Project Case

The “Make it Yourself” project searches for new possibilities with digital sewing machines alongside the creative community

As more and more individuals take an interest in making crafts and handmade items, we want to help enhance ways for individuals to take their hobbies and develop them into businesses, through the use of digital sewing machines. We found ourselves in complete sync with the concepts behind BROTHER INDUSTRIES’ digital sewing machine for professionals, the “PR1000e”, which is how this collaboration with the craft-making community “Make it Yourself” (MiY) – operated by FabCafe – came into being. Here, we introduce an overview of the project, and the results it generated.

Project Outline

  • Establish a lab for making new uses and ideas for digital sewing machines into tangible content
  • Planning and implementation of events to match up “creators” with “machines to help them create”
  • Plan and implement awards, and connect potential users nationwide with digital sewing machines
  • Create and exhibit award-winning works to stimulate the creative desires of people who view these items
  • Plan and implement workshops so that anyone can experience the fun of creating things

About the “PR1000e” sewing machine for professionals

Embroidery that’s simple, like drawing a picture. The digital sewing machine.

The PR1000e is a revolutionary machine which can sew 10 different types of threads all at once. It can embroider smoothly, like drawing a picture using threads, using design data such as JPEG or Adobe Illustrator files.


By connecting to the creative community, we will increase the numbers of “people who create” and “creative jobs” using the digital sewing machine.

With the proliferation of digital sewing machines, new ways of expression through sewing will come to life, as well as new values, building new ways of working and new talent, and developing the overall scene. In order to make this vision of the future come true, we will bring people who love to “draw” or do it as their occupation together with digital sewing machines, and organize touchpoints to lead them towards creating things. We applied this approach through 5 programs, which we then implemented.

1. The lab:  Make new uses and ideas for digital sewing machines into tangible content

We selected 5 spirited and energetic creators with brimming with drawing and creative talent, and formed the “MiY (Make it Yourself) Lab” Group. These 5 MiY Lab members were taught how to use the digital sewing machine. Using their unique creative ideas, they thought up of new uses for the machines, and brought their ideas to tangible life. They were able to visualize the “potential” that digital sewing machines could make into reality.

2. Events: Match up “creators” with “machines to help them create”

We held a creative meetup event called “Make it Yourself (MiY) Meetup”. The MiY Lab members would each take the podium, and exhibit the embroidery items they had developed and produced in the Lab. By having creators with such a high interest in making arts and crafts participate in this production process and work with these machines, we stimulated the creative impulses of the participants. We have archived the proceedings of the events online, and have prepared opportunities for non-participants to learn more about these activities.

3. Awards: Connect potential users nationwide with digital sewing machines

We put out a call for entries for art and craft works to award the best designs using digital sewing machines on the creator portfolio website, (currently named AWRD), which has 25,000 people registered nationwide. We assembled a total of over 40 embroidery designs. A diverse group of judges, including embroidery artists, editors, and Fab designers, ultimately selected 10 designs to be awarded.

4. Exhibition : Exhibit award-winning works to stimulate the creative desires of the people who view these items

We exhibited the output generated from this project at FabCafe. We created an environment where people who visited the cafe can experience for themselves the “desire to make their own arts and crafts” and the “enjoyment of these machines.”

June 2016, FAB & STITCHES: An Exhibition of Machine Embroidery and 15 Creators – Make it Yourself Exhibition
*This exhibition is currently concluded

5. Workshops:  Provide a place where anyone can experience the fun of creating things

We held a workshop during the exhibition that was open to anyone (even beginners to arts and crafts), and provided an opportunity to expand the joy of “creating” to as many people as possible. Through the implementation of this workshop, we not only successfully communicated that digital sewing machines posed a low threshold of entry, but this became a valuable opportunity for previously untapped target markets to become interested in and observe and encounter the enjoyment of digital sewing machines.

Bird-shaped brooches made using laser cutters and digital sewing machines
*This event is currently concluded

What MiY wanted to accomplish with this project

By combining these 5 programs together, we wanted to plan, design, and implement a way to increase the numbers of new “creators” and “creative work” through the use of digital sewing machines. By getting people to know the capabilities of digital sewing machines, and by repeatedly developing and testing new ways of creative expression that take advantage of what digital sewing can do, we were able to paint a picture of a future filled with the expansive potential of new methods of expression and new values.