Sewing Machine: an Unlikely Tool for Home Entertainment

You say you want to make oversized pillows for the rec room, footrests for the home theater, and shiny satin throws for the sofa and chairs to pimp out the basement lounge (it has a rock star theme). Are you having a breakdown or just plain nuts! These are big projects and you can probably buy everything at Walmart. But they don’t have the right colors, fabrics, and textures, you say. They don’t get your glam style or the needs of your kids while watching the big screen. Their little feet need just the perfect size ottomans in bright red leather. Nothing else will do (especially black or brown).

You are an enterprising mom with some rare free time who wants full credit as a homemaker and creative artisan to boot. You want that nasty Martha Stewart wannabe next door to drool with envy. You will show her a thing or two. After all, your new generation state-of-the-art computerized sewing machine sits ready and waiting for expert direction. It has threaded itself and has been fed with oil.

You have spent hours in sewing class and have tried out a few successful experiments. It’s time to pick up a great sewing machine for beginners and get started. Now you are primed to revamp the old home décor and turn dull into zippy and fun. You have discarded all thoughts of conventional styles and muted colors. Anything goes! This is a young, trendy family with plenty of friends and relatives traipsing through each day. Your husband says go for it.

Heavier fabrics for slipcovers and pillows demands sturdier needles on the sewing machine and looser stitching. You can do it. Adjusted with ease, the sewing machine roars into action. You can even sew vinyl and leather for the mini footrests by changing the foot option and buying heavy thread. You may need to learn a few tricks of the upholstery trade to complete this project! Stuffing material is readily available, however, at most fabric stores (or you can cheat and send them out).

The sofa throws will be your pride and joy. You are copying an idea you saw at an amazing local boutique that specializes in outré Lady Gaga taste. They sell cool plexiglass furniture encrusted with rhinestones and shells, and jazzy jeweled mirrors to accompany neon-hued wastebaskets, tissue boxes, lamps, and vases. You aren’t going whole hog, but the throws will be a nod to rock glam all the way. Fabric choices are so numerous that you are at a bit of a loss at first, but you go for a nice sapphire blue. Edging might be a breeze given the sewing machine’s great talents. You have been waiting for an excuse to use it.

Your imagination goes wild. What accessories will the room enjoy to go with this satin seduction? Nothing breakable or costly, of course. The basement lounge is a fantasy realm for the kids where they can stretch out and be comfortable—eat what they want, blare the music, and make a mess. You can make new stuff next year. 

The Basics of Home Entertainment


Scenario one: Your friends have arrived and you hand them a cold beer or glass of wine. You exchange greetings and make idle conversation before descending the stairs to your basement home theater. It’s show time! They enter a large windowless space filled with comfortable oversized leather armchairs that adjust to the perfect tilt. Foot rests match each one. Gasps of envy are in the air. A giant bowl of gourmet popcorn sits beside a tray of imported cheeses glazed with honey and festooned with nuts.

Scenarios two: You are a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and vote every year. You usually watch the nominated films at local showings. More and more time seems to be required and when you get DVDs in the mail, you relish the thought of a home theater to do your duty in style and on your own time.

Scenario three: The kids are dying to see the latest Disney film with their friends followed by a game or two of Fussball. Mom loves to bake cookies and they are already stacked on a big plate next to the cartons of Hawaiian punch.

Scenario four: You area an inveterate bachelor but don’t have a separate space for a home theater.  Your living room would make a good location for specialized equipment.  It’s a bit empty right now. A big comfy sofa in front of a giant screen will do the trick. (Remember that screen size depends on viewing distance.)

Whatever your scenario, a home theater is a great choice for those who take their TV and movie viewing seriously. You need some basics, and it is easy to escalate as you learn more about equipment options. Here is a starter checklist:

  • Surround sound and high quality audio
  • Blu-ray player
  • Set of speakers and subwoofer
  • Receiver
  • High definition/high resolution TV—720p or 1080p picture
  • Internet connection
  • Accessories like cables, power protection, universal remote
  • Room lighting

Consider for an average budget: an almost completely wireless system, especially good for condo or apartment: $12,567

1 Sonos Bridge $50 $50
1 Sonos Playbar $699 $699
1 Sonos Playbar Wall Bracket $40 $40
1 Sonos Sub $699 $699
2 Sonos Play Three Wireless Amplified Speakers $299 $598
1 Chief Full Articulating TV Wall Mount $579 $579
1 Apple IPAD Mini $399 $399
1 Apple IPAD Mini Case $65 $65
1 Sony Wi-Fi(r) Blu-ray Disc(tm) player with 4k upscaling $399 $399
1 Sony 65″ 4k TV (Flagship Model – Highest Resolution) $7,995 $7,995
1 Sony 4k Media Server $699 $699
2 HDMI Cables $60 $120
1 Optical Cable $75 $75
1 Install Hardware $150 $150


While this system is a good start and contains quality brands, you can upgrade to different models as your needs change and you learn about other choices. A larger dedicated space in your home or office might require different equipment. A more sophisticated surround sound system is often the first area to tackle.