September is National Sewing Month! It was in 1982 that President Ronald Reagan declared September to be a month-long celebration, “In recognition of the importance of home sewing in our Nation.” It was also declared that “Tens of millions of Americans sew at home. Their efforts demonstrate the industry, the skill and the self-reliance which are so characteristic of this Nation.”
So, I thought we should all celebrate this month together by taking a short look at where sewing has been and how far sewing has come.
Sewing machines used to not exist. The only way that people could sew something together was by hand sewing things together with a needle. This was the great creation of quilting bees or sewing get-togethers so that when something big was needed to be done, a group of women would participate to get it done on time.
Finally, James Henderson and Thomas Stone invented the first sewing machine in 1804. However, these machines barely did any type of sewing. So people had to wait until Walter Hunt built the first functional sewing machine in 1882. By WWI, sewing machines were more common and functioned much like today’s sewing machines.
The first sewing machines never had a reverse button. This means that if you wanted to go over something, you literally had to turn the machine around or have the fabric go through the machine again. Sewing machines also had a hand crank rather than a foot pedal.
Fast forward to now and there are so many options for sewing machines! Sewing machines are readily available and have the option to wind bobbins for you where this wasn’t always the case. There is the option of serger machines! Sergers machines precut the material as you stitch so you don’t need to cut off any extra material.
However, by far the best sewing machine that we now have (and arguably my favorite invention ever) is the embroidery machine! While this is still a sewing machine, it has the option to embroider anything that you want by inputting information into the machine. This is how you get embroidered designs and MONOGRAMS! What would we do without this machine?
Happy Sewing Month!