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Forum > Men Who Sew > How did you start sewing? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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How did you start sewing?
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Deepika
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Deepika  Friend of PR
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Massachusetts USA
Member since 11/28/01
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Date: 4/26/10 4:58 PM

Hi All,

Upon several requests from members I've decided to add this new forum. PatternReview is lucky to have many men who sew but we'd like to see them more so this is our attempt to get to know you guys a little bit more and hopefully you will encourage other men out there who want to sew but are unsure where to start.

So to begin, tell us how you started sewing and what do you love most about it. Are you in it for the long haul?

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- Deepika
Founder, PatternReview.com
Blog: http://www.deepikablogs.com

Artyn
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Artyn
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AUSTRALIA
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Subject: It was always going to be the only career path for me... Date: 4/26/10 8:42 PM

My name is Martyn Smith (from "down under") and I've been sewing professionally for over 30 years! I remember sitting with my sister watching my mother get fitted at her dressmaker and then rummaging through the scrap fabric box Mrs Barrett had in her work area. From very early one I love the feel of fabric and was facinated by the transition of it into 3D. Coming from stitchers on both sides of the family, it seemed natural to want to learn. The first time I touched a sewing machine (I was about 12 years old) was after one of Ma's gallant attempts to sew herself and I remember picking up the dress that had just been kicked around the kitchen, studying it and the pattern and finishing it. Seemed totally natural and she was surprised! I was not encouraged to take up this hobby as it was regarded as sissy and boys just didn't sew, but as soon as I got the chance I enrolled in Clothing and Textiles at secondary school and was off! Loved it, my first garment was a shirt and then trousers and vest and I just plodded along without the teachers instruction as I seemed to know what I was doing and the rest is history! To this day I love pattern making and still need a daily sewing fix even if it is for only an hour... going away on holiday is totally stressful as I don't have my gear and my ideal break away is being on my own, creating with NO interuptions. Bliss... alas, these times are very few and far between!This past weekend I spent the whole weekend cutting and stitching... made 6 pairs of boxers, 2 shirts and 2 pair of jeans... even after 30 years it's still fun (and I still did my chores around the house).
I must admit that I am a trade qualified bespoke tailor and was a senior lecturer in pattern making and garment construction for many years. These aquired skills definately help me achieve the results I like and also I know exactly what I'm doing when cutting and stitching so it's not a task ever. I love teaching my craft and I really wish there were more men willing to acknowledge their skills and to tell their story in public. It's odd to think that 80% of the stitchers in this world are male yet in the developed world we are not proud of this as a pass time or encouraged to seek this as a career path.
-- Edited on 4/26/10 8:56 PM --

voet
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voet
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Michigan USA
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Date: 4/26/10 9:24 PM

I have many fond memories about sewing from my childhood. My mother loved to do hand needle work. While she occasionally sewed on her sewing machine, she more often did hand embroidery in the evening. My Aunt Grace made me a sport coat when I was in high school. I got to pick out the fabric and it was really a loving gift.

I always have loved the feel of fine fabric, but I never really thought about sewing myself until much later in life. I have always enjoyed designing and making things. I used to do wood working until the place I went to closed. I needed a new creative outlet, so I took up sewing.

I do line dancing and found it is almost impossible to find all cotton western shirts. Polyester blends are NOT comfortable to dance in, so 4 years ago I decided to make my own shirts. My first attempts were poorly constructed, but I had fun and decided to learn as much as I could. I joined a sewing group at one of our local fabric stores. Not only is the teacher very knowledgeable, the other people in the class are very talented sewists as well. I have learned a lot in a short time. I sew mostly menswear, but I also enjoy doing the occasional woman's garment. There is a much wider range available in women's wear. I enjoy a challenge and feel that there is always something new to learn in this field.

It was a bit intimidating for me to enter what is often considered a woman's field. However, the women I have met through sewing have been very encouraging to me. I think they may be a bit intrigued by a man who sews. Interestingly, many people have told me about their husbands, brothers, and sons who sew, but I think many men are a bit shy about openly admitting this. I hope this forum begins to change that.

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Voet

GlButterfly

GlButterfly
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California USA
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Date: 4/26/10 10:37 PM

Two great stories. Thanks, fellas. Keep 'em coming--don't be shy.

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That's Gl = for Gloria, not G. I.

Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
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In reply to Artyn


Date: 4/26/10 10:56 PM

Hi Martyn and Voet,

Thank you for your intros!

Martyn - I've enjoyed your articles in Australian Stitches!

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--
"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

Vonnevo
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Vonnevo  Friend of PR
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Australia
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Date: 4/26/10 11:13 PM

Hello Martyn and Voet
Pleased to meet you :)
I hope many more men who sew will post here too.

Martyn, I noticed in your profile that you live in Sunny Queensland
Do you offer any classes in tailoring?
As a Brissie girl, I would be delighted to be able to learn more from a bespoke tailor.

Vonne

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Vonne O Brisbane Australia
---------------------------------
Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

nancy2001
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nancy2001  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/27/10 7:14 AM

What a great thread. I think it's wonderful that men sew -- my grandfather was a tailor.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Virginia USA
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In reply to Artyn


Date: 4/27/10 9:09 AM

Quote: Artyn
It's odd to think that 80% of the stitchers in this world are male yet in the developed world we are not proud of this as a pass time or encouraged to seek this as a career path. :confused:

I live in S. Korea where there are a ton of tailor shops where one can buy custom made clothing. I've visited some of the workshops where these garments are made and it is true, most of the workers who are sewing these items are men.

The tailor shop we frequent employs a gentleman who has been making suits for 30+ years. I love watching him work, it just looks so effortless but I know it isn't! It is too bad that this art is dying off slowly, the younger generation simply isn't interested in learning any of it.

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I'm finally a blogger!
sewming.blogspot.com

sosoatsewing
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sosoatsewing
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Ohio USA
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In reply to nancy2001


Date: 4/27/10 9:56 AM

Quote: nancy2001
What a great thread. I think it's wonderful that men sew -- my grandfather was a tailor.

<<< totally agrees! I'm hoping to see the male stitchers become more active on PR with this thread.

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Brother CE-500PRW, Singer 347,Singer 413, Singer 66, Singer 404, Singer 4622, Electrogrand,
Kenmore 158.17570, Kenmore 158.10400,
Viking Huskylock 901.... and several others

A seam a day
Keeps the blues away

aquamarineerica

aquamarineerica
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Oregon USA
Member since 10/23/08
Posts: 319
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Date: 4/27/10 11:04 AM

This thread is fascinating. Thank you, Deepika, for adding it. A hobby is a hobby, and there shouldn't be any bias if you enjoy it.

Erica

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Every day is a clean slate.
"Decisions are made by those who show up"...Allison Janney, The West Wing

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