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Thread: Sewing machine for handicap use?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Question Sewing machine for handicap use?

    So, this past weekend my boyfriend met up with a friend from high school he hadn't seen in over 10 years or more. She is handicapped from the waist down and was briefly talking to me about the sewing thing i went to (the FL TOGA i had attended earlier in the day.) the conversation was brief because it was easily derailed into other conversations. (After 10 years cant say i blame them.) but she had mentioned trying to convince her disability to cover the costs of a "modern" hand crank.

    Having never heard of this i googled it and the only thing i came up with was something called a byte switch, which is an adaptation to a model of singer sewing machine, that is no longer made and thus they only make these whenever they get a machine donated? or so thats what i could tell. a few folks told me some of the newer machines like Janome and bernia make a stop/start push button on their machines. could an alteration be made to a foot petal to be hand controlled? how difficult do you think it would be?

    Does anyone out there know of anything that would work in this case? im curious to know the cost, because i feel its a shame that someone who wants to craft, cant due to money and being handicapped. Push comes to shove i might be inclined to send her an "old" hand crank... but id love to see my options. I just really think its a shame to limit someone because of something they have no control over. I know id hate it if suddenly i couldn't make something i know and love to make.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle
    Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight
    my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758
    Flower, Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66
    Singer 99K
    Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  2. #2
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    There are some inexpensive machines with the start/stop button. My $400 brother pc420 has it. I know the brother cs6000i has it and is only $160. The janome 8050 sold at Hancock for under $300 also has it. I would probably go with one of those or one similar to it if I were her.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    thank you so much for your suggestions! I will pass the information on to her. i was toying with the idea of maybe purchasing one for her.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle
    Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight
    my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758
    Flower, Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66
    Singer 99K
    Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  4. #4
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm not quite understanding the problem . . . but couldn't she just move the foot pedal up onto the table . . . or use a machine with the start/stop button?
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
    ~Richard Dawkins

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lyncat's Avatar
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    I have a Brother machine that has the push button. It also came with a foot pedal but I have never taken out of the package. Inexpensive and works just fine for regular sewing.

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Not knowing the extent of her handicap I'm going to make a couple suggestions.

    First, some of the Japanese ZZ machines can be retro fitted with the hand crank conversions as sold by Sew-Classics and others.

    Second, If she has upper body movement you could rig a foot controller to the back of her chair so all she has to do is lean back a bit and push on the pedal. The electronic controllers would be ideal for this as they don't get hot.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Junior Member makitmama's Avatar
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    speaking from experience, it is really hard to sew if the foot pedal is on the table and you are using one hand to push it. I never knew how much I used two hands sewing until I had to do this on a vintage machine with an 18" cord. I agree with Joe- a way to operate the foot pedal by leaning on it might help.
    On my Bernina with the button operation, you can't control the speed without taking your hands off your work. I would find that hard to do.
    maybe a modified knee pedal she could lean onto?
    Cil




    I'm a Queen.... at least my pantyhose say I am!


    (proud caretaker of a magenta 221, purple 222, assorted 66's, a 301, a pink Atlas and Monarch, and Granny's 201-2.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    See this is why I figured id ask here. So many lovely suggestions! It seemed like she had been eyeing a push button that the harder you pushed the faster it went. I wish she had told me the machines name. :/ I thought the same thing you should have your hands free to play with the fabric. Hmm these are all good ideas. I did find a brother that has a speed dial for the push button. In fact I don't think the machine had a footpedal. I need to look into that more
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle
    Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight
    my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758
    Flower, Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66
    Singer 99K
    Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  9. #9
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    we have a guild member with MS and she uses the auto switch on her brother...I know my little $300 brother works the same way...I've used it. hit the switch, sew the seam, hit it again to stop, should work for her
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    See this is why I figured id ask here. So many lovely suggestions! It seemed like she had been eyeing a push button that the harder you pushed the faster it went. I wish she had told me the machines name. :/ I thought the same thing you should have your hands free to play with the fabric. Hmm these are all good ideas. I did find a brother that has a speed dial for the push button. In fact I don't think the machine had a footpedal. I need to look into that more
    All three of the machines I listed have a sliding button that controls the speed, whether you use the button or pedal. I'm pretty ure all the machines that have a button also have some type of speed control option.

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