Required training for the sewing machines?

The sewing machines keep breaking due to people who don’t know how to sew using them. It’s getting increasingly more dangerous, to the point where needles are breaking and could blind someone. Plus, this breaks our machines and people can’t use them until one of the few people able to fix the machines does.

What do you all think of starting a Sewing Training thread here on Discuss? Anyone can certify themselves for regular home sewing machines, serger home sewing machines, industrial straight stitch, or industrial overlock machines by explaining their sewing experience (i.e. have sewn clothes on home sewing machines). If they aren’t good at a type of machine yet, they can be trained by anyone else comfortable with training them.

People who don’t know how to use the machines should not use them without training. For some machines (like the industrial overlock) training can take less than a minute – this can be pretty informal.

Is this a bad idea? Good idea? what do you think?


cc @mcscope and @tymeart who have had conversations with me about this before.

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Would this be a list of people who know how to use the machines, like we have for the laser cutter? Or maybe a list of people who want to learn how to use certain machines?

Yeah this would be a list of people who know how to use the machines. Maybe this is a bad idea, I’m not sure. Maybe if we just make sure that people who know how to use the machines show up at sewing project night and have really aggressive signage about not using the machines if you don’t know how, it would be enough

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I think it sounds reasonable since its probably frustrating and unfair (i.e. unexcellent) for people to have to continuously replace machines that they didn’t break. I guess that goes for a lot of things at noisebridge, but asking people to learn before they use something without knowing what they’re doing (as in break) seems totally reasonable to me.

It doesn’t sound like people have been breaking them in the spirit of “hacking” and making something new and exciting, rather, just breaking them because they don’t know what they’re doing? In which case, even a signage idea sounds better than nothing.

Aside, I’m stoked to learn how to use the machines at some point :slight_smile:


I agree on the training. :+1:
Not knowing how to operate the machines kept me from using them, was always scared to break stuff. So I’m happy to learn more about it, would love to be able to make patches at some point!

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thanks for the feedback everyone! I think the first step is to make the training more widely known: tiffany, myself, and peter can show up to Monday sewing night more often to teach people, and we can add signage about coming to sewing night if you don’t know how to use the machines.

if it’s still bad we can make training mandatory. but we haven’t had to in the past so hopefully this will be enough.

also fyi @metasyn we generally fix the machines instead of replacing them. So it’s more of a time sink than a money sink. But sometimes we do have to buy replacement parts.


Update: I put up a sign that says

Learn to sew at sewing project night!

Every other Monday 7-9pm

(QR code)