There are a million sewing machines out there, each more complex looking than the last. It’s not very often that someone comes up with a sleek new design that actually changes the way the sewing machine functions at its most basic level. This one is intended for the beginner and is completely uncomplicated with fewer parts (no separate foot) and obvious, simple, threading. It also uses a flexible drive shaft that allows there to be much more room on the right side of the sewing area in a gentle curve, which most sewers will appreciate. The speed of the machine is controlled by a touch sensitive sensor on the bottom left of the machine. Press down gently and you are sewing slowly, press harder and you’re flying along. I think for an experienced seamstress it might take some getting used to, but considering that you shouldn’t really be pulling your fabric through the machine, merely guiding it between the feed dogs, this pressure sensitive approach might work well.

Alto is currently in prototype from Sarah Dickins, a designer from Loughborough University.

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