Happy National Sewing Machine Day!
A bit of nostalgia for me since my sewing machine is now used as a table and has been for many years (my local tailor can do hems cheaper and quicker than I can).
Back in high school, college, and when I first moved into my very own apartment – I did sew. My mom taught me (for many years she made us matching outfits – see the photo above) and I remember making jackets, a bathrobe (which I still have though it’s quite worn looking – bright pink crushed velvet) and even placements (no longer have) and napkins (which we still use to this day!). I also grew up when one took “home ec” and that just bolstered what mom had already taught me. When I first had children, I still used the sewing machine my mom had used when I was a child (I still have the manual for it!), though my sewing was already reduced to making Halloween costumes and then faded away …
I am ruminating about sewing machines because The Digital Library of Georgia posted this via FB posted that today is National Sewing Machine Day #NationalSewingMachineDay.
The sewing machine is one of those inventions/creations which was transformative! Now individuals could create their own clothing and other household items without doing it all by hand. Beyond that, this led to the industrialization of sewing in factories which is why most of us now buy our clothes from stores versus hand-making.
Sadly, this also reminds me that one of the two local fabric stores that I shop at (mostly for buttons nowadays) is going out of business – Hancock Fabrics. I know that I haven’t helped keep it open and my daughter and I walked through it the other day just marveling at the variety of fabrics and other sewing accoutrements to be found there. There are just less people sewing, and that definitely includes me.
And, since I do like to share data – here are some sewing related archives that you might find interesting …
Commercial Pattern Archive (University of Rhode Island)
Singer Sewing Machine Collection and Singer Archive and video (West Dunbartonshire Scotland)
Many of our ancestors (and ourselves) did sew and given the necessity of clothing, bedding, and other household items, a skill learned by so many and now practiced by so few!
Share a sweet memory you might have associated with sewing machines.
What other inventions used by yourself or your ancestors supplanted an “old way” of doing things that were more labor intensive?
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