In the process of teaching Somali immigrant women to sew I have been looking for some machines that actually function fairly well to use with them. I put an ad on craigslist in Minneapolis and I have been given 5 machines so far. My best response has been to contact people selling machines that are older but still functioning, and asking if they would consider giving them to a good cause. Many people have grandma’s old machine sitting around that they had hoped to learn to use someday and they are glad to pass it on to someone who can use it. I have only one that I have been unable to get to work. Most just need a little cleaning and oiling and a new needle. I have passed these machines on to the ladies to keep as their own, rather than adding them to the rag tag collection we have in the classroom where they aren’t accessible except during our class time. But some prefer to sew just during the class when I can keep things working for them. Several are unable to thread a machine (esp. the needle) because they need glasses they cannot afford. And when something goes wrong they are usually unable to correct it. It’s a never ending challenge.
Along with the machines I have been given notions and thread, so each time I give someone a machine I give them a pair of scissors, some machine and hand needles, some pins and a seam ripper, and some thread. One lady only knows four words in English “Thank yooo, Sooosaan, Happy”
I’ll bet many of you know someone who doesn’t use the machine that is sitting in the attic. Maybe you could get it to someone who would use it!
Edited 9/7/2009 2:01 pm ET by stillsuesew