It’s National Sewing Month! I know we are already a week into September, but I just remembered this most important of unofficial and made up holidays! Although to be fair, National Sewing Month has not always been unofficial…
On September 24, 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 4976, declaring September of that year as National Sewing Month:
“Tens of millions of Americans sew at home. Their efforts demonstrate the industry, the skill and the self-reliance which are so characteristic of this Nation.
In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our economy the Congress has, by Senate Joint Resolution 205, designated September, 1982 as National Sewing Month.
Now, Therefore, I Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September, 1982, as National Sewing Month. I call upon the people of United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 24th day of Sept. In the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eightytwo, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh. “
September was again declared National Sewing Month in 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1988.
In 2004 the Home Sewing Association (HSA) requested a revival of National Sewing Month which was sadly denied. (I don’t know why it was denied as September is also officially National Preparedness Month, National Honey Month, National Guide Dog Month, National Childhood Cancer Month, and National Yoga Month… I mean, who decided sick kids and bees are so important? Can they not share? Whatever yogis!) Not to be deterred, our intrepid stitchers determined that they didn’t need an official government declaration to proceed with their holiday and instead launched a themed advertising campaign in 2005. After the HSA was shuttered in 2007, the American Sewing Guild and the Sewing & Craft Alliance took up the Sewing Month mantle and we are now celebrating our ninth consecutive National Sewing Month:
2005: Sewing…the alternative yoga
2006: Sewing… Express your Creative Spirit
2007: Sewing… It’s what you make of it
2008: Go Green! Sew Green!
2009: Reuse, Remake, Restyle
2011: Sew for the LOVE of it
2012: Sew for the FUN of it
2013: Sew for the SKILL of it
And in the spirit of this year’s theme (albeit unintentionally) I have already started discovered a new-found skill: working with leather! To continue on this celebratory path, I may just have to bust out some of my couture books and work on developing some additional skills as I continue to build my mini-wardrobe this month.
Now before I sign off, I did want to draw attention to a mild quirk in the Reagan proclamation. You see that second to last paragraph? Where he calls on Americans to partake in appropriate ceremonies and activities? What exactly is a home sewing ceremony? If you complete a perfect welt pocket do hooded figures raid your stash and force you to take an oath by the light of a thousand Berninas? Do you swear on a copy of Burda? Is Claire Shaeffer a high priestess? Is the Church of Craft involved? Because dude, I totally want in!