For over 30,000 years clothing has been hand-sewn. Quilting for comfort, hemmed in bondage, seaming for profit or embroidered for enjoyment; hand sewing has stitched together humanity. Rooted in an 18th-century English and American hand-sewing practice, Sewn Company’s aims to inspire people to reconnect to the past and with a global community through needle and thread.
Owner, Sarah E. Woodyard, is committed to preserving hand-sewn clothing production, following on from a legacy of hand-stitchers past and present. She took her first steps in a fabric store and cherishes the quilts passed down through her family. Inspired by the labor of historical dressmakers she spent seven years apprenticing at the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop in Colonial Williamsburg to learn eighteenth-century mantua-making (dressmaking) and millinery (accessories). After completing her apprenticeship she became a Journeywoman mantua-maker and milliner.
After ten years of sewing and interpreting at the Margaret Hunter Shop it was time to take this knowledge into the twenty-first century. Sarah also holds an MA in Material Culture from the University of Alberta, where she wrote her thesis on hand-sewing as a form of inquiry, Martha's Mob Cap: A Milliner's Hand-Sewn Inquiry into Eighteenth-Century Caps ca. 1770 to 1800. Find out how to read her full thesis here:
She is passionate about preserving the skills and stories of hand sewing, through research, design and education. These stories remind us of what is possible through practice, attention and care, and what feats our hands are capable of.
Sarah has a whole host of online workshops and free videos about better hand-sewing basics and techniques. Find out more on her website: https://www.sewncompany.com/
Now, Sarah hopes to preserve hand sewn clothing production through live and pre-recorded hand sewing workshops. She hopes that by investing in a hand-sewn garment or class you will reconnect to yourself and your history.
Find out more about Sewn Company here: https://www.sewncompany.com/
We're so pleased that Sarah will be running a hand-sewing workshop covering hand-stitched seams for Selvedge at the end of July. Find out more about the workshop, and book tickets here: