Dorm TrunkKnow a student who is taking a sewing machine to college?  I bet some do but it didn’t really hit me until I walked into Joanne’s the other day and saw – unexpectedly – a ton of dorm room décor right up front.

This was unexpected for two reasons the first of which came in the form of “Dear Lord, school starting up again so soon?” and the second was that I had sewing machines and fabric on my mind and seeing small dust pans with mini brushes and plastic drawer organizers in multi-colors wasn’t quite what I thought I’d see when I first walked in to a well-known fabric and sewing notions store.

It’s a quirk of mine – based on my corporate background and genetics – to wonder why a retail store does some of the things they do.  I’m always looking for the “why” behind decisions.  It’s hard to explain.  I’m sure some would have seen the display and wandered past without a thought but I, on the other hand, have to donate ever-dwindling brain power to see if I can’t nose out the objective for this particular store to put these particular items right up front.

My brain goes like this:

“Sewing machines, sewing machines, sewing machines. Dorm room supplies?  Does not compute. (whirring noise starts up)  Thinking, thinking, thinking. Store’s customer base is probably heavily female, age range of 30-50, shops for the family, organized, probably responsible for getting student off to college at some point.  Comes in for fabric, sees dorm room supplies and remembers upcoming son or daughter’s move to college campus. Ah!  Logic achieved.  You may carry on.”

Dorm Wall Stickers PinkLater, because my head won’t let it die (that “carry on” earlier only meant carry on until I bring this issue back up), I realized there’s probably another reason dorm supplies would be located in a sewing store.  Tell me some college students don’t bring sewing machines with them?  Right?

If I was heavily into sewing at home and then moving to a college dorm room, might I want to take a small sewing machine along with me?  What about mothers and daughters who share a sewing machine at home but now the daughter isn’t going to have access except for trips back to see Mom and Dad (and do laundry)?  Wouldn’t that be a shame?

Of course, I’ve been to college.  I can’t imagine one would fit in much time for sewing around schoolwork, making new friends, and maybe working at the same time.  However, if you have a passion for something you always seem to make the time, don’t you?  Hobbies are the things that make it possible to get through non-hobby responsibilities.

There are also students who are going to college in the fashion arts for whom a sewing machine would nearly be a school supply necessity – especially a machine that was reliable and one with which they were comfortable.  (The thought of having my sewing work graded has just entered my head – EEK!)

Dorm rooms and mini campus apartments, however, are small and most likely shared with strangers.  Anyone taking a sewing machine to college with them would probably do well with a small machine that could easily be secured away in a drawer or tucked under a bed when not in use.

What’s the right sewing machine to take to college?

Brother XL 2600i Sewing MachineThat depends on the individual’s needs and available space.  For just a back up machine it could be something off of our Best Under $100 List (you can see it here).  For the future fashion designer, it might be something more like one of the Brother Project Runway machines.  All I know is school is just around the corner (earlier for some folks than others) and even the fabrics and notions stores are gearing up to remind us that summer is short. Make the most of the rest of this one!