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CHIC WEEKLY ARTICLES
a new article every
Monday about Sewing & Fashion
DRESS MAKING &
Sewing in the
By Jessica Lynn
Digital technology has
not just given sewers lighter weight machines with more
embroidery options (although those are great advantages!): the
internet has made knowledge more easily accessible and has
forever changed how people research, learn, and interact with
media. And it has not forgotten one of the oldest trades,
dressmaking and home sewing.
While patterns are
still sold by the same companies that have been successful for
generations, they are also now available for purchase online.
And the internet has opened access to smaller, less-known
pattern-makers in niche communities. But better than these
advances is the fact that now, patterns, instructions, and
tutorials are more readily available than ever, and many of
them are free if you know where to look.
was a skill taught from master-to-apprentice,
mother-to-daughter, a word of mouth trade learned by
experience and the tutelage under a skilled craftsperson. (Of
course, for many years there have been books on sewing for
beginners and more experienced alike, but that less people
have been taught solely or mostly by books.)
What I hear most women
say when talking about sewing is that “my grandmother sews”
(or sewed) but the many of the next generation, the late-end
boomers and Xers--the generation of parents today-- somehow
missed out on this skill-set. While it was taught in home
economics class, few seem to have continued with the craft to
made it a hobby or priority.
Partly, this is became home sewing became less useful.
Increasingly clothing companies outsourced their labor to
other countries, and consequentially they were able to charge
customers much less for their products. As a result, sewing
one’s own and family’s clothes was no longer cost effective.
Additionally, women started taking on non-traditional roles in
the workforce, and spent less time as homemakers and child
caregivers, leaving less time for home sewing, and with sewing
having little relevance to their lives.
construction, and fashion design is a visual and physical
skill, it’s much more difficult to learn from a book than from
an instructor. So when sewing and design skips a generation or
two and is barely (or not at all) covered in the public school
system, it is safe to say home sewing would continue to fade
digital advances have helped change the conditions for a home
sewing revival. People who want to learn no longer need a
personal tutor. Videos streamed from Youtube and personal
blogs explain in detail how to execute various techniques.
Step-by-step photographed instructions show clearly how to
make a wide variety of projects--from quilts, to freehand
dresses and clothes, to plushie crafts and pet costumes (like
on this site!). There are now even open source sewing patterns
available online through the website BurdaStyle, which allows
viewers to share patterns (professionally drafted or
otherwise), ideas, and instructions, and view and print
others’ work. And all of these things are free.
One positive aspect of
the economic downfall and high unemployment rate is that
people can once again discover the value and pleasure in self
reliance. I’m not saying these times aren’t difficult and on
occasion miserable. But hopefully, with more information than
ever readily available (on not just sewing but all sorts of
trades and hobbies) we can understand better than ever how
things are made, and that we can make them. Right now, we have
the perfect opportunity to chose quality over quantity and
learn to handcraft objects--both utilitarian and
artistic--ourselves. We have the means of sharing our skills
with our community and the world, of teaching things and being
taught with out worrying about the price.
|Chic Weekly: on-line Fashion & Sewing Magazine
|Founder & Publisher: Judi Harris
|Editor in Chief: Jessica Lynn Harris
|Art & Photo Editor: Andrew DiMaio
copyright 2010 - 2011 Love To Sew Studio
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