Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sewing Machine Day (June 13th)

Sewing Machine Day
Sewing Machine Day
Photo Credit: @threewinks
June 13th is Sewing Machine Day!
No records indicate why Sewing Machine Day is held on June 13th. According to the English Patent Office, on July 17, 1790, Thomas Saint patented the first sewing machine. His sewing machine had a horizontal cloth plate, a vertical reciprocating needle, a continuous thread fed from a spool, an automatic feed, and a tool for tightening the thread. The sewing machine is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the Industrial Revolution and the movement towards production using machines instead of human labor. In 1842, John Greenough patented the first sewing machine in the United States. In 1846, Elias Howe was awarded the first United States patent for a sewing machine using a lockstitch design. Although sewing machines are not considered to be a household necessity anymore, they are an important technological innovation that people still use to this day!
Antique Singer Sewing Machine
Antique Singer Sewing Machine
Photo Credit: @slickemz580

Celebrate this weird holiday by pulling your sewing machine out from your storage! Fix those out-of-fashion jeans with holes in them. Grab a pair of overalls, sew patches on them, and walk around like a hillbilly. Have a family member teach you how to sew, or join a sewing class. Wear the sweater that Grandma sewed for you last winter. Wish a friend a "Happy Sewing Machine Day!" However you decide to spend this odd holiday, appreciate the clothes you have on your back because most likely, they were made with a sewing machine!

Sewing Machine Day Fun Facts:
  • Sewing machine manufacturers typically advise that you replace your needle after 6 hours of continuous use.
  • The part which holds the fabric in place on a sewing machine is called a presser foot.
  • Early sewing machines cost about $300, which was the equivalent of almost a year's wages in that time period.
  • In 1755, Charles T. Wiesenthal designed and patented a double pointed needle.
  • In 1834, Walter Hunt designed a double-thread shuttle sewing machine.
  • Elias Howe's sewing machine was U.S. Patent #4,750 and was issued on Septemper 10, 1846.
  • In 1849, Benjamin Wilson introduced an automatic feeding system for sewing machines.
  • In 1851, Isaac Merritt Singer created the first sewing machine that was scaled for home use.
  • In 1889, the first practical electric sewing machine was introduced by the Singer Sewing Machine Co.
  • In 1900, Singer claimed 80% of the worldwide market shares in sewing machines.

Sewing Machine Day Jokes:
  • My granddaughter came to spend a few weeks with me, and I decided to teach her to sew. After I had gone through a lengthy explanation of how to thread the machine, she stepped back, put her hands on her hips, and said in disbelief, "You mean you can do all that, but you can't operate my Game Boy?"
  • A very modest lady applied for a job at the factory where they made "Tickle me Elmo dolls". It was Friday and almost quitting time and hurriedly the boss told her to report for work on Monday. He quickly explained to her that she would be stationed on the assembly line just before the dolls were packed into boxes. On Monday they started up the line and within twenty minutes had to shut it down because one worker couldn't keep up. The boss went down the line to find the problem. The new employee was very busy trying to do her part but she had a bunch of dolls waiting for her. Closer examination showed that she was sewing little cloth bags containing two walnuts in the appropriate place on the dolls. The boss could not control his laughter and said, "Lady, I said to give each doll Two----Test----Tickles."
  • What does a sewer say when she pokes herself with a needle?
    • Ouch!
  • What does a sewer say on her deathbed?
    • Just one more row before I go!
  • What is the difference between a sewing machine and a woman jogging?
    • A sewing machine only has one bobbin.

Sewing Machine Day Quotes:
  • "One has to look out for engineers - they begin with sewing machines and end up with the atomic bomb."
    • Marcel Pagnol
  • "A good use for me is to let me go away with my sewing machine and come back with some really new stuff."
    • Betsey Johnson
  • "When I moved out of my mom's house at 18 I was almost as sad to leave her sewing machine behind as anything else."
    • Beth Ditto
  • "My grandmother raised five children during the Depression by herself. At 50, she threw her sewing machine into the back of a pickup truck and drove from North Dakota to California. She was a real survivor, so that's my stock. That's how I want my kids to be too."
    • Michelle Pfeiffer
  • "From about eight years old I was always making things on the sewing machine. Friends would see me making dresses and costumes, and I'd use difficult fabrics such as Lycra and elastic. But you know, my dad was creative and my brother is inventive too."
    • Melissa George

Sewing Machine Day Destinations:

Alternative titles for this holiday include: National Sewing Machine Day, International Sewing Machine Day, Sewing Machines Day, National Sewing Machines Day, and International Sewing Machines Day.

Do you have another interesting fact or joke about Sewing Machine Day or sewing machines? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think! We might even add your information to this article!


  1. $8!!! I wonder what that converts to in modern dollars? My favorite joke (I guess it's a joke) or statement especially when your sewing and doing really well is to proclaim "im a sewing machine!!!"
    So lame...
    I also did a blog post about sewing machine day but yours is a lot more detailed
    Thanks for the interesting facts!

    1. Thanks for the comment Catherine! It actually turns out that $8.00 was a typo that we left out when editing. Thanks for the catch! We've fixed it now.

      Elias Howe's sewing machines in 1846 actually cost about $300.00, and with typical wages around $5.00 - $10.00 a week, the machine was the equivalent of almost a year's wages. In other words, it was the price of a new car in today's money!

  2. Wow !! Actually I didn't found any good product which is also reasonable to me.I like to sew and try save dollars for buying a good sewing machine. I needed a hobby that wasn’t complaining about work, thinking about work or wanting to punch myself in the head over work. So, I took up a photography class.

  3. What type of fabric should I buy? I'm thinking quilting cotton is not right?

  4. Definitely no record find machine day, that is the great invention Thomas Saint. You these details sharing the wonderful machine history that is really knowledgeable.

  5. Nice share, I’m really appreciate your post. What type of fabric should I buy? I'm thinking quilting cotton is not right? Thanks.

  6. Threading, tensions, and stitch settings are all explained. It reveals the secrets of keeping your sewing machine operating properly year after year.