Today’s podcast features a very fun & special guest, Leila from the blog The Three Dresses Project.
Leila was so excited to be on the show she was aflame. And Mari was a burning ball of fiery enthusiasm to have Leila as a guest star. Much giggling occurred during this chat about what we call ourselves as people who like to sew.
This podcast is also available on PodOmatic.
- It seems the most well known term among people sew & those who don’t is ‘sewer’. But when written out it looks like the ‘sewer’, as in those subterranean pipes that carry all manner of sludge & ickiness.
- Because of that people- bloggers especially- started calling themselves ‘sewists’, but when seen as a cross between ‘sewer’ & ‘artist’ some people (Mari) think it’s pretentious.
- ‘Hobbyist’ can also rub people the wrong way if people use it demeaningly, as a way to say you’re not serious about your craft.
- The worst term might be ‘Becky Home-ecky.’ How are we to be taken seriously about handmaking our clothes when Tim Gunn is freely using this term on Project Runway?
- ‘Dressmaker’ & ‘Seamstress’ seem less controversial but also imply that someone is making clothing for other people for a living. The word ‘dressmaker’ suggests someone who makes fancier & less practical things like fine dresses. ‘Seamstress’ implies someone who does more utility sewing- as in everyday clothing & mending.
- ‘Tailors’ are the male counterparts to ‘dressmakers’ & ‘seamstresses.’ Can a woman be a tailor? It seems nowadays there’s more cross-over when it comes to tailoring & gender roles.
- Can calling yourself a ‘couture sewist’ be snooty or does it just describe the kind of sewing you do?
- In the fashion industry the people who sew clothing are called ‘stitchers,’ a more gender neutral word. But, the industry delineates what each person does more specifically for the purposes of clarity. At home we do everything: we’re pattern makers, drapers, cutters, etc. Is calling yourself a ‘stitcher’ implying you only sew?
- Historically we haven’t heard of anyone using special terms to label themselves as someone who sewed unless they were sewing for a living. Sewing was something you had to do because you were alive- it helped shelter your body from the weather.
- Sewing was an everyday thing & an expectation. Brides were given a basket with basic sewing supplies to mend and make the clothes they had last longer.
- As bloggers we’re taking on more roles as we branch out into business. What do we call ourselves when we’ve got a professional business, but didn’t go to fashion school or have an apprenticeship? What about when we only sew for ourselves & don’t do custom projects for clients, but own things like pattern companies or teach sewing classes?
- For further thoughts on this topic, see this Sewaholic post.
Recent sewing bloggers turned home sewing pattern makers include Steph from 3HoursPast & Cake Patterns, Melissa from Fehr Trade, Amy from Cloth Habit, Maddie from Madalynne & Tilly from Tilly & the Buttons.
To celebrate all these emerging indie pattern designers Leila & I are having a giveaway of Steph’s patterns from Cake Patterns. Now, Leila works for Steph & Steph graciously offered to donate these patterns to the giveaway for free. But we’re the ones who will be sending you the patterns. Leila & I aren’t doing this as agents of Cake Patterns. We’re doing it because we just recorded a podcast & because we love indie pattern companies.
So, comment here to win a copy of the Pavlova pattern– we’ll ship it to you once it’s been released. Hop on over to Leila’s blog & comment to win a copy of the Tiramisu pattern. The giveaway is open until February 27th. International entries welcome. Here’s how to win:
- Leave me a comment saying what you call yourself as someone who sews. Please specify that you want to win & leave a way to contact you.
- Get an extra entry for mentioning in the same post that you have subscribed to my blog.