NewsLocal News


Sewing Center reflects on 40 years of repairs in Billings, looks for new trade stewards

Posted at 6:13 PM, Jul 01, 2024

BILLINGS — This year marks three decades of business for the Hansons, who own and operate Sewing Center West, a sewing machine sales, supply, and repair shop.

“When you look at a sewing machine store, it just kind of looks like a bunch of – tombstones," said Amy Hanson.

She explained that it is interesting to her to sit and work with machines that "have history."

“I see my life (in sewing machines), I grew up on a farm, and that’s all I ever did was sew," said Kim Siler, who was having her machine repaired at the Hansons' business. "I sat on my mom’s lap, I sat on my grandma’s lap. (My grandma) taught me how to quilt, and so, they’re near and dear to me.”

Amy said she began with sewing machines when she was 19 years old after her mother started working with them.

Similarly, Deg, her husband, began working with sewing machines 40 years ago.

“There’s emotion attached to it," said Deg, whose father was a furrier, tailor, and fashion designer, "I guess it’s in my blood, in my heritage.”

Despite being regarded as more of a craft today rather than a practice of utility, around 100 customers per month patronize Sewing Center West.

“Antique machines, when I say antique, I mean over 100 years old," said Deg, "were built a whole lot better than they are today.”

Both he and Amy insisted that for sewing machines, quality will consistently outperform convenience.

“When you spend the least amount of money you can and expect performance, that just really never comes to pass," said Amy.

Quality of machines, however, necessitates maintenance, and the couple said they do not expect too many people have an interest in the technician side of sewing machines nowadays.

“Finding somebody that has an interest in the trade, as far as in the mechanic end of it, is definitely a good question. We’re still looking for that," said Amy.