National Sewing Month was founded September 21, 1982 at the request of the American Home Sewing & Craft Association, an industry and trade association which supports the sewing and craft industries. President Ronald Reagan declared September as National Sewing Month in recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.
Several other proclamations naming September as National Sewing Month were issued by President Reagan during his time in office stating, “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.”
There are no records of how National Sewing Month was celebrated in its early years and few references exist on any specific outreach, activities or advertising. In the summer of 2004, the Home Sewing Association (HSA) (formerly the American Home Sewing & Craft Association) renewed its dedication to National Sewing Month by commissioning a new logo.
In May of 2005, the HSA submitted a proposal to the Office of Proclamations asking for a revival of National Sewing Month. The letter stated, “The revival and recognition of September as National Sewing Month gives the industry an annual celebrated boost to all those associated in the business of home sewing. The re-declaration of this proclamation will aid in promoting and energizing commerce, re-inspiring consumers and introducing sewing to new demographics.”
On July 20, 2005, the Special Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Correspondence sent a note of regret that the request could not be accommodated. HSA’s management understood that a new proclamation was not a requirement to promote September as National Sewing Month and a full advertising campaign was launched, including press releases, ads, flyers, web banners and a digitized logo available for free download from their website.
After the re-launch of National Sewing Month in 2005, the HSA placed major efforts on marketing and promoting the National Sewing Month campaign. Themes like “Sewing… the alternative yoga,” “Sewing… Express Your Creative Spirit” and “Sewing…it’s what you make of it” were chosen and support and participation from local and national retailers, the American Sewing Guild (ASG) chapters, sewing educators, online retailers, school systems and other sewing enthusiasts really helped the campaign gain popularity within the sewing world.
In December of 2007, the HSA closed its doors, but just a few months later the American Sewing Guild (formerly part of the HSA) joined forces with the Sewing & Craft Alliance, a new program started by HSA’s former Executive Director and its former webmaster. The ASG wished to continue the promotion of National Sewing Month while providing a central location for the distribution of National Sewing Month information and materials to organizations, educators, sewing enthusiasts and anyone else interested in promoting or participating in activities for National Sewing Month.
Today, National Sewing Month is presented by the Sewing & Craft Alliance in partnership with the American Sewing Guild. Here are some ways you can get involved in national sewing month:
- Teach a family member or friend to sew – start with a trip to Mary Jo’s of course!
- Volunteer your time and teach sewing to a local youth organization like Girl Scouts and 4-H Clubs.
- Make it possible for someone to learn how to sew! Volunteer your time or donate fabrics, equipment and sewing supplies to local women’s groups.
- Sew more often. If you haven't been sewing lately, come into Mary Jo’s to find out what's new in the sewing world!
- Join your local chapter of the American Sewing Guild at www.asg.org and participate in its activities.
- Register for a class here at Mary Jo’s and bring a friend!
- Contact your local public television station and make a contribution that supports sewing programs.
- Create your own sewing circle of friends; it’s fun to sew (and take trips to Mary Jo’s) with others!
National Sewing Month is the perfect time to celebrate and indulge in your passion for sewing and a great opportunity to start sewing if you never have before! But, keep in mind that the creative, therapeutic and calming effects of sewing are joys that we can celebrate throughout the entire year.