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  •  Home sewing passing away in a generation (3+ / 0-)
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    Mr Robert, PinHole, maisey

    I know what you mean - I'm 62; growing up in the 50s, my grandmother tried to teach me how to sew, not with great success.  But she had been taught how to sew by HER grandmother.

    She taught my mother how to sew when my mother was growing up.  The one time in my memory my mother sewed something was a play suit for me.  By the time she got to finish it, I was WAY too big for it.

    My mother worked as a school nurse, so didn't have time to sew.  

    Right there in 3 generations is the story of how the US gravitated to a 'cash only' society.  We can't make things ourselves because we need the time to make money to buy the things we no longer have time to make.

    Such is progress.

    HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

    by HylasBrook on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 09:52:20 AM PDT

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    •  Yes to everything you say (1+ / 0-)
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      Although sewing can be fast & easy, learning it takes some time, for little fingers to learn to manipulate the fabric under the needle.  And the fabric is often so cheap (poor, thin thread count) that it shreds instantly when a it is even ripped out once.  Very discouraging for kids, understandably.  

      Parent goes with kid to pick out fabric - goes to WalMart or cheap stuff at chain store, figuring they don't want to spend a lot for a kid to learn.  Fabric is baaad & parent doesn't know enough herself to steer kid in right direction.  

      Poor scissors that don't cut precisely & chew up edges which then can't be brought together to sew a straight seam.  Cheap pins that are hard to manipulate & hurt little fingers (hurt big fingers too!).  Sewing machine which was handed down from grandmother and never serviced since, with a needle that hasn't been changed since and is probably inserted the wrong way.  Tension totally out of wack.  

      Put all this together with kids today who have short attention spans courtesy of Sesame Street and you've got a recipe for failure, before you've even begun.

      I taught 4-H sewing for 6+ yrs.  Recently had a pay off when I ran into one of the mothers - she said her daughter was in her mid-20s and NOW since the kid had to live on a budget on her own, had started sewing because she needed clothes for work.   BING!!!!!!   :-)

      At the very least, sewing teaches the kids good construction skills, so they become better consumers.  

      Another feel good story is a boy who earned scholarships to college for his sewing skills, from 4-H, pattern companies, and patriotic organizations.  He is now married, with one kid and earning a good living as an architectual tech in a big architectual firm - his abilities in putting things together in a precision fashion, transferred to a job.      

      •  Bad fabric makes good sewing almost (1+ / 0-)
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        impossible.  I made a white dress when I was 18 (I took a sewing class din high school) but the fabric wasn't real cotton, so the skirt never hung flat.

        Sewing also worked better when clothes were expected to last some time.   People dispose of clothes quickly, but then the clothes they buy aren't usually made to last more than a year or two.

        HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

        by HylasBrook on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 01:39:02 PM PDT

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