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Do you encourage sewing in your town?

ctirish | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

What if anything do you do to promote sewing in your area or community? I am just curious to see if anyone does anything interesting.

One of my little efforts has been to get people here to contact there local Libraries and request they update their sewing section. It seems many libraries have good quilting book inventories now, but sewing has been left with books decades old.

At closing in my local Jo-Ann’s last night I was talking with a sales girl about sewing and she was commenting on how hard it is to have time to sew, and I asked her if she read about sewing when she couldn’t sew. She said she didn’t have time for books with school, so I asked if she had heard of Threads or Sew Stylish and she said no, so I let it drop. When I got to the checkout I saw a copy of Sew Stylish there and I bought it for her, I had her manager give it to her. So the manager would know it was paid for and I wanted her to have it.

It started me wondering about how other people promote sewing in their communities. Is it through church or friends, girl scouts, PTO’s. Anyone have some good ideas for how to do it? How to inspire young or old people to sew?


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    Good question!  I do one on one (or a few) sewing lessons for girls who do not have sewing moms and sometimes the moms get interested also.  Nothing earth shattering, mostly teach by example.


  2. solosmocker | | #2

    I love this question! I live in a tiny community of 350 people and the center of life is the little post office. We meet our neighbors there and talk about all sorts of things. I ask people all the time that I meet if they sew. I have found one that quilts so far. I have passed on magazines, notions, etc to her that I no longer have use for. It does seem like quilters exist but not garment sewists. In my former life in another state I was in the Dressmakers Guild and did many free demonstrations and talks. I even went on TV once to promote the cause. I showed "new" notions that made sewing easier in an effort to bring more into the fold. That community had a strong textile manufacturing heritage so it was an easy convince. Up here life is rather isolated but I won't quit in my quest to find someone to commiserate with sewingly. I am going to put some things in the county agricultural fair this summer in hopes of connecting with others. That fair does a lot to further the cause and I was impressed with a good amount of what I saw. The quilts were particularly awesome. Hopefully I can introduce some to the likes of heirloom sewing. Keep ya' posted on that effort.

    1. ctirish | | #4

      Sewing is such a wonderful hobby or occupation. There are so many pieces and levels of effort, and creativity.  I started by taking a class at a local Singer Sewing Center over a summer. The focus was on completing a dress over the 6 weeks.  I had friends who took classes from a local woman and she focused on the sewing part - precision and accuracy.

      Which way did you learn and do you think in today's world we should focus on the basics of finishing a project, the precision or something else like creativity and all the ways we can make fabric today, versus creating a garment ??????

      Did you teach your children to sew? How? 





      1. User avater
        VKStitcher | | #6

        If I had children and they showed an interest*, I'd probably teach them the same way that Mom taught me.  When I was little, I would play with scraps from the clothes that she made for my sister and me.  As I became more interested, she taught me how to use a needle and thread to sew simple seams, then to sew on buttons, and eventually to use her sewing machine.  She never sat me down and said, "We're going to make a skirt and this is how we do it." but she was always there to show me things and answer my questions.  By watching Mom and playing around with fabrics, I probably just figured out how to make something.  My first attempts were pretty crude, but the more I worked at it the better my results became.  I made doll clothes by just cutting and draping the fabric on Barbie.  I can remember making a purse by sewing two rectangles together.  By the time I got to High School, I was making my own clothes.  Home Ec class was pretty boring for me, because I already knew how to choose a pattern, lay out and cut fabric, and sew a straight seam to make that peasant blouse!

        I guess I'm more of the creative type.  I don't take classes that teach how to make something; I'd rather take a class that teaches a new technique that I can use to make something.

        *My sister never did become interested in sewing.  She did make that peasant blouse in Home Ec, but never sewed anything after that.  To this day, she even avoids sewing on a button!  She is very creative and artistic, but  Mom and I mend and alter her clothes.  :-)

        1. ctirish | | #7

          Thank you for your responses. I would like my grandchildren to sew, so I am grateful for your input. Time is a issue these days, there just doesn't seem to be enough ever !! I am slowly learning to try and plan tasks I can do in an hour or less so I can sew everyday.

          Edited 6/5/2007 7:45 am ET by ctirish

          1. NovaSkills | | #9

            Right now, I'm taking on a home schooled girl as "Wardrobe Assistant" to help with costumes for the current show--which features many of her friends in the cast. She doesn't sew yet, but is bright and quick, and there are many types of tasks to do.

            I will let her run the serger before the sewing machine, as it's easier to control the fabric, and we have to edge finish costumes, anyway. I tumbled on that idea by accident, in a more formalized beginning sewing class I taught. Everyone "got" the serger easier; maybe it's because the needle is more guarded by the presser foot and knife shield. They weren't afraid of the machine.

      2. solosmocker | | #8

        Irish, I am going to teach my granddaughter my passion the same way my grandmother taught me. Well, she didn't actually teach me. She inspired me. She would make me beautiful clothing and let me go into her big stash and pick out the fabrics and trims all by myself. I can remember doing this as far back as 4-5 yrs old. She would then proceed to make the most beautiful dresses out of what I picked out. She would also take me with her on her fabric buying trips. We would go all over downtown New Orleans looking for just the right fabrics. She would tell me what she planned on making and explain why certain fabrics were or were not the right choice. In other words she involved me every step of the way in the design process which went miles toward inspiring me to take up this passion. I am grateful to this day. This approach can work with the youngest of grandchildren. So the next time you hit the fabric store, take those grands and let them pick something out!

        Edited 6/9/2007 9:39 am ET by solosmocker

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    An interesting question! My contributions are limited by lack of time, but I guess that I do encourage sewing by volunteering to help people working on school projects and by volunteering my expertise to neighbors and friends who have to sew something but are not very confident about it.Even if I cannot volunteer for a sewing project, I let teachers, friends, and volunteers know that they can call me to troubleshoot sewing projects at any stage. Sometimes they'll ask my advice ahead of time, and other times, they'll come to me with what they think is an irreversible disaster; I always try to get them work with me on solving the problem so that they gain confidence and realize that they can do it themselves.Sometimes, I'll volunteer to do one very difficult part of the project (usually fitting, zippers or buttonholes) if they work with me; I enjoy the socializing, and they learn something without stressing over it.

  4. MaryinColorado | | #5

    I have helped the 4th grade class with quiltmaking.  I've taught the three grandkids to sew and machine embroidery and some handwork.  A neighbor and I made "warm windows" for her home, but that was the end of her interest in sewing.  We occassionally make handmade gifts to donate.  My daughter in law is new to sewing and got her first machine for Christmas, she is dreaming of an embroidery machine already!  I loaned her one of ours for awhile to learn and practice on.

    I've considered offering to make curtains for Habitat for Humanity homes, but haven't taken the time to investigate. 

    Thanks for starting this thread!  Maybe some of us will consider the possibilities and act on it.  Mary

  5. ellalouise | | #10

    we live in a smallcommunity just one sewing shop+wallmart,that has some fabrics,the best is a church sponser,called sewing  forbabies,they sew blankets,little gowns,for the baby to be wrapped in,comming home from the hospital,for the less fortunate,also unwed mothers,i think this is a great community projectanyone interested in sewing is welcome to join.

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