The Many Benefits Of Sewing
If you think sewing is a dying art, then, first off, you are incorrect. Studies have found that an interest in working with textiles has been on the rise, with an increasing number of people performing sewing-related searches on Google, and knitting and sewing classes receiving high attendance. So, if you're overlooking this age-old craft, you could be missing out on its numerous benefits for your wallet and mind. Research has found sewing, knitting, and similar crafts can be highly therapeutic. Essentially, these activities provide a few moments in time, known as flow, when you're so absorbed by what you're working on, you stop thinking about anything else. In that way, sewing can have a meditative effect on your brain. If you don't have the patience to meditate, then at least sewing can provide many of the same perks, while letting you accomplish a task like fixing a hemline.
Sewing also improves your hand-eye coordination. So, whether you're a professional athlete, an avid darts player or trying to improve your reflexes for karate class, sewing can actually give you an edge over your competitors. We live in a society that is moving more into the cybersphere and less out of a real, tangible environment. This can leave individuals feeling disconnected and depressed. Spending time doing something that results in a physical, useful object can offer a grounding sensation many of us desperately lack in today's social media-obsessed world. As some of the cited research points out, classes and centers focusing on sewing and knitting are popping up everywhere, meaning this activity can also provide a much-needed sense of community for some people. And while many other social activities, like sports and dancing, are only available to the able-bodied, knitting and sewing are hobbies nearly anyone can take up.
Finally, there is the very practical aspect of being able to control your own wardrobe. Considering how quickly trends in fashion turn over, sometimes it seems like you barely wear something twice before it's out of style. Being able to knit or sew gives you the freedom to alter your garb so that it meets current trends while reducing the time and money you spend on shopping for new clothes. You can also avoid handing over a hefty payment to a tailor any time you get a small tear in a piece of clothing.
Some Features To Look For In Your Mini Sewing Machine
If you're looking into a miniature sewing machine, then you're likely either low on space or plan on transporting your machine. In that case, look for a model with an onboard storage compartment so you can unpack some items from your sewing basket and bring them along. Some even have a removable free arm, making it even easier to pack them down into a compact shape for travel. If you're buying a mini model because you're new to the craft, make sure your version has a finger guard to prevent injuries. Another important safety feature to consider is a non-skid base so the machine doesn't budge during faster needlework.
More advanced sewers will appreciate a model with various stitch options and adjustable tension control. These will be very useful for precision jobs, like adding sequin or tailoring a jacket. If threading the needle is your least favorite part of sewing, you can choose a machine that will do that automatically. If you work late at night, or in places where it's not always easy to get natural light, like film sets or theaters, look for a machine that will illuminate your workspace.
Being able to use both of your hands while you perfect an item is critical, which is why many miniature sewing machines feature foot pedals capable of controlling the machine, leaving your digits free to work with the fabric. Check the weight on your model if you plan on toting it around. Some weigh as little as two pounds. If you're going to work with tougher fabric, like denim, a heavier duty machine might be best for you.
The History Of Sewing
The art of sewing is nearly as old as humans themselves. In fact, archaeologists have found needles made of bone dating back to the last Ice Age that they believe our ancient ancestors used to sew their furs together to stay warm. Some historians credit the Germans with using the first iron needle in the third century B.C.E. Meanwhile, the Chinese may have created the first thimble. The British inventor Thomas Saint invented the first functioning sewing machine in the late 1700s. His model was designed to work with leather and canvas on boots.
By the beginning of the 19th century, it seemed everyone was trying to improve upon or replicate Saint's model. One Vietnamese inventor named Joseph Madersperger created several sewing machines starting in 1814, including some of the first models capable of circle stitches and embroidery. Unfortunately, Madersperger felt insecure about his machines and never made them commercially available.
The sewing machine industry has not been without drama. The next major player, French inventor Barthelemy Thimonnier, patented a sewing machine that earned him the job of making uniforms for his country's army. Sadly, a group of tailors burnt down Thimonnier's workspace, for fear of losing their jobs.
In 1832, Walter Hunt (who invented the safety pin) created the first sewing machine capable of a straight stitch. But, fearing he would be met with the same fate as Thimonnier, he did not file for a patent. In 1846, another inventor by the name of Elias Howe, patented a sewing machine that was based on Hunt's model, but with some minor alterations. By the time Howe started to manufacture and sell his patented machine, however, Hunt had already partnered with Isaac Singer, and the two were selling sewing machines very similar to what Howe was trying to market. This led to protracted legal battles between the Hunt-Singer partnership and Howe from 1849 to 1854.
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