Friday, October 2, 2009

Do You Know Any Men Who Sew?

Let me rephrase that: do you know any men who sew as a hobby?

The only men I know who sew are enrolled in design school, and they intend to become professional designers or patternmakers. They don't do it just for the pleasure of it, and they certainly expect to move on to more glamorous parts of the industry once they've paid their dues. This strikes me as a curious thing.
It's like cooking: women have done the brunt of it for the history of time, but people who become rich and famous for their cooking skills are usually men. Likewise, women have done the majority of garment work in the U.S., but famous designers in this country have typically been male (and white). Luckily, the field has gradually opened up more to women - and at a slower rate, people of color. But, as shown in the sculpture at the heart of the Garment District (photo above), the face of the garment worker is still, oddly, male.

So what about sewing for pleasure? Certainly there are many men who cook as a hobby now (my husband included), but I can't say I know any men who sew just for the sheer enjoyment of it. And there's something about this that I find troublesome. I've heard men laugh about their shoddy attempts at sewing in Home Ec (at least the ones who actually took home ec, once it was required for both girls and boys), and there seems to be an undercurrent to their amusement: that boys just physically can't sew.

My husband claims he doesn't have the manual dexterity required for sewing. But he also has absolutely not a single iota of sewing knowledge. I once asked him to pin something on me while I was fitting it, and he didn't know how to pin fabric. He actually just poked the pin once straight through two layers of fabric, and then seemed befuddled when it didn't stay put. Whether or not this is a question of manual dexterity, it seems so foreign to me not to know how to pin two pieces of fabric together. As a child of the female variety, I spent a lot of time around my mother's sewing. I took a sewing class as a ten-year-old, and I did sewing activities in Girl Scouts. It would have been quite impossible for me to grow up without any sewing knowledge whatsoever. But I think it's a fair guess that Boy Scouts aren't learning to make quilted potholders.


So. What say you on this subject? I would certainly like to hear of men you know who sew as a hobby, if you indeed know any.

76 comments:

  1. My dad doesn't sew, but he worked in a textile mill for twenty years. He's the one who taught me how to choose and cut patterns, which fabrics work best for what, and is always the one to accompany me to the fabric store when I'm home visiting. My mom taught me the basics of sewing. Actually, my parents met when they were both working in a fabric shop where my dad was the manager!

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  2. My husband knows NOTHING of sewing, and he was exactly like yours...although when I asked him to pin something for me, not only did he push the pin directly into the fabric, but into me...as if I were a pin cushion! However, since I sew, and have sewed a lot of clothing for him, he has become more cognizant of fit and quality, and very critical of other people when they have poorly fitted clothes. A couple of months ago, we were at a friend's wedding, and her bridesmaid's dresses were so beige as to be the same color as the bridesmaids. My husband claimed they were from the "Silence of the Lambs Line" of bridal wear, but then commented that they hadn't even bothered to have the bride-hides fitted properly. He has turned into a complete pill!!

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  3. Interesting topic.

    I know that my neighbor sewed his bed sheets and curtains. Well, at least - he did until his wife got to know me and then she asked me to do it instead of her husband.

    Regardless of gender, some people are completely ignorant when it comes to sewing. My friend (a girl) asked me once how many times did I run a thread through the button when I was sewing it to the garment. Before that question I never gave it a taught - it was quite intuitive and less an exact science to me.

    I know of few men tailors, who sew professionally, but they aren't fashion designers. These men are, like the one from the sculpture, rather old, masters of the trade. And, for some reason, I believe they are very good at what they do. I believe they are much better tailors than many women I know that work as seamstresses/tailors. But don't ask me why - it's just an opinion, based on no evidence nor proof. Is that a prejudice?

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  4. Your husband's pinning skills remind me of my new sewing student who is an eighteen year old young lady. She has no idea. Not only do I think not many men sew as a hobby but not many young women today. Like you, I was at least exposed to sewing by the ladies in my family, home ec, and girl scouts. Even though I wasn't interested at the time, I learned basics which now have helped me. Sorry for changing the subject, but after just one student I realize how basic sewing knowledge is becoming lost to everyone.

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  5. I have a great male friend who is a sewing master. But alas, he is a costume designer for the theater. I don't know any men who sew.

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  6. I have 2 guy friends that sew - one makes things he needs like blankets and clothes mending/alteration(he's tall and skinny...)
    The other makes his, his wife's and their dog's Halloween costumes every year, and as a final project for his college freshman arts class, he has them become a superhero, complete with backstory and costume, for which he creates one for himself. He can talk for hours about stuff he's making/made and gets excited about cool fabric and stuff others have made.

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  7. Michelle; "Bride-Hides"! HAHAHA!
    -Sandra

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  8. I have 2 guy friends that sew - one makes things he needs like blankets and clothes mending/alteration(he's tall and skinny...)
    The other makes his, his wife's and their dog's Halloween costumes every year, and as a final project for his college freshman arts class, he has them become a superhero, complete with backstory and costume, for which he creates one for himself. He can talk for hours about stuff he's making/made and gets excited about cool fabric and stuff others have made.

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  9. At least one of your readers is a man who sews as a hobby. I've got some thoughts about why there are few male hobbyists, which i'll post some time when I'm not sick. But mostly it's cultural: men aren't supposed to sew, so they don't. And those who have some interest get discouraged by the treatment they get from people like the clerks at fabric stores (who look at me like they think I'm going to rob the place, until they get used to me.). And the *total lack* of decent patterns for men's clothing.

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  10. Having been involved in the world of historical reenactment for over 15 years, I am very happy to say that I personally know at least 3 dozen men who sew! Some sew only by hand because their totally anal about authenticity, but the majority of them can use a machine quite well. I even taught my boyfriend how to cartridge pleat the waist of his Elizabethan trunkhose and hand sew it to the waistband.

    I also know a couple guys who knit their own period stockings. The majority of them are uber history nerds and are totally awesome and willing to learn any sort of textile-related skill in order to have the most authentic garb possible. FYI, many of my friends take part in the various reenactment events at Jamestown Fort in Virginia, so if you're ever there keep an eye out for them!

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  11. My sewing teacher (and the owner of the Sewing Arts Center here in L.A.) is a dude. Also, one of the guys from my knitting group is one of my personal sewing heros. I adore everything he makes and have been known to, on occassion, email him to ask where he has found fabric as his tastes are pretty spot on to mine.

    So that's two guys to all the ladies I know who sew, but that seems to fit the ratio here. In all of my sewing classes it was usually about 10 ladies to one gentleman.

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  12. I do not know any men who sew or knit, at least personally. Well one costume designer I have worked with. He sews for work and he knits for fun. The standard for sewing skills I hold for men as well as women are those of my dad. Not a sewing for pleasure kind of guy but old school. My dad can sew on his own buttons as well as the patches that needed to be on his uniforms and now he darns his socks. He knows enough to make small repairs and hold his own without a "woman" around. He is also extremely picky about his tailors and laments the fact that a really good tailor is hard to find these days.

    More than men not being able to sew i find a lot more women do not know how to sew even sewing on a button that has fallen off. They would rather pay the dry cleaner to do it. That befuddles me too. I think basic sewing skills are something everyone should be taught and know how to use even if it isn't pleasurable. but i also like to be self sufficient :)

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  13. Remember Tim Conway from the Carol Burnett show? He sewed for fun!

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  14. The men I know who sew do it more for utility than for a hobby. My dad learned to sew in 4h and was the one who taught me to thread a machine, and would make my buttonholes when I got stuck. A friend of mine also learned in 4h and will make things like pillows, a dog bed, or a water bottle holder. My husband has threatened to learn to use the machine when I claim I can't fix the pair of pants that needs mending, but so far he hasn't taken the time to learn.

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  15. wow. a man who cartridge pleats. drool.

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  16. Long ago my dad used to sew occasionally, in the seventies when he was 'woman-less': he was divorced and hadn't yet remarried (to my mom), and lived just with my older (then teenage) brothers. It wasn't a hobby as he didn't do it often, like he did with fishing, woodworking, etc. But he still chose to make a few things he easily could have bought - a few pillows, a cover for a card table... my father was very practical and grew up during the depression, which certainly informed his sensibilities. He had a sewing kit, mended his own clothes when possible, and had his mother's old sewing machine (probably still in our house somewhere). I'm really not sure why he chose to sew those items, as he bought all of his clothes, and like I said, he could have easily bought the things he made. My guess is he wanted something specific and couldn't find it for a reasonable price in a store.

    As for now... yes, men are definitely not expected to sew unless they do it as a profession. Right or wrong it's been that way for a long time. Even in the 19th century, men were expected to know how to do basic repairs on their clothes, in case a woman wasn't around at the moment, but they rarely sewed whole garments for themselves. So now it's just a vestige of old ways of dividing labor, and we haven't caught up. Part of it also is, IMO, that 'caring' about your clothes is perceived by many as something women do, and therefore it's too 'feminine' for men to do it. Ugh. But, it's become perfectly acceptable for men to cook as a hobby, so hopefully sewing won't be far behind.

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  17. Just a few weeks ago, my husband asked me to teach him how to sew. (!!!) I've made him some clothing in the past (he's tall, skinny, can't find anything to fit him ready made, etc...), and he's decided he wants more pants and things, and he wants to learn to do it himself. First project, I made a pattern from his favorite hat, showing him how/why along the way, and he helped sew up a muslin - now we're looking for just the right fabrics to make him some proper ones.
    The main reason he wanted me to teach him how to sew - kites. Yes, kites. He loves kites, trick kites, stunt kites, weirdly designed kites, whatever. And he wants to make his own. Last night he found a dozen patterns he wants to make, and is super excited about sewing them, and having more kites!
    So, even though he's just starting, my husband is joining the small ranks of 'men who sew'.
    He knits, too. And does most all of the cooking. Takes care of the kitty box.... He's pretty much amazing. :)

    I came across a blog the other day - http://www.sewer-sewist.com/ wherein a wife/husband both sew, he makes things for her, she makes things for him - how great is that?

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  18. My husband is really creative and confessed a while back that he wanted to learn to sew... so in the privacy of our home, i sat down with him and he made an apron from a vintage pattern for our daughter and me. It was great way for us to connect and we have since purchased a new sewing machine so we could sew together. Of course, he doesn't really talk about it with his car club buddies... guess he's not ready for that step just yet!

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  19. It was my father that taught me to sew. I didn't know he knew how to sew until I showed interest, but his mother had been a seamstress and apparantly taught all her children to sew. He never sewed for himself, that I saw, outside of repairs. But he did have a machine. Go figure?

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  20. I don't know any men presently personally who sew as a hobby. I knew a grandfather once who sewed home decor for he and his wife's home. I knew a maintenance man who sewed women's clothing. My male cousin used to sew civil war reenactment clothes for himself, wife and son. I met a young man working at Hancock Fabrics who sewed all of his own clothing. And I ran across a man's quilting blog a couple of months ago and a 12 year old boy's blog who loves to sew. They are both listed on the Big List of Sewing Blogs.

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  21. This guy is a prolific quilter. http://www.quiltdad.com/ He's been doing embroidery too.

    There's a husband and wife quilt shop here where the man has machine quilted a few for me.

    I don't know of any men who sew clothes though. My dad does repairs, but he is hard on mom's machine and tends to get it tangled up quite a bit!

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  22. Don't know any men who sew but I did witness my brother's soon to be ex-father-in-law inspecting his wife's sewing to make sure she had matched up and aligned all her fabric pieces properly... My sister-in-law having inherited this delightful uber control-freakery, it is perhaps not a surprise that she is soon to be ex...

    Your husband's inability to pin did make me laugh, as when I asked my own husband to pin a dress with a back opening, he (almost) literally ran away screaming... And ever since I've favoured 50s sytles with side openings...

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  23. er, that'll be 'styles' with side-openings...

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  24. My brother-in-law once sewed a down vest from a kit. This one act of sewing made him feel like an expert and now he inspects my sewing like he was friggin' Tim Gunn.

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  25. I taught my boyfriend to sew (he says to say hi, and that not all men are incapable of sewing). He makes his own costumes now (so I guess this is another score for the LARP/reenactment camp), amidst much swearing at points, but the end result is good. He even devised a scholar hat pattern and made the hat ! He speaks quite openly about it even outside home (we think that you should never be ashamed of something that you can do). It might be a cultural thing.
    I also taught my little (well, 18 and 1m85) brother how to make a 18th century shirt.
    Several (male) colleagues of mine have alos publicly expressed their interest in knowing how to sew (academia tends to be open-minded).

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  26. My husband went to high school in Michigan in the 80s and learned to sew in school. (They had a Home Ec requirement.) He sews beautifully, but doesn't do it as a hobby. He prefers working on cars and leaving the non-car-related sewing to me.

    His best friend (female) who also went to HS in Michigan in the 80s, began and ended her sewing career by running a machine needle through her finger in Home Ec. She thinks she may not have the manual dexterity to sew.

    As for me, I am the worst seamstress in the world. I lack dexterity and patience. Also, even though I really could use some lessons, I persist in refusing to take sewing classes. (Time/Money/Shame at my lack of skill) But I still sew constantly and enjoy it immensely.

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  27. Yes - my son (he's 25). He sews (mostly alterations and repairs, but some stuff just from scratch)and knits. My brother (42) took sewing in Home Ec in junior high, and he was really quite good (our mother had taught us all to sew way before Jr. high), but I don't think he sews much other than to repair thing like buttons & zippers.

    I used to work in a fabric store when I was in high school & college, and I used to love it when the few guys who sewed came in. They were always so grateful to just be treated like any other sewer. (I also got quite a kick out of the ones sent their to pick up thread or a zipper by their SO - you'd think they'd walked into the ladies' restroom, they looked so uncomfortable.) "D" is right, why would a guy want to sew based on the men's patterns that are available?

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  28. Both guys i know who sew are in their 60s and I think mostly do it for utility - my uncle sews things like sail covers for his boat on my grandmother's treadle machine. My best friend's dad makes all their curtains and loose covers - and fancy dress costumes! Dont' think either of them would consider it a hobby though....

    my 9 year old son expressed interest and likes to makes things like drawstring bags and the 2 year old just likes to watch the needle going up and down on the machine - there may be hope for both of them yet!!!

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  29. My dad knows enough to make simple repairs, I think -- from his time in the military. But I've never actually seen him sewing...

    I went on a backpacking trip last summer with a group of mostly guys and a couple other girls. Three guys needed repairs made over the course of the trip, and not one of them even attempted to use a needle and thread for himself -- all the jobs were passed my way. I wonder what they would have done had they been in an all-male crew.

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  30. I don't know any men that sew as a hobby... but i do think that this is definitely related to how boys are conditioned differently from girls when growing up (I'm speaking very generally here). HOWEVER... not directly related, but i found this AMAZING zine the other week, called Men Knit http://www.menknit.net/ , and all i could think was RIGHT ON! They have some dodgy, and some really cool patterns actually (i find all knitting patterns hit and miss... actually, more like miss, miss, miss, miss, oh.. hit!). I wonder if there is some kind of sewing equivalent? x

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  31. My daughter's boyfriend can sew. They are both graduate architecture students, so he has many skills in the various craft areas. He is quite skilled at making architectural models and woodworking. He wants to design furniture. I hired him this summer to work on our very old summer house.

    He can sew, alter and hem clothing, as well as sew curtains. His great uncle was an old-school tailor, so he picked up a few things there. While he knows sewing can be a manly skill, he doesn't broadcast his interest, either. He will not let my daughter use his sewing machine. All architects have a bit of control freak in them. That said, he just plows into whatever needs to be fixed and is an immaculate worker.

    I have known other male sewers; they were all fashion design students or costumers. In the 70s I worked at Bloomingdales with a guy who sewed all his own suits. I was so envious of his skills and tried to learn as much as I could from him.

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  32. Hey you guys!! What about Peter Lappin in NYC on Pattern Review. In my opinion he is awesome. He has been sewing for a relatively short period but he just has some natural talent. The fantastic thing about him is that he uses old patterns and buys $2.00 fabrics and his stuff comes out awesome!!!!

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  33. My brother-in-law would make a dress pattern from newspaper for his wife, buy the fabric, fit it to his wife and she would have a new dress to wear to work. How great is that? He was a farmer by trade but could do many crafts and woodworking projects also.

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  34. After he died, I found out my Pappy did all the sewing, not Grammy. I had no idea! Dad said he'd learned it in the Army. Mom has his table-mounted sewing machine now... it's a tank. I wish he was still around to teach me.

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  35. Men are simple creatures, gay or not. If they like something enough to make it their life, they'll do it. If not, they won't. If a guy sews for a hobby that doesn't benefit another hobby, and doesn't plan to make it a career, I'd wonder why he doesn't have something else to do. But yes, all the men I know who sew are in the fashion industry. But those men don't sew as a hobby. I think they see it as a skill, not a pastime.

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  36. There are a handful of men in the re-enactment camp that sew as a hobby.

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  37. He may have been mentioned but Quilt Dad is a prolific quilter and is well known in the quilting blog world. He participates in and organizes swaps and bees. He sews quilts, pillows, bags, you name it. And he loves it.

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  38. My boyfriend enjoys patching his own clothes. He has one pair of jeans that he meticulously patches on a regular basis and takes great enjoyment in it.

    Also, I know quite a number of hardcore punk rock boys who enjoy sewing and modifying their own clothes. Sewing seems rather entrenched in punk subculture...

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  39. My grandpa made quilts for 5 (out of 7) of the grandkids before he passed. Mine has embroidered blocks that make a double wedding ring pattern. I didn't get it until years after he died and I love that quilt so much I'm scared to use it.

    He'd also help Grandma sew and quilt and she always said he had the finest stitches. I remember being stunned to see his pudgy, calloused, grease stained fingers finessing that tiny needle.

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  40. My grandfather knew how to sew and crochet from his mother and worked on baby blankets for their first child in the 1930's alongside my grandmother. I never saw him do it, though. Sewing and other handarts are not being passed on, many of our generation (30-40's) were not taught and never picked it up. Those of us fortunate to have been taught have options, of handmade vs store-bought. Other than grandpa, I know of one man who was taught to handsew/quilt by his mother as a boy and one of my uncles was taught to embroider in bible school as a child.

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  41. I do know a man who sews for a hobby. I taught him a few things. About sewing. He wanted to make a pair of tailored shorts. I taught him how to make a welt pocket for the back.

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  42. What about that lack of patterns for men's clothing? I don't have a very girlish figure, so I prefer the cut of men's pants. I live in the middle of nowhere, so can't find things like navy blue cargo pants in a store. And I'd really like to learn how to make a man's blazer. There must be more to it than meets the eye.

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  43. Yes, I know plenty of men who sew. It's a _part_ of their hobby, since they're much involved with re-enactment (making historical costumes from the medieval times to the 17th century mostly). Also my dad likes it, but he doesn't take the time to do it nowadays.

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  44. Thank you for sharing, Ladies!

    I know absolutely no men or boys who sew (but sewing is not as popular in my country as it is in USA), so I had assumed this was globally quite the same... I'm so glad to learn that a few of them do sew.

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  45. My uncle Charlie - my godmother's father - whom I never knew because he died before I was born, but who is a bit of a legend in our house, used to embroider and knit as a hobby. My parents tell stories about how he would sit right in the front row of classical music concerts and embroider away. I guess he didn't worry about people's opinions much anyway, and he was 6'4" and a wrestling coach, so he didn't have to worry about looking feminine!

    The only other man I know who sews anything more than buttons is a friend my own age (24) who loves clothes and cares very much about his appearance. He always wears good quality, well-cut suits and shirts, and will alter and repair his own clothes by hand. But I wouldn't say he does it as a hobby.

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  46. Yes! I was helping connect someone at work to our internet network and made a comment about his quilted laptop bag, when he told me very proudly that he had made it himself. His quilting wasn't perfect, but he had done a great job with the zip and, as he said, for a first effort it was pretty good.

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  47. My step-dad recently started quilting. He's very good at it because his cutting and piecing is meticulous.

    My boyfriend learned to sew before I met him because he likes to make costumes. He doesn't feel confident in his hand sewing ability or his ironing, but he does a pretty decent job on the machine. I think that several of his friends sew for costuming as well.

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  48. Actually, yes. At the fabric store today, there was a gaggle of men in there (I live in Alabama. These were redneck, sweaty MEN.) who were sewing for charity, making throws.

    My son used to sew. Not so much now, but occasionally he will still do it. He's also hugely interested in 50s Daddy-O shirts and is taking an interest in drafting. Maybe the sewing will follow again.

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  49. My uncle sews, learned it from his mother, who was a tailor. He makes vests/waistcoats for himself, some things for his wife, pillows, and car seat covers for the oldtimer he is repairing (he is a car mechanic).

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  50. I started sewing a few months back and enjoy it. I do home furnishings and have started making some clothing. I enjoy the construction and have even made a few 'outdoor' clothes. For a while, I was only good enough to make clothing that would not be seen by others, 'indoor' clothes. This hobby supplements my woodworking.

    =bob=

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  51. woo! my dad sew as a hobby in his 30s.He sewed up really awesome clothing for my mom and also for me, and they were always perfectly tailored and he designed some as well. he never sew for himself though. when i outgrew my cloth, our neighbors had their eyes on one of the outfits and when they offered to take my dad's motorcycle off his hands, they requested for one of his outfit to go with it!

    I lived in china with everyone always wearing the same latest hip fashion (and thus looking all the same as uniforms), i always had the most interesting clothing :) and i am always super proud of the fact that my dad sews!

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  52. I am a (straight)man and learning to sew is my hobby. I catch endless grief from family and co-workers, though now that it's clear that I intend to continue sewing, requests have begun to pour in to make Halloween costumes, let out seams, and replace buttons...

    Sewing helps me relax (even when I screw up and have to pull out thread) in much the same way that woodworking does, but without all of the loud noise and heavy lifting.

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  53. My boyfriend is a fashion designer by trade.
    He worked in the industry for some time, after having completed his qualifications.
    Whilst studying he made many garments for pleasure. I think working in the industry ruined it for him, the majority of the work they had him do was rip the pattern off someone else's garment. (Don't get me wrong- this is sadly probably one of the most important skills one can learn when it comes to sewing). Hardly something I take great pleasure in (although, I did find a beautiful dress on the weekend in an op shop for $6. it had bleach marks all up the back of it. There was no saving this dress. So I ripped the pattern off and remade it- great for remaking tired pieces you once loved.)
    However, since I've moved in (with my sewing machines, overlocker, dress form and an insatiable appetite for sewing) he's started sewing again for pleasure.
    Which is wonderful- he's teaching me so much, and it's become something we can do together on the weekends.

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  54. my dad sewed when he got a pair of pants with pleats. he HATED them and would use mom's singer to make them go away, and quite nicely i must say. wish i knew how he did it. my 26 year old began sewing when he was a teen by altering thrift store stuff. now he makes wallets, curtains, pillows, ties and ALWAYS has to make his suit pants skinnier than they come. i have sewn for fifty years so i think it's neat. his girlfriends always appreciate it too because his apartments are so awesomely cute!! just found your blog and LOVE it. i have three generations of patterns that i can't part with, especially my 40's, 50's, 60's ones. you obviously can alter better than me! good luck!!!

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  55. I have friend who sewed for his two daughters when they were growing up. He even made their wedding dresses and the bridesmaid dresses. These days he mostly quilts. He used to teach quilting and the women loved him! He's always a hit at weddings though - he brings a needle and thread just in case.

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  56. When I was giving away a sewing machine, I only got responses from men.

    I recently taught a bow-tie making workshop where I taught 6 men how to sew their own bowties.

    I think it's coming back in more creative communities.

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  57. I am a fashion addict male who spends 30percent of his salary on buying Dries Van Noten to the point of obsession. I appreciate beautifully made clothes and sadly, men's ready to wear (non designer) either falls under Office Wear (suit and ties) or sportsweat (Ralph Lauren). Designer menswear is so expensive and usually staid. I have made beautiful clothes of my own for 10 years now on my free time. Kudos to you for knowing how to sew. Most girls I know can't even fix a loose button.

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  58. Hi ! I bought my first sewing machine 6 months ago, in fact I was very disapointed by the
    lack of originality of modern garment - I'm fond of 70's, gothic and steampunk clothes - so
    that's was my motivation to learn ... the shop where I bought my machine offers free lessons to
    their customer.

    Until now I've already made, 3 shirts, 2 pants, a frock coat, a vest, and I am working on a
    coat ... I really enjoy spending hours to build and create unique clothes it's a real fun!

    Charles.

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  59. I just bought a new sewing machine 2 weeks ago because I am a weaver and wanted to do something besides have tied fringe on the ends of woven pieces. Having very little experience (I did sew some basic hems using my Moms old black Singer from the 50's), I decided that if I was going to buy a new machine, I would buy a good machine and learn how to use it. So far, I have taken one beginning sewing class and am signed up for another this week. I'm really enjoying myself! :)

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  60. shit yeah, i sew all the time! I really don't see it as a feminine thing. It's more of a means of creation. I mean check out Claes Oldenberg's soft sculptures. I guess it depends on what you make, like i'm not going to sew myself an apron. I do cook a lot, but i dont care about getting my clothes dirty. When i sew i mainly make things for my craft graffiti website deeplysuperficialpeople. I've sewn a fleece bear trap, a giant watch, numerous windsocks and left them out on the street, free art style. Anyway, to answer the real question, yes i know a man who sews... me.

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  61. i'm late to this party, but i am also a guy who sews. my mom taught me when i was a kid. it's helpful for me because i am weirdly sized and i have to alter a lot of stuff i buy and/ or sew my own stuff (although i echo the guy who said there's a real dearth of patterns for men). most of the clothes i sew are for women friends or babies, and i also do some quilting. sewing always reminded me of putting together a model airplane, which is something i also loved as a kid.

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  62. My late step-grandad was a great sewer and all-round handyman. He loved fixing and bringing things to order and I think sewing was in this category. He kept a big jar of buttons that had been cut off his and my grandma's favourite clothes when they became worn out, and always had a needle and thread about. So I suspect that back in the day sewing may not have been so suss for men. Hey come to think of it, don't men in the armed forces have to be able to keep their own clothes neat (ie sew on a button)?

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  63. Yes, I have taught myself to sew and been having sewing for three years. Mostly, historical costumes. I attended my first Costume Convention in 2009. In addtion, I just started a sewing blog. It's called Out of the Closet Costuming.

    http://outoftheclosetcostuming.blogspot.com/

    P
    P

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  64. Hi, I'm a man and I've been hobby sewing for years... Mom taught me to sew, Dad taught my sister to fix the car. Now I'm the motorhead, but she's still pretty mean with a tire iron. What do I sew? Convertible tops for cars, Motorcycle seats, Ditty Bags, Nylon Straps, Machine Covers, Sails, Sail Bags, Duffel Bags, Light tailoring and alterations of my shirts, camping pillows, lots of various repairs...you know "manly stuff". Oh, and everything I do is straight stitch with an old Singer 401 that cost me $6 at a thrift store.

    manwhosews

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  65. I sew. Mostly shirts. I don't consider this a hobby. As much as I'd like to, I can't always afford a $200 shirt. But I like the cuts and I like the cloth.

    I'm on the hunt for good patterns and fabrics. Men's patterns are usually fugly, so I'm taking a pattern drafting course in a few weeks to try an remedy that situation.

    I found some great cloth in Belgium and just finished making a slim fit shirt that would fit onto the $200 rack. More importantly, my wife thinks it's sexy. Good enough for me.

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  66. I am just learning to sew and I really like it a lot. Finding men's fabrics can be a challenge at times but I am really learning fast. I can't wait to get into tailoring and pattern drafting. I saw some videos on making suits and it looks like fun. Glad to see more family men sewing!

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  67. I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to mention that the Best of Show Quilt at the 2010 KY fair was made by a man.

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  68. I was fortunate and retired early. I also love to sew and I have put this to good use. I design fabric purses, handbags, shoulder bags, and accessories. From start to finish including sketching the design, choosing the prints and fabrics, making my own patterns, and assembly, and marketing. I love it!

    http://papacouture.blogspot.com/

    http://www.artfire.com/users/PapaCouture

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  69. Gertie, I'm time -traveling through your older posts, and have to pipe in on what ay be an as yet unrealized stash of male hobbyist "sewers".
    Drag queens.
    Seriously, my pilates instructor does drag, and of course has issues fitting womens' clothes to his body. It may also be that he's 6'7". (you can see his work here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH_MKJn3IBY)

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  70. The new mid-40s rector at my church sews! He made curtains for the rectory and, as far as I know, limits his sewing to domestic projects (nothing liturgical or clothing based.) It was a pleasant surprise.

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  71. I just got a new sewing machine so I can sew things for my new baby daughter. I burnt my last one out years ago and never got around to getting another. I only know of one other male who owns a sewing machine and I taught him how to sew. I know alot of women who own sewing machines but don't know how to use them. Why is that? I just finished a stuffed rabbit for my baby and I combined two medium velvet shirts into one large sized skirt for my wife.

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  72. My name is Dave and this is the first time I've told anyone I want to sew. I am as straight as an arrow and single (divorced) if any of my buddies came over and saw a sewing machine....I would not hear the end of it. I've asked the ladies at the fabric part of walmart where to take classes and they look at me like I'm joking.(people ask me if I'm an MMA cage fighter) My mom sewed simple things when I was a child. But I'm wanting to learn how to make my own shirts, jeans, and jackets. I know I need to start small and graduate to the more complicated patterns, maybe practice making my dog some winter clothes? I DID sew a pillow case once! :) I can find lessons or a class here locally, even if I have to pay someone to teach me....I'll put an add on cragislist or something. My questions are:
    1. Where in the world can I find fabric that is QUALITY (not the see thru tissue like material at Wal-Mart) Also quality denim?
    2. What sewing machine would be best for a brand new sewer.
    3. Is this cost effective? Or am I better off just paying $90 for BlankLabel to sew a custom shirt for me?
    I live in South Alabama in a relatively small town. I have to shop in Atlanta if Kohls or JCPenny's doesn't have what I want.....yeah, I know....VOMIT! Thank you! -Dave

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  73. Hi Dave, thanks for your comment! I would see if you could find a local dressmaker or tailor who could teach you what they know. As for quality fabric, you may have to shop online. Gorgeous Fabrics and Emma One Sock are highly regarded and they both stock menswear fabrics.

    And lastly, sewing isn't always a money-saving proposition. But if you enjoy it (and it sounds like you will) it becomes more about feeding your passion than pinching pennies. Enjoy!

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  74. Yes, I know many men who sew. One of them is my boyfriend. I mostly have friends who like role playing games and live games. They sew their own clothes for these games as well for their everyday lives.

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  75. My partner sews little dresses by hand for our Little Miss but that is the extent of it. The end result is "functional" :) and LM loves it

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  76. My husband sews! (and builds experimental aircraft, does leatherworking, which is essentially sewing, woodworking, and just finished building a barn for his dad) In fact, he just re-taught me how to use my mom's old sewing machine, which has been sitting in my back closet for about 15 years. I got it out because I decided on a whim to make my own wedding dress, for our wedding coming up in October. My friends and family thought I was crazy (my sister said, why? you'll feel obliged to wear it when it comes out lopsided!). I see it as the ultimate expression of love and care matching the importance of the occasion, and I'm creating something my daughter and her daughter will cherish.

    Gertie, thank you so much for the inspiration and education! I found your blog while looking for sewing tutorials, and decided to start from the beginning, hence the very late thread post!

    I felt the need to respond to this very important topic. What I noticed is that a lot of women know men who sew, and a lot of men are reading your blog. But why is it that women say the men who sew 'don't do it as a hobby,' but for 'utilitarian' reasons? Isn't it 'utilitarian' when I decide to sew my own wedding dress? And isn't it a 'hobby' when my husband decides to make drapes, or wants to learn how to weave so he can make beautiful rugs? (he literally just told me that.)

    As women, we have to stop making the same judgments about 'art' vs. 'craft' that would be offensive to us if they came from the mouths of men. And the gay/straight thing just needs to stop! Some people are creative and like to make things themselves, or want to feel a connection with history by doing things the old-fashioned way, or want to be self-sufficient, or want to perfect a skill. Other people don't. I suspect that, as 'feminist' as we are today, based on the number of comments about grandfathers, great-uncles, and fathers who sewed, we actually have less fluid ideas of gendered activities today (in some ways) than in the past. Is that because we don't think sewing is a necessity anymore? Therefore we don't all need to do it? Therefore when a man does it, it is somehow unusual? Okay, enough ranting; I'm a professor, sometimes I don't know when to stop....

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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