Readers, when you sew all day and write a sewing blog, it's easy to lose perspective.
Before I learned how to sew, I didn't know anybody who even owned a sewing machine. Today, I shun anyone who can't use the word presser foot in a sentence, and if they don't know what a feed dog is, I'm not interested. I think it's totally normal to sew bras, girdles, and crinolines, moreover, and snicker at the men who don't. I just assume everyone sews.
Still, from time to time I try to step back and look at the big picture. Where are we today, with regard to home sewing? Are we losing more sewists than we're gaining? Are pattern companies expanding or shrinking? Are we still in a period of contraction -- fewer stores, narrower options, diminished quality -- or is there new energy, new interest, and new innovations?
I love to read about trends, and a really fun site to visit is trendwatching.com, which reports on trends around the world, primarily for industry. They issue monthly reports about what's going on, particularly in 'emerging' markets, and it can be inspiring to those of us confronted daily with signs of decline to know that in other parts of the world, business is booming and people are energized. (These are reports on current trends, not predictions for the future, btw.)
Friends, today I have an assignment for you. Consider yourselves field reporters-for-a-day. What are the trends you see in your neck of the woods? Are people you know excited about sewing, or could they not care less? Where is the growth, and where is the decline? Let's hear from all the continents!
If you hang around sites like Pattern Review, you'd think the whole world was in a tizzy about overpriced Featherweights, and unbalanced thread tension was a bigger problem than, say, nuclear disarmament. I'm not sure that's true.
So just how big is home sewing?
If you wanted to sink some money into it, where would you put it? What would your advice be to someone who wanted to invest in it?
Trend watchers of the world, we need to hear from you! (And pleasetell us where you're writing from.)
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly 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!