Sewing machines across generations

Sewing machine used to remind me of my childhood days, and after COVID-19 my memories include the masks made to support the community as well! The technology and innovation around it is impressive – making it easier to scale!

As a child, I used to see my mother use the mechanical sewing machine. I learned to hand stitch and was not that good with the sewing machine. It was interesting to see my children take up sewing class in middle school and we ended up shopping for a nice sewing machine few years back. Was amazed at the innovation in this space.

1. Sewing machine 1 – mechanical

This is how my mother’s sewing machine used to look. The mechanical pedal below needs to be constantly in motion when the machine is on. It helps the wheel on top move, which in turn moves the thread aiding in completing a stitch. Changing the bobbin threads and storing used to be tough. Constantly moving your feet and bending to look at the thread used to make it strenuous. Using this would be a family affair over the weekends 🙂

2. Sewing machine 2 – simple tabletop use

My children wanted this one. Simple and easy to use. It comes with a foot pedal which is electronic. Spooling the bobbin and changing the thread in the needle are much better. Easier to use. While they were taught how to use it in middle school, they found it easier to step up and help the community make masks when the pandemic started. Once it is setup up on a table top, it is easier to make curtains, pillow covers, comforters and simple clothes (tops, pants, skirts – which need a basic design)!

3. sewing machine 3 – stitch in time saves nine

Hand sewing machine. This is what I love to use the most. Quick and easy to use, especially for the emergency uses. Battery operated and fast motion makes it critical to use it carefully. Due to the ease of use, accidents are very common and you get used to the needle pokes and scabs.

4. sewing machine 4 – APPS and automation

When I started getting interested in embroidery, this machine was very useful. Standard set of designs that are automated and computerized loaded in, you setup the piece and let the machine take over your creativity (I put it very simply :)) Those who have tried it will know the painstaking effort to a proper design made! While you feel the ease of making one, the love of design and creativity is lost when you make it with a machine (that is what I felt :)). However, when it comes Thanksgiving or Christmas and you want to gift embroidered things, then it is the perfect choice!

5. Sewing machine 5 – small scale business

I had once ended up getting a name embroidered on a scarf at a local store. The machine they used looked like below. Automated with a suite of designs and multiple features. Commercial use machines are built for scale and this one impressed me – both from a feature and cost standpoint. It was over $10,000.

6. sewing machine 6 – commercial scalable one

Now I started wondering about commercial large scale businesses and their equipment, and the automation around it. Impressive!

built in Machine embroidery patterns

It was interesting to observe how the technology & innovation in this space had made it easy for my children to pursue my parents interests 🙂

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