Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Week of Sewing Machines

Feb 21, 2012

 A few months ago, Tammy Rainwater and I braved downtown Kampala traffic to go and purchase 3 sewing machines.   Some churches in Arkansas had supplied us with the money and the task to help some needy women here become self sufficient.
The first machine was given to Lucy from one of Lynn’s Bible studies.  She has been joyfully making hand bags ever since.  
The other two were set aside for the time being.  The school we located in Entebbe was the perfect fit.  A tailoring class was offered to Moms of students.  When we visited they had at least two women to each machine.  But the class was coming to an end and summer (Christmas) vacation starting.  So we decided to wait until the next term.  

This week was the beginning of the new class.  We gave them the new machines and told them we wanted to bless them as God had blessed us.

First day of a new class.

Cabinets for the new machines

Putting the machines into the cabinets

Notice -  These are NEW  old-time treadle machines.  Work without electricity

They are reading the "wordless" directions.  Not as easy as it might seem.

Scene we saw as we left the school.

 Two days later I went back to the downtown store to buy three more machines.  This time one was for myself.  I was accompanied by two ladies, Catherine and Ephransi, who would be the recipients of the other two machines.

Machines were in stock but not in the store -- in the warehouse. So we waited patiently. 

Even with the men there, it was the women who unloaded the equipment
 The cabinets arrived -- unassembled -- so the technician accompanied us to their homes.  

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 There is little room to work inside the home so the technician laid out all the parts and started to work.  

Rain made him move to the narrow ledge.

 Almost immediately it began to rain.  The ladies moved some of the materials inside . . . 

 . . . while the technician continued working outside under a big tree. 

Technician with our driver Soloman

Soon the first one was completed.  I was very glad the technician had come with us.  He knew what he was doing -- we would have had to guess.  Both of these ladies will now have a way to be self-sustaining - rent, food, supplies.

I bought a machine for myself  - a new old-style treadle Singer.  Perfect for Uganda where electricity is never a “given”.    
I hope to start making clothes for little ones.  Lynn met a lady this week who had a 3-day old baby.  No clothes, and no way to buy any.  The person she was staying with had just died and there was no other place for her to go.  This is not an unusual case so I want to make some baby things to have ready for the next one.
My first project is to get some patterns from home.  Here everyone that sews, tailors.  They are taught to sew without patterns.  (I think this is much better but I can’t do it). Some friends are bringing me patterns in March.   I hope to soon be treadling away making some cute clothes.


  1. Could you please let me know where the sewing machines were purchased and their cost? We are in the U.S. and thought about shipping sewing machines but the cost was too much. The machines will be used in Kampala.

    1. We are also going to Kumpala December 2015 and would like to purchase treadle sewing machines could you give me the name of the store in downtown Kumpala where you purchased yours thank you

  2. Same question, where to buy the machines and what is the cost?

  3. Hi, I live in Germany. I'm working with a Mothers of preschoolers (MOPS) group in Kampala. They are a group of 20 teen moms. We want to send 3 of the women to tailoring school starting in May 2017. Were did you buy these machines? We hope to buy 3 machines for our MOPS group. As our 3 students learn to sew, we hope they can teach the others to sew. Maybe you could help them too if you still live in Kampala. MOPS is a christian group that tries to reach both christian and non christian moms. ja.heymann@t-online.de Thank you