Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To wonder if sewing is a dying art?

(113 Posts)
NotHerRealname Tue 12-Feb-13 11:10:37

The sum of my sewing ability is to;

Sew on a button
Repair a small hole or split seam
Take up (very badly) a seam.

All these I can do to a pretty low standard. About the same as my Dh. We share these jobs between us!

My mother can use a sewing machine, make clothes, invisible stitching etc. as well as knit and crochet! So can my Mil.

I could have learnt a bit more as a child but I didn't really see the value in it. I do wish now though, that I was a bit handier with a needle and thread.

Would it be very nosey to ask how much you lot can sew? and also do you think lost people now just throw stuff away without trying to repair it?

I like bags, and once I have more experience with my sewing machine, I plan to use some free bag patterns I found online. These patterns are great and the finished bags would easily retail for more than the cost of making them. I even found a great messenger style bag that could do my DD for school, especially as she goes through her bags often with the volume of stuff she requires for school.

I have a stash of waste denim pieces that I think will make a great tote, so I'm looking for patterns for that.

I really ought to start looking at the arts & crafts board grin

Arcticwaffle Thu 14-Feb-13 16:35:47

I used to be reasonable at sewing, I used to make some of my own clothes. Then I discovered it was as cheap to buy them and I stopped forever. I suppose I could still make clothes if I could be bothered. But I'd rather read a book.

I can't really knit, I have several time started and lost interest. Sewing is much more satisfying.

All 3 of my dds have taken to sewing with great enthusiasm, so now the house is full of sewing kit and projects, and small stuffed homemade animals, and appliqued cushions.

DP is quite good with a sewing machine too so he'll make curtains on occasion. Otherwise I would do that.

crocodilesmiles Thu 14-Feb-13 16:03:40

I can't sew. I did make a P.E. bag (drawstring style) whilst at school, but I look at it now and don't know how I managed it.

Seeing this sort of thing www.rufflesandstuff.com/2010/02/making-her-clothes-last-part-one.html always makes me wish I could sew though. I love the idea of upcycling old clothes! Some of the stuff this lady's done is lovely - and totally unique to her LO.

CaseyShraeger Wed 13-Feb-13 21:06:58

The couture dress and the two trouser classes (fit and construction) are the ones I've been dithering over. I've seen a lot of good reviews of the couture dress class, but then again I do have big fit problems with ready-to-wear trousers.

NotMostPeople Wed 13-Feb-13 18:45:27

CaseyShreager - I did the couture dress class on Craftsy (got it at half price), there was lots of hand sewing which I hate, but I still enjoyed it. I've also bought a trouser one, but haven't started it yet.

webwiz Wed 13-Feb-13 15:52:26

I think all things crafty are having a big revival at the moment and you can get magazines with stuff in that you might actually want to make.

I can sew pretty well and made my own wedding dress, christening gowns for the DCs, first communion dresses and then prom dresses. I've made curtains, blinds and patchwork quilts and more school costumes than I care to remember.

I can knit very complicated patterns and I taught myself to crochet about a year ago so both the DD's have throws that I've made at university with them. I tend to crochet while watching tv (and mumsnetting at the same time). I think its a bit of a confidence thing as well once you've mastered one thing you're more willing to have a go at the others.

catyloopylou Wed 13-Feb-13 15:24:02

Last night I sewed a button back on DH's jacket and stitched a hem up on his tie. He would have taken them to the dry cleaner otherwise at a cost of £10 or so; it took me 10 minutes and he did the cleaning up after dinner in return!

I've made a few skirts, shorts and shirts but they took me ages so stopped bothering; also found fabric expensive. But for a Christmas party I designed and made a Dorothy from the wizard of Oz outfit and it inspired me to buy a sewing machine in the Christmas sales. I've not used it yet as have to declutter first in order to have somewhere to set it up. But I'm planning on making things like applique pictures from a huge bag of fabric scraps I have, quilting and making soft toys etc. I recently bought some fabric from Ikea (black printed pictures on white) with the intention of colouring it in with fabric paint and making cushion covers for DS's room so they can be really personal.

I'm not great with alterations and repairs but will have a go. I can't knit or crochet but can embroider and do cross stitch.

My DM used to make lots of our clothes and taught me to use her machine, and my DGM did lots of beautiful embroidery but by the time I was old enough to learn she wasn't able to sew any more. I have lots of her work and it is almost as good on the back as the front, and far superior to anything I can make. I dream of being industrious but am too lazy to do much!

Ikea fabrics are fab btw.

Fire, dedication or chore avoidance...wink

If anyone has access to Ikea, it seems that they have a range of interesting fabrics that can be used to make clothes (warning, this link contains some dreadful photos of a blogger posing for photos of her finished garment. Not sure she needed quite as many images as she included). I'm actually quite tempted to make my own copy of this skirt.

Dragon, as the OP of the "owl hand warmer" thread, it's good to see you made one so quickly. That's determination!

I"ve just this minute sewn up DS1's swimming trunks, 2 minutes before he had to leave for the school bus. Luckily my machine was switched on and threaded up after I made an owl hand warmer yesterday!

steppemum Netherlands Tue 12-Feb-13 23:06:39

I like sewing and do quite a lot, especially curtains cushion covers etc

I am currently making a quilt for our bed in Indonesian batik fabric.
I used to make a lot of clothes, but fabric is pricey now.

But I have to have a little boast about dd1. She asked for a sewing machine for her 7th birthday, and got a proper small one. She can use it properly and sewed a proper pencil case for her teacher who left at the end of last year. I did help her, but she really did pretty much all of it herself including design.

It was awesome. Good enough to sell grin

Tanith Tue 12-Feb-13 22:09:06

I can do running repairs, alterations and buttons and zips by hand. Never could get on with sewing machines.
I also do embroidery, blackwork and cross stitch. I can do tapestry, but not overly fond of it. Applique, quilting etc, I'm not so keen on.

my ds has just revealed (aged 12) he is doing sewing in D and T. he learnt to knit and simple sewing in primary. my mother made lots of our clothes. i learnt to sew and knit by osmosis. but have def let it fall.

lurker I hadn't made anything for years when I started out doing costumes for the school panto. Skill was definitely not required - the ability to put in a wisely placed safety pin was usually all that was needed!

I once made 6 mermaid's tails using laminate flooring underlay as stiffening - v cheap and cheerful - there was a budget of about €500 for 100 children and 20 adults...

longdistance Dublin has had a passmenterie shop for the past two years!

That is just ribbons and braid and buttons, I can browse quite happily there at lunchtime.

However we've lost a haberdashery and 2 fabric shops in the same time.

So I don't know how they are making money (particularly as they are in the most expensive shopping centre in the area.)

Does anyone realise we all sound like Tiffany Aching in The Wee Free Men when she lists her skills ("cheese making, spinning, weaving")?!

lurkerspeaks Tue 12-Feb-13 20:58:12

I can knit and embroider well. I'm currently in a knitting phase. It is quite a hidden craft though - lots of my existing friends knit but I only found out when I started to knit again. The number of shops on the highstreet isn't representative of the people doing it and the purpose has changed. I don't knit because it is cheaper (like my Grandmothers did) I knit for fun. The yarn to make a handknitted childs cardigan or jumper usually costs me around 30 quid as I don't like working with synthetic fibres.

I can also sew although my machine skills are rather rusty. I have/can make simple curtains and roman blinds. I get scared about joining widths of fabric especially if it is expensive stuff so I would outsource large curtains/ those with interlining.

Dressmaking I have to confess I've never really seen the point of but the posts above about school plays are scaring me. Maybe I should have paid more attention in Home Economics at school.

I do little repairs myself but hate hate hate taking up trousers and always take them to the sewing shop up the road. Usually about 6 months after I first bought the bloody things.

I've just agreed to remake my Grandmothers peg beg in new fabric (she is 90, and it is one you hang round your neck so is much easier for her to use). It will probably only take me a short amount of time once I dig the sewing machine (I share it with my aunt for occassional projects).

I teach all children who show interest how to sew or knit. I'm only teaching myself to crochet at the moment so I'm probably not quite ready yet to pass those skills on.

dikkertjedap Tue 12-Feb-13 20:54:08

I can knit and sew very well and crochet reasonably well.

I make our own clothes, dressing up clothes for school plays and lots of other stuff, anything really.

I have an ordinary sewing machine (which can do decorative stitching) and an overlocker.

I also do embroidery.

I really enjoy making things, and luckily enough my dd is also really keen to learn how to make things.

queenofthepirates Where do you run your courses? Am midlands based and I do want to learn to use my sewing machine and make stuff.

dawntigga Tue 12-Feb-13 20:48:49

If you're looking for courses try Alison Smith in Ashby-De-La-Zouch she's expensive but VERY good.

OtherCoursesAreAvailableIHaveNothingToDoWithHerCompanyTiggaxx

Viviennemary Tue 12-Feb-13 20:48:00

I can sew but never mastered making a garment from a pattern though I did try several times. I couldn't get on with the tissue paper as it kept tearing. It would be a nice skill to have though. I do knit and can do basic crochet. Everyone should be able to sew on a button though and take up a hem.

freddiefrog Tue 12-Feb-13 20:47:48

I thought knitting and sewing were supposed to be making a bit of a come back

My mum used to make wedding dresses when I grew up and she taught me the basics, but I have to say, I wasn't all that interested in it and probably didn't take it up as much as I should.

I can make a pretty simple child's summer dress, draw string bags, that sort of thing and replace zips, sew on buttons, use a sewing machine and an over-locker etc.

I'm making costumes for a school performance at the moment - simple tunics and wide legged trousers on an elasticated waist band and I'm whizzing through those ok. The more complicated dresses were beyond me though

I was taught to knit by my grandmother and can knit to an ok standard

CaseyShraeger Tue 12-Feb-13 20:41:12

Which Craftsy course did you do, NotMostPeople? There are a few that I keep hovering over the order button on.

andubelievedthat Tue 12-Feb-13 20:39:51

My bloke insists on sewing all his own stuff ,inc. zips .>bloody modern ?guy.

MrsHoarder Tue 12-Feb-13 19:55:39

I'm mid-twenties and can sew. Do repairs ( always carry a needle and thread) and have a few dresses and skirts I made myself. Can knit too.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now