For my 13th birthday, my parents gave me a sewing machine. (They also told me that they wanted me to start making my own clothes.) Through the eyes of a 13-year-old, it was the worst gift ever! And I revolted – I didn’t make any clothing until I had to support myself.
But, looking back, it was the best and most memorable birthday gift I ever received.
I come from a long line of home seamstresses — both my grandmothers and my mother made beautiful clothing. And, when I started making my own clothes, probably 30-40% of my wardrobe was homemade. I would whip up dresses to wear to big Hollywood galas, because I couldn’t afford to buy formal gowns on my little PR girl salary. I loved sewing as a hobby — it not only kept me busy and challenged my creativity, but I also got something new in my closet when I was finished.
Sadly, we have lost many, if not most, of our fabric shops, leaving only national chains that offer generic fabric choices. Sewing is on the decline because ready-made clothing has become so cheap (in terms of both price and quality). And most mothers now work full time, which cuts down on home sewing time and gives households more money to buy clothing (although my aforementioned grandmothers and mother all worked full-time).
I, too, do not sew as much as I did. Now my sewing has been relegated to Halloween and school play costumes for my son, as well as the occasional hem and repair.
Every now and then, I get an itch to sew and can spend hours at my machine – you know, the one I received at 13.
It’s time sewing made a comeback! Luckily, when we lost all the fabric shops, the internet came of age. There are some great sites such as Colette Patterns that offer original patterns as well as online sewing tutorials. You can also design your own fabric at sites such as Spoonflower. You’ll be amazed at what you can create!
Tags: Colette Patterns, fabric, seamstress, sewing, Spoonflower