Sewing Cirlces: Then and Now

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Researching the origins of sewing circles in the USA, I found the beginnings alongside the birth of our country.  Many started in churches, as those acted as the tight knit community centers of the day.  One sewing circle at  Ocean View Presbyterian Church in Delaware was formed in 1879 and served as a place of fellowship and education as well as a basis to fund mission work using handmade goods.  This particular sewing circle still stands as the oldest operating society in Delaware.

Many sewing circles served similar purposes and even branched into politics.  In an excerpt from Frederick Douglas and the Atlantic World, Douglas wrote a letter to the Lynn Anti-Slavery Sewing Circle in 1846 which shows an even greater social aspect a sewing circle can have.

During the 1950s and 1960s sewing circles took a turn toward the younger generation.  Girls would gather in each others homes to hand-sew doll clothing and discuss fund-raising projects for church or school.  Many served as a social club since completing projects took a back seat to gossip and eating snacks.

Today sewing circles are still found in churches branching now into community centers, home groups, and businesses that capitalize on sewing. I believe being part of a community is a beautiful thing and being able to share such a personal craft with one another in a group creates a place of endless possibilities. The sewing circle is not only a place to share useful information and inspiration about the craft but serves as a place to sharpen one's person and world views.

Why not start your own sewing circle.  Start with a pattern, a social project, or even a simple minding party. Ask friends over once of twice a month to share in the fun and let it naturally evolve from there. Beginning and ending one project after another will establish a beautiful tradition in no time.

Sew on people!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground