If you’re a sewist, there are certain universal things all of us can relate to. You know, the things that we are constantly having to explain to all the non-sewists in our lives. So today I thought I’d take a shortcut and make this list – that way, we can just share this article with the people who don’t get it. So…
8 Things All People Who Sew Wish You Knew About Them
1. Don’t Use Our Fabric Scissors
It’s true – sewists are a little crazy about their scissors. Why? Because we use them to cut fabric, and when you use them to cut other things, they don’t cut fabric well. This is why we will go to extreme measures to hide our sewing scissors and why we FREAK.OUT. when they get used on something else.
True story: I remember being about 5 years old with hair to my waist. On the day I’m thinking of, my mom had styled it in two very long pony tails. I had been asking for short hair for a while, but that day I decided to take matters into my own hands when I saw my mom’s sewing scissors (which I wasn’t allowed to use).
And I cut off one entire ponytail.
I’m not sure if my mom was madder that I cut my hair, or that I used her sewing scissors to do it.
Moral of the story: Don’t touch the sewing scissors. Just don’t.
2. Sewing is not a dying art.
All sewists have had this happen – we’ve met a new acquaintance, and somehow the fact that we sew gets mentioned. And then we get THE LOOK. Like we have 3 heads.
Sewing used to be a skill that was taught in public school, and every girl knew how to do it. In my grandmother’s time, most homes had a sewing machine. But then ready wear clothing became more affordable, women started to work outside the home, and sewing fell by the wayside. It kind of skipped a generation.
But it’s NOT a dying art! In fact, sewing as a creative hobby is currently experiencing a resurgence. , Younger sewists got interested and took to the internet to learn since it’s often not a school subject or something every mom taught their kids anymore. It’s not hard to find the vibrant and active sewing community online now. There are bloggers, Instagrammers, Facebook groups – so many ways to interact. And industry market research backs this up as well – the sewing machine market is growing and is projected to continue to grow.
So next time you meet someone who sews, don’t act so surprised.
3. Don’t bring us your mending.
Look – you’re not doing us a favor. While sewing in the past was mostly a practical household skill, now there are fewer household with a machine, and those that do have one are usually hobbyists. And hobbyists don’t get their creative buzz from fixing your old clothes.
Mending and alterations are such common requests that I actually wrote a post about how to say no to these sewing requests. And let me tell you – the sewing community loves that post. So unless your sewing friend has SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED that they are happy to do mending or alterations, do us all favor and take them to your local tailor.
4. Anyone who wants to learn to sew, can.
This is similar to number 2. And it is often the follow up statement to the 3-headed look. “That’s amazing! That must take so much skill!”
Yes, sewing is a skill. But it’s like cooking or car repair or any other skill – ANYONE can learn to do it, and ANYONE can get better with practice. If it’s something you’re interested in, go for it! Many sewists give in person lessons, or there is a wealth of internet information if you prefer an independent learning style. For example – I have a FREE learn to sew course right here.
5. Sewing is not just for women and girls.
This shouldn’t be something that needs to be said, but there is often an assumption that only women sew. While the sewing community is slanted toward women, I’m noticing a trend myself – something I heard another blogger call “secret man sewists”. They’re out there – men who have discovered the creative art of sewing.
For examples, look to the sewing soldier from The Great British Sewing Bee, Taylor Tailor, Man Sewing, Male Pattern Boldness, and men in sewing Facebook groups or commenting on Facebook pages and sharing their posts on Instagram.
Sewing is an equal opportunity hobby.
6. There are different types of sewing.
I love to sew clothing. Others love to quilt. Others love to sew for their homes. All of these types of sewing require slightly different skill sets, and just because a sewist can do one doesn’t mean they can (or want to) do any of the other types.
7. Not everyone who sews wants to have an Etsy shop.
We realize that this is mostly a compliment when people say, “Oh, that’s so good, you should open your own Etsy shop!” And that’s fine, and most of us have the manners to say, “Oh, thank you.”
But when you keep pushing it, or make more than that one comment, it gets old. There’s a lot more to having an Etsy shop than just being able to sew. And some of us have no desire to tackle all that other side of things. Not to mention – sewing multiples of the same item is the definition of torture for some of us.
So we’ll take the compliment. Once. After that, please don’t bring it up again!
8. Some of our fabric will never be cut or sewn.
Some sewists are very good at only buying fabric for a current project and not having a stash. But for the majority of us, at some point we’ll see some beautiful fabric and we’ll succumb to buying it without a project in mind.
And then it will probably happen again.
We will occasionally pet that beautiful fabric, and dream of the perfect project, but sometimes it never happens. Sometimes that fabric is fulfilling it’s purpose for us without being cut or sewn. And that’s OK, so unless our stash has grown to fire hazard/call the Hoarders producers/can’t find the sewing machine under all that fabric status, don’t mention it. We’ll love you more for letting us love our fabric.