What Do You Call a Person Who Sews?
That’s not the set-up for a joke. Whenever I see the word “sewer,” I have to read the whole sentence before I know whether it’s about stitching or drains.
Tinker, Tailor, Sewer, Seamstress? Stitcher.
There was a time when a man who made clothes for men was called a tailor, and a woman who made clothes for women was called a seamstress. (Or, by some patronizing patrons, “my little dressmaker,” regardless of her size.)
But in the modern world, jobs are not usually gender related. I have worked with female tailors and with men who sew dresses.
None of us wants to be called a sewer – because in English, there are two ways to pronounce that word, and one of them has to do with plumbing.
Call Me Stitcher
My last real job before retiring was as a stitcher.
In professional costume shops, the job title for a person who mostly sews is “Stitcher.” I like that word; it’s gender neutral, and it’s accurate.
Besides, it was in a costume shop that I first heard this saying:
“She’s still stitching, but her bobbin ran out years ago.”
Let’s hope it never applies to us!
Wedding Dresses 1775 to 2014: Exhibition at the V&A Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum has an upcoming exhibition of Wedding Dresses. Opening on May 3, 2014 and lasting until March 15, 2015, the Victoria and Albert Museum will be exhibiting wedding dresses from 1775-2014, including couture gowns and royal wedding dresses. Thanks to The Para-Noir for writing about it. “O, to be in England, now that April’s there …” or coming, eventually….
Great Color Images from The Sears Roebuck Catalog, 1948
What-I-Found has been posting some marvelous winter clothing and accessories from a 1948 Sears catalog, including winter sweaters, gloves, purses, slippers, & children’s clothing — and a Mickey Mouse scarf.
Earlier posts in December featured a 1934 child’s ski suit (about the same time I was posting a 1940 ski suit for women) and some classic children’s sweaters, including knitting instructions for a snowflake sweater, from 1955. Thanks to What-I-Found for sharing!
Uplift: The Bra in America
Serendipity at the library: While looking for something else in the fashion shelves, I found Uplift: The Bra in America, by Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau. [264 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 51 illus. Cloth 2001 | ISBN 978-0-8122-3643-9; Paper 2002 | ISBN 978-0-8122-1835-0 ] — University of Pennsylvania Press. Although it’s not a new book, it looks like a very informative and entertaining one, with lots of illustrations. And the text is searchable at this University of Pennsylvania Press site. Just browsing through the book, I found an ad for Maiden Form, “The Original Uplift Bra,” dated November, 1927. The authors also showed a 1943 ad for Bali bras, from Vogue magazine, with Cup Sizes A – B – C – D. And I learned that the underwire bra, “although offered by elite producers such as Vonny and Andre as early as 1934, … became common only after World War II” because the metal was needed for the war effort. If you want “the inside story” on brassieres in America, Uplift by Farrell-Beck & Gau might be just your cup … of tea. I found copies online for as little as one cent.