Susan J. Jerome

Of Buttons, Buttonholes, and Samplers

Buttonhole samplers don’t contain the elegant scenes, alphabets, and pious poetry, but a young woman preparing for a job as a domestic servant or seamstress could use a buttonhole sampler to demonstrate her sewing abilities.

The Fascinating Miser Bag

Commonplace, but not common, surviving miser bags and purses demonstrate the amazing variety of techniques in creation and decoration.

A Brief History of the Pocket in Women’s Fashion

Pockets—practical, convenient, and sometimes, so mysterious. Find them hidden inside or boldly stitched to the front of a garment.

Home Economics and Sewing Sample Books

Sewing books from the early 20th century illustrate the shift from teaching sewing at home to providing instruction in a school classroom.

A Closer Look at Chenille

The French named this soft and fluffy yarn and fabric and are believed to have invented it, as well, sometime during the eighteenth century.