An Industrial Sewing Machine for School

Hello Friends, Family, and the rest of the Internet!

My name is Ashley Muir, and I love to sew.  I am a completely self-taught seamstress who recently had the fortune of being accepted to Ryerson University's School of Fashion, starting this September 2014.  This has been a huge achievement for me, especially since battling with depression since grade school and struggling to maintain excellence academically.  Graduating high school with straight A's, I attended the University of Waterloo for a time but my illness caught up with me and I was forced to drop out. 

A couple of years afterward, with medication, therapy, and the loving support of friends and family, I was able to create a portfolio for Ryerson, and was accepted in the first few weeks of their admission window.

One of the requirements of the program is to have one's own sewing machine at home.  This would have been fine, having my domestic Brother machine at home and mostly using the school's industrial labs, but the machine I purchased for learning hasn't been able to keep up with my increasingly complex projects.  As you can see in the image below, I used my Brother to make a waxed canvas bag, and on the flap you can clearly make out the faulty stitches created by my machine's inability to manage the thick material.

This sewing machine has been great to me.  It's sewn a wool coat and a faux fur costume, very heavy materials that are not meant to be extensively fed into a domestic Brother – but this machine was all I had, and I made it work.

I additionally have my own business making hats and other accessories.  With my Brother out of order, I am currently unable to work on commissions for my customers. 

This is why I am coming to you, Internet.  I need a new sewing machine that will be able to manage the wide diversity of materials I am guaranteed to encounter in Ryerson's highly competitive fashion design program.  There is no point in buying another domestic machine that will simply break in a few months' time.  Nor is there point in spending $200 or more fixing my $300 Brother – which will also likely break in no longer than a year.

Therefore, I am seeking to buy an industrial sewing machine with a walking foot (which prevents shifting of fabrics while sewing), a servo motor (quiet yet powerful, for apartment living), and speeds that will also increase my productivity.  My old domestic machine could sew around 800 stitches per minute, which by the end of my 3 years of sewing, was a limiting factor in how quickly I could produce garments. An industrial sewing machine sews thousands of stitches per minute, and I'd probably be looking for at least 1500 to as high as 3000 stitches per minute in a new machine.  Industrial sewing machines oftentimes need their own fitted table or cabinet as well, to rest on or inside while being used.

To make matters worse, I am currently based in Waterloo, Ontario, and we are moving to Toronto in order for me to study at Ryerson.  The move will already be super draining on our finances.  Then first and last month's rent.  Add textbooks, school supplies, and feeding the dog and everything becomes overwhelming fast.  A new sewing machine was not an expected expense, but now it's one of the most important ones.

Your support would be immense in helping me pursue the education and business I've started.  I have a few rewards for the first of the generous donors, and as much as I'd love to make rewards for everyone, my resources are limited and my education will come first – which is why I will contact each donor independently regarding fulfillment time. 

Thanks for hearing me out.  And if you make a donation, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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Ashley Muir 
Waterloo, ON
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