Sew Brooklyn

Holds on sewing machines are paused at this time, but existing holds will be honored.


Sew Brooklyn is a BKLYN Incubator program that loans out sewing machines, fosters self-guided learning of the craft, and promotes sustainable habits. We will offer freely loaned sewing machines and free beginner workshops for patrons interested in learning to sew by hand and/or machine!

To begin, read the FAQ below and fill out this form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Anyone with a valid young adult or adult Brooklyn Public Library card. Patrons must also bring ID (school ID or school program is acceptable for young adults).

As long as nobody else has your machine on hold, you will be able to renew. Please note that due to anticipated demand, renewals may not be granted during the program’s initial launch.

Currently, machines are only equipped with the foot pedal, a power cord, a carrying case, a 90/14 needle, two class 15 bobbins, and black and white all-purpose thread. The Brother PS300T and the BM3850 models also come with a wide table for quilting purposes. To request additional accessories and notions, please see what we have available using our form to place a hold.

Yes! After you fill out the form and the hold is placed, a staff member will reach out to you with a liability waiver for you to sign and date. You will have to give the waiver in to us via email before the machine is sent to your branch for pick-up.

You must return your sewing machine to the library that you borrowed it from by its three week due date. Machines should be returned to the reference desk and should absolutely not be dumped in the book drop.

Please call your local library to ensure that it is open prior to pick-up or drop-off.

The library currently does not charge late fines. However, patrons who keep their machine beyond the due date will be charged a flat $300 replacement fee. This fee will be removed from the account upon return, but will block the patron from borrowing/renewing other library materials in the interim.

If any part of your machine breaks, please email We will provide instructions. For reference, it’s not the end of the world if your needle breaks, but if you have nicks in the throat plate, that’s a different story. We need to know whether the machine has to be sent to a technician to be fixed.

Please do not attempt to rewire the machine in any way.

Machines are tested prior to loan and upon return.


Absolutely! Each machine comes with a company-provided instruction manual. You can also access instruction manuals online (see next section).

We strongly require you to look through the instruction manual before you begin sewing.


Brother provides instructions manuals in Spanish online. Search for your sewing machine’s model here.

Singer provides instruction manuals in a variety of languages, including Spanish, simplified Chinese, and Russian online. Search for your sewing machine’s model here.


Absolutely! A printed version of this list is also provided with your loan. Please also feel free to consult the staff at the reference desk to see what else is on the shelves at your branch when you go to pick up your machine.

We are unable to accept sewing machine donations at this time, but thank you for thinking of us! 

Unfortunately, we are no longer able to offer a voucher for free material from FABSCRAP with our loans. We encourage you to volunteer 2.5 hours of your time at the Warehouse to receive the same benefit! More information on that process here

FABSCRAP is a textile waste recycling service, an affordable textile supply store, a sustainability education center, and a community hub. To learn more about how to get involved, shop for saved from the landfill materials or to volunteer visit

Here’s how this process is going to go:

  1. Fill out this form. A staff member will email you shortly to ask follow-up questions as necessary, fill out a liability waiver, and confirm your place in the queue. Filling out the form does not guarantee that a hold has been placed. 
  2. Once your machine arrives at your branch, you will receive an automated notice (please check your notification preferences in your account!) letting you know that your machine will be ready to pick up. You have a week to pick up your machine upon receipt of this notice. 
  3. Pick up your machine from your selected branch. Please call and confirm its open hours ahead of time. 
  4. Take your machine home and sew to your heart’s content!
  5. Return your machine to the SAME BRANCH that it was borrowed from with all accessories intact. Report any malfunctioning parts to Please also fill out the provided survey to help us improve our service! 

RST531HD – The Experienced Quilter – For the person who knows what they want and at what length and width. 14.3 lbs Catalog link

PST300T – Ole Reliable – Best option for experienced sewists, lightweight. Also great for quilting – has decorative + lettering stitches. 10.5 lbs Catalog link

BM3850 – The Beginner – For the person who’s just getting started and wants to learn. 19.46 lbs Catalog link

4411 Heavy Duty – The Workhorse – For the person sewing heavy material…or light material! 14 lbs Catalog link

Creativebug is a video-learning site for art and craft classes, which BPL provides access to as an online resource. New classes from top artists are released every day, with instructors bringing a lifetime of practice and proven teaching methods. Click here to access Creativebug.

Consult the instruction manual and/or consult YouTube. Please remember to actually read the instruction manual before you begin sewing. Refer to the resource list for instructional videos on YouTube based on make/model.

Check out the robust list of upcoming in-person and virtual classes below!

Sew Brooklyn is a BKLYN Incubator project. BKLYN Incubator was founded in 2015 with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and continues to operate with funding from the Charles H. Revson Foundation.