Hi there.

Oh, hello again.
Well, it’s been a long time, but I finally feel the urge to start blogging about sewing again. A year ago I moved to Minneapolis, a place where I knew no one, and where it’s really dark and cold in the winter. Those factors led to me spending a lot more time inside with my sewing machine. My skills improved, and I now feel much more proud of my work, and want to share with the world.

My Singer 301 slant needle machine.

A few other things happened. My old 1980’s Viking broke, and when I found out it would cost $400 to repair, I threw it away and dug out my Grandmere’s Featherweight. Her parents gave it to her when she started design school (though at that time it was Home Economics) at Pratt in the 1940’s. I discovered what a joy it is to sew with a solid old straight stitch machine, and made the decision to never go back to new or computerized models. (This decision was greatly encouraged by reading Male Pattern Boldness.) Recently, I bought a Singer 301, the big, bad sister of the Featherweight, and it, too, has been a pleasure to sew with.

Around the same time as switching machines, I finished reading Overdressed. I found myself so disillusioned with mainstream fashion that I decided I would primarily make all my own clothes, only occasionally buying used items and new accessories (I have bought an embarrassing amount of tights- although it’s actually pretty easy to find inexpensive, Made in the USA tights). Now let me be clear: I don’t actually believe in the “vote with your dollars” philosophy. The state of modern garment production has far more to do with globalization, wage stagnation, and neo-liberal economics than with individual consumer choices. However, I enjoy sewing, and when I see cheap clothing I just see a big light that says “exploitation!”

While I don’t believe my individual choices are going to make a dent in Forever 21’s profits, I get a lot of joy out of making things myself, and I lose the guilt I feel over buying cheap stuff. If others do not have the time or skills to make their own clothing – or the money to buy handmade – I do not judge them. However, I do think that sewing is a wonderful skill that everyone should learn (yes, I’d like to see home economics back in schools- just not divided by gender), and my hope is that by sharing my projects with the world it will inspire others to sew more. I know that reading other sewing blogs has certainly inspired me!

So, all this is to say: I’m back. I hope to post at least once a week. To whomever is stumbling across this, hi, how are you, and what projects are you working on these days?

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One thought on “Hi there.

  1. I so agree with your sentiments about cheap clothing. Definitely will give that book a go! Whenever I walk through a mall, I feel a vague sense of depression about the multitude of things for sale, like, nothing’s special, who needs to own so much STUFF, and I already have plenty of clothes, why am I made to feel that I need more all the time? To stay “current” with the season/trends? Who in their right mind actually does that–and who actually cares if they do or not?

    I also would like to learn how to sew, and am on the hunt for a home-economics-cum-shop class for adults because when it comes to most things that break or need mending around the house, I am useless. My mother was a sewing wiz and would make my sister and I matching outfits, bed linens, halloween costumes… she even made my prom dress, which was pretty stunning. She stopped doing these things in the past ten years or so, so maybe she’d be willing to part with her sewing machine… if she even has it still!

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