Every mother who sews gets real excited when her young daughter asks to be taught how to sew. Memories fly in the mother’s mind as to when she asked her mother to be taught to sew, remembering the first items that were sewn - an apron, pillow case or A-line skirt. We worked so hard to learn how to use the sewing machine, keeping in mind that when we step on the pedal not to push too hard (you aren't driving a car). As a child, learning to sew by hand can be time consuming and very tedious, especially when your thread gets knotted up. Or how in the world do you keep that thimble on your finger? I still have problems with those thimbles!
This year my 36 year old daughter asked for a large sewing basket for her birthday. I was so excited, I went out the next day shopping for the basket. Now my daughter is not new to sewing. She is making clothes for her daughter and doll clothes for American Girl dolls (who by the way are better dressed than me!) When a person learns how to sew there is a gathering of supplies that is needed. Hence comes the sewing basket to hold all these much needed supplies (kinda’ like men are with their tools/toolboxes). Victorian parlors or sewing rooms were not finished without a work stand with a work-box or sewing basket attached.
Passing down the knowledge of sewing garments for your loved ones is a tradition which started even in the Garden of Eden, when fig leaves were used to make a covering.
I wonder when they made Joseph’s coat of many colors how long it took that to be completed. Sewing by hand was the only way to put clothes together, until the sewing machine was invented in the 19th century, which made sewing a much faster procedure.
In the 1940’s women used feed sacks and carefully pulled the threads to use for sewing their quilts or garments. Cavemen (or women) sewed fur garments with bone needles with cuts of finely thin leather for the thread. What about in Bible days, what did the woman use for sewing…..Proverbs 31:19 tells us this was the woman's responsibility. She layeth her hands on the spindle.”
In Grace Coolidge’s autobiography (President Calvin Coolidge's wife) I quote: ”Every girl should be taught to sew, not merely for the sake of making something but as an accomplishment which may prove a stabilizer in time of perplexity or distress. Many a time I have needed to hold myself firmly, I have taken my needle, it might be a sewing or knitting needle whatever its form or purpose it often proved to be as the needle of the compass keeping me on the course .” taken from Grace’s Sewing.
I was lucky to have a mother who sewed and taught me how to sew and how to gather those supplies for the Sewing Baskets!