and I hope to god I'm not as numb as you make out
In fiction the silence and stillness of the sewer can mean many things from serious concentration to a silent cry for attention, but in terms of the stereotype it is a sexual ploy. If a woman sits silently sewing she is is silently asking for the silence to be broken. The stereotype denies that there is anything subversive in her silence by asserting that it is maintained for men. Yet the way the intimations of autonomy are so resolutely quashed by the stereotype suggests that there is something disturbing in the image of the embroiderer deep in her work.
The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine // Rozsika Parker