During the early years of industrialisation, manufacturers created an amazing array of products to satisfy the needs of international consumers, including the sewing machine.
Any demonstration using the existing configuration clearly shows that the actions of setting up, use, and maintenance of a sewing machine are more ably achieved by the left hander due to the fact that most of the user operations are on the left of the operator.
When the use of the hand crank was dispensed with, then the consideration that was given to right-handers when originally designing the drive system, should have been applied to all other functions. This was not done because the industry was young and establishing itself internationally. The cost of reversing the configuration would have been prohibitive, as large cast iron moulds were used in the manufacturing process. However, there is no evidence that reversing the configuration was ever considered.