Many sewers may by now know that the month of September is officially declared as National Sewing Month. Not just a whimsical edict but a 1982 presidential proclamation by then American president Ronald Reagan who declared September to be National Sewing Month "… in recognition of the importance of home sewing to our nation."
Whether you sew to express personal creativity, for economic necessity, or for charitable contributions, sewing has a long storied tradition.
Archaeological and recorded history provides us evidence that the task of creating (sewing) body coverings, carrying vessels for water, food, and belongings, even shelter components, pieced together from plants or animal parts most often fell to women who must have struggled to assemble out of the environment they lived in, the basic necessities of life.
With skills learned and passed onto succeeding generations of young girls and women, sewing played an important role in a young woman’s life. From time immemorial sewing was a tedious hand process, until the invention of a machine that could stitch together fabrics within a nearly miraculous shortened time span freeing women to pursue other tasks that culture and society allowed. After the 1900’s and on through succeeding years there were many iterations of increasingly more efficient sewing machine devices that bring us into the modern age of home and industrial sewing - digital sewing machines, sergers, and various embroidery machines and sewing tools and accessories too numerous to mention.
Today there are many manufacturing industries centered on machine sewing. Besides apparel sewing there are untold ways in which the process of sewing comes into our lives –a baseball’s and football’s many parts are sewn together with specialized machines, shoes and boots are machine sewn, bookbinding (an art in itself) requires sewing, boat sails, camping gear, even an astronaut’s space suit is machine sewn to name a few.
Sewing and the sewing machine sparked an economic revolution that continues today. Yet, the modern age notwithstanding, hand sewing as craft and necessary skill is still practiced all over the world.
In remembering this special month and the impact sewing has had on us all, why not sew something for that someone special? Scented sachets are quick and easy, a rectangular tote is always handy, potholders for the kitchen functional and useful, simple softie toys for baby, embellished pillows and pillowcases easily change the look of a room, fabric flowers can be delightful decorations for hats, headbands and cardigans. So many ideas come to mind!
Sew happy, sew well.