Friday, April 1, 2011

The sewing times, they are a'changing

Back in the day, when I was a child, my mother made everything my sister and I wore, as well as things for the home.

Preparing for a sewing project was an event. Mother and her sewing partner would  load all the kids in the car, drive to town, an hour away,  check out the styles in the department stores, and start sketching (they had never heard of copyright infringement back then!! ).
Next , they would visit the fabric store and pick out the fabrics and supplies, then come home and set out to sew, usually making up their patterns as they went. We had beautiful clothes.
When I began to sew for my children, no one in my group of friends sewed, so I was kind of alone in my endeavor. I  knew how I wanted my childrens' clothes to look, but finding out how to go about it was another matter altogether. Soon, I learned about heirloom sewing, and shortly thereafter, I discovered Sew Beautiful magazine. There was hardly any fabric stores around and certainly no heirloom shops in my area. And I had no way of knowing where one was. I finally managed to collect a few patterns and books and taught myself heirloom techniques by machine. Most patterns were involved, complicated and required tracing the master pattern. With gathering up all the supplies, sometimes, it would take me weeks to complete a project. A less determined person would have thrown their hands up in frustration, I believe.
Over the last several years, the Internet and technology has changed the way we sew in many ways. There are now digital patterns galore for just about any project you can imagine. And you can have those patterns in a matter of minutes Great for when inspiration strikes in the middle of the night!!.And many allow you to finish a project in a short amount of time, like while the children are napping. Presto, cute outfit!! If you are unsure how to do a certain technique, just Google it and you will most likely find a tutorial with a video.A real boon, when again, you are stuck and it is the middle of the night!! People who sew are connected by blogs, chat forums and other social media and forming friendships that were never before possible. There is usually someone online, no matter what the time, that will help you!! Many sewing shops are online and that allows you to shop at your leisure. Great for when you can't get to a shop before they close.
There was a time when the art of sewing was something only "grandmothers" did. Today,  more and more young women are sewing  ( and so are grandmothers!!) and I believe sewing has never been more popular. Witness the thousands of young women and mothers who sell their handmades on websites, Facebook, ebay, etsy and blogs. Technology has allowed many to be stay at home moms, and dress their children in cute clothes for a fraction of the store-bought cost or supplement their family's income.
So while much has changed the way we sew, some things have not. There is just no way I know  to download fabric or lace and a trip to the fabric shop is STILL an event for me!!!!


Ruthann Jagge said...

Great thoughts! I remember my Grandmother making sme special things for me when I was young and yes,it was an "event!" There were more places to buy fabrics and it was a "practical" hobby for many?
Sewing today HAS changed and I LOVE the many faces of the "art!" You can buy absolutely gorgeous fabrics and trims from around the world with a tap of your finger OR you can choose to thrift and upcycle your materials,both with some stunning results!
The only thing that hasn't changed is the time,love,and devotion required but I truly believe that "what we do" and that means YOUR incredible heirloom creations as well iaremore noticed and appreciated today than ever before and what we create WILL be the heirlooms of tomorrow! :)

Cole's Corner said...

But there are online fabric shops!!! I love visiting those in the middle of the night, too. :)

ritad said...

My Grandmother made all the patterns she used in making my clothes. Many of the formal dresses I had for Proms and such were made from newspaper patterns. She would hold the newspaper up to my body, draw her pattern and away she would go.. Unfortunately I did not get that gene. I do quilt and find way to much fabric on line and most arrives within 48 hours. It's like magic! Oh wait, maybe not magic, I do have to pay for it! Darn it.. ;)

Kellie said...

My favorite part of the whole sewing thing is the FABRIC SHOP! I just love our little shop with so many fabrics to choose from... never a good idea to go in there without a project in mind - the possibilities are endless!

Sewconsult said...

Great post. I do order fabric online, but I miss the touching, carrying the bolt and seeing the fabric stretched out to be cut. Having had a small fabric shop in my home for 15 yrs, I always loved the day the UPS man brought the fabric order. OR the day that the Capitol Import laces arrived, OH-MY-GOODNESS!
Beckie in Brentwood, TN


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