Our History


Our History

Susie at the original Woodhaven Sewing Machines in Woodhaven, NY

A middle-aged man walked into Woodhaven Sewing Machines, a small sewing machine shop in Woodhaven, NY.  "I want to speak to a mechanic," he demanded from the lady behind the counter. "How can I help you sir," she replied. "No, not you," he said, "I want a mechanic." "But sir, I am the mechanic," the lady said patiently, "Let me see the machine."  The man did not realize that this was Susie, sewing machine mechanic and owner of the store. This particular lady had been fixing sewing machines since she worked for her father, Leon Fells, back in the late 1960s.

Leon Fells, Susie's father, who started Leon Fells Sewing Machines In Richmond Hill, NY, over 85 years ago.

Leon Fells, born in Poland, arrived in the U.S. in 1911. He married, raised a family of five children, and started a business of selling and repairing industrial sewing machines.  He was known for his old world pride and his work and care for his customers.

One of his children, Susie, as a sixteen-year-old teen, helped in her father in the business. As years passed, she helped in the business' daily operations, and eventually became an expert sewing machine mechanic.

So unusual was this phenomenon of a young female sewing machine mechanic that the Daily News published an article on Susie when she was very young. Newsday did a full feature story and several articles about Susie. 25 years of community service she gave to to her local neighborhood as President of the Chamber of Commerce and President of the Business improvement GWDC. She received many awards for the commitment and service she gave from Senators, Councilmen, Claire Shulman, Borough President and many other community leaders. She has appeared on Meet the Press with Gabe Pressman on Channel 4 and in Albany with Senator Surf Maltese on a Television show. Several other local Newspapers have written about Sewtime Sewing and the excellent service they give to their customers.

Sewtime History

Susie working in the store in the 1980s with her son Jeremy

In 1976, Susie opened her own sewing machine business in Woodhaven (Queens), NY. The business specialized in the sale and repair of all makes of sewing machines. Quality of service was emphasized and Woodhaven Sewing became the "friendly store."

Anybody who worked for Susie understood the importance of making the customer happy. Machines sold and machines repaired were given liberal guarantees - far in excess of the manufacturer's warranties. Unlimited lessons were given to the customers to understand the workings of their machines.

The atmosphere of the store was more than friendly - it was a place where sewers came to talk about their machines and their projects. They came to compare notes with other sewers. The store atmosphere naturally led to sewing classes - from simpler classes like "Understanding your Machine," to beginner and intermediate classes on creating garments, to advanced classes in quilting and crafts.

Sewtime has stayed on the cutting edge of sewing technology since the store has opened.

Computerized sewing machines started to make way in the 1970s and gradually improved through the 70s and 80s. However, in the early 1990s through the present, computerized sewing machines have taken long leaps in what sewing machines can do. Now with an smart phone and a user-friendly machine, a few simple steps can automatically produce detailed and beautiful embroidery work.

Susie jumped into this new world of computerized machines. She and her staff became experts in the sale, repair and demonstration of these sewing wonders.

As with Susie's general approach to the business, customer satisfaction was emphasized. Susie only wanted to sell a machine if the customer really needed it, and could fully understand and enjoy it.

Sewtime located on Springfield Blvd. in Oakland Gardens, NY-Come visit us!

In the early 1990s, Woodhaven Sewing Machines branched out to Long Island. Today, Woodhaven Sewing Machines (currently know as Sewtime) has locations in Oakland Gardens, (Bayside) Queens, Westbury, Long Island (Nassau).

Susie makes every effort to bring the talented world and nationally known sewing celebrities to Sew Time. She feels her customers can learn from the people who create the most wonderful sewing projects and embroidery, and bring us the cutting edge of sewing and embroidery to our customers. Sewing with the stars is an experience, only few have the opportunity to live.

Sewtime retail store interior

Sewtime in Oakland Gardens, NY

We can only say that our customers are what has grown Sewtime Sewing, and we continue to bring our customers the very best sewing experience, and inspire their their creative personality. To put it simply, its all about our customers and making their sewing fun.  Sewtime Sewing Centers is the Largest Sewing Machine Dealer in the New York Metro area. This gives us the ability to offer the best value and service on premium sewing machines for our customers.