The opening sentence of the book Clothing and Health: An Elementary Textbook of Home Making, is: “Our clothes are important for they help to keep us well. … Sewing is an art that all girls should learn. If we know how to sew, we can keep our clothes in order and always be neat and attractive in appearance.”
The book was published in 1920 and exclusively targets girls. In 1920 in the US, women spent over a billion dollars a year on textile materials alone.
To be neat and attractive, are not the only arguments the book introduces to explain why women should know how to sew their own clothes. Arguments that still carry some weight from our perspective: to know how to sew would make women aware of the costs of clothes, and the durability, and whether the clothes are comfortable. Perhaps it’s good to add that this also applies to men.