Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Seamstress

For the everyday person, everything basically goes through our cleaners today, which have replaced the tailor and seamstress. Unfortunately, you don't find a lot of cleaners that employ the kind of skilled workers that a seamstress or dressmaker from a couple generations ago would've had. To actually sew anything is a skill that is lost from the general population in the past couple of generations.

However, there is a movement - a back to basics feeling among the masses. I see young women knitting on buses, planes and even bars. The abundance of boutiques in the cities, along with handmade sites like Etsy - there is a sense that more and more of the younger generations are taking a page from their grandmother's book and learning how to sew, knit, cross-stitch and such. To make their own clothes, pass the time, or just to be able to repair a piece of clothing they already have.

We have a couple of famous seamstresses in our American history that everyone would know. Of course, there is Betsy Ross, but most don't know that Rosa Parks was a seamstress as well. Here are a few pictures of some seamstresses and female shop owners that you wouldn't know. An Ansel Adams photograph of some women at a seamstress class (1943 - California), a seamstress from the Langdon Tent and Awning Co. making pup tents for the U.S. Army (1941 - Wichita, Kansas), a photo of a young seamstress by Lewis W. Hine (1917 - Boston), and the owner of Rosetta Frocks dress shop, Cecilia Hall, by Jack Delano (1942 - Chicago, IL).

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