Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I began sewing many of my own clothes when I was 14. Using the family sewing machine, I stitched my way through high school, making my prom dresses, as well as everyday clothes. But it wasn’t until 1978, when I was 21, that I finally got my own machine, a Kenmore from the Sears Outlet Store. I loved that machine. Over the next 22 years, I used it constantly, sewing clothes for me, my daughter, and her dolls. I learned to quilt, discovering a whole new sewing hobby.  
But in 2000 my life was turned upside down. In years following I lost the joy I’d once found in many things, including sewing. I put my machine away, along with my stash of quilting fabric. I wondered if I would ever return to sewing or if it was something gone forever.

Then a couple months ago my stepdaughter and husband needed their pants hemmed—again. I was tired of doing it by hand so I dug out the old Kenmore. And in that simple task, I rediscovered my sewing joy. . .that peaceful feeling I used to experience when the sewing machine hummed.

Glorious day! I was ready to sew again. Unfortunately, my Kenmore wasn’t. It had grown cranky from age and neglect. Perhaps, I thought, the time had come for a new machine. And so I blithely began shopping only to discover the space age of sewing. Wow! Things have changed. Sewing machines are computer driven and do things easily that used to be so hard, like making button holes. The choices are confusing. I felt like my grandmother must have felt when she went from her old treadle machine to an electric sewing machine.

But in the midst of all this sewing machine brouhaha, I began to wonder when the first sewing machine was invented and by whom. As usual, I uncovered some interesting facts, but I’ll have to wait until next week to share those with our readers since my introduction to this topic was so wordy.

Next week. . .sewing machine patent wars.


  1. I can relate to your comments as sewing has come and gone for me over the years. I also relate to the amazement of the computerized sewing options now available. Well written article, interesting and engaging.

  2. I enjoyed this story. I've never been much of a sewer but the bewildering array of sewing machines in this day and age drives me crazy. So do their prices. I grew up with a treadle sewing machine from Singer. No one seems to have them anymore but when you go to Kenya you see them all over the sidewalks (near tailor shops) in small towns everywhere.


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