The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie



The first thing I noticed about this book was its cover.  It appealed to me because I like to sew, I learnt from my Mum and my Nanna.  The fact that I have seen my Mum use the old crank handle Singer sewing machine, that used to be my Nanna’s, and it still worked, also helped.

We are introduced to some very memorable characters.  Jean who used to work at the Singer Factory in Clydebank, Scotland in 1911 during the strike there, Connie a woman who really knows how to sew and can alter just about anything, Fred an inheritor of a machine, Ruth a mother and a nurse and all the people who are involved in their lives.

This story flutters between these main characters, drawing you into a deeply sentimental journey through their lives.  It is a story of hardship and disappointment, but more of determination, pride, resilience and love.  There are family secrets that are revealed and as these secrets come into the open, the reader mirrors the reactions of the characters. It is very cleverly drawn to its conclusion, bringing the story full circle .

It is hard to say where this book got me hooked, but suddenly I could not put it down. It is a beautifully written account of the lives of these people through the different decades from 1911 to 2016. I would recommend this book, it is an ideal book for cuddling up and forgetting the world with.  It has a great feel good factor.


It is 1911, and Jean is about to join the mass strike at the Singer factory. For her, nothing will be the same again.

Decades later, in Edinburgh, Connie sews coded moments of her life into a notebook, as her mother did before her.

More than 100 years after his grandmother’s sewing machine was made, Fred discovers a treasure trove of documents. His family history is laid out before him in a patchwork of unfamiliar handwriting and colourful seams.

He starts to unpick the secrets of four generations, one stitch at a time.


Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 17th 2017 by Unbound
ISBN13 9781911586241
Edition Language English