FYI Friday: we've cut a long way, baby!

11:32:00 PM

I got this really cool second-hand book for Christmas from my husband. It's called "Better Homes & Gardens: SEWING BOOK - Sewing how-to for home and family" -

published in 1961.

I love it. It's really fun to read, actually. To see what kind of tools were used 'way back when', techniques for making crazy-cut out bedspreads, types of "Glamour Trims" and how they "add beauty to evening fashions", how to make a Barrel-Shape skirt (wowzas), etc.

When my Grandma was sewing all of her and her kid's clothes, this is the type of book she would have been consulting. I find that 'sew' cool.

On the first few pages there are a list of 'must have tools'.

Do you have a special case for your sewing shears? Not me! they go in a jar, along with my pens, fabric markers, and lint roller. The case above reminds me of a doctor's or butcher's kit.

And I've been sewing for 20 years and never had a pair of pinking shears until this Christmas. But these might have been a necessity in '61. Embroidery scissors - ya, I've got a pair - they're great for trimming threads and to have handy while I English paper-piece.


No such thing as the rotary cutter back then! You had to cut your quilt pieces by hand; as a matter of fact, women (and men!) would have to wait 18 more years for the revolutionary tool - the rotary cutter wasn't invented until 1979 by Yoshio Okada, the founder of the Olfa company.(2)

His inspiration for the cutter?

A rotating car tire(2).

The original Olfa Rotary Cutter (1979) (2)
Now there are so many choices for rotary cutters - different sizes (18mm-60mm), shapes, colors, themes, companies...
Left to right, top to bottom (3-8):
Edge, Pressure Sensitive Omni, TrueCut,
Ergo Fiskars, Left-handed Gingher, OLFA.
.... and this is only a sampling of all of the brands.

The time we save with this invention is astronomical - imagine having to cut everything by hand! And our accuracy has drastically increased as well.

There ya go. Did you learn anything today? :)

(1) Better Homes & Gardens: "SEWING BOOK - sewing how-to for home & family" (1961) Meredeith Publishing Company, U.S.A. pg 10.
(2) Extracted January 6, 2013. "Olfa marks 30th Anniversary of Rotary Cutter Invention".
(3) Extracted January 6, 2013. "Edge Rotary Cutter".
(4) Extracted January 6, 2013. "Pressure Sensitive Omni Grid Rotary". Prym Consumer USA Inc.
(5) Extracted January 6, 2013. "TrueCut My Comfort Cutter".
(6) Extracted January 6, 2013. "Ergo Control Rotary Cutter".
(7) Extracted January 6, 2013. "45mm Left Hand Rotary Cutter".
(8) Extracted January 6, 2013. "45mm Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter".


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  1. Yes, I did! I never knew that the rotary cutter idea came from tires!! Too cool!

    And in the 8th grade back in the mid-70's, we had to use the pinking shears on our seams... yuck! I hated those scissors... I still have my pair today but they stay in their drawer and I smile when I see them... but that is all. lol

    1. I meant to say in Home Economics class in the 8th grade... And now they have taken that from most curriculums... Too bad... They need to be teaching our daughters how to care for a home and sew.. A lot of mothers don't know how so they cannot teach at home.

  2. That is cool information! Thank you.
    I learned today that cleaning out just one of my three bedroomclosets takes way more time than you would think. I have made (more) room for my quilting supplies in there too. Now I just need to put everything IN THERE, instead of leaving it all out on the kitchen table. It is just so tempting to leave it all there, so I can work on my brother's quilt on Sunday. Argggg I need to see my house clean and tidy, just this one time! Untidy house will be on show again on Sunday evening!


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