Long ago, when mankind first started working with fibers to produce clothing, things were long and arduous. Fiber had to be laboriously broken down and spun into yarn and thread, and then thread woven into cloth. That cloth would then be cut and stitched together using a needle and thread, with someone laborious picking out every stitch by hand. Then something amazing happened, the Sewing Machine was invented, and with it the process of making clothing grew ever more efficient. National Sewing Machine Day celebrates the invention of this amazing device.
Grandma probably had one, and she probably learned from a young age how to use them too. Remember how it was always grandma, with a pair who was the only one to effectively thread a needle and how she could take up that new pair of pantaloons that you needed for the school play? That’s because sewing machines have long been a staple in fashion and in the times when most young women worked in clothing factories. Today, this traditional tool is still used in certain industries and of course also, makes a wonderful statement piece in a house.
History of National Sewing Machine Day
In 1755 there was a man who saw a need, and decided that he would be the one to fill that need with a miraculous device that took all the labor out of hand sewing. Charles Frederick Wiesenthal created the idea of a double pointed needle with an eye at an end, but it wasn’t until 1790 that the true revolution in sewing was conceived of by Thomas Saint, but alas, it failed to be properly introduced to the world, no sign of a working version of his invention still exists.
So the tale goes on until 1829, when Barthélemy Thimonnier invented and patented the amazing machine that would go on to revolutionize the textile industry. From that point forward the development of the sewing machine has only gotten better, with high power surges and programmable embroidery machines coming along to fill every possible niche in the sewing world. National Sewing Machine Day celebrates the creation of this device, and all the men and women who have worked diligently over the years to produce the next best sewing machine. These wonderful people are directly responsible for the ease with which clothing is obtainable today, and how easily someone can pick up the age old art of sewing.
But what makes the sewing machine such a powerful and preferable little tool? Well there are a lot of people who would tell you that they are outdated and can’t keep up to the demand like bigger industrial machines but there are still a few things hanging on that will give you an insight into what makes the traditional sewing machine such a hit, even today!
It is much faster than stitching by hand, and gives you less chance of arthritis too! It makes the little stitches of hems much quicker and easier in the long run. There is also a sense of accuracy to machines that will allow you to change and adjust as needed when using it, which makes it a clear winner. It’s neat, to the point, a no fuss way of making things and there are additional bonuses too! You can play around with the stitching as well as create the famous ‘zig zag’ stitch and you will always have style consistency when adding any type of buttonholes or additions. So really, they are truly a huge boon to fastidious sewers!
How to celebrate National Sewing Machine Day
Well first, if you’re an experienced seamstress or tailor, take some time to work with a piece of cloth without the benefit of a sewing machine. This may seem like a strange way to celebrate a device that made this method unnecessary, but by the time you’re finished, you’ll understand without question how important the sewing machine is in your daily life. Alternately, if you’ve never sewn a stitch in your life, now is the time to finally pick up a trade that will be useful to you your whole life.
Make this an opportunity to ask your grandmother for some patterns and designs to work on, or ask her if the old sewing machine she has sat in her cupboard still works, chances are it does and it’ll give you the chance to learn how to be a real seamstress as well as giving you opportunity to tell you all the stories about her past and how she came about owning one of these delightful machines! I am sure there will be plenty of war time cheer in there too, but that is where it all begins, sit down, enjoy their company and have a nice cup of tea (or maybe whisky, you might need it!)
Perhaps you will find a hidden talent or perhaps it will be the making of a new career for you; afterall it is sometimes by chance that we find our new calling in life. You may take to it like a duck in water, so there is no denying that trying out a sewing machine is going to come with multiple benefits. Now you have good reason to understand why there is an entire day dedicated to this beautiful piece of machinery! Can’t find a sewing machine, did grandma donate her machine to the local thrift store in 1995? Don’t panic, there are ways around this situation! Beg, borrow, buy, or rent a sewing machine and start putting needle to thread. Who knows, you may have found your new passion in life!