Reconnecting with our roots - A brief history of sewing.

What is one of the oldest forms of survival and self-expression?  From the tombs of Egypt to the Han dynasty in china and across the plains of the United States, one thing has connected people and cultures from around the world.  Sewing has helped throngs of people stay warm from making shelters, to expressing ones creativeness in elaborate, beautiful designs.   Sewing, taking two pieces of material, and making them one, has had an essential role in human progression throughout the ages.

Native American Indians would sew buffalo, deer and bear hides together for clothes, tools, and shelter. Learning the delicate process from their ancestors was a integral part of the young child’s lives.  Their tribe depended on the women to keep the art alive. Knowledge was passed down and shared throughout the primitive communities.  Today, we are able to look, see and even feel some of the beautiful designs that were used as clothing and ceremonial dresses.  To have a small piece of history is only possible though the amazing stitching of great craftsmanship.

The same is to be said throughout other parts of the world. Sewing thread would be made of tendons or ligaments. Depending on what was being made, animal veins and plants were also used for stronger durability or softness.  Bone, wood and even porcelain were used as needles to complete the tedious stitching. The final product would be a real piece of art, showcasing the artist talent and emotion.

Fast forward to the industrial revolution. Between 1700s and 1850, sewing machines popped up in Germany and France. From the 1800s to the 1900s, sewing patterns became the norm across western civilization.  Clothing shops were too expensive for the working middle and lower classes. Husbands depended on their wives to make suitable clothing for hard work and tailored suits businessmen.

In the 1860s, Ebenezer Butterick of Massachusetts was the one to invent tissue paper clothing patterns that could be traced and replicated.  These patterns were offered in a variety of shapes and sizes and satisfied the demand for the sewing revolution. Pattern companies picked up this new form design and were commonly sold in women’s magazines.

Eventually, prices dropped in clothing stores and purchasing pre-made clothes was more common than sewing fabrics together at home. There is still a thriving community today, but not like it used to be.

This lost art form can easily be overlooked today. We have sewing machines, and computers to design, print, and create our wonderful blankets, cloths, and tapestries. Sewing and stitching shops can be found scattered throughout America’s cities and towns. They hold steadfast and shine like a lighthouse for those who still wish to create. A beacon for those who want make something unique with their own time and energy. They provide to those who want their treasure to last. Each piece of work done by hand can be a masterpiece. Even these days, one can spend the time, put in the work and make single pieces extraordinary.  

Another beacon shines brighter than ever today.  Stash Builder Box, a Salt Lake City based company is beckoning us to return to a time when hard work and creativity meant something.  This unique company is making that call easier then ever. With today’s common feeling of “never having time”, Stash builder box (SBB) is your monthly subscription based box, full of patterns, fabric and fun. For an extremely affordable price, SBB brings quilting content directly to your door. Each month your box has between 10-12 things included that are high quality and desired.

“The main purpose of Stash Builder Box is to help those newbies and challenge the daily sewist with a box full of already put together quilting essentials. It takes the guess work out of the projects and each box gives you everything you need to complete a block - as well as builds your “stash” along the way!”

- Amanda Kelly, Owner

Another reason SBB is changing the current mantra of sewing, is that for every box they sell, they take a portion of their own “stash” to make into quilts to donate. SBB quilts are donated to children in need and who are less fortunate.  They work directly with multiple organizations to give back to the community.  When asked about their donation quilts, Mrs. Kelly says,  “Our quilts impact lives and change lives for those in need.”

There is something truly inspiring about creating something with your hands. SBB helps you do so seamlessly and very effortlessly. They help us to reconnect with our roots.   This is the invitation to do something great. This is an invitation to create, make, sew, and help those in need.

To learn more about Stash Builder Box, and help a great cause, check them out on Instagram and Facebook.