We are quite a crafty bunch at SJB, and we’re rather excited to discover that our friends in America have a National Sewing Month every year. Apparently, it has been going since 1982, celebrated in September but obviously a craft enjoyed by enthusiasts all year long.
Their theme for 2020 recognises those who have moved away from ‘fast fashion’ to create their own clothes. At SJB, we aren’t all queuing up to be the next contestants on Sewing Bee (although the thought of spending time with Patrick Grant is certainly appealing), even if we do know our bobbins from our presser foot. But making clothes? Our skills are certainly not that good. A sundress for a little girl, maybe, but an adult sized shift dress with darting and pleats brings us out in a cold sweat just thinking about it!
We don’t know about you, but apart from a year of needlework classes at ‘big school’, our sewing skills and resulting finished items come courtesy of YouTube videos and happy accidents. By happy accidents, we mean those mistakes we make when cutting out that ensure we always have a crafting stash of fabric odds and ends.
Once you learn to sew, you begin to look at fabric and haberdashery with very different eyes. Spare buttons get put into boxes or tubs and those annoying hooks in the shoulders of clothes become really useful ribbon that needs to be snipped out and saved. Old jeans become dog bandanas and old curtains become bunting. Things get tucked away ‘just in case’ – nothing can be thrown out because you tell yourself ‘I can make something out of that’.
So, we should join our American friends and also celebrate National Sewing Month. Yes, bigger projects can be tricky, but we are all capable of gently holding a piece of fabric as it slides through a sewing machine on it’s journey to become a table runner, baby quilt or napkin.
Go on – dust off that sewing machine in the cupboard under the stairs. Borrow Mum’s machine if you don’t have one. Have a go. You might not be the next Alexander McQueen or a winner of The Great British Bee, but your own bunting gently blowing in the breeze in the garden at your next BBQ will be a work of art.