Last week I attended some of the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI. I had a wonderful couple days in workshops before a foot fracture prompted my early exit.
But what I'd like to ponder for a moment is, the standoff in the home sewing world these days. On the one hand, we have the grey ladies of sewing. We know them by their unstyled hair, sensible shoes, and machine-embroidered sweatshirt ("Meow," it says, right under the cat's head). As they trudge away from the sewing show, laden down with enough fabric, patterns, and sewing supplies to warrant a sherpa, I can't help wondering where all those nice things will disappear. Not into well-made, well-fitting garments for themselves, I'm pretty sure.
Contrast this against the smaller-in-number-but-loud-n-proud, D.I.Y. fashionistas. They may or may not have had a grey lady in their lives to inspire and teach them, but they gravitate toward tutorials and products that proclaim, "This ain't your grandma's sewing! [quilting][knitting][embroidery][whatever]." They may "have the patience" to learn to sew from a printed pattern, but often, not. The tattoo budget has been tapped out, leaving no funds for good fashion fabric, it seems. They sometimes lack basic skills, such as turning a hem. Learning these things would inhibit creativity, they protest.
I'm not always inclined to find a middle ground. I like to commit to a side. But in this case, I really think there's so much to be gained from each woman learning from each other. I'd like to see more grey ladies taking care of themselves and sewing things they feel great wearing. I'd like to see more fashionistas taking their craft more seriously by devoting more time to learning its basics, and forgoing the fabric from the $1.99 table. I think we can all help each other, if we can only get past our judgments. I would love to know what that feels like. As a first step, I'm not even going to post any pictures.