When I first started working again after our son began school full time, my neighbor and I were chatting about work. I told her that I worked for a woman-owned small business very close to home…a sewing store.
She looked at me quizzically and said…”Who sews?”
Behind her words were the unspoken questions of “Who has the time for that? Why would anyone take up such an old-fashioned, albeit charming, skill? Isn’t that what a grandma does?”
And I realized, that in the world of non-sewers, there seems to be a real lack of understanding of the whole sewing world/phenomenon.
Having spent a number of years in a sewing store now, I can give at least anecdotal answers to that question. But it may surprise you.
–Young moms. All you have to do is glance at etsy or pinterest to see this group. They will try anything with a sewing machine! And they are also the source for a lot of new fabric designs, patterns, and books.
–Newlyweds. Starting fresh, they get excited about creating together.
–Middle-aged women with highly stressful full time jobs. They sew for their sanity. Truly.
–Artists, artisans and crafts people, in general. Once they learn to sew, the ideas keep pouring in. One can never know it all. They find self-expression in the techniques and fellowship in classes.
–Men. They are usually drawn to the creative — tackling the technical challenges with gusto.
–People who are grieving or caregiving. Sewing is such a healing task, especially a quilt made of a loved one’s fabrics or shirts. Not long ago, a woman told me she spent the last year of her husband’s life working on hand quilting a wool blanket, and it kept her from losing her own mind, as her husband faded farther and farther away.
–Volunteers. If you ever want to know who makes pillowcases for cancer victims, quilts of Valor for the families of veterans, lap quilts for friends in chemo, quilts for women’s shelters, hospital gowns for kids in Haiti, and on and on and on, let me fill you in. Sewists and quilters. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t made something for someone else
–Retirees and empty nesters. Finally, finally, they decide to do something for themselves. Which is ironic, because the first thing they do is make something for their kids or grandkids.
–Anyone with a love of fabric.
Maybe the question should be:
Who doesn’t sew?