Tuesday, June 25, 2013

City Sewing - industrial machine rental... and more!

I'm not going to bury the lead of this story.  They repair machines.

They repair lots of kinds of machines.

Yes, they repair machines.

Parts, needles, tools, shears?  No problem.

Okay, on with the story.

"Let's say you are a designer getting ready for fashion week.  Everyone is frantically sewing.  A sewing person gets sick or can't come in.  what does that mean?  Someone else is gonna have to sit at that machine and get it done, even if that person is the designer him/herself."

I nodded.

"But... let's say a machine goes down.  The work comes to a screeching halt.  Doesn't matter who sits there.  During fashion week especially, we are all working 24 hour days.."

- Robin Rosado, Manager City Sewing Machine Corp.

If you've been in the garment district and strolled along 38th Street between 7th and 8th, you may have seen a "City Sewing" sign, pointing into what looks like an industrial loading space, full of machines.  You might have wondered about it, but likely never wandered in.

After some recent conversations with sewing professionals I know from my freelancing design and sewing life, we started to wonder about renting machines.  I mentioned that I once worked with a designer who rented the machines we were using, so I knew one could do it, but I really didn't know the logistics and cost. So... in question asking mode, I called City Sewing to ask about renting industrial machines.  I was greeted on the phone by the friendliest voice, who, after a brief discussion, enthusiastically invited me to come in and visit. And what makes him particularly wonderful, was that he was willing to patiently answer all of my questions, whether I intended to rent a machine or not.

So I went.  Turns out, what I had been wandering past, was just the service center.  The sales office is an organized, tidy, welcoming space just west of 8th Avenue.  Robin Rosado, the manager and certified repair technician, stopped frantically answering phones and emails to explain just how it all works.

For pictures of the showroom/meeting space, click here.

He has got a vast supply of fully up-to-date, well-maintained machines.  About 70 or so of them are currently on loan to various clients. Many of these clients are among the biggest names in the industry. He has complete knowledge of these machines, and how to fix them.  For example, you know how when you take your car to be inspected, they hook it up to a machine that diagnoses the problem?  That's what they do with the sewing machine.  Robin showed me how the computer gives him an incredibly detailed picture of the machine's health and indicates exactly where the problem is.

And it gets even better.  They are currently working on a new website that they plan to have up and running within the next few weeks, complete with demonstration videos. Robin's enthusiasm about his job is contagious.  He is a strong advocate of renting out the straight stitch workhorse machines, without all of the bells and whistles and complicated features. "You can sew leather on these.  You can use thick thread, thin thread, you won't need to keep changing needles - we've got all the supplies right here. Easy"

Not only can you rent machines, you can rent dress forms.  And by you, I mean YOU, ME, ANYONE.  About $200/month, generally speaking, which, for the right project(s) can make complete financial sense. It certainly makes sense for new designers and especially the well-established ones, who routinely rent 40-50 machines per company at various times during the course of a year.  Even with so many machines out on loan right now, he has plenty more.  This is particularly great for big interior design or fashion show jobs that need to be done on-site.  Makes the undoable... doable!

Licensed and insured, they pick up and deliver the equipment within the garment district. Any questions, you'll find them here:

City Sewing Machine Corp.
300 West 38th Street
NY, NY 10018

212-268-0408 or 0409


12 comments:

  1. I met Robin when I bought my Bernina -- very nice guy. City Sewing is (according to his card) the ONLY authorized Juki and Bernina sales and service center -- good to know if you have a Bernina!

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    1. Absolutely! I really felt at home in there!

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  2. Thanks. I've stopped by there and have been on the web site. I saw that they rented machines and have considered following up on it.

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  3. I experienced city sewing many times for Mecair Dust collection repair and they did fantastic job.

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    1. Your comment inspired me to look at workroom dust collection systems. I'll bet it is indispensable for busy workrooms. Great to know they repair that kind of equipment, too.

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  4. I've been past it but haven't stopped in. I might next time. I asked their price for a certain Bernina foot, and it's a little less than what I can get it for here in Suburbia. So I should have a look at their feet to price some more that are on my wish list. He said they "have them all," which is good.

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    1. I'm filling up your calendar with every post, huh?!

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    2. LOL - Have you ever seen me STGD? I'm that BLUR you saw on 39th St.... I plan & execute my trips the way they plan & execute the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. March thru TGD with an efficient route mapped out. Get done with one trip & immediately start the list for the next one! So you aren't adding anything to my calendar that I can't handle, eventually. I'm grateful that you're doing some of the preliminary leg work, reporting on places I haven't tried yet. It's all good -- it adds to my familiarity of the area.

      And I see it didn't take long to go from the notion of notions to the Notions Speakeasy! :)

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    3. You are right! The notions speakeasy is an interesting concept, because the world of notions is so vast... but the discovery of the right ones can inspire a whole new ideas for your projects...

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  5. There are lots more features that I want to play with & explore. I’ve been doing some free-motion quilting but really want to dig into that even more! There is a handy start/stop button & knee lift that I’ve got to practice with. best sewing machine

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  6. "Let's say you are a designer getting ready for fashion week. Everyone is frantically sewing. A sewing person gets sick or can't come in. what does that mean? Someone else is gonna have to sit at that machine and get it done, even if that person is the designer him/herself." sewing machines for beginners

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