A Sewing Machine for Dummies

Abstract

We are getting smarter. Our knowledge of the world around us is increasing rapidly and our population spend a big portion of their time in school studying it. But art and craft are moving out to give room for more theoretical subjects. Today many of us can not even fix a torn shirt without help. We buy new ones, they are cheap enough. Sewing used to be a way of self expression. We created out of need and joy. We are losing what used to be common knowledge. So how do you learn a new craft? This project is trying to connect the people, craft knowledge and instructions available online with an aspiring craftsperson through a new sewing machine. The result is a slightly smaller machine where buttons and screen has been removed and all your interaction with the machine, other than sewing, is moved to a mobile device.

Inspiration and Method

The main challenge with the project have been to identify what people find joyful/frustrating while using sewing machines. By interviewing users, both experienced and beginners, have I i explored what people in different ages like with sewing and craft in general. I have also been trying to teach myself to sew during the project. An online questionnaire gave me a broader picture over what kind of projects people are making, how they store their sewing machines and what they like about them.

Result

This project focused on changing the perceived problems and keep what the users find joyful. Buttons and screen has been removed from the machine and all your interaction, other than sewing, is moved to a mobile device or computer. This enables a smart interface that adapts to your needs and skill-level. To get feedback on your actions there is a laser projector that gives you a preview of your choices. You select a straight stitch and you get direct visual feedback in physical space. If you then choose to increase the length of the stitches you immediately get a representation of how far it is between two stitches. Other then that is this machine quite similar to a regular sewing machine. Sewing machines have a complex mechanical inside that works surprisingly well. But they are big. This one is slightly smaller.