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Sewing Collection

"In Love with the Art of Sewing: From Betsy Ross to Margot Fonteyn" Sewing has always been a labor of love, an art form that weaves together history and creativity

Background imageSewing Collection: Doily Peaks - Snow Crochet

Doily Peaks - Snow Crochet
Vertigo Artography

Background imageSewing Collection: In Love

In Love
Artist: Stone, Marcus C. - Title: In Love - Date: 1888 - Original Medium and Size: Oil on Canvas 111.8 x 167.7

Background imageSewing Collection: Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag. Painting by Henry Mosler (1841-1920)

Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag. Painting by Henry Mosler (1841-1920)
BIRTH OF THE FLAG. Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag. Painting by Henry Mosler (1841-1920)

Background imageSewing Collection: Singer sewing machine ad, 1890s

Singer sewing machine ad, 1890s
Advertisement for the Singer Automatic sewing machine, 1890s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th century illustration

Background imageSewing Collection: Singer Sewing Machines - factory in Clydebank

Singer Sewing Machines - factory in Clydebank, Scotland. 1932

Background imageSewing Collection: The Patchwork Quilt

The Patchwork Quilt
Artist: Calkin, Lance - Title: The Patchwork Quilt - Date: 1887 - Original Medium and Size: Oil on Canvas 86.4 x 61

Background imageSewing Collection: The Lace Maker, 1662. Artist: Gaspar Netscher

The Lace Maker, 1662. Artist: Gaspar Netscher
The Lace Maker, 1662. Painting held at The Wallace Collection, London. From The Connoisseur Volume XLIII. [The Connoisseur Ltd. London, 1915]

Background imageSewing Collection: I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, illustration from Pride & Prejudice

I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, illustration from Pride & Prejudice
XJF451372 I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, illustration from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, edition published in 1894 (engraving) by Thomson, Hugh (1860-1920); Private Collection; (add.info.: Mr)

Background imageSewing Collection: Dressmakers workshop

Dressmakers workshop
Staff in the workroom of a dressmaker or outfitter. Clothes in various stages of completion are on dummies. The employees (all female apart from a solitary man with a tape measure around his neck)

Background imageSewing Collection: Hand block printing at Crysede Island Works, St Ives, Cornwall. Probably 1930s

Hand block printing at Crysede Island Works, St Ives, Cornwall. Probably 1930s
Alec Walker left Mirfield, Yorkshire, in 1918 to set up a small experimental textile factory in Newlyn where wood-block printed silk fabrics and garments were designed and manufactured

Background imageSewing Collection: Margot Fonteyn repairing her ballet shoes

Margot Fonteyn repairing her ballet shoes
Margot Fonteyn (1919-1991), British ballet dancer, pictured at her Kensington home repairing her ballet shoes around the time she danced the role of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty at a Royal Command Gala

Background imageSewing Collection: The Lacemaker, 1669-70 (oil on canvas)

The Lacemaker, 1669-70 (oil on canvas)
BAL2544 The Lacemaker, 1669-70 (oil on canvas) by Vermeer, Jan (Johannes) (1632-75); 23.9x20.5 cm; Louvre, Paris, France; (add.info.: La Dentelliere; dentelle; ); Dutch, out of copyright

Background imageSewing Collection: Sewing a quilt. Gees Bend, Alabama

Sewing a quilt. Gees Bend, Alabama. Date 1937 Apr

Background imageSewing Collection: Little Miss Natty Fingers by Muriel Dawson

Little Miss Natty Fingers by Muriel Dawson
A little girl concentrates on a garment she is sewing, presumably for the doll which sits next to her. An interesting basket full of sewing paraphenalia spills over beside her

Background imageSewing Collection: SEWING MACHINE, c1890. Wheeler & Wilson industrial sewing machine. Line engraving, c1890

SEWING MACHINE, c1890. Wheeler & Wilson industrial sewing machine. Line engraving, c1890

Background imageSewing Collection: Welsh Lady using a Singer Sewing Machine

Welsh Lady using a Singer Sewing Machine
Seated Welsh Lady using a Singer Sewing machine in traditional costume, with a similarly-dressed lady alongside as well as a smart Welshman

Background imageSewing Collection: Great Barr Colony, Staffordshire

Great Barr Colony, Staffordshire
Great Barr colony for mental defectives, opened circa 1918 by the Walsall and West Bromwich Joint Committee to house people with severe learning difficulties

Background imageSewing Collection: Silent Film Still: Sewing

Silent Film Still: Sewing

Background imageSewing Collection: Singer in Bulgaria

Singer in Bulgaria
This Bulgarian lady, like her husband and her daughter, is wearing her flamboyant regional costume as she treadles away at her Singer

Background imageSewing Collection: Wertheims Sewingmachine

Wertheims Sewingmachine
The sewing machines manufactured by Joseph Wertheim of Frankfurt are used by gnomes as well as by the housewives of Ballarat and Warrnambool

Background imageSewing Collection: American seamstress and patriot. Betsy Ross making the first American flag

American seamstress and patriot. Betsy Ross making the first American flag. Drawing by Elisabeth Moore Hallowell
BETSY ROSS (1752-1836). American seamstress and patriot. Betsy Ross making the first American flag. Drawing by Elisabeth Moore Hallowell

Background imageSewing Collection: Advertising card for Singer Sewing Machines

Advertising card for Singer Sewing Machines. One boy is so entranced by the new Singer in the shop window, he is unaware his friend is pinching some of the berries from his basket! However

Background imageSewing Collection: Singer Factory / Postcard

Singer Factory / Postcard
Workers leaving the Singer factory, makers of the famous sewing machine

Background imageSewing Collection: Advert / Singer Sewing

Advert / Singer Sewing
Singer sewing machines

Background imageSewing Collection: Catherine II of Russia in Life Guard Uniform on the horse Brillante, 1782

Catherine II of Russia in Life Guard Uniform on the horse Brillante, 1782. Creator: Vigilius Erichsen
Catherine II of Russia in Life Guard Uniform on the horse Brillante, 1782. Equestrian portrait of Catherine the Great in the uniform of the Preobrazhensky Regiment

Background imageSewing Collection: Lawton, Mary, Miss, portrait photograph, 1915. Creator: Arnold Genthe

Lawton, Mary, Miss, portrait photograph, 1915. Creator: Arnold Genthe
Lawton, Mary, Miss, portrait photograph, 1915

Background imageSewing Collection: First sewing machine, 1846

First sewing machine, 1846
Elias Howes sewing machine, 1846. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageSewing Collection: 18 year old Karen Kerr wearing a patchwork bikini made by the Womens Institute

18 year old Karen Kerr wearing a patchwork bikini made by the Womens Institute. 29th May 1970

Background imageSewing Collection: A Lady Sewing in an Interior, (oil on canvas)

A Lady Sewing in an Interior, (oil on canvas)
658653 A Lady Sewing in an Interior, (oil on canvas) by Enjolras, Delphin (1857-1945); 73x64 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: A Lady Sewing in an Interior. Delphin Enjolras (1857-1945)

Background imageSewing Collection: Advert, Four Famous Singers

Advert, Four Famous Singers
Advertisement for the Singer Sewing Machine - Four Famous Singers - Adelina Patti, Christina Nilsson, Emma Albani and the sewing machine! circa 1895

Background imageSewing Collection: Lillian Gish in DW Griffiths Way Down East (1920)

Lillian Gish in DW Griffiths Way Down East (1920)
Lillian Gish

Background imageSewing Collection: A 'cut-away'feather weight sewing machine shows all the inner working

A "cut-away"feather weight sewing machine shows all the inner working
A " cut-away" feather weight sewing machine shows all the inner working (Seen on the Singer Sewing Machines stand). A machine of this model was one of the prizes in the E.C

Background imageSewing Collection: Machining room at Crysede Island Works, St Ives, Cornwall. Probably 1930s

Machining room at Crysede Island Works, St Ives, Cornwall. Probably 1930s
Alec Walker left Mirfield, Yorkshire, in 1918 to set up a small experimental textile factory in Newlyn where wood-block printed silk fabrics and garments were designed and manufactured

Background imageSewing Collection: Cover design, Simplicity Sewing Book

Cover design, Simplicity Sewing Book, helpful hints for beginners and experts. 1947

Background imageSewing Collection: CASSATT: MOTHER SEWING. Young Mother Sewing. Oil on canvas, 1902, by Mary Cassatt

CASSATT: MOTHER SEWING. Young Mother Sewing. Oil on canvas, 1902, by Mary Cassatt

Background imageSewing Collection: Busy tailors workshop

Busy tailors workshop
A busy tailors workshop, with a gentleman being fitted for a new suit

Background imageSewing Collection: French Tailors C18Th

French Tailors C18Th
An elegant Frenchman has a fitting for a new coat. A tailor, down on one knee, makes some adjustments. Another, sewing buttons, sits cross legged on a bench

Background imageSewing Collection: Singer Sewing Machine - Shoe Repairers Machine

Singer Sewing Machine - Shoe Repairers Machine model 29K53. 1932

Background imageSewing Collection: Singer Sewing Machines - factory clock tower

Singer Sewing Machines - factory clock tower. 1932

Background imageSewing Collection: Woman sewing

Woman sewing
Woman sitting down sewing. Date: 1917

Background imageSewing Collection: 3671316

3671316

Background imageSewing Collection: 3671398

3671398

Background imageSewing Collection: Within the Seraglio, 1879 (oil on canvas)

Within the Seraglio, 1879 (oil on canvas)
822685 Within the Seraglio, 1879 (oil on canvas) by Bridgman, Frederick Arthur (1847-1928); 54.6x73.7 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: Within the Seraglio. Fredrick Arthur Bridgman (1847-1928)

Background imageSewing Collection: Lace makers of Bruges (chromolitho)

Lace makers of Bruges (chromolitho)
2788812 Lace makers of Bruges (chromolitho) by European School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Lace makers of Bruges. Liebig card, published in late 19th or early 20th century)

Background imageSewing Collection: Betsy Ross making the first American flag (colour litho)

Betsy Ross making the first American flag (colour litho)
3094011 Betsy Ross making the first American flag (colour litho) by American School, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Betsy Ross making the first American flag)

Background imageSewing Collection: Workers at William Pretty and sons Ltd in Ipswich sitting at their Singer machines

Workers at William Pretty and sons Ltd in Ipswich sitting at their Singer machines putting in the elastic bands in underwear November 1935

Background imageSewing Collection: Flowers for Grandmother

Flowers for Grandmother

Background imageSewing Collection: The Improved Ladys Own Sewing Machine

The Improved Ladys Own Sewing Machine by Leigh & Crawford, Brooke Street, Holborn, London EC. 19th century



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"In Love with the Art of Sewing: From Betsy Ross to Margot Fonteyn" Sewing has always been a labor of love, an art form that weaves together history and creativity. Just like Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag, captured beautifully in Henry Mosler's painting, it symbolizes patriotism and craftsmanship. The Singer sewing machine ad from the 1890s reminds us of how this revolutionary invention transformed the way garments were made. The Singer Sewing Machines factory in Clydebank became a hub for innovation and mass production, bringing sewing into every household. In Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennett hopes her handiwork will impress Mr. Bingley - a testament to how sewing was not only practical but also a means of expressing affection. "The Patchwork Quilt" evokes memories of cozy nights spent under handmade blankets stitched with care and love. Muriel Dawson's illustration "Little Miss Natty Fingers" captures the innocence and joy children find in learning this timeless skill. Hand block printing at Crysede Island Works in St Ives transports us to Cornwall in the 1930s when artisans meticulously crafted unique patterns on fabric using traditional techniques. A dressmaker's workshop is where dreams come true as fabrics are transformed into beautiful garments that make people feel confident and stylish, and is here that fashion takes shape through skilled hands guided by imagination. Even prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn knew the importance of attention to detail; she repaired her ballet shoes herself, ensuring perfection down to every stitch. This dedication exemplifies how sewing extends beyond clothing into other realms of artistry. Welsh Lady using a Singer Sewing Machine showcases how these machines brought convenience even to rural areas, empowering individuals with their own creative abilities while connecting communities through shared experiences. Lastly, Wheeler & Wilson industrial sewing machine engraving from c1890 illustrates how technology advanced alongside the art of sewing, enabling faster and more efficient production.