The Sewing Machine Project helps save Madison from the cold

The Sewing Machine Project helps save Madison from the cold

Volunteers mend clothes for the community at Central Library


Throughout the winter, volunteers from the Sewing Machine Project offered free mending at Madison’s Central Library on West Mifflin Street. The group will soon wrap up its work for the season, with sessions every Thursday from 10 am–12 p.m through April 22. The sewing volunteers are able to mend anything needed for the cold winter months, including clothing, coats, and any other fabric-related repairs, except for zippers. Mending is done on the spot and operates on a first come, first served basis. There’s no drop off or pick up — volunteers work in the time allowed. “We believe that everyone has the power to make the world a better place,” the group says on its website. “So we share sewing machines — creating partnerships, strengthening community, and nurturing the creative spirit.” Interested in volunteering for this service? Contact the Sewing Machine Project to learn how you can help.

Photos by Hannah Ernst.

  • Wendy Schneider mending garments with precision and skill using the sewing machine during a winter session at Madison’s Central Library.
  • Lois Quinn focuses on mending a piece of clothing by placing needles as markers to help locate where repairs are needed.
  • A local resident arrives to pick up clothing from Schneider and thanks the volunteers for their mending work.
  • Quinn takes time and effort mending every article of clothing she receives, as she is passionate and caring about helping the community.
  • Scheider examines her next article of clothing for mending as she uses the light from the sewing machine to help guide her focus.
  • Kate Kvale consults with Quinn on mending garments. Kvale, Schneider and Quinn understand the impact and value their work has on the community.
  • Kvale carefully concentrates on threading her needle as she begins to work on mending her next article of clothing.
  • Quinn uses one of the many mending tools available at their station to carefully fix the hem of a garment’s sleeve.

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