The Phone Call That Killed The Sewing Machine

When I took up sewing two and a half years ago I expected it.  I waited for it.  I knew it was coming.  But then it didn’t.  So I kept my schedule the same, sewing at night after the school work was done.  So when I got the dreaded “noise complaint” phone call the other day I was more than a little upset.  And confused.  I had recently moved my sewing machine to be next to the outside wall so it wouldn’t be near the neighbors.  I have also been sewing earlier in the evening (not many 4am sewing sessions lately), and, ironically, I think my serger is quieter than my actual sewing machine.  I also didn’t realize that using the floor to cut was such an imposition for the downstairs.  Because apparently I am fat.  And sound like an elephant when I walk.  Or sit down.  Or breathe.

In any case, this means my totally awesome sewing area will be no more.  Because the sewing machines are getting evicted.  And they are shamefully moving into my parents house.  Which means my sewing time is going to be totally re-arranged.  And possibly minimized.  And most likely non-existant for the next few weeks.  Which is VERY annoying because I am in the middle of a project.  Which I could have finished during the time that I was packing up and moving all of my machines.

At the moment I am thinking that I will keep the patterns and fabric in my school residence… that way I can trace patterns and cut fabric during the week, at least before 9pm (which is apparently when all noise must cease…).  I can move the machines and thread and notions home so I can get the sewing done there.  I need to buy some more scissors though.  And maybe another ironing board, so I can fuse interfacing at school and press seams at home?  I guess it’s a good thing I recently got a Mood bag… looks like my fabric and patterns are going to be racking up the frequent traveler miles…

Hmmm…  Maybe I could go the treadle rout?  Apparently Janome makes a zig-zag treadle for the Amish:

Janome Treadle 712T

Any advice on how noisy a treadle is?  I don’t really have money to buy a machine now, as I recently purchased my beloved serger, but If there aren’t any other options…

Or, I suppose I could focus my efforts on making historical costuming pieces entirely by hand.  Because that doesn’t require a sewing machine…

It seems like so often in the modern world when one is at a loss for what to do, they turn to the interent for answers.  So I ask you, wise seamstresses of the internets, do you have any advice for my divide and conquer strategy?  What should go where and how to divide up my time?  Usually I do one project at a time, but now it looks like I might have to do more sewing multi-tasking, cutting out a lot of projects and leaving the sewing until the weekends.  Don’t you hate having all of your sewing stuff in different locations?  Wouldn’t it drive you batty?  I know many seamstresses on the internets have their own homes and sewing rooms and can stay up until 4am if they want to, but what about those of you who are stuck with apartment dwellings?  Do you have noise problems?  Do you have a noise curfew?  How do you fit your sewing in around the living situation?  Do you worry that every time you shower, shave, pee, wash the dishes, or breathe it is bothering someone else?

(Also, to my former neighbor where ever you might be – please know that I forgive your awful singing and the fact that your 10 ton cat bounded across the roof every night between 11pm and 6am.  I didn’t complain, but apparently Karma doesn’t give a shit about my tolerance levels.)

2 thoughts on “The Phone Call That Killed The Sewing Machine

  1. STAY PUT!!! My goodness, who do your neighbours think they are. Give in on this whim and they will only pounce on your next little noisy escapade – no wearing heels between certain hours, or no passing wind within distance of the windows!!! I most certainly would not be giving up my hobby, carting it around between work and home, for the sake of one complaint from a cranky neighbour. Maybe they were just having a bad day and took it out on their upstairs elephant (sorry, just had to slip that one in). I thought your sewing room was carpeted (from the photos) – neighbour must have one ear glued to the ceiling listing to you. Or change hobbies – start tap dancing lessons!!!


  2. Wow I thought you'd have bunches of people tell you not to move those machines! I don't know where you live but I've NEVER heard of such a thing. Generally there are certain noises that are part of 'apartment style' living that has to be accommodated — and personally I think if you checked legally you were greatly within those bounds! I would be fighting this! What next they what time you can flush a toilet, so no using it after 10 pm?


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