Monday, September 2, 2013

What's Going on in The Current Sewing World?

Let me say at the outset, I am from the generation of sewists who learned the craft at Junior High and High School.  I even majored in Home Economics Education at University. I tell people that if I hadn't sewn my wardrobe for school, I might not have had one.  I certainly had more clothes because of my ability to sew for myself. We all know that somewhere in the seventies schools across America cut back on things like Home Economics, Shop, Music and more, and the norm of girls learning to love, appreciate or hate sewing at school was no more.

My mother knew how to embroider, crochet and could do mending. My father often hemmed and even cuffed his own trousers. During the early years of his retirement he bought a treadle sewing machine at a yard sale and made pillow covers and curtains. One important fact is that both my parents were supportive of my wanting to sew and gave me encouragement in many forms. 

I was (am) a bit of a perfectionist. I liked things finished nicely and usually the insides of my garments were as neat as the outside. I learned to use the patterns that were available in local stores. I often bit off more than I could chew in the time frame available and have been known to finish hems late into the night, or even on the plane on the way to somewhere (before the days of restrictions on scissors and other sharp things on planes.)

During my visits to Japan over the years I investigated craft shops and fabric stores. I visited small medium and huge shows of quilts and other handcrafts. I was privileged to be able to take quilting classes. I learned a bit about the Japanese way of teaching sewing and crafts. This was all very exciting to me as it seemed that in America the interest in garment sewing had really atrophied. 

So, now I see there are a lot of young women who are interested in sewing. Without the background of having courses in school they often strike out in interesting and unusual ways. Their interests are tempered by the culture of "instant everything" and really can be innovative. The Internet is buzzing with free tutorials on hundreds of projects and techniques. 

It's an exciting time in the sewing world again. Yay!


  1. The one thing about teaching quilting in Tohoku, was that those women were of my generation and already knew how to sew by hand.

    1. Didn't your kids learn any sewing in school, Julie? I've heard of everything from making zookin to doing shibori.