Sewing in Modern Times + Take My Pledge! ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Sewing in Modern Times + Take My Pledge!

This has been on my mind for a few months now, and I would love to hear all of your opinions on this topic if you don't mind reading through my long windedness. :)

Well, if you are a regular follower you would recognize that my four favorite hobbies are cooking, traveling, organizing, home decor, and sewing.  In the media, you see shows and entire channels devoted to each of these subjects...except sewing.

Yes, there are a couple of public access shows, but they are so obscure that Nancy Zieman has a fraction of the public recognition of Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain, or Nate Berkus.


What about Project Runway?  I still watch it to this day!  It does deal with sewing and you hear about techniques, hemlines, patterns, etc.  However, it is focused more on the design aspect (as it should be) and less on the actual sewing.  Remember, there always seems to be a designer on the show who does not "know how to sew."

And The Great British Sewing Bee?  I LOVED the show and everything about it.  It had some interesting history, discussion about what makes good technique, and a little project for the viewer to recreate at home.  If you would like to check it out, you can find the first episode here.  As much as I loved this show, not a single person in the U.S. off the street would know this show, unless they sewed as well.  Well maybe in the microcosms of Silverlake, Brooklyn, and Portland.  I must say that I'm a bit envious about how much more popular sewing seems to be in the U.K.


So why does this matter?

When I tell someone that I sew, there are a few responses:

  1. My grandmother sews!
  2. Like quilts and stuff?
  3. Are a cosplayer / Renaissance fair aficionado?
  4. Are you trying to become a clothing designer?

Basically, I've found that most people think of sewists as either grandmothers, quilters, costumers, or professional designers.  I feel like the hobby of sewing should be viewed like any other hobby, such as cooking.  Just because someone likes making desserts doesn't mean they want to be a professional pastry chef!  What happened to the regular girl who sews as part of her normal, non-costume wardrobe?  It wasn't too long ago that this was the norm!


In fact, there used to be entire sections of department stores dedicated to fabrics and sewing patterns in the past, and it used to be all over the the television and movies.  Nowadays, there are very few instances of sewing in popular culture, but I found a couple of mentions recently!

Here is a clip from New Girl.  Jess is sharing her "first time" story, which the guys are eager to hear about...

That must be what my guy is thinking all of the time...

And from the movie Brave, this little tidbit!

Yes sewing will break the curse and save the day!  Check out her stitching in this next clip.

Anyways, the New Girl clip (although funny) doesn't really paint sewists in a great light.  Sewing in Brave isn't the main theme, but it IS the solution for Merida's problem.  Yay!  However, the movie is obviously not set in modern times.  So where are the modern sewists that we should look up to in the media?

They are all in the blogosphere, of course!  The whole reason I started this blog is because I saw how much of a community there was for sewists and the love of sharing finished garments, tutorials, and little tips.  I just wanted to be able to ask a question or two from you guys, and it has been so amazing how responsive and nice everyone is.  :)  That's why I came up with our Stitch Once, Rip Twice sewing group!


Finally, I would like to share my pledge with you.  In the real world, I am always shy about sharing the fact that I sew when someone compliments one of my garments.  I know that I'm not the only one!

Now, I pledge to be proud of my hobby and share it with others.  Maybe the simple act of all of us sewists sharing our passion can slowly bring it more mainstream recognition.  Who knows?  That way, people won't assume that when I'm buying a sewing pattern, that it isn't for my grandmother to sew.  Or if I buy fabric that I'm going to reupholster chairs with a staple gun.

Let's share our love of sewing with the people and show everyone that modern sewists exist!  Are you with me?

Update: I have added a link-up so we can all "sign" the pledge and you can share your website, if you like!  Have fun visiting each other!


  1. You should be very proud of your hobby! I got a sewing machine for Christmas last year and I have yet to use it. My problem is I don't know where to start. I went to Joann's one day asking if they had a "Sewing for Dummies" type book and they didn't have anything. I think maybe I need to take a class. Good luck with sharing a new generation of sewers with the world!

    Thank you for joining us in the Share the Love Blog Hop!!!

    Cindy from Superheroes and Teacups

  2. Totally with you. I have no problem letting people know that I sew these days. I used to be shy about it for all the reasons you've stated above but now I'm loud and proud.

  3. Thanks for the kind words! Taking a class will clear things up right away, I assure you! There are also tons of Youtube videos to get you going as well. :)

  4. I am proud to say I sew! There is nothing more fulfilling than taking pieces of fabric and turning them into a head turning garment!

  5. Great! I knew I could count on you!

  6. Hi, I'm Irene and I love to sew... and I'm really proud of it! There's nothing like when someone ask you where you bought something and the answer is: I made it! Look at their eyes... there's nothing better, in life! (well, just a thing or two LOL)
    Thanks Diane for the pledge <3

  7. I know what you mean, I rarely tell people I sew but I am not sure why, maybe I don't want them to ask me to hem their pants? I do it for fun and to make my house look prettier, I even use it to wrap gifts, check this out if you have a second.

  8. I am always impressed by people who can sew! My mom went to F.I.T. and made many dresses and doll clothes for me when I was growing up. I can only sew basic things and have regretted not learning more from my mom. If I was able to make a garment for myself I would shout it out to the roof tops!

  9. Well, in my family they said it says it skips a generation. :) My grandmother sewed a lot, but my mom and my aunts didn't catch the bug as much as I did. Sometimes I wish that I learned could have learned from my grandmother, too. Oh well! I will just have to learn by trial-and-error now. :)

  10. Great post! I find the same thing, people don't really "get" that sewing isn't just for grandmas.

  11. I know! I don't think it's out of disinterest that other young people don't sew as much, it's just not "normal." Lots of times, I'll chat with an older lady at the pattern drawers to find out that they're making something for a granddaughter or daughter. I'm encouraging my cousin's daughter to sew, by giving her mini lessons every time we see each other! Just trying to spread the love, one young'un at a time!

  12. I'm with you!great post!
    I sew too and like so much to meet another sewing people!
    big hugs

  13. I love to sew. I love to shop for fabric, re-purpose old things into new things and making quilts. I haven't done much sewing recently because I have been in school. Now that I am done. I am ready to start working on some new projects just in time for Christmas. :)

  14. Awesome! I'm sure your sewing machine will be excited to work on some new stuff!

  15. What a neat idea. :)

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week! Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

  16. I love this. I really don't sew much any more except for mending things. I used to sew back when I was younger like dresses and blouses, children's Halloween costumes, etc. It seems I am always too busy....sigh. Sewing is actually expensive these days. Patterns and fabrics now cost so much that it may cost more to sew your own garment versus purchasing it.

    Thanks for sharing with us at The HomeAcre Hop!

    Please join us again Thursday for our special harvest themed hop at:

  17. It's true that pattern and fabric can cost a lot, but I make sure to buy only on sale, so my patterns are $1 - 2. My fabric is usually bought from the swap meet for less than $1 a yard, or on sale with a coupon from my local store only if I need a particular blend/style. Otherwise, I would be nervous cutting into anything too expensive!

  18. Amen to that! You should be proud! Not everyone can sew... or should I say sew good! Like any hobby to be good one must practice. You amaze me and inspire me with your creations. I appreciate you sharing and linkin up week after week on Sunday FUNday! LOVE your creative spirit and better yet that you share it! Share it proudly girl! XO

  19. Thanks! You always say the sweetest things, and your blog posts CONSTANTLY crack me up. :) I can't wait to see what you post next!

  20. I just ran across your site and I totally agree with your message! All hail ye modern sewists! I took the pledge and I'm looking forward to reading your posts.


I love to hear your comments! And putting in your two cents is always free. :)