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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Men in Fabric Stores? ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Men in Fabric Stores?
Have you seen men in Fabric stores? Were they quiet, flamboyant, inquisitive?
Member since 12/16/10
Posts: 12
Date: 1/12/11 9:52 PM

I thought I 'd start this Thread for fun. (and.. this is my First Post! :)

While in Jo Ann's yesterday I notice a rather good looking mature gentlemen asking questions of the clerk about zippers.

I have to admit this was a first for me. I've NEVER seen a guy in a fabric store who was doing the shopping. At first I thought the clerk was his wife and that they were seriously considering zipper details.

We ended up at the cutting table at the same time and I looked straight at him and said "Okay.. I HAVE to ask.. what are you making?" He told me (and showed me the pattern) it was a Snow White costume for his adult daughter. Cute.

I guess he was worried about being mistaken about his 'orientation' so he kept talking. The great part that I was unaware of: He was a parachute jumper and he told me that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) required them to be certified in sewing in some way; BECAUSE of all the rigging and making of their own parachutes. Cool.

Member since 8/9/10
Posts: 359
Date: 1/12/11 9:59 PM

I freak them out when they see me walk in.
I know they are thinking, this guy is a force to be reckoned with,
so cut his fabric accurately.

just Carl

Singer 99
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Member since 4/1/07
Posts: 936
Date: 1/12/11 10:39 PM

I saw a man in a fabric store. We see men and women every time. Maybe it is different Elsewhere?

Fabric Purchased in 2011: 37 yards
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Julia C
Julia C  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Member since 7/1/07
Posts: 1090
Date: 1/12/11 10:43 PM

I think it depends upon the store. I don't usually see men in a quilt store or in Joanne's during my infrequent visits. However, I see men all the time at Mill End Fabrics with/without a wife. A lot of men who do upholstery for cars & boats also shop there.

Bert62  Friend of PR
Member since 12/3/09
Posts: 982
Date: 1/12/11 11:28 PM

I saw some men (together in a group) at Hancock's. To me they seemed like ****, but then what must I seem like to others? To me it's weird and/or unexpected to see men in fabric shops (not attached to wives). Yet, it must be just as strange for others to see me there! Personally, I like how the women fuss over me. "Oh, do YOU sew?" I like explaining that my wife taught me and then I usually explain my current project. I'm sure I come off as super-***, especially to some of the super-straight men I know, but I've always been an odd duck, "eccentric." Bert

Member since 12/16/10
Posts: 12
Date: 1/13/11 0:28 AM

Well, the funny thing for me is... I didn't realize I was a bit 'gender biased'!
Since I've gotten back into sewing, and moved back to my smallish hometown, I've discovered the local JoAnn's has a MALE manager, or at least a male employee.
I'm not sure if I'm REALLY gender biased, but his LOUD 'greetings' to each and every person entering the store gets on my nerves after a while.
He's so loud it's actually embarrassing to go in there! (That part I'm okay being crabby about because it's a fair assessment.)
BUT... I find I'm also annoyed at the fact there is a man, seemingly taking over a woman's domain! Something like girls in the boy scouts. You know... guys have their 'clubs' and women just aren't welcome. It just seemed unfair, but I think the truth is:
IF he were somewhat dignified?? it probably wouldn't bother me. LOL Does this make sense? :):)

EDIT: I also know one thing: ANY garden I've EVER seen that I was madly in love with - Made by a Man! :):)
I guess I just need to see some finished 'male' sewing projects so I'll be properly impressed!
-- Edited on 1/13/11 0:32 AM --

craftinginmycave2  Friend of PR
Member since 11/23/09
Posts: 420
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Going to PR Weekend Austin!
In reply to Lonestardiva

Date: 1/13/11 1:09 AM

Is there any particular reason that you would need to see some finished products of male sewists to be "properly impressed?" Is there a level of acceptance that men must meet that women don't have to? I'm sorry for the beginner male sewist who would feel he has to bring his early sewing efforts to be determined if he's accepted to sew. What a way to turn someone off to a wonderful art/hobby/craft/profession.

I was in a local quilt shop (Quiltology) last spring when two men walked in with a beautiful hand-quilted blanket. The man who quilted it had been hand-quilting for more than 20 years. He also showed me a quilt with blocks from his quilt group...all men. The work was magnificent. But even before I saw his work and was impressed, he was pointing out lovely fabrics and told me about the history of some of the fabrics on his quilts. But should it be required that he had to show his knowledge before being an "approved" quilter?

I took up woodworking years ago and the guys didn't blink an eye. They were open to anyone...male or female...who wanted to learn to turn bowls, make humidors, jewelry chests or anything. And the best way the shop guys taught me how to cut inlay work was to tell me it was like piece quilting. I didn't ask how he knew it was like quilting...because, frankly, I didn't quilt back then. But I had done woodworking and metalsmithing.

I just don't understand why it's unusual or why women get "annoyed" when men are in fabric stores. There doesn't seem to be the same comments on the cooking boards when a man enters Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table for cookware...and the kitchen is traditionally a woman's domain.

Wouldn't "girls in the boy scouts" be girls infiltrating the boys' domain, not boys taking over a woman's domain?

And if you ever feel like a good laugh, read The Panopticon blog. Franklin is a knitter who is a man and has a wicked sense of humor.



Rainspa  Friend of PR
Member since 1/1/07
Posts: 168
Date: 1/13/11 1:42 AM

I've seen men in fabric stores that are obviously shopping for themselves/their own projects.
A few men with wives, that are less than happy.
One time a man that was with his wife, not happy, and was determined that the whole store know about it. Very uncomfortable. One nod from that woman and a whole lot of cell phones would have been whipped out and calling a woman's shelter before he made it to the parking lot.
Mostly, I shop for fabric in LA's fabric district where there are a lot of men in the shops, and a fair number shopping. It is rare that there is a man that is very flamboyant and attention seeking, and when it happens, usually everybody just looks at them like they're idiots or tourists, or both. You've got to be pretty weird and pretty loud to get much attention in downtown LA.

I'm going to Costume College!

Member since 12/16/10
Posts: 12
In reply to craftinginmycave2

Date: 1/13/11 1:54 AM

I'm sorry you took my feigned prejudicial statements with all seriousness. I was just having a little tongue in cheek moment. (See the smiley face?)

Girls/Boys, Men/Women... I.E. MALE/FEMALE.

My 'annoyance' was only in regard to the loud mouthed embarrassing store employee, NOT for any man who wishes to sew. I think it's a Wonderful idea; just not one that had ever even occurred to ME, until yesterday. (Guess I've been too busy with the rest of my life. :)

I LOVE IT.. I think it's GREAT.. YAY male seamstres?? um.. tailors!!

Choco Pie
Choco Pie
Advanced Beginner
Member since 10/4/10
Posts: 80
Date: 1/13/11 1:55 AM

What's wrong with flamboyant??!

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