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How To Sew Easily

Categories: Uncategorized
Sources: Nerves And Common Sense

IT is a common saying that we should let our heads save our heels,

but few of us know the depth of it or the freedom and health that

can come from obedience to it.

For one thing we get into ruts. If a woman grows tired sewing she

takes it for granted that she must always be tired. Sometimes she

frets and complains, which only adds to her fatigue.

Sometimes she goes on living in a dogged stat
of overtiredness

until there comes a "last straw" which brings on some organic

disease, and still another "straw" which kills her altogether.

We, none of us, seem to realize that our heads can save not only our

heels, but our hearts, and our lungs, our spines and our

brains--indeed our whole nervous systems.

Men and women sometimes seem to prefer to go on working--chronically

tired--getting no joy from life whatever, rather than to take the

trouble to think enough to gain the habit of working restfully.

Sometimes, to be sure, they are so tired that the little extra

exertion of the brain required to learn to get rid of the fatigue

seems too much for them.

It seems easier to work in a rut of strain and discomfort than to

make the effort to get out of the rut--even though they know that by

doing so they will not only be better themselves, but will do their

work better.

Now really the action of the brain which is needed to help one to

work restfully is quite distinct from the action which does the

work, and a little effort of the brain in a new direction rests and

refreshes the part of the brain which is drudging along day after

day, and not only that, but when one has gained the habit of working

more easily life is happier and more worth while. If once we could

become convinced of that fact it would be a simple matter for the

head to learn to save the heels and for the whole body to be more

vigorous in consequence.

Take sewing, for instance: If a woman must sew all day long without

cessation and she can appreciate that ten or fifteen minutes taken

out of the day once in the morning and once in the afternoon is

going to save fatigue and help her to do her sewing better, doesn't

it seem simply a lack of common sense if she is not willing to take

that half hour and use it for its right purpose? Or, if she is

employed with others, is it not a lack of common sense combined with

cruelty in her employer if he will not permit the use of fifteen

minutes twice a day to help his employees to do their work better

and to keep more healthy in the process of working?

It seems to me that all most of us need is to have our attention

drawn to the facts in such cases as this and then we shall be

willing and anxious to correct the mistakes.

First, we do not know, and, secondly, we do not think,

intelligently. It is within our reach to do both.

Let me put the facts about healthy sewing in numerical order:--

First--A woman should never sew nor be allowed to sew in bad air.

The more or less cramped attitude of the chest in sewing makes it

especially necessary that the lungs should be well supplied with

oxygen, else the blood will lose vitality, the appetite will go and

the nerves will be straining to bring the muscles up to work which

they could do quite easily if they were receiving the right amount

of nourishment from air and food.

Second--When our work gives our muscles a tendency steadily in one

direction we must aim to counteract that tendency by using exercises

with a will to pull them in the opposite way.

If a man writes constantly, to stop writing half a dozen times a day

and stretch the fingers of his hand wide apart and let them relax

back slowly will help him so that he need not be afraid of writer's


Now a woman's tendency in sewing is to have her chest contracted and

settled down on her stomach, and her head bent forward. Let her stop

even twice a day, lift her chest off her stomach, see that the

lifting of her chest takes her shoulders back, let her head gently

fall back, take a long quiet breath in that attitude, then bring the

head up slowly, take some long quiet breaths like gentle sighs,

gradually let the lungs settle back into their habitual state of

breathing, and then try the exercise again.

If this exercise is repeated three times in succession with quiet

care, its effect will be very evident in the refreshment felt when a

woman begins sewing again.

At the very most it can only take two minutes to go through the

whole exercise and be ready to repeat it.

That will mean six minutes for the three successive times.

Six minutes can easily be made up by the renewed vigor that comes

from the long breath and change of attitude. Stopping for the

exercise three times a day will only take eighteen--or at the most

twenty-minutes out of the day's work and it will put much more than

that into the work in new power.

Third--We must remember that we need not sew in a badly cramped

position. Of course the, exercises will help us out of the

habitually cramped attitude, but we cannot expect them to help us so

much unless we make an effort while sewing to be as little cramped

as possible.

The exercises give us a new standard of erectness, and that new

standard will make us sensitive to the wrong attitude.

We will constantly notice when our chests get cramped and settled

down on our stomachs and by expanding them and lifting them, even as

we sew, the healthy attitude will get to be second nature.

Fourth--We must sew with our hands and our arms, not with our

spines, the backs of our necks, or our legs. The unnecessary strain

she puts into her sewing makes a woman more tired than anything

else. To avoid this she must get sensitive to the strain, and every

time she perceives it drop it; consciously, with a decided use of

her will, until she has established the habit of working without

strain. The gentle raising of the head to the erect position after

the breathing exercise will let out a great deal of strain, and so

make us more sensitive to its return when we begin to sew, and the

more sensitive we get to it the sooner we can drop it.

I think I hear a woman say, "I have neither the time nor the

strength to attend to all this." My answer is, such exercise will

save time and strength in the end.