9 Reasons to Learn How to Sew


when did YOU learn how to sew?

I find that my typical customer learned to sew at a very young age, either in school, or in a home situation either by their Mom or another family member. But you know as well as I do that sometime in the 80’s the school policy makers in this country decided to remove home economics classes (aka… Family & Consumer Science) from the public school system. And sadly, except for the relatively small number of parents, grandparents or other family members who have intervened, the result is that we now have a couple of generations of kids who are unable to thread a needle, sew on buttons, or mend a tear and I for one think this is so sad on SO many levels!

But here’s the deal… learning how to sew has WAY more benefits than just mending a hole or putting a button back on a shirt! My hope is that maybe this list below will either inspire you to learn this skill or to teach this skill to someone you love! Either way, I give you….

smilingpincushionNine Reasons to Learn How to Sew

1- Sewing is cool (again)! It wasn’t long ago that handsewn items were mentioned in the same sentence with “homespun”, “plain-Jane” and “unsophisticated”. But with the popularity of TV shows like Project Runway, Fashion Star and more recently Threads, sewing is now thought of more in terms such as “stylish”, “innovative” & “fashion-forward”.

2- Sewing promotes self-esteem and a sense of independence.  Think about it. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re mending store-bought clothes, or constructing totally new items, it’s a terrific feeling to be able to say that you can do it yourself!

3- It can save you money. Whether you find yourself needing to replace a button, or repair a rip, all you need is a good pair of scissors, a strong spool of thread and a trusty machine to become your own hero.

4- You’ll never meet your reflection on the street. This might be more of a concern for ladies then men, but most people cringe at the thought of coming face to face with the same barbie pink dress on another passerbyer. If you know how to sew, you can create the look you want in the size you want, when you want it.

5- To express individuality. It’s easy to get caught up in brands and what’s hot right now isn’t it, especially when you’re young and trying to fit in.  But creating your own clothing means that you’re not limited by what fashion buyers think you should be wearing this season. Instead,  you can add your own individual twist to what you wear while still staying “on trend”.

6- To create unique one-of-a-kind gifts. Is there a better way to show someone how much you care for them than by giving them a gift you created with them in mind? And who doesn’t love receiving a gift was made just for them? And you know what? Making gifts can also be more cost effective… win and double win!

7- You’ll never look at shopping the same way again! What if I told you that you could have fun shopping without even thinking about spending money? Because here’s the deal…visiting the mall can be more about finding inspiration than opening your wallet. If a particular fabric, color combination or trim you catches your eye, you’ll soon be looking for a way to incorporate it in your wardrobe! (Your friends will be SO impressed!)

8- To teach respect for effort. Learning to sew is a fabulous way to understand that someone, somewhere is working hard to produce the clothing items we shop for everyday, and that effort needs to be respected and compensated.

9- It could present a new career opportunity (like it did for me).  Some of the best things I’ve ever done creatively have involved sewing! I love the challenges it presents and I especially love the people I’ve met along the way.

So there you have it!

And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

When did YOU learn how to sew? and do you agree with these reasons for learning how to sew? Oh, and if you can think of one or two we might have left out, please share them and any other comments or questions you might have in the space provided below.

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7 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I started sewing doll clothes by hand when I was five. My first efforts were pretty bad, but I loved it. I sewed on my grandmother’s treadle machine, a Damascus Grand when I was in 4th grade. My mom showed me how to make a jumper. Then I took clothing in 4-H and Home Ec. in high school and college. I also took a pattern making class in college. I’ve loved all kinds of sewing and needlework ever since I can remember.

  2. I also learned at a very early age by sewing doll clothes by hand. By the time I was in 6th grade I was making my own clothes all done on the White treadle sewing machine. When I got into High School mom finally let me use here electric Singer. Nearly 50 years later I do not sew clothes anymore but I do make quilts. (I wish I had that treadle machine today).

  3. My grandmother taught me on her old, small Singer Featherweight machine,which I still have. I think I was about 8. She used that very basic machine & made herself outfits that looked every bit as good as what she could buy when she went to Marshall Fields in Chicago.

  4. I learnt to sew as a child, with my Mum teaching me. Started when I was 8 with learning to hand sew things like buttons, etc. Later I did dressmaking at high school, but always thought that I could do better if left to my imagination. I sewed a lot of my more formal outfits during the 80s because I wanted things a bit different to what everyone else was wearing. Mum also taught me to knit and crochet as well. Now she comes to me if she needs anything sewn or repaired. I now quilt and make bags more than garment sewing. I’m also teaching my 11 year old daughter to sew, so that she can create things for herself.

  5. I started sewing at age 6. My dolly’s sleeper had several splitting seams so mom gave me a needle and thread and showed me how to stitch up the holes. However, she neglected to tell me thatI had to knot and cut the thread after each hole repair. I ended up with a web of threads criss crossing the inside of the garment and couldn’t get it back on my doll! Cried over that attempt but eventually got better!

  6. Like a lot of your responses, I learned to sew by making doll clothes – Barbie to be specific – I designed my own and either sewed by hand or on Noni’s (my grandmother) treadle (which was her mother’s when my great grandmother and my grandmother came from Italy to join my great grandfather in California- I think it was used when great grandmother got it)
    Noni taught me to crochet, embroider and sew simple things, a little knitting too. I taught myself the rest and was wearing a suit when I was allowed to take sewing in 8th grade.

  7. Home Ec class was where I learned. We had a White Rotary at home but mom rarely used it. I was so thrilled on having something different. And I could make something a lot nicer than we could afford to buy.