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Video: The Sewing Machine Serenaded On Screen

The Perils of Pauline is an incredibly cute and endearing musical film from 1947 about Pearl (played by Betty Hutton) who works in a sewing workshop and is also a struggling actress and comediane.

In the movie, she sings an ode to her sewing machine which you can see in the video above; the lyrics are below. You can also watch the entire film online for free (In Technicolor!) if you like. Her physical comedy and explosive personality are put on display during this enchanting song that I will no doubt be humming next time I’m heading over to the sewing machine, the sewing machine, a girl’s best friend.

What other films have you seen that have had sewing scenes you’ve enjoyed?

Ohhh the sewing machine, the sewing machine
A girl’s best friend
If I didn’t have my sewing machine
I’d a come to no good end
But a bobbin a bobbin and peddle a peddle
And wheel the wheel by day
So by night I feel so weary that I never get out to play

Ohhh the sewing machine, the sewing machine
A friend in need
If I didn’t having my sewing machine
A wicked life I’d lead
But a bobbin a bobbin and peddle a peddle
And dream about romance
So by night I feel so weary that I never get out to dance

Ohhh the sewing machine, the sewing machine
Me pride and joy
If I didn’t having me sewing machine
I’d a married James McCoy
But a bobbin a bobbin and peddle a peddle
And that’s the end of Jim
‘Cause by night I get so weary I don’t even look good to him


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  1. SKBrooklyn | | #1

    Marriage Italian Style - Sophia Loren standing in her lingerie while her mom sits at the sewing machine all dressed in black. .... West Side Story - getting ready for the dance, making dresses ....

  2. pgwilliams | | #2

    Real Women Have Curves- America Ferrera convinces the women in her sisters shop to strip down and sew in their undies. The shop was hot and her mother was outraged!

  3. mmss | | #3

    Pretty in Pink - Molly Ringwald creates her own avant-garde prom dress out of her friend's old, used dress.

  4. Sew4Drama | | #4

    The Trouble With Angels when Rachel tries to sew a dress, all through the night and the Reverend Mother (Rosalind Russell) finds her and they both know the dress is a mess. The Reverend Mother helps her fix the dress and it wins a prize the next day...but the Reverend Mother knows Rachel would like to donate the prize to the convent but insists Rachel "keep the lovely box of threads for yourself." Haven't we all had one of those all-nighters where nothing went right and the garment was atrocious!

  5. Lynntmd | | #5

    West Side Story- My very favorite scene in a sewing room is Maria in , singing "I feel Pretty" along with her other seamstress girlfriends. She dances with the material & manequins ... its a great scene (in both the movie version & the play).

  6. User avater
    victlady | | #6

    THE THREE AMIGOS when Martin Short tells an old woman at the sewing machine "Sew like the wind old woman". An expression my husband uses when he peers into the sewing studio when he hears my machine running.

  7. grtgranmary | | #7

    I love a scene from a film about war brides. The sewing factory is bombed the girls rise from under the machines dust them off and continue sewing lingerie!! Their boss too yells at them to be quick about it as she has a "shedule" to keep. Later the "bride" is sent to western Canada to a forlorn unkempt farm where she finds a long forgotten machine in the barn. She disasembles it oils and repairs it and starts making "pretties" for the farm women who haven't seen any "such of a thing around here". The best scene is where she tries to order thread in a color other than black or white and is told they have never carried other colors --aren't needed. She prevails, her marriage is saved she wins over her angry in-laws and makes teddies for everyone in town. The returning GI's are extatic!
    It's based on a real story about the bride air lifts in 1940's England where in London over 80% of residential and commercial areas were bombed by the Germans.

  8. kdr | | #8

    Who can forget the mice on Cinderella!! Might not be all that sophisticated, but they did make a beautiful dress and every little girl dreams of that dress.

  9. User avater
    IggyJingles | | #9

    In "Fiddler on the Roof" the whole town rushes to see the new arrival at Motel the Tailor's house - the sewing machine. Motel marvels at the even stitches and the speed.

    I love the sewing at the start of "Coraline" - but then I'm an art doll maker.

    Finally, another stop motion sewing moment from "A Nightmare Before Christmas" - when Sally sews herself to back together after jumping out a window. She is also the only person Jack trusts to make his Santy Claws costume.

  10. FBV | | #10

    The "curtain" dress in my favorite movie Gone with the Wind.

  11. llb1029 | | #11

    I love the scene in original Grinch Stole Christmas where the Grinch sews his little dog Max's tail!

  12. LoveMyFamily | | #12

    One of my favorite sewing scenes is from the "small screen". On The Cosby Show, Denise was taking Home Ec and tried to make a copy of a very expensive shirt for Theo. He was going to wear it on an important date. By the time she got finished with it, one sleeve was short, the other one was long and the front was - well, not right to say the least. When Theo saw it he was freaking out until his date came in and thought it was very unique and very cool.

    Oh, if only real life ended up like a 30 minute sit-com!

  13. copywriterMT | | #13

    Does anyone know the name of the 'war bride' movie above? I'd like to get on netflix right now and order it!

  14. smallchangepurses | | #14

    I still get tickled when I think about Lucy trying to
    help trim the budget by making her own dress......

    She cut her dress out .... right along with the carpet...

    Of course, Ricky, Ethel and Fred all were very sympathetic.

  15. rampantrae | | #15

    copywriterMT - the name of the movie grtgranmary was talking about is, funny enough, "The War Bride" with Anna Friel, 2001. It was on tv recently and I saw bits and pieces of it; it looked good.

  16. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #16

    Well, call me a little twisted....but how can you forget the Wicked Witch of the East's "sweat shop" sewing scene in "The Wiz"? And oh my...her dress! How could anyone "bring her no bad news" with a skirt that twirls like that!!!

  17. goatfriend | | #17

    I enjoyed the Simpsons episode where Marge finds a Chanel suit at at discount store. She wears the skirted pink suit to the country club where people accept her. She realizes she has to start remodeling the suit many times in order to appear that she has several Chanel suits, therefor good taste and class. While performing her last sewing miracle, pins in her mouth and kids screaming for attention, she steps on the pedal, where the dress gets caught up in the free arm and disintegrates.

    Been there and done that.

  18. LaBoheme | | #18

    I would love to see this little video clip, but the link is broken.

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