Fashion; Home Sewing?

measure-166883_1280Home sewing has a cyclical identity that over the years has navigated in & out of fashion. I’m not talking the merits of being a home sewists and the renascence in sewing popularity during the last 5 years. The viewpoint I want to make is that home sewing is fashion itself, but is only recognised as fashion in certain points of history. Today is one of them.

Let’s start by defining fashion. My favourite definition is from Andrew Reilly.

“Fashion is an intangible force that is manifested in tangible products that represents newness relative to prior fashion products that are adopted by a group of people, and are reflections of society and culture.”

In the media, we normally hear the word fashion often been related to clothing, however fashion can be seen as a social process whereby ‘an item’ is adopted by many people. The concept can be easily applied as a behaviour or way of thinking. Isn’t what the home sewing community is? A collective of similar minded group of consumers. The evolution of the offerings and what is made available to us. The home sewing and fashion market behaves exactly the same. We are a force steering our desires while still influenced by the world around us.

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  • Very interesting! I’ve been asking myself the same kind of question lately. Being enrolled at the moment in fashion design school, it’s amazing to see that the designers giving the classes are not aware of the existence of our community and sometimes even see it as irrelevant and dorky. But I totally agree with you and view home sewing as a kind of fashion. Let’s start a movement to be recognised! 😉

  • very interesting. its often the term hobby (so you sew as a hobby?) I find rather irritating as I think the word has almost become akin to dabbling (perhaps I think too much on it). Ia friend of mine believes that surfers had the best attitude as they understand the importance of doing what you love and never short changing yourself on your pursuit – he told me this once when I was deliberating over purchasing a piece of equipment, and he said if you really enjoy doing something, then you should invest in it appropriately (whether financial or time etc). as regards a movement – personally i think sewing is a movement now more than ever thanks to the internet…………

  • Debbie

    Really interesting post and I agree completely. I actually think it’s a really cool fashion as its almost like a secret amongst those who do sew their own clothes and write/follow blogs. There are definite fashions that arise from the sewing community and the patterns that are used and are in favour. I have a few friends who sew clothes and they will recognise a pattern I have used instantly whereas most people don’t even know I’ve made the item I’m wearing. It could be likened to spotting a designer item of clothing on someone. We sewists for example would spot a belladone or a simplicity 2444 or an elisalex instantly.

  • Rosario Barrera

    I agree with you totally. My grandfather game me my first sewing machine when I was 7. And my mother sewed most of my clothes. I took up that job at 11. I studied clothing design, so yes, I sometimes find it irritating that home sewing is considered a “hobby” or irrelevant. I’m also annoyed by the fact that many of today’s young designers don’t know how to sew!

  • PsychicKathleen

    I was struck too when I read that designer students don’t consider the home sewer as a group worthy of consideration. I guess we aren’t glamorous (to the young designer who has dreams of being famous designing some “collection” for a runway. I think there should be exciting runway events for newly released patterns and materials. The home sewers movement would attend and watch it televised in droves that would probably send shock waves through the fashion designer world and it would be fabulous fun for us home sewers!