Sewing and Chatting, 1970

Photo by Jack Tinney, Temple University Libraries

Home sewing can be an isolating activity, but not if you take your work outside.  I wonder what the woman on the left is doing.  Darning? Hemming? Making a couture outfit by hand? Whatever it is, she has a friend to keep her company.  Her companion has brought along a book to read when the seamstress is concentrating on her work.

The photo comes from Philadelphia, a city where I lived very happily in the mid-eighties while teaching at Temple University.  The school is located in North Philadelphia in a neighborhood that looks very much like the one pictured here. Someone thoughtfully put in a bench that is raised up a little, making it more comfortable for older people to use.

There is no trace of seventies fashion in the older woman’s dress, a shirtwaist style that would have looked fine a decade before.  Don’t you think she made it herself, cleverly planning out the interesting placement of stripes?   

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2 Responses to Sewing and Chatting, 1970

  1. Nann says:

    And it appears that the woman on the right is wearing stockings with her open-toed shoes.

  2. I really love this picture, I’ve looked at it several times now and it keeps making me happy. The women seem to be so at ease and comfortable in each others company, they share some amusement and clearly like each other. Having people near you, who just like you, is a wonderful thing!

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