A few months ago I was asked why one would learn to sew and it kept me thinking. I did write a short blog post on what sewing means to me but I think it is good to talk about why everyone else should learn to sew.
Sewing is very divers: sewing by hand, home decor sewing, sewing for children or grandchildren, fashion/garment sewing, quilting crafts, up-cycling and so on. All that is saying that sewing is a useful skill.
Many reasons people come to a standstill when it comes to sewing. Mastering winding a bobbin or threading a machine can be daunting. Inserting a zipper or making a buttonhole can be scary. What do you do if the needle breaks or the bobbin runs out of thread? The small things can be so overwhelming that they might never begin this wonderful skill.
The rewards of learning to sew outweigh the unfounded fears that cause people to shy away.
Here are a just a few reasons why I think everyone should learn to sew.
1. Home Decor
Around the house, sewing can be a real door opener. With a basic sewing machine you can take a simple home and turn it into something magazine worthy. And it doesn’t take a lot of skill or time either. If you can cut fabric and sew a straight line then you can make pillows and curtains for every room in your house.
With a bit more practice you can recover dining room chairs or make some custom kitchen towels. The local choices in fabric stores are amazing.
Holiday decorating becomes super easy and unique with limited sewing skills. If you can sew a straight line you can whip up a seasonal table runner and some kitchen towels. In no time at all you’ve got a new look.
2. It's Green
If you’re concerned about the environment then sewing should definitely be your thing. Sewing allows you to repurpose almost anything made from fabric. If you live somewhere with Thrift stores and yard sales then these will net you the best selection of fabrics waiting to be transformed.
Check out some of the amazing work of a fellow market vendor and sewing enthusiast:
Up-cycled curtains become throw pillows for a bed. A men’s dress shirt becomes a little girl’s dress. Add a piece of fabric to some repurposed curtains to personalize them for your home. Turn an old sweater into a beautiful throw pillow.
I came across the handmade pouf which uses scrap fabrics to make and smaller pieces of fabric to fill. This is definitely on my list – how about yours?
Instead of Thrift Stores, you could also find upper sized garments in the sale section of your favourite store and turn it into your favourite garment.
With minimal sewing skills anything can be cut apart and turned into something unique.
3. Save some Cash
Knowing how to sew allows you to save some money and make simple repairs to garments instead of taking them to the tailor or worse throwing them. Shorten your own skirts and trousers, hem your own jeans, sew on a missing button or repair an open seam. All of these will extend a garments life and save you a little money.
With left over fabrics, you can make great baby & kids gifts. With the holiday season upon us, think about all the gifts you can make: aprons, bags, pillowcases and quilts make beautiful handmade gifts.
4. Stop Fast Fashion
Have you ever wondered how much time goes into the garment your purchase and wear? Did you ever question if the money you pay is enough or how much of it goes to the seamstress or tailor? These are all question everyone should start asking themselves because the answers are absolutely shocking. Here are some statistics I had shared in the past:
How many new clothes are bought in average per year in Germany? 60 pieces! And that is only one country.
How many litres of water are needed to produce a cotton t-shirt? 15,000 Litres for the whole process!
How many clothes are made of plastic? 80%!
How many kilometres has a t-shirt travelled till it reaches us? 20,000km
How much earns a seamstress for a t-shirt that costs EUR 25? 18CENTS!
Hearing those numbers made me sad but also proud that I no longer contribute to this industry because I know how to sew and make all my own clothes. Now I have to start asking: who makes my fabric?
5. Sense of Accomplishment