Get yourself a dealer

Mary sewing

Everyone who owns a sewing machine needs a good great dealer. A place where the mechanics really know their stuff, and the service is prompt, friendly, and courteous.  Every day in my sewing studio I hear students complain about their experiences at sewing machine dealers around the Puget Sound area, and I tell them there is another option. Sewing Machine Service in Renton! I want to brag on them a little today, because they are far and away the best Bernina dealership I have ever worked with. Sometimes I call Cevin just to ask him a random question about sewing machines because I love listening to his encyclopedic knowledge about all things machinery. Today I bring you Cevin Waffle (owner) and Mary Collen (salesperson/teacher/seamstress extraordinaire) from Sewing Machine Services. Ta da!

Maris: Cevin, do you like to describe SMS?

Cevin: We are really a full service dealership. Although we are a Bernina dealership, we work on all brands, both for home sewing and commercial production. We have 2 full-time, factory-trained Bernina mechanics, as well as hundreds of years of combined expertise in sewing machine repair across our entire staff. We try to establish a real and lasting relationship with our customers, we really want to earn and keep their trust.


Maris: Cevin, when did you first start working for Sewing Machine Service?

Cevin: I was 15, and still in high school. It was my first real job, and it is the only place I have ever worked. Over time, I gradually I learned more and more about how to clean and adjust home sewing machines. I met my wife, Shelly, when she started working here after graduating from high school, and then we decided to buy SMS in 1998 from Harry Fraley, the original owner.


Maris: Mary, tell us a little about how you got started working at SMS?

Mary: I was not even looking for a job, but I came into SMS one day and thought “This is the place for me.” I went home and told my husband I thought I wanted to go back to work, applied for the job, and have been here for over three years now.


Maris: How has the business changed over the years?

Cevin: Probably the biggest change is the competition with online retailers. We can’t always compete on price, but we definitely have the edge on customer service. When people buy a sewing machine, they need to find a dealer for both repairs and service, and we want to be the dealership they choose.


Maris: Mary, what do you think sets SMS apart from other sewing machine dealers?

Mary: All of the different kinds of machinery we carry, the accessories for so many different machine brands, the back workroom with hundreds of drawers of needles, parts, and all things sewing machines – I love it! I have never been in another dealership that has the range of brands, accessories, parts, sewing notions, and more that SMS has.


Maris: Cevin, how about you? What do you think sets SMS apart from other sewing machine dealers?

Cevin: Well, first of all, Mary works for us, and that is a huge advantage. I would also say our entire staffs’ combined years of experience working with many sewing machines is a differentiating factor. But probably the main thing about SMS I want people to know is the value we place on the customer relationship. Our goal is to help you buy the machine that is right for your needs, and then provide the ongoing service you will require to keep that machine in peak operating condition.

There you have it, readers. Need a machine, or a little tune-up? A new part? You know where to go.  Sewing Machine Service in Renton. Check out all the nooks and crannies, little drawers full of spare parts, the industrial machines and home machines waiting to be repaired – LOVE this place!

Mary snooping around for a part. 😉

Mary looking in drawer

Look at all these machines in the back room!

Commercial sewing machines

The repair room is a v-e-e-r-r-r-r-r-y busy place at SMS.

Sewing machine repair area

Ben is cleaning and finishing up a machine.

Repair man

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen



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