As many of our readers are anxious to know just what the new sewing-machine introduced by Mme. Demorest and alluded to in our November number, is, we will tell them what we think of its uses and advantages.



M'me DEMOREST'S MIRROR of FASHION (Summer 1862) click the picture to read the full article.
M'me DEMOREST'S MIRROR of FASHION (Summer 1862) click the picture to read the full article.

In the first place it will attract attention from its diminutive, fairy-like size and the ease with which it can be carried, an important matter to a seamstress or dressmaker employed from house to house. It is contained in an ordinary paper-box, much the size of an ordinary square photographic album, and may be carried about with the same ease. When in use it is attached to an ordinary table, after the fashion of a sewing-bird. There is no machinery below, the whole motive-power being a small crank, which is turned with ease.




Its operation is wonderfully simple. An ordinary sewing needle is threaded, the eye placed in a socket, which may be seen in the cut; the point must rest opposite the centre of the cog wheel and for this reason the socket may be adjusted by a simple screw, pushed backwards or forwards as the needle is longer or shorter. This is the chief judgment required. The commencement of the seam is held to the point of the needle, which takes it up until the needle is full, when a reverse movement of the crank is made, the work drawn off and it begins afresh.




What no other sewing-machine attempts to do, it runs and does not stitch, it sews the more delicate materials, which an ordinary sewing-machine cuts or draws. The cambrics for infants' clothing, the Swiss muslin for Swiss waists, skirts of soft fabric, Nansook, muslin and mousseline de laine (all wool), can be traced beautifully by it. Breadths of fine flannels, mousselines, summer poplins, and all thin fabrics, can be run up with it. For the  dressmaker, in spring and summer it is invaluable; for the household it supplies a vacant place for more delicate uses. As in sewing by hand one seamstress is required for heavy work, another only undertakes fine sewing, or certain parts of it, so with sewing-machines. Every owner of these household blessings is willing to give five dollars for a "tucker" or "hemmer," or any improvement that facilitates work, it is just the price asked for this little gleaner in the great harvest field of industry, that modestly keeps its own place, nor seeks to usurp one already filled. It is a most useful and appropriate gift for the holidays, being packed for this purpose in a pretty case and ornamental in itself. The price is only $5. Address Madame Demorest, 473, Broadway, New York.  


 from Godey's Lady's Book  (January 1863)




M'me DEMOREST'S MIRROR of FASHION (Summer 1862) click the picture to read the full article.
M'me DEMOREST'S MIRROR of FASHION (Summer 1862) click the picture to read the full article.

In 1862 Aaron Palmer had patented this sewing machine, made by the dress factory Demorest of New York. "Simply enough for a child" it was advertised. It is a running stitch machine, which produces a simple stitch. It has a screwed-on clamp.

US 35.252    (May 13, 1862)   Aaron Palmer
US 38.837    (June  9, 1863)   Aaron Palmer

The running stitch or straight stitch is the basic stitch in hand sewing  and  embroidery, on which all other forms of sewing are based. The stitch is worked by passing the needle in and out of the fabric. Running stitches may be of varying length, but typically more thread is visible on the top of the sewing than on the underside. So, a running stitch runs through the fabric.

Running stitches are used in hand-sewing and tailoring to sew basic seams, in hand patchwork to assemble pieces, and in quilting to hold the fabric layers and batting or wadding in place. Loosely spaced rows of short running stitches are used to support padded satin stitch.