Dating butterick patterns
In 1846 Howe patented a sewing machine with a grooved, eye-pointed needle and shuttle.
This lock stitch machine could sew nothing but straight seams, which could not be longer than the basing plate.
This would be the oldest known example of a thimble, which originated as a device to help push crude needles through resistant materials such as animal skins.
It was over 1500 years later in 1790, that the first workable sewing machine was invented and patented by the British inventor Thomas Saint.
Archaeologists have discovered bone needles with eyes, used to sew together skins and furs, dating back to this time.Instead of a needle, an awl was employed to pierce a hole through the material being sewed.Another mechanism placed the thread over the hole, and then a needlelike rod with a forked point carried the thread through to the underside of the work, where a hook caught the thread and moved it forward for the next stitch.Not much is known about the life of Thomas Saint, the London cabinet maker who is usually credited with patenting the first sewing machine in 1790.The patent was ponderously entitled, "An Entire New Method of Making and Completing Shoes, Boots, Splatterdashes, Clogs, and Other Articles, by Means of Tools and Machines also Invented by Me for that Purpose, and of Certain Compositions of the Nature of Japan or Varnish, which will be very advantageous in many useful Appliances." It was overlooked for 83 years because it was classed under wearing apparel.