We passionately believe...

…in the possibility a sewing machine embodies.

We passionately believe...

…in the possibility a sewing machine embodies.

We passionately believe...

…in the possibility a sewing machine embodies.

We believe that everyone has the power to make the world
a better place.

So we share sewing machines–
creating partnerships, strengthening community, and
nurturing the creative spirit.

We Collect And Donate Used Sewing Machines

 

  1. Regionally, we offer sewing classes and machines to those whose lives may be enhanced by this new tool offering them a creative means to move forward.
  2. Nationally, we have worked extensively in the Gulf Coast beginning with groups affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. More recently, we have touched many lives nationally, shipping more than 1200 machines to folks across the country over the past 10 years.
  3. Internationally, we’ve sent machines and supplies to women’s cooperatives and other groups in Mexico, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, India, El Salvador, Guatemala and Liberia helping people in those areas to start small collectives and improve their lives through the art of sewing.

Machines Donated Since 2005

Dollars Raised In 2014

What’s been happening lately?


Intimate Gifts

“Have you received my package yet?”, the email read. I hadn’t. Not that it hadn’t arrived, I just hadn’t picked it up from the post office yet. I let the donor know I’d get it soon and went about my business. On my visit to the post office yesterday, Margaret, the postmaster, stepped into the back room to retrieve the box. Handing it over the counter she said “it’s not too heavy this time!” I loaded my stamps and letters on top of the box and headed for the car. When I got home I opened the box. Filled with bags of carefully sorted supplies, there was a letter on top: “Dear Margaret, My mother passed away in January. She loved sewing. She made her own clothes and mine when I was a little girl. She used to do alterations for the women in the neighborhood when I was growing up…I am sending these items to you in the hope that you will find someone who can use them. My mom was 96 when she died and had a very advanced case of macular degeneration. Even so, she would have me come over and thread needles for her so that she could at least sew on a button by herself by feeling her way through it.  I know she would be pleased that these items will not go to waste.” I set the letter down and began to look through the box. Buttons, carefully carded, belt buckles of so many shapes and sizes, thread, snaps, hooks and eyes, and tiny boxes of supplies. Pins, needles, tinier buttons, all in separate... read more

Finding community

I’d love to share photos from yesterday’s volunteer sewing day. But there aren’t any. We were too busy sewing. And talking. And laughing. And sharing ideas. We were too busy getting to know each other better and what better way than by laughing together, sewing and helping one another, realizing we loved the same books, we’d traveled to the same places. We sewed small bags today, bags to sell to raise money for the Sewing Machine Project. We were a small, but mighty crew, some with their own machines, some with machines from our inventory. We were learning about the machines we were sewing on. We were learning new patterns and techniques. We were learning about each other. Ahhhh, the community! People coming together with a common purpose, coming together to simply be together. Building community in our effort to build community!  No tension in the room (other than a few machine adjustments :-)), just a sweet air of kindness. Each time we come together, whether to work on machines, sort bobbins, stuff mailers, or SEW, it’s always a different mix of people. And something magical happens. One by one, people enter the room and they’re absorbed into this community. The sheer beauty of it brings me to tears each time I feel it. We come to help the Sewing Machine Project, we come to help one another, but we also come as individuals enjoying the warmth of community and letting it fill and enrich us. And together, we lean back into this sheer beauty as new acquaintances become friends, as one by one the bags get done. And... read more

Aha Moment!

Mutual of Omaha has a cool campaign going! They’re sending an Airstream trailer around the country and talking to people about the Aha Moments in their lives. They contacted me to see if I’d like to do an interview and I was thrilled to say yes. So when the Airstream was parked in Brittingham Park here in Madison in late June I went for my interview. They asked me about an Aha moment and my initial response was to talk about the article I read over 10 years ago that led me to start collecting sewing machines in the first place. But then we dug deeper and I realized that the Aha Moment was something greater than that. My Aha Moment was realizing that I had opened up to any and all possibilities and somehow I had done so without fear. There was not a moment in the early development of this project where I wondered if it would work. Rather, I just stepped into it assuming that whatever happened would be ok. And it was. More than ok. And that idea has seeped into every corner of my life. I walk through life with a wide open heart and I am amazed–every.single.day–at what comes of it. So here it is, My Aha Moment. And I would encourage each and every one of you to stop for a moment and consider those Aha Moments in your life. It is with gratitude and a wide open heart that I say thank you to everyone who has stepped into the life of The Sewing Machine Project. It’s pure... read more

The Sewing Machine Project’s Mission is to collect and distribute sewing machines to groups committed to using the machines to learn new skills, build self-confidence and potentially contribute to their own livelihood as well as the well-being of their families and communities.

Donate Machines

If you have a sewing machine or serger that you no longer need, please consider donating it to The Sewing Machine Project. Please make sure your machine is portable and in good working order.
Drop Off Locations

Donate Time

Volunteers are the backbone of The Sewing Machine Project. Our family of volunteers lend their hands not only in preparing machines for shipment and helping to keep us organized but also with education, editing, consulting, and documenting. We’d love it if you would consider lending your expertise to our team!

Yes! I'd like to Volunteer

Donate Money

Money donated to the Sewing Machine Project goes to supporting the organizing, preparation, and shipping of machines along with supporting our local classes and national curriculum. Every bit counts. You can even make a donation in honor of a sewer you love through our Forget Me Not program.
Donate Now

Help Us Mend Communities

This Project wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of individuals and businesses. The Sewing Machine Project is a qualified 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax deductible. You will receive a letter confirming your donation. Please show your support by making your tax-deductible donation today.

Make A Financial Contribution Today

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