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Q&A: Travel Sewing Machine

Photo: Steven Fleck


Q: Can you take a sewing machine on an airplane, and if so, how to do you pack it? Can it be checked, or does it have to go overhead?
-Ruth Tudor, McLean, Virginia

A: Susan Khalje, a Threads contributing editor who hosts many sewing classes at her Maryland studio, replies:

Students travel to my classes from all over the country and almost always bring their machines.

Many sewers have a lightweight, relatively inexpensive, easy-to-use machine specifically for travel. You can find a wheeled case made for sewing machines that fits into the overhead bin (measure to be sure). You can also use a regular carry-on suitcase if you pad the machine well with bubble wrap, fabric, or clothes.

Your machine can also be checked as luggage. It may seem risky, but sewing machines are shipped all over the world. I recommend using your machine's original box with its specially molded Styrofoam packing.

Check what sort of plane you'll be on: If it's a puddle jumper, room in the overhead bins is limited and you may have to check your machine at the gate. In that case, consider shipping it beforehand. Fed Ex or Office Depot will pack it professionally and ship it.

This article was originally featured in the Q&A department of Threads #190 (April/May 2017).

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Comments (1)

user-6805194 user-6805194 writes: When I have to fly somewhere for a new show, I have a smaller machine which fits under the seat in front of me so no problems trying to heave it into the high locker. If anyone queries it as I go through security I say it is my lap top equivalent for work and I have never had a problem.
Posted: 8:18 am on March 31st

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