I've recently learned that there was another student exhibiting at the New Designers show who also did a sewing machine concept (see here for Tuesday's post on the first), but unfortunately, has not received any press on it, despite what I think is a fantastic effort. UK-based James Wood, who graduates from Bournemouth University's ID department this month, clearly familiarized himself with the product and did his homework before setting out on his re-design.
Before we get into his concept, I'd like to show you a couple of sewing-machine-related issues that a layperson would not have any reason to be familiar with.
1. The Snips Issue
Those are thread snips, a diminutive and deceptively ineffective-looking pair of scissors. Sewists use these to cut the tails off of threads, enabling them to remove a freshly-sewn piece of material from the machine. You might ask why they just don't use regular scissors, as they undoubtedly have a pair on hand to cut the fabric; the answer is because the little snips are faster and easier to manipulate, particularly near the machine, than the typically large shears used to cut fabric.
But because there's no dedicated place to put the snips during sewing, people just lay them on the table, where they occasionally get in the way during sewing. Or you place them far off to the side and have to hunt around for them a bit. If you watch YouTube videos on sewing demonstrations, you'll occasionally see even experienced sewists hunting around for them.
2. Pin Rash
Here's a machine I'm in the midst of restoring. Although initially covered in the grime of ages, it was extraordinarily, atypically well-preserved. Note the area of the arm, around the "S" of the Singer logo, is quite smooth.
Now look at the same area on a more typical example of a well-used machine from the same era (1940s):(more...)