Friday, January 4, 2013

The Art of Sewing Machines

We can't deny that we love sewing machines -- not just because of what they do, but people for decades, centuries, have made the form of a sewing machine into an art practice. We've rounded up some of our favorite sewing machines of past & present -- ones you can appreciate in practice & form.

Follow us after the jump to see our list!

The Foldable Sewing Machine is a design project by Richard Burrow, an attempt to make a practical machine that celebrates the functionality of a machine. Grasping the roots of sewing as a genre -- the sensibility and practicality -- the machine is basic in function, simple in facade, and folds away neatly for easy storage. We always tell our students 90% of the time you'll only be using a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch on your machine -- so why not keep the clutter out! This machine is so beautiful, it's at the top of our list for modern machines.

Sewing for science? Sure! This sewing machine prototype stitches graphs of sound waves to create "visible sound". Awesome! We can't help but be reminded of a heart monitor when we see this -- lines are easy for the machine to stitch on its own but we could see some free-form circles to show sound fluctuations, too! 

This vintage Elna machine (mmm Elna!) was photographed at Spool of Thread in Vancouver- it's so beautiful. Some might complain about the weight of a metal machine but you just can't beat the look of the paint on that smooth surface.

This one's for the kiddies, a vintage children's toy re-do with a fresh coat of paint in some really fun colors. While we love kids sewing, this is a good one you can leave them alone with -- no injuries possible!

Perhaps one of our favorite vintage machines, the Morse MZZ from 1957 has such a beautiful shape and an equally beautiful coat of paint. The Morse logo is an extra touch of beauty -- makes us want to put a hundred of these on display somewhere!

Oh wait, someone's done that...

Wall display at All Saints in Soho -- there were many, many more but we couldn't fit them in the frame!

What's your favorite sewing machine to look at? Share with us in the comments below!


  1. My favorite would be the Singer Featherweight! I have one!!

    1. Singer Featherweights are so beautiful, a classic -- and so smooth when you have one in great working condition!

  2. Necchi Mirella - the best design ever.

    1. Wow thanks for the tip -- those machines are perfection! Our favorite here: