Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Aunt Norie’s Sewing Room

November 17, 2004

We've had more chuckles over the kids finding the old typewriter in the attic. "No batteries, no plug-in, gee mom."

As I watched a movie on TV recently about a story of long, long ago, I noticed the clothes the women wore had layers and layers of fabric, maybe even miles of lace all on the edges.

I'm thinking of a few years back when our group of home extension ladies were creating costumes for the local civic theater (Manhattan, Kan.), where some of the costumes had those layered sleeves with slits, with sections or openings through which one could see several different splashes of brilliant colors. When our sewing machines couldn't handle the layers, all of a sudden we realized the whole garment we were copying originally had all been done by hand.

According to one account of the history of the sewing machine by Graham Frosdyke, a man named Barthelemy Thimonnier was granted a patent by the French government in 1830 for his sewing machine, which was made almost entirely of wood. Within 10 years, he had 80 of these machines turning out clothes for the French Army, when a mob of angry French tailors, afraid of losing their livelihood destroyed them all. Undaunted, the man kept on and in 1850 he got an American patent on a metal machine. Despite his efforts, he did not gain much recognition and died in 1857, a poverty-stricken man. Such fame is often only achieved after death.

Today's sewing machines are a marvel and way ahead of me.

The metal machines this man created were probably much like the treadle machine my mother taught me to sew on. Some are still around. When I was a child they could be ordered from the Sears Roebuck catalog.

Remember to clean the lint from the bobbin area, and go easy on the oiling. A little goes a long way. For easy threading of the needle, cut the thread on a slant.

Until next week, pass on those hugs and pray for all of our newly elected officials.

-- Aunt Norie, P.O. Box 265, Tonganoxie 66086; auntnorie@bdc.net.

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