SideWinder – The Portable Bobbin Winder

Wednesday, 2 September 2009, 18:00 | Author : Kricket
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Bobbins are an essential part of your sewing project.  By feeding thread to your machine from below the sewing foot, the bobbin thread creates a stronger stitch than you would be able to sew by hand.  The one problem is that threading the bobbin must be your first preparatory step before you can begin sewing.  Wrights has attempted to make our lives easier by creating SideWinder, a bobbin winder that is independent from your sewing machine.

I get excited over the simplest of sewing innovations, so when I saw the SideWinder in the store I was really interested.  I have often started a sewing project by threading the top of my machine, only to realize that I hadn’t stopped to wind my bobbin.  It always feels like such a waste of time to unthread my machine, wind the bobbin, then rethread my machine.

Unfortunately, when I showed it to Amitie, she was more skeptical.  She pointed out that if our sewing machines already come with a free bobbin winder, why should we spend money on it?  The SideWinder is not a cheap purchase; it costs between $20-40, depending on where you shop.  Wrights promotes their product, stating:

“[The designers] saw that having to stop in the middle of a project to unthread an intricately threaded sewing machine in order to fill bobbins was a drag on the creative process. The SideWinder makes it much easier to fill bobbins if they run out, and lets the user get back to their work that much faster.”

The main benefit is that the product will save you time.  This is a silly goal, since it should only take the user about 20 seconds to thread their machine and even less time to unthread it.  I have also decided that to use this product as it was intended, you will need to buy at least 2 spools of your specific thread color.  If your thread is already on the machine, you will need your second spool to wind your bobbin without unthreading your machine.  You can avoid buying the second spool if you pre-thread your bobbins before you begin any project (using your own sewing machine for this will suffice).

Costume shops will often keep a supply of pre-threaded bobbins. (These shops tend to keep an extra supply of the generic thread colors such as white and black.)  The SideWinder could be useful if they want to prepare back-up bobbins while they sew.  Personally, I chose not to keep pre-threaded bobbins of a specific color.  Whenever I sew a cosplay costume, I want my thread to match perfectly, so I often buy a new thread for each project.  This could be seen as a waste of money; however, I consider thread to be a fairly cheap purchase, costing between $1.10 – 1.99 per spool.

I do congratulate Wrights for introducing new sewing notions into the market and I encourage them to keep up the ingenuity.  Unfortunately, I fear this product will not be a big success for them.  Now, if they created a thread that changed color to match the fabric it is touching, like a chameleon, I’d be impressed.

Instead of buying this machine, just make sure that you are prepared when you start a project and don’t waste valuable money on things that you can get for free.

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