Sewing at San Francisco International Airport

While it would be great if you could get a skirt or a pair of pants hemmed while you were stuck at the airport, that sort of service is quite rare.

But San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is offering perhaps the next best thing: an exhibition about the history of sewing machines.

(Singer sewing machine c. 1895–99. From the Collection of the Museum of American Heritage, Palo Alto, CA)

Threading the Needle: Sewing in the Machine Age traces the development of the domestic sewing machine from the 1850s to the 1970s and celebrates more than one hundred years of sewing.

According to the SFO Museum:

When the sewing machine was first introduced to American homes in the 1850s, it was heralded as a laborsaving device that would transform the domestic lives of women everywhere. Sewing clothing and household linens, once a time consuming, never ending task, no longer had to be painstakingly completed by hand. The popular and influential Godey’s Lady’s Book soon coined the sewing machine “the queen of inventions” and declared that every family in the United States should own one.

In the exhibit, pattern illustrations highlight ladies homemade fashions throughout the decades and a variety of notions from sewing boxes and sewing birds are also on display.

(Sewing accessory stands, c. 1930. From the collection of Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles, Berkeley, CA).

Look for the exhibit in SFO Terminal 3, F2 North Connect Gallery, March 2012–August 2012