A sewing machine can greatly decrease the amount of time to sew your own clothes or other items. Sewing used to be a major household activity. Clothes, bedding, linens, toys and other household items were hand-sewn.
Some specialized sewing machines are designed to work with heavy fabrics such as denim or upholstery. Other machines can be programmed to sew special patterns, decorative stitches for appliqués or embroidery.
- About.com's inventors section on Stitches - The History of Sewing Machines: The functional sewing machine caused a riot. By Mary Bellis
- Wikipedia's article on sewing machine