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How To Use A Sewing Machine After Sci




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#1 Wingswanted

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:50 PM

Greetings again all!

I have a question, and it may seem silly but to me it's kind of important.

I used to sew really well and enjoyed it tremendously before my injury. It's quite the creative process, which anyone who sews can tell you.

I got rid of my sewing machine after my injury thinking "I can't use the foot pedal so how can I sew?"

However, I was at a friends a while ago and she did some mending for me. I decided to give it a try and was able to sew by putting the foot pedal on the table and depressing it with my elbow while I sewed. It wasn't easy, but I realized I could at least do my basic mending, etc.

I went out and purchased another sewing machine and have prepared some larger projects for myself. I've gotten better at depressing the foot pedal with my arm and sewing, but it's still hard on my neck, shoulder and back. I need to take regular breaks which is making the process slow and I WANT TO SEW VERY BADLY! I really love the craft! The way I'm doing it is getting frustrating, though.

Does anyone here sew? Do you have you any tricks I'm not thinking about? Or, have you heard of any way to modify a sewing machine to make it "wheelchair accessible" for lack of a better term?

I would appreciate anyone's experience, advice, or if you know of some adaptation that has been done to make a sewing machine easier to use when you cannot use your feet, I would really appreciate your input.

Thank you so much for taking the time to give this some consideration.

Cheers!
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#2 Wingswanted

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:39 PM

I think I may have found the answer to my own question . . . duh. :doh:
I've searched online for "adapted machines" etc. but today my search brought up "computerized sewing machines." Particularly, the Brother CS 6000I which is completely computerized and has a stop/start button as well as speed control. The foot pedal is actually an option!

Unfortunately, now that I've been looking at computerized sewing machines I see they are well over $1000. I'm going to keep searching and see if I can find something computerized but more basic (and less money).

If anyone has experience using one of these kinds of machines or knows anything about them, please let me know because it would be great if I knew someone had successfully used one of these machines before I consider purchasing one. I have some important expenses coming up that take precedence over a sewing machine, most important is a new wheelchair and custom seating system! NOT CHEAP! But extremely necessary.

Hence, I need to watch my pennies.

Here is Canada we get absolutely NO coverage for ultralight wheelchairs what-so-ever. I see there is some coverage in the US which is interesting. But, this is a topic for another post. Sorry about the diversion . . .

Back to the sewing machines. Anyone used or know of someone using them with only hand controls?
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#3 SequinScandal

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:44 PM

This is something I've been trying to figure out as well. If you come across anything cheaper please update

#4 Bethann

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:49 PM

A computerized sewing machine, nice. I was always going to stop down at our local
sewing machine shop and ask what is available for me to use now that I'm in a
wheelchair and never have.

#5 Wingswanted

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:27 PM

Hi Sequin and Bethann,

Here is what I've found that has the best reviews - it's the Brother Computerized Quilting/Sewing Machine CP-7500. It's available through Amazon for $189 and I can get it here in Canada for $249 which are both great prices because the dealers that actually sell the machines here in my city are offering it to me for $589 and $799. Pretty big difference in the prices!

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't ship to Canada, but I found the same machine at Costco online for $249. Obviously, I'll be purchasing it online.

How it works is pretty neat. You press a button on the front to start and stop it and there is a slider that controls the speed. In fact, when I spoke to the places that sell sewing machines they said the foot/knee pedal types are becoming obsolete. All medium to high end machines are computerized and are not run by a foot pedal, and soon even the low end machines with the manual drives (foot or knee pedals) will have the button to run them.

Do a Google search for "computerized sewing machines" and you will bring up great information and even some videos that show it being used which I thought were really neat!

Oh yeah - I read online that you can purchase this machine at Wal-Mart in the US. I checked and it's not available at any of the Canadian Wal-Mart stores (not sure if I'm spelling the store correctly, sorry if I'm not).

Isn't that great! One place I talked to told me a very good customer of theirs is a woman in a wheelchair and she uses a computerized machine with ease.

The people I talked to about this particular "more affordable" machine said it is an excellent machine with an excellent warranty. My own research has been very positive as well. Hence - I'm sold and I'm about to order myself a user friendly sewing machine!

I'm excited about being able to sew more easily and doing what I love again!

The first thing I'm doing is finishing some pants I started that I've cut to ride higher in the back so when I bend over I actually have coverage! I started them but got frustrated with my "foot pedal" machine and using it with my arm. When it came to doing the intricate work such as the fly and waistband, it got really difficult and I put the project away.

I hope you guys find this information useful. I think this is a good price for a computerized machine and as I said, I'm going to give it a try. If you want me to let you know how it really works when I get it, I'll be happy to keep you informed (and maybe even produce a little video of me sewing) :clap: .

Have a great day!

Edited by Wingswanted, 26 July 2012 - 09:33 PM.

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#6 Wingswanted

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:35 PM

I did it! I purchased the sewing machine I described above.

Now, in 7-9 days it should be delivered to my door and I'll let you know how it works. The nice thing about ordering online from Costco is that I'm a member and you can return any merchandise to your local store for a complete reimbursement if not satisfied. They will even reimburse my shipping and handling fees, which I really appreciate so I feel like I don't have too much to lose if I don't like it.

I have a feeling I'll like it though!

If I'm this excited about a simple sewing machine, just think about how excited I'm going to be when I get my new wheelchair!!! :yikes:
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#7 Tetracyclone

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:24 AM

Wings,
I've been thinking about sewing lately myself. I will look at the videos. With gimpy hands I know that the hand guidance will take my complete concentration and I would prefer something voice activated! haha. BUT moi can use a foot or knee pedal... tee hee...

I plan to practice on some mending with my FG's machine.

#8 Wingswanted

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 03:34 PM

Hi TC,

Have you ever sewed before? If you have then you know what a creative and satisfying process it is. If you haven't and decide to give it a try, then you're in for a treat!

From what I can see the speed control allows the machine to sew very slowly, this way you can learn and be safe at the same time. But, not knowing the degree of problem you have with your hands, I can't say whether it would work or not. I like to rely on that old cliche when I really want to do something, "Where there's a will there's a way!"

If you wait until my machine comes I'll be able to tell and perhaps even show you exactly how manageable the machine is; that way you can decide if it would work for you or not.

I hope you can find a way to make it work, because it's a fun craft...perhaps even more of an art!

Take care!
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#9 Bethann

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:45 PM

I did it! I purchased the sewing machine I described above.

Now, in 7-9 days it should be delivered to my door and I'll let you know how it works. The nice thing about ordering online from Costco is that I'm a member and you can return any merchandise to your local store for a complete reimbursement if not satisfied. They will even reimburse my shipping and handling fees, which I really appreciate so I feel like I don't have too much to lose if I don't like it.

I have a feeling I'll like it though!

If I'm this excited about a simple sewing machine, just think about how excited I'm going to be when I get my new wheelchair!!! :yikes:


I'm glad your sewing machine is on it's way. I'll be waiting to see how you like it.

Thanks!

Edited by Bethann, 27 July 2012 - 04:49 PM.


#10 Wingswanted

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:59 PM

You are welcome, Bethann.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it works and letting you know as well.

Have a great day!
There is just you. Radiant one of a kind, blessed, scarred up, scared, sacred, funny, fully embodied, fully ensouled... you.

#11 Ches

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 07:01 PM

Cant wait for more updates, I hope its as fantastic as you've made it seem. Im already sold!
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#12 Wingswanted

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:32 PM

Hi Ches,

I hope it's as good as it looks to be on the videos I've seen and as good as the people I've talked to say it is.

I won't really know for sure until it arrives and I try it.

When I do know, I promise to let you know the facts!

Then, you can be sold or not (but I'm hoping you will continue to be sold)!

Cheers!
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#13 SequinScandal

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:39 PM

Thanks for the info! Can't wait to see how it works for you. If all goes well I will be purchasing one :)

#14 Tetracyclone

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:00 PM

Hi TC,

Have you ever sewed before? If you have then you know what a creative and satisfying process it is. If you haven't and decide to give it a try, then you're in for a treat!

Take care!


Yes, by 18 or so i was quite decent at it. In those days all girls learned at 12 or 13 in school, then my mom, who was very talented and made all our dresses when we were young, taught me the finer stuff. My mom was also a fabric designer. My older sister knits, and weaves and runs a big shop/club for knitters and weavers (come learn! ) in her county. So I am rather incompetent by family norms.

I will be able to use a regular machine since I cheat and use the right foot on the gas pedal. My frustration will lie in manipulating fabric at the seams fo zippers and such. I will avoid finer work because frustration leads humans to QUIT.

Since you brought it up I stopped and bought 2 zippers I need to replace. Easy ones...

Haha, I will probably find more sympathy on a forum for old ladies with arthritis!

Edited by Tetracyclone, 27 July 2012 - 10:04 PM.


#15 Wingswanted

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:58 PM

Wow TC!

You herald from a long lineage of artistic people! Good for you - I admire all your family does.

I can also relate to your frustration to some degree.

When I was in school we also learned how to sew. I believe it was from grade 7-9 and then the rest of high school was cooking (it was called Home Economics back than but had nothing to do with economics as it is considered today; it was half sewing and half cooking). You could switch it up as well if I'm remembering correctly and do the cooking years first then the sewing portion last. It was a long time ago though!

I would love to learn how to knit or weave. Working with fabric is truly fulfilling and I can imagine creating fabric would be a fantastic art!

You have lots of sympathy here - maybe some of us are old ladies with arthritis but I know there's a huge spectrum of people with various abilities - arm, hand, leg, foot related and even more... who all feel for you.

My heart goes out to you for how frustrating it must be not being able to do what you want as well as you care to.

Perhaps just doing small projects and avoiding the ones that are intricate is a good way to go. I find simply hemming or mending something simple by hand satisfying and relaxing.

Your one heck of a wise woman who knows what you can and can't do, so excuse my blathering - just know my heart goes out to you for the gap that exists between what you want to do and what you are able to do.

Replacing zippers? I find putting zippers in a very difficult task. I never learned properly and have avoided it but I give you credit if you are able to replace a zipper! I intend to learn properly and get it off my chest once I'm sewing again.

Are you replacing the zippers with a machine or by hand?

Now don't go running off to some other forum looking for sympathy! We would miss you greatly as you are far too valuable to lose!

Cheers TC!
There is just you. Radiant one of a kind, blessed, scarred up, scared, sacred, funny, fully embodied, fully ensouled... you.

#16 Tetracyclone

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:08 AM

My heart goes out to you for how frustrating it must be not being able to do what you want as well as you care to.

No big deal. As Rolling Trouble would say, I'm lazy anyway...


Replacing zippers? I find putting zippers in a very difficult task. I never learned properly and have avoided it but I give you credit if you are able to replace a zipper! I intend to learn properly and get it off my chest once I'm sewing again.

Do you use a zipper foot attachment? That makes all the difference. If you have trouble let me know.




#17 Wingswanted

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 04:08 AM

Hi TC,

I like your attitude. :D

No, I never learned how to install a zipper using a zipper foot. Would you believe I did a lot of sewing when my children were small and before my injury, and I did nice work too. However, I avoided anything that needed a zipper like the plague. I modified what I could so I could use buttons and if I couldn't get around using a zipper my neighbor did it for me. She was going to show me how to install a zipper properly but never did get around to it.

Then, life happened, I became injured, moved away and pretty much gave up sewing until my fumbling attempts using the foot pedal with my arm lately.

Now I will learn how to properly install a zipper. I'll go online and I'm sure I should be able to find some good directions that way. But, if I do have a problem I will by all means let you know and your help will be very much appreciated!

Thanks, TC.
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#18 Tetracyclone

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:00 PM

Hi TC,

I like your attitude. :D

No, I never learned how to install a zipper using a zipper foot. Would you believe I did a lot of sewing when my children were small and before my injury, and I did nice work too. However, I avoided anything that needed a zipper like the plague. I modified what I could so I could use buttons and if I couldn't get around using a zipper my neighbor did it for me. She was going to show me how to install a zipper properly but never did get around to it.

Then, life happened, I became injured, moved away and pretty much gave up sewing until my fumbling attempts using the foot pedal with my arm lately.

Now I will learn how to properly install a zipper. I'll go online and I'm sure I should be able to find some good directions that way. But, if I do have a problem I will by all means let you know and your help will be very much appreciated!

Thanks, TC.

You will laugh once you do it with the proper attachment. It is friggin easy. Much easier than buttons. Do you know how many Amish guys have pissed themselves cuz they could not unbutton quick enough???

#19 Wingswanted

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:06 PM

" Do you know how many Amish guys have pissed themselves cuz they could not unbutton quick enough???"

You are too much!!!! :clap:
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