There is a fascinating book (actually a Rutgers University PhD history department dissertation) by Sarah Gordon on women and sewing entitled "Sew It Yourself--Home Sewing, Gender, & Culture 1890-1930. Embedded in the online.pdf are oral interviews with a number of women sewers who recall their own sewing experiences in their youth or their mother's or grandmother's. You can find it here:
http://www.gutenberg-e.org/gordon/acknowledge.html

(This was quoted by Franella on my thread about mending. I thought it deserved it own thread. The article is fascinating, and reminded me of my own mother who sewed for me, and my sister who was a home ec major in the 50s. However, by the 60s when I got to high school, home ec was not even an option anymore.)