Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Singer Sewing Book Advice

I own a Singer Sewing Book, rev. enl. ed., by Mary Brooks Picken (Singer Sewing Machine Co. c1953, 1954, rep. 1959). It is possible that I've used it for something arcane in the past 45 years, but as you've been able to tell from my stories and photos, sewing has never been my strength. However, I looked at it today and found some fascinating advice that I overlooked in the 60s and 70s when I was sewing.

"The psychiatrists say that ugly dresses have caused more complexes than have "prettier sisters" or "scolding mothers." Every child has the right to becoming, yes, pretty, clothes." p. 165 [What would we do without the advice of psychiatrists?]

"There is real advantage in teaching children to sew--boys and girls. No matter what they do with their hands later, whether they become artists or sculptors or electricians or radio or television repairmen--technicians of any kind--if the muscles of the fingers and the hands are trained to sew, this training can be beneficial." p. 166 [Now we have video games for eye-hand coordination.]

"Boys require only slightly less fabric than girls." p. 164 [Even in the days of poodle skirts?]

"When sewing for children, study color in relation to their skin color, eyes and hair." p. 163 [Years before Color me Beautiful!]

"Use both hands when you sew." p. 153 [I'd never thought of doing it any other way, did you?]

"Look your prettiest for this try-on [basted garment]. A dress in its fitting stage is no doubt passing through its one ugly hour." p. 50

"An itinerant tailor, Ebenezer Butterick, through the urging of his wife, Ellen, was the first to make patterns available in the United States to women who sew. He made patterns and rented them to customers. . ." p. 35 [Behind every good man . . .]

"There is no reason for anyone's not making a beautiful seam, because it takes so little time to learn to stitch straight and to "power" evenly." p. 5 [Is that possessive pronoun necessary in this sentence?]

No comments: