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:
- My grandmother sews!
- Like quilts and stuff?
- Are a cosplayer / Renaissance fair aficionado?
- 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?
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!