In days of yore, sewing machines required little more than a large pedal and a tapping foot. Electricity has long taken over, but a bicycle-driven sewing machine could bring human-powered garment manufacturing back in vogue. A collaboration between New York City's New Museum and Spanish brand peSeta, the pedal-powered production is off to an auspicious start with a series of jaunty bicycle caps exclusive to the museum's store.
Laura Martínez del Pozo and Jaime Sevilla Moreno, co-founders of peSeta, launched upon the idea of a bicycle-powered sewing machine when two friends left a bike and an antique sewing machine at their shop. One day, it occurred to them that they could hook the bike up to the sewing machine and make things. With the help of Charlie Perez Mayoral of Ciclos Noviciado, a custom-bike workshop in Madrid, they rigged up a bike stand and connected the back wheel to the sewing gears.
PeSeta’s bike-powered operation is an an amazing example of ingenuity and teamwork.
The group sent their proposal to New York City’s New Museum, which now sells the bicycle caps exclusively through its brick-and-mortar and online stores. Available in several solids, plaids, and stripes, the $45 topper features the word “New” on the underside of the brim. A $90 deluxe version comes packaged in a wooden cheese box with stickers and a DVD on how it came to be.
The marriage of bicycle and sewing machine is one of raw power and unbridled creativity. It’s also a sterling example of how ingenuity meets cooperation: The cyclist has to work with the sewer to pull the feat off, neither pedaling too fast nor too slow. Although it’s far more complicated than plugging your machine into the wall, peSeta’s bike-powered operation is an an amazing example of ingenuity and teamwork.