Millstone Sewing Center (Film)

Millstone Sewing Center

  •  Mimi Pickering
  •  1972
  • Color IconColor
  •  13:27
  •  16 mm film
Film Description
Millstone Sewing Center documents a community action program during the War on Poverty that funded seamstresses to turn Salvation Army hand-me-downs into new clothing. Using Office of Economic Opportunity funds, these local women made and remodeled clothing for poor families in two Eastern Kentucky counties. They explain how the center provided them with an alternative to public assistance, and talk about the effectiveness of social programs that grow from within a community, while the center’s director Mabel Kiser describes how she conceived of the center in the first place. Scenes of the women at work highlight how a community can "do for ourselves."

Screenings & Festivals
  • American Library Association
  • Film Forum, New York
  • Films By Women/Chicago
  • Western Gerontological Society

This film was preserved by Appalshop Archive with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. To support the work of preserving and safeguarding the collections, please consider designating a donation to Appalshop Archive.


“Leaves you in a quiet fury, wondering about a government which can squander millions and then try to ‘economize’ by cutting back on small-scale local endeavors that actually help the people they were meant to help.” — The Washington Post
“It may lead to a better understanding, and more respect, on the part of young people for the elderly everywhere.” — Film News
“Good coverage of a project which shows that positive steps can be taken even in poor, rural communities to give the elderly gratifying, paying work.” — Judith Trojan, author