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Get badged on the Sewing Machines!

The following article was submitted by Betty Schwede, a Youth Services Librarian with the Manitowoc Public Library.

Sewing is one of those life skills that many would like to know, but seldom pursue. We come up with many reasons why we never get to it. “I don’t have time.” “It’s difficult.” “I don’t have the patience.” Sound familiar? The list goes on. Yet, sewing is an important skill with benefits you may not have considered:

  • Sewing is a creative outlet that lets you express yourself, from choosing fabric to the finishing touches. It gives you something to be proud of that is one of a kind.
  • Learning to sew can be therapeutic, giving you a productive way to deal with stress. Making something with your hands releases dopamine in your brain—the feel-good chemical.
  • Sewing keeps your mind active as you constantly learn with new projects. The hand-eye coordination actually gives your brain a mental boost.
  • Sewing can be very cost effective. Repairs and fitting clothing can add up to a significant amount.
  • Plus, you can update your wardrobe with simple details.

So what does that have to with Manitowoc Public Library, you ask. It’s because the Library can help with learning how to sew more than you may know! MPL has four sewing machines in its Idea Box makerspace available for public use during open hours. They are Singer 9960 sewing machines. Multiple accessories are available to use for whatever your needs—rotary cutter and mat along with a walking foot, free motion foot and quilting table extension help with quilt projects. Buttonhole and zipper feet make zippers a breeze. There are a large variety of decorative stitches available, including letters. There are even irons and small ironing mats available.

As with all Idea Box equipment, we require training, or “badging,” to use the equipment on your own. There are two sewing machine badging opportunities coming up. The first is April 18 at 3 PM with registration opening-up on April 4 at 9 AM on our website at If that date doesn’t work for you, the second opportunity arrives on May 10 at 5 PM. Registration for the May 10 session doesn’t open until April 26 at 9 AM, but when it does, head to  to secure your spot! Please note that both of these sessions are open to members of our community that are 13-years old and older.

Badging will take up to one hour and is only training on the equipment to prepare for safe, independent use of library equipment. We will not be working on projects at the badging sessions. However, you do need to be badged to participate in future programs, as well as to use the sewing machines on your own.

Whether you want to learn to sew or are a seasoned pro, the sewing machines at Manitowoc Public Library are here for you! You can have your own sewing camp with friends, use the makerspace to work on a new project, or come to future sewing programs at the Library.

Whatever it is that you hope to do, sign up for one of the badging sessions so that you can do it on your own whenever you have the time to do it!

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