Sewing machines in circulation?

Hey folks, I saw a tweet today from a past PLIX collaborator, Callan, asking about peoples experience circulating sewing machines (& which ones they use). The question intrigued me and I’d love to hear if any of your libraries circulate sewing machines//If you have them in a maker space in your library, what activities do you run with them? (PS: Definitely respond to Callan’s thread too!!)

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We used our in library use only sewing machines to make ugly dolls and other plush toys (tween programs).

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We have some really nice (& heavy) Janome machines for in-library use.

When we first talked about circulating sewing machines we thought the Singer Heavy Duty machines looked like a good option, sturdy and without a lot of complicated mechanisms. Once you start talking about packaging, couriering them around (in our case a pretty big county library system) and all the troubleshooting involved we ultimately decided against it.

We’ve moved our sewing classes online and they’re fairly well attended.

Our makerspace has several Janome sewing machines for use in the makerspace only. When we were still open to the public, we had weekly open labs (some for all ages and some specifically for adults) and the sewing machines were available either by reservation or on a walk-in basis for patrons to use on whatever projects they wanted. Prior to me starting in my position in January 2020, I believe we did offer some facilitated sewing programs as well.

Yes. I circulate sewing machines. I run a Makerspace in a high school, but other campuses needed sewing machines this past year, so I added the five sewing machines into Destiny and started offering them out for circulation them to teachers at other campuses. The idea came up last year during Covid quarantine when PPE was low and I had students & teachers wanting to sew masks. I’m about to put a two week limit on the circulation and write up some policies for the machines. I think it’s important to offer sewing supplies for circulation bc I have students who cannot afford to fix clothing, buy blankets, etc and giving them access to this resource and skill is super helpful to them!!

One branch in my system had monthly come and sew programs with sewing machines shared by their owners for the day. People could come make the craft project of the day with supplies materials or bring their own project to work on. There were two sewing machines in my department, but management kept them in storage, stating they did not want the noise factor, and that the machines would be too dangerous for the public to use. I did do some hand sewing programs and beginning embroidery programs for the 8-12 crowd with supplies I provided. Those programs were very well received, especially right before Mother’s Day - most of the boys made gifts.

we have 10 sewing machines in our library system, however we do not loan them out. we ( under normal situations) have sewing labs where people can work on their own projects or classes where people can become more confident with their sewing. Burrito method pillow cases are a super awesome project that almost everyone can make. ( oops forgot) we have Brother CS6000I , I REALLY like that you have a regulator and can control the maximum sewing speed, this is helpful with new sewers who tend to mash the foot pedal on accident.

We’re just getting our Library of Things off the ground again (our cake pans have been available for most of the past year, but the games and fishing pole we used to check out have not), and we will be circulating sewing machines. We’ve used them for a lot of sewing programs in the past few years, but they just sit most of the time, so we’re looking forward to seeing them go out. (I anticipate some minor machine repair in my future. :))