Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Right Handed Sewing Machine

Last year, when my nephew got sewed something for the first time, I had a thought. It didn't seem blog worthy, but since I don't have anything to say now, and I want to say something, I figure I might as well share it with you.

Back when the sewing machine was first invented, it was designed for right handed people. The wheel needed to be turned frequently to get the machine to work, it was designed so the right hand which needed to do most of the work would be near the part that needed the most work.

But now, let's face it, the right hand plays a supporting role, to hand fabric to the left hand which does most of the work. Sure, the right hand might turn a knob now and then, but for the most part, it is the left hand that is guiding the fabric and making sure the seams are sewn straight. You would think that new sewing machine models would turn the design so that the open space would be on the right side. Sewing machines today are designed for left handed people.

I'm not asking for a new invention, or a change of the old invention, because my left hand manages just fine, and I don't want to have to relearn stuff. My right hand needs a rest after all the blogs are read and the computer games are won.

But for people just starting out with a sewing machine, it seems to make sense. I think it would have been easier for my nephew to guide the fabric.


Michele Bilyeu said...

This is amazing! I didn't know it, had never even considered it, and since I'm spatially challenged and barely know my right from left, I just assumed my ineptness was a normal state for me...especially since breaking and dislocating the LEFT wrist. Now, everyone was SO happy for me saying 'at least you're right handed' and come to find out, it's my poor little alien hand that still has to do all of the work. Dang, I need a right handed machine. But then it would have to aim the other way, and knowing me, I'd be climbing up on the table to the back trying to sew. Nope, I wouldn't win. So much for being pathetic. At least I'm really good at it!!!

Allie said...

I never realized that! I'm so used to doing it. Although my machine is such that I never use my right hand for anything - except feeding fabric. All I do is push buttons for cutting the thread with my right hand. I have a button for needle down, and the foot automatically lifts with the needle down - as close to hands-free sewing as you can get, I think. Now if it would only do the cutting too, lol!

Tanya said...

That is fascinating! I never knew that nor even thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense. I sat here reading your post and moving my hands and thinking "She's right. My left hand does do most of the work!" Thanks for the insight!

S said...

oh boy, I have been thinking about this for a very long time because I wondered if the person that invented the sewing machine was a lefty.

I started sewing at age 6. I am a lefty, and I have always thought the sewing machine was backwards for right handers. My sister and I used to sit on opposite sides of the sewing machine, helping one another to sew backwards.....

ALso, I do agree, as I made leather shoes for awhile, which caused me to use my right hand on the wheel frequently, which really wore out my right hand i must say!

Anyway, as a lefty, I have always felt sewing easier for me than others because of this interesting fact!

Unknown said...

Yes, maybe I am the only one, but I wish they would start making right-handed machines again. I learned on my mom's right-handed machine, then bought my own right-handed one, but I have stopped sewing since my ex sold my old machine! Learning to do everything over and backwards to my non-dominant hand is too much.