Friends, do you ever feel like you spend a disproportionate amount of your day talking/thinking/writing about sewing?
Do you ever catch friends or colleagues, when you mention sewing, rolling their eyes, glancing at their watches, and suddenly having to catch the 5:15 train -- and they drive to work? Do you yourself retreat daily to the comforting, marshmallow, everybody-sews-here worlds of Pattern Review, BurdaStyle, and Male Pattern Boldness?
Between my 30th high school reunion earlier this month, recent family get togethers (my brother's wedding is three weeks away), and my busy work-the-room lifestyle, I find myself talking about sewing all the time. I have told the story of how I learned to sew (which you can read here) so many times, I can recite it in my sleep.
Sometimes I feel like the President of the Treadle Association of America or the International Mens Sewing Alliance.
But do you think I'm converting anybody? I wonder.
Wise readers, what's the best way to spread the home-sewing meme (a meme is essentially a message), in your opinion? How do we grow home sewing?
Yesterday I met up with the friend of an online sewing friend, a lovely young woman from France, for my third visit to the jaw-droppingly wacky "Japan Fashion Now" exhibit at FIT and a stroll through Chelsea with the chihuahuas. We talked a lot about sewing machines, sewing, blogging, fashion, you name it. I had such a lovely time and it was a real spirit-lifter, but I didn't get the sense that Anne was going to start sewing any time soon.
For one thing, she has our mutual sewing friend making a lot of her clothes. This must stop!
I know many of you have been sewing for decades and have lived through the dramatic contraction of the home sewing industry: local fabric stores closing, fewer independent sewing machine manufacturers and vendors, an increased focus on quilting among the vendors that remain, fewer patterns for sale, and so on. It's admittedly depressing.
Yet at the same time we have all these sewing websites and communities, countless online fabric and notion resources, sites like eBay and Etsy where you can purchase old patterns, books, and vintage sewing machines, and countless sewing blogs. Nobody with Internet access needs sew in isolation!
Could it be that home sewing has bottomed out and is growing once again? Has a generation raised in Gap clothes soured on mass-produced fashion?
How can we successfully spread the home-sewing meme? What do you think would help convert non-sewers into passionate sew-zombies like us? (What turned you into one?)
Have you ever successfully turned someone on to sewing? Did you actually have to give them a machine to get them started?
World conquest may not be within our reach -- not right away. But a little benign evangelism never hurt. It's in our collective interest to take action.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!