Hand sewing is kind of a dying art. The sewing machine has taken a task like making a shirt or breeches from an all day event to a task that just takes a few hours. Time is the major difference. We have gone from a society in which sewing was a major part of the family’s duties, to a society that relies on machinery to produce our clothing.
The sewing machine didn’t go into mass production until the 1850’s. There were several attempts prior to this, but they were not successful. The first machines were treadle machines that were powered by a foot treadle, followed by the electric motor sewing machines. Today sewing on a machine at home is becoming a lost art. Hand sewing clothing is rarer still.
While machine sewing is much faster and relatively convenient, hand sewing can be just as durable and reliable. It is amazing that many stitches performed on a sewing machine are so similar to hand stitches. Both hand stitching and machine sewing use back stitching, running or basting stitch and top stitching. A significant difference is the attention given to producing an article of clothing with your own two hands. When you put your time and resources into something, you want it to last and be better than what you could ever buy. It’s work, but very rewarding. While hand sewing can very effectively get the job done, modern machines that incorporate computer technology continue to evolve and expand sewing opportunities.