As I write this blog it is a beautiful, bright & sunny Tuesday evening! Whilst I’m enjoying the sunshine – it may be brief – I’m also pining for the Tuesday 2 weeks ago when I immersed myself in the frenzied pattern cutting & garment assembly otherwise known as The Great British Sewing Bee final. This renewed interest in sewing really caught the imagination of the girls here in the Banana Moon office, although, as Sewing Bee showed, sewing is most definitely not exclusively a female activity.
It certainly seems that I am not alone in welcoming the resurgence of home sewing. Sales of sewing machines have increased by more than 30% over the past year, sewing groups or “cafes” are popping up countrywide & Nicola Horlick, the renowned city “superwoman”, is taking steps to persuade the government to return sewing to the school national curriculum, supporting the launch of a petition.
Now, I don’t claim to be a highly skilled seamstress, but the skill I have, I can only improve upon. I yearn to be better than I am – I get by & really am quite capable but lack confidence if anything. I’d love to be taught how to sew. All I know, or think I know, I’ve taught myself, sewing wasn’t taught in my school. I recall my older siblings making an apron in their first term at secondary school, but just five years later, when it was my turn, sewing lesson were nothing more than a memory. Sewing courses in our local area are few & far between too.
I Believe sewing is a skill for life & can often be your only hope of producing a nativity costume with just 4 hours of panic to spare! Last Christmas, the big guy, with the red suit & the white beard, delivered a shiny, new sewing machine for my daughter. Her first project was a simple little tote bag for herself, which she has since replicated for a couple of friends.
Even more importantly, we spent quality time together, which is a rarity these days – she’s at that age! Sewing can, however, be as solitary or as sociable as you like. For some it’s just a solo activity, whereas, for many more, the support of like-minded people is preferred. The opportunities for sewing are endless, covering all ranges of ability. If your stitching is still a little wonky, you can produce a variety of soft furnishings which have a certain homespun charm. On the other hand, the more experienced stitchers can create exquisite haute couture garments with the finest, most delicate seams & hand beaded detailing.
For me, there is little more exciting than a shop filled with beautiful fabrics, ribbons & trimmings. I am constantly thinking of things I want to make, with fabric I just need to own. Trouble is I can’t decide where to start. First though, I’ll be signing the petition, with the hope of seeing a return to sewing in the classroom.