• The many steps involved in making clothing from scratch (weaving, pattern making, cutting, alterations, and so forth) meant that women often bartered their expertise in a
    particular skill with one another.

  • The tight-locked stitches made by home sewing machines, and the use of Western clothing patterns, led to a movement towards wearing Western-style clothing during the early
    20th century.

  • [citation needed] Today, the low price of ready-made clothing in shops means that home sewing is confined largely to hobbyists in Western countries[citation needed], with
    the exception of cottage industries in custom dressmaking and upholstery.

  • While much clothing was still produced at home by female members of the family, more and more ready-made clothes for the middle classes were being produced with sewing machines.

  • The spread of sewing machine technology to industrialized economies around the world meant the spread of Western-style sewing methods and clothing styles as well.

  • Women’s magazines also carried sewing patterns, and continued to do so for much of the 20th century.

  • Before or after the pattern pieces are cut, it is often necessary to mark the pieces to provide a guide during the sewing process.

  • The invention of the sewing machine in the 19th century and the rise of computerization in the 20th century led to mass production and export of sewn objects, but hand sewing
    is still practiced around the world.

  • [19] First Western hand sewing techniques, and later machine sewing, spread throughout the regions where the European colonists settled.

  • American tailor and manufacturer Ebenezer Butterick met the demand with paper patterns that could be traced and used by home sewers.

  • [23] Textile workers who perform tasks with sewing machines, or do detailed work by hand, are still a vital component of the industry, however.

  • Complex designs are drafted and refitted dozens of times, may take around 40 hours to develop a final pattern, and require 60 hours of cutting and sewing.

  • Before work is started on the final garment, test garments may be made, sometimes referred to as muslins.

  • [4] Decorative needlework such as embroidery was a valued skill, and young women with the time and means would practice to build their skill in this area.

  • This practice declined during the later decades of the 20th century, when ready-made clothing became a necessity as women joined the paid workforce in larger numbers, leaving
    them with less time to sew, if indeed they had an interest.

  • Once clothing became worn or torn, it would be taken apart and the reusable cloth sewn together into new items of clothing, made into quilts, or otherwise put to practical

  • It is important for a pattern to be created well because the way a completed piece fits is the reason it will either be worn or not.

  • More complex projects may only need a few more simple tools to get the job done, but there are an ever-growing variety of helpful sewing aids available.

  • Small-scale sewing is also an economic standby in many developing countries, where many people, both male and female, are self-employed sewers.

  • Women doing remote work often worked 14-hour days to earn enough to support themselves, sometimes by renting sewing machines that they could not afford to buy.

  • [25] Home sewers often work from sewing patterns purchased from companies such as Simplicity, Butterick, McCall’s, Vogue, and many others.

  • However, there are instances of sewing techniques indigenous to cultures in distant locations from one another, where cross-cultural communication would have been historically

  • To further support the industry, piece work was done for little money by women living in slums.

  • Elements Seamstresses are provided with the pattern, while tailors would draft their own pattern, both with the intent of using as little fabric as possible.

  • Such patterns are typically printed on large pieces of tissue paper; a sewer may simply cut out the required pattern pieces for use but may choose to transfer the pattern
    onto a thicker paper if repeated use is desired.

  • A steam iron is used to press seams and garments, and a variety of pressing aids such as a seam roll or tailor’s ham are used to aid in shaping a garment.

  • Textile sweatshops full of poorly paid sewing machine operators grew into entire business districts in large cities like London and New York City.

  • [7] The weaving of cloth from natural fibers originated in the Middle East around 4000 BC, and perhaps earlier during the Neolithic Age, and the sewing of cloth accompanied
    this development.

  • [12] The stitches associated with embroidery spread by way of the trade routes that were active during the Middle Ages.

  • In Japan, traditional clothing was sewn together with running stitch that could be removed so that the clothing could be taken apart and the assorted pieces laundered separately.

  • Before the invention of spinning yarn or weaving fabric, archaeologists believe Stone Age people across Europe and Asia sewed fur and leather clothing using bone, antler or
    ivory sewing-needles and “thread” made of various animal body parts including sinew, catgut, and veins.

  • When a couture garment is made of unusual material, or has extreme proportions, the design may challenge the sewer’s engineering knowledge.

  • Clothing that was faded would be turned inside-out so that it could continue to be worn, and sometimes had to be taken apart and reassembled to suit this purpose.

  • Women had become accustomed to seeing the latest fashions in periodicals during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, increasing demand for sewing patterns yet more.


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Photo credit:’]