Alto, a sewing machine for beginners (prototypes)

Alto intuitive sewing machine prototypes via @ferster

Sarah Dickins, a designer from Loughborough university, tackles beginner frustations with sewing machines. ‘Alto,’ her innovative touch-controlled sewing machine, simplifes speed control by eliminating the pedal and also guides the user through threading.

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  1. My goodness. I love inventions that make me say, “Now why in the heck didn’t anyone come up with that before!”. Usually it’s attached to good user research like she did. Great video!

  2. I like the arch but the pressure sensors are really not practical. Many times your hands are busy holding the fabric in certain positions and aren’t available to press down on the bed. Many current sewing machines already have the ability to set a slower speed, often with the press of a button.
    After threading a sewing machine a few times it becomes second nature. Now simplifying threading a serger would be awesome.

  3. This machine is awesome in so many ways.
    The exterior design with wood, leather, etc is terrific… a work of art in itself
    The flexible shaft drive is a good design solution – curves are great.
    I really like the Visible Machine version used to show the innards.
    I would love to look at that up close – a real good how-does-it-work for any sewing machine!

    As Charxian says, however, I’m not sure about the press-to-run sensors. I am not at all skilled with sewing machines, but the few times I’ve used one, I am so busy holding the material, that pushing down while while feeding properly seems like too much for the hands.

    otherwise – I love the design.

  4. Richard le Gris

    I teach people with no sewing experience some basic sewing, and would love this machine. Threading is definitely one of the bigger problems they have.

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