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The Handmade movement
Making your own cloothes
WantToSewAgain
WantToSewAgain
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Date: 8/1/12 1:09 PM

I just recently got back into sewing. And, it looks like I'm not the only one...The Handmade movement

nancy2001
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Date: 8/1/12 2:52 PM

Thanks for posting the article -- it's interesting to see how the mainstream press covers sewing these days.

My hunch is the author has read the recently published book "Overdressed" that we've discussed here on PR because the gist of the article (cheap, mass produced clothing harms the environment) is exactly the same as the book.

The article promotes operating a sewing machine while drinking wine. While a few people imbibe when they sew, it's important to point out that drinking while you operate an electric sewing machine (or any power tool) can lead to a painful injury, not to mention a fatally bungled project.

Also how did the Bernina dealer come up with obviously untrue statement that the only items that are cheaper to sew than buy are tee shirts and jeans? The fact that this quote made it into this article tells me the author has never sewn anything in her life.

And what's with limiting the resurgence of sewing to "particularly among women in their 20s to 40s?" On Pattern Review and Artisan's Sqaure, the number of women who've taken up or returned to garment sewing in their 50s and 60s is at least as large as the number of younger women.

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

Courtney Ostaff
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Date: 8/1/12 7:55 PM

I just read that article today! A friend recommended that on Facebook. I think it's kinda funny that she named it a "handmade" movement, because my grandmother would have keeled over laughing describing anything made with a sewing machine (especially our fancy new machines!) as handmade. I grew up with my mother sewing on an old Singer treadle machine because we didn't have regular electricity!!



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Date: 8/1/12 9:05 PM

The tone of the article was a turn off. I sew because I like to, and because I can't afford to dress in $1500 outfits. I don't look at it as a status symbol, and by making it that way (according to the article from what I read) I can see why so many feel as if the sewing groups are not particularly welcoming and full of politics which make them less fun for many.

I get the sustainability of it, but it's not my focus. Beautiful clothing is, regardless of the rest of it.

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Date: 8/1/12 10:09 PM

Yikes! I'm not really "movement" material, so can I just keep going on the way I've been?

You guys can git on ahead and start "moving" without me -- maybe I'll catch up with yiz all later.



j.

dove29

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Date: 8/2/12 2:18 AM

What can I say - I'm just on a whole different wavelength from these people. It's not about wearing something homemade, for me. It's more about wearing some clothes that I like, maybe even with some sort of style, and not having my shirt front pulling open or my bra straps hanging out. And not waiting till I'm thin to dress well. And having skirts long enough.
I don't see how anyone can say that jeans and t-shirts are cheaper to make. Jeans are fairly complicated. There's labor involved here! Not to mention that jeans and t-shirts are some of the few things I can just go out and buy off the rack! (OK, so the t-shirts run to LL Bean and Kohl's and stuff with sports logos, and the jeans might look like they came from Farm & Fleet - but what the hey.) And even at the thrift store it is pretty easy to find the size on jeans & possibly get away with buying something I couldn't try on...
Still, a trend like this does help keep fabric stores going, I guess.
-- Edited on 8/2/12 2:22 AM --

Kayabunga
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Date: 8/2/12 8:21 AM

I loved the article and the fact that people are writing and talking about sewing is so totally FAB! Ultimately, I don't think sewing is "less expensive" than buying reasonable quality RTW. Of course we can save gobs of $$$ when we sew high end. Generally speaking, when comparing a sewn garment to a RTW garment, the one we've sewn will most likely seem cheaper BUT we as sewers buy A LOT OF STUFF! If we add up all we spend and divide by garments made ... I'm not sure we can claim we are saving money (that said, certain family members are encouraged to maintain the illusion that we are at all times). At least that's the truth for me. If I only bought enough fabric/patterns/thread etc to make a particular garment it would indeed come out much less expensive ... and how many machines does one person actually "need" to make a garment? I can't even buy just the yardage the pattern recommends without adding a little extra, just in case and don't make me tell you how many machines I have. Red faced I would have to confess that I could probably sew with abandon for the next 5+ years just from my stash (yikes, probably closer to 10 years).I sew because I love my sewing gear and making garments that actually fit and reflect my tastes so no regrets for this girl no matter how much it actually costs. In regards to the tone of the article some of you have taken objection to, please know it's nothing more than a type of a local colonialism than any political comment. Portland is very much into recycling/repurposing in just a global way and the article was written in the lingo of the region. I moved from Portland to IL about 6 years ago and it took me a while to get the gist of the lingo here ...

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In reply to Kayabunga <<


Date: 8/2/12 9:41 AM

Quote: Kayabunga
Generally speaking, when comparing a sewn garment to a RTW garment, the one we've sewn will most likely seem cheaper BUT we as sewers buy A LOT OF STUFF! If we add up all we spend and divide by garments made ... I'm not sure we can claim we are saving money

This is a point I have definitely had to acknowledge to myself. Also the time value of the money invested in my stash (of course, with my savings account paying 0.55% interest, that is negligible at this point!).

I think there are very few things that are actually cheaper to sew than to buy, and jeans and t-shirts definitely are not it! Formal dresses and silk blouses come to mind, maybe a few other things made with natural fibers. The intangibles of fit and personal preference in color/print/trim do add value to the sewn garments, not to mention the enjoyment of sewing them. But I don't sew to save money, and I don't know anyone else who does, either.

------
http://theslapdashsewist.blogspot.com
=================
2007: purchased 115+, sewed 105+
So close to parity, yet so far

Trying again in 2008
Yards purchased: 133
Yards sewn: Somewhere around 95

2009? I give up

mkhpaintsew
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Date: 8/2/12 11:21 AM

I sew because I enjoy it. If I figured in the cost of my machines to the cost of each garment I sew... well that knit top is mighty expensive. :)

CM_Sews
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In reply to nicegirl <<
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Date: 8/2/12 11:47 AM

Quote: nicegirl
[...]


I think there are very few things that are actually cheaper to sew than to buy, and jeans and t-shirts definitely are not it! Formal dresses and silk blouses come to mind, maybe a few other things made with natural fibers. The intangibles of fit and personal preference in color/print/trim do add value to the sewn garments, not to mention the enjoyment of sewing them. But I don't sew to save money, and I don't know anyone else who does, either.

Fit and personal preference in terms of color/print/trim -- indeed!!!

I sew because I love to do it, but also because I can get the exact garments that I want, with the features that I want. Recently I sewed several night gowns, which doesn't sound very exciting. But, they had exactly the features I wanted, such as sleeves to fend off chills on my shoulders. And they fit exactly the way I wanted, and they are made out of the fabrics I prefer. And they have POCKETS! Why? Because I wanted pockets. I sewed these to replace the last batch of "perfect nightgowns" I sewed because I've worn the older ones literally to shreds.

In the past, I have attempted to purchase garments that satisfy my exacting personal preferences. If you count the cost of my time in driving from shopping mall to shopping mall, and searching multiple clothing stores, trying things on (and trying things on, and trying things on) then it IS cheaper to sew to get the exact garment that I want. My experience is that hours and hours of shopping will give me a very few garments that fit OK, that are an acceptable color and fabric. Not a preferred color and fabric, merely acceptable. Finding something that fits merely OK takes a lot of time.

I am becoming less and less satisfied with "OK".

Sometimes I'm tempted to buy certain garments online (certain styles of women's T-shirts, for example), but I'm sure the fit is just as wonky as the garments I try on in the stores, and then I'd have to ship the stuff back -- even more of my time wasted.

I'd rather spend those hours sewing, which gives me garments that I actually enjoy wearing.

CMC
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