Saturday, September 29, 2007

Good For You Miss Martha

On Mondays edition of "The Martha Stewart Show" Miss Martha dedicated the entire show to sewing. She even had help from our favorite fashionista Tim Gunn!! The entire audience was comprised of home sewers who either brought with them or wore, their own original creations.



I am very passionate about the subject of home decor and home fashion sewing. My grandmother and my mother were avid sewers and I learned to sew when I was 6. It is a very big part of the person that I have become and was of course instrumental in my career choice as well as the subject matter of my books.

Back in the day most families had at least one member who knew their way around a sewing machine. How many of us played with our grandmothers old Singer foot pedal sewing machine? This is certainly not the case today. We now live in a country where school districts have all but eliminated home economics and art instruction. Most young people are two generations removed from anyone in their immediate circle who possessed sewing skills. They do not have mentors at home or at school to expose them to the joy of sewing or to teach them basic skills.

This has lead to a critical shortage of skilled seamstresses working in soft treatment workrooms. Labor is outsourced to other countries or as is the case on the west coast, done primarily by illegal immigrants from Mexico. I am leaving on Wednesday to attend the Custom Home Furnishing's Conference in Philadelphia and I know that the shortage of skilled workers will be a topic of much conversation and debate.

I was very pleased to see Martha Stewart addressing these issues and encouraging her audience to take up sewing and expand their sewing skills. I hope she continues on this path. I think it is very important for all of us to encourage our schools to bring back home economics and art instruction.

Thanks Martha!

( By the way- check out that photo - the girl is looking good! You have to go to her my space page. She shows old photos of her modeling days . Who knew she was such a babe? )

9 comments:

Linda Merrill said...

Hoorah for sewing! Great post. It is true, so few people sew and finding a good seamstress is getting harder to do. I too learned to sew as a child and as a result was always able to decorate my apartments and wear clothes that were much more expensive looking than my income allowed for. And now, it means I'm better able to judge the skills of others. I'm always amazed that even some decorators don't know even basic sewing skills.

Fairfax said...

Check Monogram Mama's blog. She and some friends were in the audience that day.

Fairfax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie Von Tobel said...

Linda,
I think basic sewing should be a requirement in design school. As you said how can you judge good work if you have no concept of how it should be done? Many designers graduate from school never having worked with a full length of fabric - only tiny swatches for color board!

Jackie Von Tobel said...

Fairfax,
I checked out Monogram Mama's blog - sounds like they had a fantastic time! Wish I had been along for the ride.

Brilliant Asylum said...

Even though I really don't enjoy sewing, I love knowing how. I have my quilting grandmother to thank for that. I made all of my own bedding and pillows for years until my ancient Singer finally gave out.

Great post--and yes, Martha was a babe!

Teresa said...

You just brought back so many memories of that foot pedal sewing machine I learned to sew on too. Man, I remember feeling so grown up getting to use that.

Wonderful, thoughtful post!

Teresa

girl meets glamour said...

I couldn't agree more, my mother is a sewing goddess and somehow I can't even sew a button back on my blouse. I think I need help from Martha!

~Kate

The Promoted Princess said...

Jackie,
I am the proud owner of my grandmothers old foot pedal Singer sewing machine. My father remembers when the machine was brought to their home by wagon and mule. I still sew simple things on it, such as my sofa pillows. No zigzag on this machine, haha!