Madame Achat Chartres Talks About the Importance of Sewing Schools

  (In this blog post Madame Achat Chartres, originally from Quebec Canada, but for many years now the resident manager of the Bedford Sewing Center in Bedford, Indiana, continues her long-running report on the history of sewing in the Western world). As I said in my blog post yesterday, there was a time when sewing by hand was one of life’s basic necessities. In those days there was always at least one person in every family who knew how to sew by hand, and to sew very well. Wielding a needle and thread with the skill of a surgeon, these people, often the mother in the family, or perhaps an older sister, or maybe a spinster aunt, could make or mend all kinds of different things from a wide range of different kinds of fabric. And then, in just about the middle of the 19th century (in 1846 to be precise), a…