When I wrote fairly recently about avoiding commercialism I hinted that sewing would be extremely helpful in this regard and I got one or two comments/emails that sewing your own clothing or housewares was a bit extreme. I was REALLY surprised buy this because in my opinion sewing is a hugely valuable skill and an important one to pass on to your kids. Sewing is extreme? Sewing was something that most people in days past had to know how to do if they wanted clothing or home decor. When did it lose its status as a valuable skill for the self sufficient to something only extremists do? As far as I am concerned it is still an important skill.
I remember watching my mother and grandmother sew and I became interested in it myself when I was a preteen. I was making my own dresses by the time I was a teen and when I was an adult I started a business that required daily sewing. Happily I have two kids already interested. My seven year old son wants his own machine even, so I am giving him lessons on mine so he can learn.
Even if you aren’t sewing clothes there are so many other things you can sew and really it isn’t that hard to learn. Just recently I finally got a chance to read a book written by a fellow blogger Amy Carol at Angry Chicken. She wrote Bend the Rules Sewing and it is a guide for beginners who want to learn how to sew. The opening chapters discuss the terminology and language of a seamstress…fabric grain, a miter, notions, selvage, and one of my fave terms…stitching in the ditch. It also covers the tools with descriptions and pictures, a seam ripper, chalk, thimbles, thread, irons, bias tape, etc.
After it covers all those basics it has several patterns and instructions for making 30 cute projects. Some of the projects include a wallet, a headband, a handbag, aprons, easy lap quilts, pillows, coasters, place mats, napkins, curtains, and children’s items. All of them have step by step instructions and pictures. I am so inspired after reading this book. I think I am going to sew up a scalloped baby blanket for a new baby in our extended family.
The subtitle on the book says it all: Fresh patterns, 30 cute designs, great for beginners, learn the basics, have FUN, sew with abandon, its easy!