instructions make them easy to create. You might run up one for every season of the year! In the first lesson, Anita teaches you to take your waist measurement, read the pattern envelope, buy the fabric and pre-treat it. Subsequent lessons teach you everything else.

Pre-owned Sewing Machine Tips:

  • Familiarise yourself with the terminology. It’s a lot easier to follow a video if you know what they are talking about.
  • Watch the video a couple of times so you can take in the instructions properly.
  • Keep a notepad handy, so you can jot things down.

Sewing4Everyone sells pre-owned sewing machines, as well as vintage models, heavy duty sewing machines and more. Check out our range to get started on your sewing journey.


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