According to this article, home sewing was a billion dollar industry at the time. This is in 50's money! I would be very interested to compare that to the profits of today's home sewing industry, wouldn't you?
The article really outlines the ways in which home sewing in 1958 was so influenced by Paris fashion:
Every calculated change in Paris means more money spent [on patterns]. So fashion-bent have sewing women become that patternmakers have all but junked the simple housedress designs that used to be their bread and butter. What more and more women want is the kind of high-fashion Vogue patterns long sold by Conde Nast. The originals would cost perhaps $600, but almost any woman can copy them for the cost of a $3 pattern and $50 worth of fine fabric (Vogue patterns even supply a Paris label).That's interesting to compare to today's Vogue designer lines. I've enjoyed some of their Anna Sui offerings, but the others (Michael Kors, Donna Karan, etc.) have been a little staid for my taste - certainly not the trend-driven machine that it seems to have been in 1958.
What really blew my mind, though, was the fact that 20% of all women's garments in 1958 were made at home. Can you imagine?
And then there was the age of the women who sewed their own clothes:
One return prize for the industry is more and more younger sewers: the average home sewer's age has dropped from 45 in 1928 to 27 now, and by 1960 millions of teenagers will be sewing. A common but fashionable wedding present for suburban brides: a sewing machine.These 27-year-old women of 1958 would be 78 today. Are they still sewing, do you think?
I tried in vain to find the average age of the home sewer today to compare to the stats of 1958. Though there has been an indisputable rise in young women sewing today, I would guess that the average person purchasing sewing supplies is of the boomer generation (the teenagers that the article predicted would be sewing in the 60's, I suppose!).
But there was such an incredible drop in average age from 1928 to 1958 - do you think it's possible we could see the same thing happen in the coming years?
One parallel I can see between the young women sewing in 1958 and young women sewing today is that is was viewed not as necessity, but as a creative outlet:
Millions of women now rank sewing as their No. 1—and often only—hobby. "There's a whole new climate," says Simplicity's [director] Shapiro. "They do it as an art form."Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on all this. From your age perspective (whatever it may be) how do you see the future of the home sewing industry?