Sewing: Form And Function Essay

2482 words - 10 pages

Sewing: Form N Function
“After all, a woman didn't leave much behind in the world to show she'd been there. Even the children she bore and raised got their father's name. But her quilts, now that was something she could pass on.” ― Sandra Dallas
In order to be successful in the craft of sewing, one must understand the elements of clothing design, demonstrate skill in clothing construction, and know the qualities of fabric. In this paper one will be informed on the history of sewing, which includes the decrease in popularity of past years to the huge increase in popularity these resent years. Also types of fabrics, what they are made of, strength of fabric, what they are used for, and what different types of stitches are required for them. Changes and elements of clothing design over time will also be discussed.
There is no way to determine when or where clothing began, but some studies show that clothing has been used since 650 thousand years ago. Some 11,000 years ago, once humanity had abandoned its hunter-gatherer existence for a more static way of life, fundamental requirements such as shelter, food, and clothing were transformed into forms of cultural and artistic expression. Garments constructed from lengths of cloths required a fixed abode and temperate climates for the growing of raw materials, such as flax and cotton. Clothes constructed from animal skins worn through the Ice Ages necessitated a tanning procedure to soften the hide to fit the body and the subsequent invention of the eyed needle (Fogg, 8).
Before the sewing machine was invented everything worn was made by hand. In1843 just a simple shirt called for 20,620 stitches. At a rate of thirty-five stitches a minute a seamstress could complete a shirt in ten to fourteen hours with very little pay. But with the invention of the sewing machine one could make 3,000 stitches in a minute. This means a shirt can be completed in an hour with much neater results still with hardly enough pay to support themselves (Perkin). Not only woman but also children worked in the unsanitary conditions of clothing production. In 1851 the Britain census showed that there 268,000 milliners and dressmakers. Woman took this job not because they wanted to, but because they needed to.
Today woman take up the art of sewing not just as a job, but as a hobby. Meaning something that woman suffered while doing then now gives them joy. Sales of machines, fabric, and other sewing products are up almost thirty-five percent since 1985. Why such an increase in sewing sales? There are actually a surprising amount of reasons given for that. One being our economy going haywire. Not only can sewing actually be cheaper than the expensive name-brand clothing bought in stores, but it's something one can have control over. One can choose their own pattern and also the material desired giving one a way to express personality. And with how often one finds a shirt that they love everything about but is just not the fitting...

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