Sewing

Turn of the century sewing in Detroit, Michigan Antique Singer sewing machine

Sewing is an ancient craft involving the stitching of cloth, leather, animal skins, furs, or other materials, using needle and thread. Its use is nearly universal among human populations and dates back to Paleolithic times (30,000 BC). Sewing predates the weaving of cloth.

Sewing is used primarily to produce clothing and household furnishings as curtains, bedclothes, upholstery, and table linens. It is also used for sails, bellows, skin boats, and other items shaped out of flexible materials such as canvas and leather.

Most sewing in the industrial world is done by machines. Pieces of a garment are often firstly tacked together. The machine has a complex set of gears and arms which pierces thread through the layers of the cloth and semi-securely interlocks the thread.

Some people sew clothes for themselves and their families. More often home sewers sew to repair clothes, such as mending a torn seam or replacing a loose button. A person who sews for a living is known as a seamstress, dressmaker, tailor, or garment worker.

"Plain" sewing is done for functional reasons: making or mending clothing or household linens. "Fancy" sewing is primarily decorative, including techniques such as shirring, embroidery, or quilting.

Sewing is the foundation for many needle arts and crafts, such as applique, canvas work, and patchwork.

General sewing methods

Machine sewing is the most popular method. Hand sewing is still done to some extent for finishing and repairing garments. Sergers are becoming more popular for home use, but are not capable of all the functions of a traditional sewing machine. Because of this, people usually purchase a traditional sewing machine first, and purchase a serger at a later date. Sergers prices typically start at two to three times the cost of a traditional sewing machine.

  • Hand-sewing: using a needle and thread with your hands to produce stitches.
  • Machine-sewing: using a machine to produce similar effects to hand-sewing, but at a much quicker speed. Sewing machines can be electrically or mechanically operated. Electric machines are by far more common.
  • Serging: trimming the edge of fabric and overcasting all in one step, sometimes with the option of stitching as well. Also used for creating artistic effects. Serging is ideal for stretchy fabrics or fabrics that should have neat edges. Virutally all commercially-sold clothing is completely made with one or more specialized industrial sergers.

General sewing applications

Almost all of these methods can be done by either hand, sewing machine, or a serger; however, the specific techniques used can be quite different. Some methods are not appropriate for some applications, even though it may be possible to replicate another method. As an extreme, you could technically duplicate serging with hand sewing, but it would take at least several hundred times as long to do the same work. Furthermore, some techniques are not possible with other methods: making an embroidery stitch called a french knot is easy by hand, but impossible by sewing machine or serger.

  • Dressmaking/Tailoring/General: general techniques to create clothing and other textile projects.
  • Mending: using general techniques and specialized methods such as darning to repair textiles.
  • Quilting: sewing together layers of fabric and/or fibrefill to make warm blankets and clothing, or used for effect. Machine quilting is most common, but quilting "purists" and traditionalists do all quilting by hand.
  • Serging: uses multiple threads to produce a stretchy and secure edge finish or seam that keeps raw edges of fabric neat. The term "serging" is commonly used to refer both to the act of sewing with a serger, and the type of effect the serger produces.
  • Embroidery or machine embroidery: artistic embellishment.

Occupations requiring sewing

  • Cobbler
  • Corsetier
  • Draper
  • Dressmaker
  • Glover
  • Hatter
  • Quilting
  • Sailmaker
  • Tailor
  • Upholsterer

Sewing tools and accessories

Sewing box (~1955) with sewing notions
  • awl
  • bobbin
  • bodkin
  • dressmaker's or tailor's shears
  • measuring tape
  • needle
  • pattern
  • pattern weights
  • pin
  • pincushion
  • rotary cutter
  • scissors
  • seam ripper
  • tailor's chalk
  • thimble
  • thread
  • tracing paper
  • tracing wheel
  • wax, often beeswax

Notions (objects sewn into garments or soft goods)

Closures:

  • buckle
  • button (buttons can be sew-through or have shanks.)
    • toggle
  • chinese frog
  • eye
  • hook
  • hook-and-loop tape (often known by brand name Velcro)
  • snap
  • zipper

Finishing and embellishment:

  • bias tape
  • elastic
  • eyelet
  • grommet
  • heading
  • interfacing
  • rivet
  • trims (fringe, beaded fringe, ribbons, lace, sequin tape)

List of stitches

  • back tack
  • backstitch
  • basting stitch (or tacking) - for temporary fixing
  • blanket stitch
  • blind stitch (or hem stitch)
  • buttonhole stitch
  • chain stitch
  • cross-stitch
  • darning stitch
  • feather stitch
  • hemming stitch
  • lockstitch
  • overlock
  • padding stitch
  • running stitch - for seams and gathering
  • sailmakers stitch
  • slip stitch - for fastening a folded edge to a flat piece of fabric, or to another folded edge
  • stretch stitch
  • straight stitch
  • topstitch
  • whipstitch (or oversewing stitch) - for protecting edges
  • zig-zag stitch

References

  • Singer: The New Sewing Essentials by The Editors of Creative Publishing International ISBN 0865733082

This page about Sewing includes information from a Wikipedia article.
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Finishing and embellishment:. with Children, The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head. Closures:. This symbiosis, through which the couch has shifted from the private to the public sphere, has been satirically depicted in popular culture, in television series such as Married.. Furthermore, some techniques are not possible with other methods: making an embroidery stitch called a french knot is easy by hand, but impossible by sewing machine or serger. The couch has also become the central prop for many TV sitcoms and soap operas. As an extreme, you could technically duplicate serging with hand sewing, but it would take at least several hundred times as long to do the same work. It has spawned social phenomena such as the couch potato, a person who spends a lot of time watching the television.

Some methods are not appropriate for some applications, even though it may be possible to replicate another method. It is often positioned in relation to the television set in a living room and for siesta. Almost all of these methods can be done by either hand, sewing machine, or a serger; however, the specific techniques used can be quite different. Today the couch is invariably linked to both domestic family life and television culture. Sergers prices typically start at two to three times the cost of a traditional sewing machine. Thus, the couch proved particularly useful because it limits the visibility of the analyst. Because of this, people usually purchase a traditional sewing machine first, and purchase a serger at a later date. He justified this with the need to limit the transference between psychoanalyst and analysand.

Sergers are becoming more popular for home use, but are not capable of all the functions of a traditional sewing machine. However when he moved on from hypnosis to stream-of-consciousness discourse as his dominant mode of analysis with the development of the interpretation of dreams, he still held on to the couch. Hand sewing is still done to some extent for finishing and repairing garments. Freud originally used the couch as a tool to aid his hypnosis of the patient. Machine sewing is the most popular method. The couch is often associated with Freudian psychoanalysis. . Throughout its history it has often been an object of derision, considered a variety of things from decadent to conformist.

Sewing is the foundation for many needle arts and crafts, such as applique, canvas work, and patchwork. Originally it was an elitist piece of furniture and it was not until industrialization that the couch became an indispensable item of furniture in middle and lower class households. "Fancy" sewing is primarily decorative, including techniques such as shirring, embroidery, or quilting. Three couches would be arranged around a low table and the men would recline while eating (but the women sat in normal chairs). "Plain" sewing is done for functional reasons: making or mending clothing or household linens. In Roman society the couch was found in the dining room, known as the 'triclinum'. A person who sews for a living is known as a seamstress, dressmaker, tailor, or garment worker. The couch was originally an Arabian ruler's throne and has existed since antiquity.

More often home sewers sew to repair clothes, such as mending a torn seam or replacing a loose button. A three-piece suite is composed of three couch pieces (generally, a two- or three-seater and two armchairs). Some people sew clothes for themselves and their families. A smaller version of the couch which may only comfortably seat two people is more commonly known as a loveseat. The machine has a complex set of gears and arms which pierces thread through the layers of the cloth and semi-securely interlocks the thread. There are other types, including two-seater, three-seater, corner and chaise longue. Pieces of a garment are often firstly tacked together. Also, to save space, some sofas double as beds (sofa-bed, daybed or futon).

Most sewing in the industrial world is done by machines. Many different types of couch exist: popular types include the divan, the chaise longue, the canapé or the ottoman. It is also used for sails, bellows, skin boats, and other items shaped out of flexible materials such as canvas and leather. A typical couch seats two to three people and has an armrest on either side. Sewing is used primarily to produce clothing and household furnishings as curtains, bedclothes, upholstery, and table linens. They come in a variety of textiles and in leather. Sewing predates the weaving of cloth. Couches are usually to be found in the living room or the lounge.

Its use is nearly universal among human populations and dates back to Paleolithic times (30,000 BC). A couch, also known as a sofa, settee, lounge or chesterfield is an item of furniture for the comfortable seating of more than one person. Sewing is an ancient craft involving the stitching of cloth, leather, animal skins, furs, or other materials, using needle and thread. Singer: The New Sewing Essentials by The Editors of Creative Publishing International ISBN 0865733082. zig-zag stitch.

whipstitch (or oversewing stitch) - for protecting edges. topstitch. straight stitch. stretch stitch.

slip stitch - for fastening a folded edge to a flat piece of fabric, or to another folded edge. sailmakers stitch. running stitch - for seams and gathering. padding stitch.

overlock. lockstitch. hemming stitch. feather stitch.

darning stitch. cross-stitch. chain stitch. buttonhole stitch.

blind stitch (or hem stitch). blanket stitch. basting stitch (or tacking) - for temporary fixing. backstitch.

back tack. trims (fringe, beaded fringe, ribbons, lace, sequin tape). rivet. interfacing.

heading. grommet. eyelet. elastic.

bias tape. zipper. snap. hook-and-loop tape (often known by brand name Velcro).

hook. eye. chinese frog. toggle.

button (buttons can be sew-through or have shanks.)

    . buckle. wax, often beeswax. tracing wheel.

    tracing paper. thread. thimble. tailor's chalk.

    seam ripper. scissors. rotary cutter. pincushion.

    pin. pattern weights. pattern. needle.

    measuring tape. dressmaker's or tailor's shears. bodkin. bobbin.

    awl. Upholsterer. Tailor. Sailmaker.

    Quilting. Hatter. Glover. Dressmaker.

    Draper. Corsetier. Cobbler. Embroidery or machine embroidery: artistic embellishment.

    The term "serging" is commonly used to refer both to the act of sewing with a serger, and the type of effect the serger produces. Serging: uses multiple threads to produce a stretchy and secure edge finish or seam that keeps raw edges of fabric neat. Machine quilting is most common, but quilting "purists" and traditionalists do all quilting by hand. Quilting: sewing together layers of fabric and/or fibrefill to make warm blankets and clothing, or used for effect.

    Mending: using general techniques and specialized methods such as darning to repair textiles. Dressmaking/Tailoring/General: general techniques to create clothing and other textile projects. Virutally all commercially-sold clothing is completely made with one or more specialized industrial sergers. Serging is ideal for stretchy fabrics or fabrics that should have neat edges.

    Also used for creating artistic effects. Serging: trimming the edge of fabric and overcasting all in one step, sometimes with the option of stitching as well. Electric machines are by far more common. Sewing machines can be electrically or mechanically operated.

    Machine-sewing: using a machine to produce similar effects to hand-sewing, but at a much quicker speed. Hand-sewing: using a needle and thread with your hands to produce stitches.

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