If you’re female and reading this, do you remember taking a class in junior high where we learned how to use sewing machines? As I recall, “Clothing” was mandatory for all eighth-grade girls. I remember sewing a lot of my clothes in those days.
In 1963, American women spent a record $1 billion on sewing—including patterns, fabric, notions, and sewing machines. By 1964, the average age of the home sewer was 25 years younger than in 1940. Between 1960 and 1968, the amount of clothes sewn at home increased by 50 percent.
By the 1980s, we started buying more and more ready-made clothes, but fiber arts become an area of interest, however, and the art world begins to look at quilting as a relevant form of artistic expression.
1990s through today: A 1997 Home Sewing Association survey put the number of American women sewing at about 30 million. By 2006, that number was 35 million. Sewing is booming again, thanks in large part to the Web (especially sites like Etsy) and the DIY/eco-chic movement.
We’ve previously written posts about seamstresses in our class: Jan DeJaegher and Carla Robinson Pollard (“Fabric Artists“) and that was about the time we also heard that Susan Parker Easley (“Married for life“) was looking forward to getting home and sewing. Since then she has been quilting up a storm, and was happy to share her creations with us.
Sue writes, “Most of these quilts are from kits, so somebody else picks the fabrics, but I do have a lot of fun sewing them together. My biggest problem is remembering to take pictures of them before they leave the house… Mostly I sew for pleasure, so if you receive one of the quilts it is usually for a special occasion. My husband complains I do all that work and then I give it away, so now I am taking pictures so I remember what they look like. Most of the smaller wall hangings are on the wall in my workroom.”
Beautiful work, Sue!