Sewing has a bit of a reputation as a skill we associate with queens who end up sewing their husband’s shirts for their rest of their lives. But sewing is something pretty much every human should know how to do, and it’s a lot easier than you might think. I’m not talking about a high level of sewing: I really don’t expect everyone to be able to draft up complicated patterns or sew a placket into a shirt, but being able to fix your zip or sew on a button does not require a tailor!
To be honest, I am not the greatest seamstress that ever lived. I learned to sew from my 4 year high school fashion design program and then begged for a sewing machine as a graduation present (Yay! I got it too). I love sewing, it is the most impressive skill I possess. It gives me time to sit in my own thoughts and concentrate on something creative for a while. Outside of it being relaxation time, think of all the minor emergencies that can be easily solved if you just have a small sewing kit on hand. If you pull your skirt hem while out to dinner, quick fix; if your heels rip your pant hem, quick fix; or if your zipper on your favorite dress breaks, quick fix!! And might I add, simply having basic sewing skills as a teenager turned into a part time business for me when I was in college, and I was no expert sewist at that time.
Hemming your own pants or skirts actually takes a lot less time than you think and is relatively easy, which means you don’t have to pay money for a tailor/seamstress to do it. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home to get them fixed, which is a very big perk. You’ll find that being a basic sewist saves you money in ways you weren’t expecting. You’re able to buy clothes that are slightly too big because you know you’re able to make them fit you. If you have the ability to take seams in and out then you’ll no longer need to throw away clothes as your body changes. It doesn’t end there: There are loads of situations in which knowing your way around a needle and thread will save you money. Zips that are broken can be replaced, lining can be re-sewn, broken bags can be fixed, and of course you can start charging your friends to fix their clothes for them as a little side hustle. 🙂
Of course, if you’re not motivated by money-saving or avoiding embarrassing situations, might I interest you in a little thing called helping the planet? Instead of throwing away your clothes, you can learn how to fix them, which sounds like a lot of effort but it actually isn’t when the world of YouTube tutorials exists. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, landfills received 10.5 million tons of textiles in 2015. You’ll find your clothes last so much longer once you learn to maintain them; fixing the lining and replacing the fastenings will mean you have to replace your clothes far less often, meaning you’ll contribute less to landfill waste and become a sustainable babe.
I understand that not everyone has the time, energy, or ability to sew their own clothes, but next time a button falls off of your favourite blazer or you need to hem your trousers, please consider getting a needle and thread and giving it a go. The worst you can do is sew a button terribly and have to get a professional to help out. The best outcome is that you save money, contribute towards saving the Earth, and you learn something new!
If you are ever in the Fort Worth, Texas area, look me up. I offer sewing classes for all ages and skill levels and I am happy to help you master the art.