Monday, May 12, 2008

Home Sewing Boom in England

According to the British newspaper the Guardian, there is a home sewing revival in Britain with an accompanying sharp rise in sales of sewing machines. The Guardian reports that making your own clothes is now considered the height of fashion. Here's hoping that a fashion environment in which a lot of women are making their own clothes will breathe new life into designer fashion. Already this spring, the "retro" dress has made its way down the catwalks--pretty, more feminine dresses in retro types of colorful fabric.

Here in the U.S.A., a similar boom has taken place. I joined the sewing revival this past year. Fear and trepidation all the way: first it took me two years to bring myself to buy a sewing machine, even though it was always at the top of my shopping list. Then, after I bought it, I suddenly decided I had to piece a quilt by hand. It took me five months to get up the gumption to wind the bobbin. Finally, as yuletide was lurking around the corner, I took the plunge to make some gifts from Christmas fabric I had bought on sale in January: a tablecloth, napkins (from a Purlbee tutorial), and place mats. I love the idea of making an object that exists because you shaped otherwise shapeless materials. I like the way in sewing clothes, we take what is basically a two-dimensional object--the flat fabric, and turn it into a three-dimensional object for use. I love to play in my mind with all the colors and prints of the objects. Sometimes in the past months, I have woken up in the middle of the night dreaming about a quilt I have been thinking about or how to make a little crayon holder. I hope all this enjoyment eventually translates into objects whose workmanship is not too shoddy.

1 comment:

chicory cottage said...

i can understand your trepidation about using the sewing machine! i'm a weaver, but not a seamstress and am learning in small steps as i go; winding the bobbin on the machine had me nearly in a panicked sweat! when i first began to machine sew, i had no idea how to turn it on. :)