Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Generational Aspects of Crafting


Hello readers! I am currently jetting off to Denver to film an episode of Sew It All TV, but I wanted to make sure to tell you about a guest post I wrote for STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books about the whole craft trend of saying “it’s not your grandma’s sewing!” or some such.  The idea for the post came out of a conversation with Melanie about the topic when we realized how much that adage bothered us.  As someone who sews styles that my grandmother might have liked, well, it really is my grandma’s sewing. And, in general, crafters have relied on older generations to show us the ropes, if you will.

What do you think of that phrase? Does it bother you at all? Definitely come read the post and jump on in the discussion!

P.S. This is what I look like in a bow turban and no makeup, after waking up at 3:45 to catch a flight (with some "airbrushing" help from Instagram, I can’t lie). Don’t worry, there will be a makeup artist on set and I’ve got pin curls under my turban!





77 comments:

  1. Love the look! One of my goals is to make sure I am teaching my daughter (and her friends) how to sew. She is 16 and needs to know!

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  2. AH! I live in Denver! I'll take you out for coffee! Or to my favorite fabric stores! Seriously.

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  3. I don't know..but would airport security request removal of the bandana? Have fun in Denver...I'm there often enough that I feel like I know it better than Milwaukee, which is 1 1/2 hours away from me.

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  4. Gertie - even with no makeup, you still look 1000% better than most people who arrive at the airport (no matter when they arrive, by the way).

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  5. I think people can have a hard time with the idea that styles and fashion change. Those granny-square vests were quite fashionable at a time and the people making them (your mom)(not a your mom joke) figured themselves quite hip and crafty to be able to do it. I hate to say it, but "it's not your grandma's ___" is a pretty sophomoric statement. It's like a high school kid scoffing that her parents are such squares and don't know anything and then proceed to do exactly the same things, but in an updated color scheme and with a new soundtrack.

    So, yes, I agree with you. Of course it's your grandmother's sewing, you're just updating the materials and cuts to be on trend with current style. It's the same thing when shopping for patterns; you have to look past the frumpy envelope to see if the bones of what you want is there.

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  6. Quick thought that bugs me about the it's not your grandmothers or mothers sewing...
    My mom helped me make my prom dress and it was her teaching me the ins and outs of couture dressmaking that helped me when working with a dressmaker on my mothers 1961 wedding gown for my wedding. I need their sewing and their knowledge.
    They gave me the solid knowledge to make quality and my own style.

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  7. Lucky girl! You look cute in the turban!
    I don't take offense to that statement about it not being grandmothers sewing. I agree unfortunately you have to keep things moving toward change in order to keep people (possibly younger generations) to be interested in what could be a dying craft. I am also in your age group, and I was fortuate enough to learn to knit from my great gram, discuss sewing with my grandma and other older family members. Its a way to connect to the past and continue on traditions which I feel society needs.

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  8. I strive for my sewing to be just like my grandmother's! She was a talent and creative sewist who could turn any piece of fabric into a gorgeous garment. She learned to sew from her father who was a tailor of some repute in a small town in New Brunswick, Canada. The building were he had his shop has a plaque on the front celebrating his work and contribution to the community. My mom says the sewing gene skipped a generation (she does not sewing) and landed on me. When I use traditional sewing and tailoring techniques I feel a wonderful connection to my grandmother and my great grandfather.

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  10. Oh, there was a blog post on the Interweave website about "not your grandmother's intarsia" and there were a lot of comments from enraged crafters and the blog author issued an apology.

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  11. I would love to be as good of a sewist as my Grandma!

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  12. I recently lost the 2 grandmas in the past two years that were the ones that taught me to sew, knit, crochet, and hot glue in emergencies. I would feel like I was discrediting a huge portion of my influence if I tried to get away from that. Even on my blog, if you look at my about me page, the pictures I have up are the pictures of my first time at a sewing machine, sewing side by side with my "Nonnie" when I was four years old. It's like when people say my perfume smells like an old lady's because it is rose oil! What makes rose oil only for old ladies, and why is that a bad thing? Pssssht! Old ladies are awesome, and I love roses!

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  13. i, like everyone else, don't have a problem with admitting that what i sew, crochet and generally create has been handed down through the generations. I get a huge amount of satisfaction sewing vintage and heirloom inspired designs. I've most recently been creating 1940's layettes and learned to crochet edges for the purpose of being able to produce an era appropriate wrap/blanket. The daygowns are gorgeous with lace and embroidery and the bonnets are to die for. i have no desire to update these patterns; instead i'm creating them as they would have been created generations ago.

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  14. I live in denver!!! Welcome to the mile high city!!! You need to go to denver fabrics in littleton!!!

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  15. Hey, sometime you need to give us a turban tutorial, I want one like that-- It looks great!
    I am offended by ageism of any kind. But lately there does seem to be a snotty element that scoffs at any crafting taught by someone older than themselves. In my book, the older you get, the more you know (right?)

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  16. I am offended by it and have left many cranky comments on blogs where such a sentiment has been expressed. All the people who say "not your grandmother's ____" will reap that dismissive karma when their own daughters turn up their noses.

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  17. My grandmother (born 1896) said that the distinction was not between modern and old-fashioned, but between "homemade" and "handmade". She said that "homemade" should apply to cooking where it was a compliment, but "homemade" applied to clothing meant it was not "quite up to snuff". "Handmade", however, meant that care and attention to detail were hallmarks of its quality. She used to chide my mother for settling for "homemade" clothing. So while I'm a lot older than most of you are, I've experienced the "not your grandmother's", too. I think every generation does.

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  18. I hope you have a lovely time in Denver, close to my hometown of Boulder:) If you have any free time at all I would suggest taking in the YSL exhibit at The Denver Art Museum. It's amazing and isn't going to be hosted anywhere else in the U.S. http://www.denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/yves-saint-laurent-retrospective

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  19. First of all I love the look. Fabulousity is an attitude not a look and you are FABULOUS!

    As we get older there are certain truth's about ourselves that we have to come to accept. We like to think that we have become so advanced that we couldn't possibly be producing the same things our grandmother's did. Every idea we have, even ones we think are fresh and new come from something in our past. When we create we create from a place in ourselves where all our experience is brought together to create something that we consider a masterpiece. But even when you look at runway fashions, there is nothing new there, you can almost guarantee yourself that when you look back through fashions that have come before you will find reflections of our past.

    As we speak there has been a revival of handmade goods and crafts and you will find this on Etsy and other sites. Even vintage wares are getting new lives. In reality the only things that have advanced are our tools of creation. But all of the techniques are the same that my grandmother would have used. We still manage to do a seam the same way that it was done 20 years ago and couture design is also much the same. My grandmother was the first on her block to get a Singer foot paddle sewing machine. It was cutting edge at the time and I am sure she thought how advanced that she was. We can make quality products with the advancements we have made, but a nod to those that came before us, that created before us, that inspired us to be what we are is certainly in order for us to continue to move forward.

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  20. It does bother me...my grandma taught me everything I know and was a superb dressmaker. When I teach sewing I say the opposite...sewing like your grandma did!
    Gorgeous look, by the way.
    xxxx

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  21. I learned so much about sewing from my grandma that I certainly don't live by that adage. My grandma copied RTW items onto newspaper patterns and amazed everyone with her excellent copies. Even my brothers and many male cousins benefited during the Miami Vice/Magnum PI era - all had awesome Hawaiian style shirts that fit perfectly! She was a true inspiration.

    As for your photo, you so rock that look :-). I would not be afraid to sit next to you on the crack o' dawn flight! Hope all goes well in Denver.

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  22. As the sufferer of a bad hair life, I desperately need one of those turbans.

    And Denver rocks. Lived there for eight years.

    I've always hated the "It's not your mother's/grandmother's/father's/etc. [whatever]" line, too. For one . . . it probably is, and for two . . . so what? Preceding generations knew a lot of good stuff. That my mother made all our winter clothes and Hallowe'en costumes, and most of my most fondly-remembered outfits, is one of the biggest reasons that I sew, too.

    Besides, I've discovered over and over that my mother's and grandmother's generations light up like Christmas trees when they see "their sewing" on me (usually in the form of a dress made from a 1940's pattern). It's a generation-gap mender, if anything.

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  23. I think the "not your grandma's ..." statement is more for the non-crafters out there. Kinda telling them that it's not the macrame and granny squares you remembered, to get them to take a look and see that these things are wortwhile. It's all about getting people to get rid of their pre-concieved notions about crafts and try them to see what the endless possibilities are. It's more a cute way of saying that's its a fresh take on things.

    Personally, my grandma is my sewing mentor, so if my stuff looked half as good as hers I'd be proud! I wish I had my grandma's sewing skills!

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  24. My mother & grandmother taught me to sew. They sewed bec. they *had* to -- living on a farm, they sewed all their own clothing for years. Now, I don't *have* to sew, & what I create are historical costumes, so technically this is not my grandmother's or mother's sewing. But I owe a huge debt to them, & I honor that with everything I do. And heck, I borrowed my mom's fancy new computerized sewing machine even!

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  25. Those statements always confuse me. If anything, finding myself suddenly loving sewing in my thirties, I'm surprised by how similar I've become to my mother! She sewed all my clothes when I was little and had stalls at craft fairs and it wasn't something which interested me at all; I never thought we had that much in common until recently. Crafting really isn't a new thing our generation has invented!

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  26. I think that to understand the "not your grandmother's...." statement, you need to look back to the origin; the "Not your father's Oldsmobile" ad campaign. http://godsofadvertising.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/this-is-not-your-fathers-oldsmobile-how-a-portfolio-tarnishing-piece-of-creative-changed-our-culture-forever/

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  27. Darn it! I wasn't finished with my post. Anyway, you'll understand the silly commercial that prompted the whole "not your grandmother's...." comparison of the new generation of crafts to the old. You'll also get to see a younger William Shatner and his daughter in 80s clothing (which was not better than that of previous generations, if you ask me).

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  28. I named my dress form "LaVerne" after my wonderful grandmother. Hopefully one day I'll sew half as well as she did. Unfortunately, she was the world's worst teacher and so no one learned from her!

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  29. I think of my grandmother every time I thread a needle. She was the first person to show me how. My most treasured piece of sewing kit is her old thimble. I use it every time I sew.
    It IS my grandmother's sewing, and I'm so thankful for that. Especially when I'm sewing clothes for my children, whom she would have loved so much if only she'd lived long enough to know them. That thimble is like a little piece of her still here, guiding my hand. Using the skills she taught me, and the tools she left me, is a way of incorporating my grandmother into the fabric of our daily life.
    My knitting and sewing skills have developed over the years as a fun hobby. Hers were developed out of necessity during WWII, the era of make do and mend. To disclaim this heritage of thriftiness, and the ability to be creative with severely limited means - especially in our current economic climate - is foolish and dare I say, arrogant.
    It IS your grandmother's sewing. It's her knitting too. It was her grandmother's before her, and I hope will be my grandchild's after me.

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  30. My grandma was a hardcore feminist who wouldn't sew, cook or type. In my case it's more like my great-grandmother's sewing... but I agree with you.

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  31. Paige, I really liked your point about the Oldsmobile commercials, which I remember. But that can't be the whole story, because (as I posted on the STC blog) the "not your grandmother's..." thing is solely applied to traditional women's pursuits. No one ever says to the young men (and women) over at Makezine that what they're doing is "not your grandfather's" carpentry/welding/circuitry etc. I applaud all the folks in this thread who have vocally honored their grandmothers, as I do with mine, Tannicia, who first taught me to sew when I was five and who left me her terrifying iron pinking shears and a thimble that is older than my mother.

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  32. My Nanna (who passed last year aged 91) taught me to crochet as a way of bonding and spending time together after my grandfather passed away 10 years ago. She has helped me since with knitting cardigans for kids when they were tiny and I am really grateful she took the time to show me and spur me on to more challenging things.

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  33. I think that's a great point; I actually really admire and embrace the styles of our great-grandmothers' time, as well as the mentality of making things yourself rather than today's throwaway society mentality :)

    That said, the phrase itself doesn't bother me because I know what they're getting at - however, if you're not drawn to making things naturally, a gimmick like that probably isn't going to change your mind that much :)

    I think you look sassy and fabulous in your turban and no-makeup - rock it, girl :)

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  34. The phrase "not your grandmother's . . ." is really more about lowering one's expectations than it is about being new and exciting. It implies that a newer approach is faster or easier than the "old-fashioned" approach. My sewing grandmother died long before I was born but I was raised with the amazing quilts she made 20 years before my birth -- many times I measured her perfectly sewn top stitches which were exactly equal in spacing & length. I've been sewing for 47 years & I still can't begin to match her stitching! My grandmother learned to sew before 1900, my mother learned in the 1930's, I learned in the 1960's & my daughter learned after 2000. Some of our tools are different but the basics are exactly the same. The "not your grandmother's . . ." phrase is insulting and ignorant.

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  35. I get it because they're trying to entice younger ages by making it sound fresh and new, but I wouldn't personally want to disrespect where all this comes from - generations before us!

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  36. When ever "not grandma " is invoked it refers to sloppy thrown together clothes often made by cute young things who call themselves edgy. it was once my misfortune to attend a show by these trendy young things and i felt I was in a nightmare.

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  37. When ever "not grandma " is invoked it refers to sloppy thrown together clothes often made by cute young things who call themselves edgy. it was once my misfortune to attend a show by these trendy young things and i felt I was in a nightmare.

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  38. I should be so lucky to do my grandma's sewing. The grand old bird was hand-piecing quilt tops right up till the end, when she was freaking blind! I'm okay with whatever marketing gets the young people into the sewing scene. Too many times have I offered to teach people and they just want me to do the their alterations and move on with life.

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  39. Personally it doesn't bother me at all. Sewing has been handed down generation to generation by the women in my family. I would be proud to one day sew as as well as my Nan!

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  40. As far as I'm concerned... gramma's sewing (and Mom's) is how I got my start! If not for them, who knows if I would have been interested! I do all sorts of sewing, dress making, wedding dresses, quilts, etc... so more power to giving "them" credit!
    Oh, and my mom wore a turbin somewhat similar (a little farther forward on the front of the head)when in High School... (she graduated in '52) but she needed to wear one cause when she had a bout of ring worm... the dr. doused her head in turpintine... and it burned her scalp so bad it took a long time for her hair to grow back. Her mom made her the turbin, and got a couple of horse hair curls to apply to the front to make it look as if she had hair. All was fine and good until one of her "teachers" pulled it off her head in front of the entire class! Ahem, gramma went to the school and lit into that teacher pretty good from what I hear. Now adays... that would have been a law suit in the making!

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  41. I dislike the phrase. I think it is dismissive of skills and experience, and sortof divisive - like we can't all play crafts/sewing/knitting together.

    Of course, at least half the time that phrase means that you are going to put together a 'sewn' outfit with a "no-sew!" glue gun approach that you "can finish in an afternoon!" That truly is not anybody's grandmother's sewing.

    What I find really hilarious though, is when they use the phrase to refer to 'upcycling' which exactly IS my depression era/WWII recycling/upcycling grandmother's sewing. They had to reuse as there wasn't much to buy and what there was was expensive. Not like going to Target now. They also didn't have a zillion thrift shops back then.

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  42. I think you look great!

    We should all fight against any denigration of making things. The "not your [oldster moniker]'s" whatever is all about the maniacal ageism of American culture. It's idiotic that creating anything useful is equated with antiquity, and it only serves modern consumerism, with its endless emphasis on purchasing.

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  43. While I may understand the impetus behind such a phrase, I feel no need to use it myself. My mother taught me to sew, as she was taught by her mother, and I'm proud of that.

    I live in Denver too; let's throw together a group and do a fabric store crawl! But seriously, if you get a chance, the wildflowers are blooming early in the foothills this year. There are some gorgeous hikes.

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  44. lianne nailed it

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  45. Great responses to Gertie's post. A lot of warmth and love for grandmothers who shared their skills and love of sewing. Unfortunately, neither one of my grandmothers, or mother for that matter, sewed! My mother did teach me how to knit continental style, but she really didn't like sewing. In fact, the only dress she ever made was when we lived in Boston back in the early 1960s. One sleeve was way too long, the other one too short, and the hem was shorter in the front than the back. My mother never overcame her dislike of sewing, but she was a really good cook! So, the "not your grandmother's sewing" doesn't offend me one bit. However, I do understand that it is making a negative comparison to crafting skills and garments made by older generations. I take sewing classes and 95% of the ladies serge most of their garments, bags, etc. Couture techniques, underlining garments, pad stitching, lining, bound buttonholes, etc., are not in their book. I am an oddity in my sewing classes because those are the skills that hold my interest and passion.

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  46. I aspire to sew the way my great-grandmother did. An older cousin (who learned to sew from her) told me that she never sewed a seam on the machine until it was perfectly hand-basted. She (the cousin) would take her shopping at Neiman Marcus and "Ma" would look at the underside of garments and just shake her head. When teaching my cousin to sew she would say, "Now Patricia, that just won't do." She insisted on quality. Ironically, Patricia ended up sewing for a Neiman Marcus designer. In addition to being a first-rate seamstress (the term for sewist in those days), she always had a large garden and canned most of the food they ate. They knew how to live "off the grid" before the grid existed. I long for the good parts of that life (not naive enough to think it was all good . . . I love having the toilet in the house).

    And you do look splendid with no makeup.

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  47. I'm quite proud to have learned from my granny, I find it very arrogant the way some people think that because they have found a new bandwagon, to them, to jump on nobody else has ever known anything about it. Especially as some of the things made by such people are frequently not well done, they won't take the trouble to learn properly so throw together something awful and then boast about it to anyone who will listen. Yes, learning to do a thing well takes application and a lot of time and effort.
    My granny's embroidery was stunning and I'd be furious at anyone who turned their nose up at it because they thought it was too old fashioned!

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  48. gorgeous pic! you look cute with your glasses and the turban

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  49. Doesn't all that phrasing go along with our current trend of being somehow better than those that went before us. It's everywhere, surely ancient people were stupid. (oh wait, they built what?)
    It seems everything we do is to make us better than the last generation that messed it all up for us.
    I can't stand the attitude.
    I never knew my grandmothers but I learned so much from my mother. Since I now earn money for my sewing skills, kudos to my mom! She would be so proud. I wish she was here to enjoy it with me.
    Somebody way up the feed gave some homemade vs handmade comparisons, wow, that was wonderful! I will keep that tucked away in my mind.

    Have a safe trip and you look amazing...always!

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  50. It's ageist and sexist--implying that older women are somehow 'less' capable/contemporary. And it's just BS.

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  51. I consider "not your grandmother's sewing" a code for slapped together shredded crafty crap that passes for sewing. Heaven forbid that they should pick up a needle and do hand sewing when they can cram it through a machine or use glue, or take longer than 1 hour to do a project.

    The only time I agree with "not your grandma's sewing" is considering the machines readily available to home-sewers these days - embroidery, overlockers, coverstitchers, blindhemmers, etc.

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  52. As an older woman (61) who sews, I hate the term "not your grandmother's." I'm not yet a grandmother, but my maternal grandmother was a couture level seamstress. If I had just the skills she had in her little finger, I would be thrilled!

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  53. I think it's a heinous expression, full of contempt for older women and their work. I don't have grandchildren myself, but it makes me want to slap their little faces.
    Good thing I know some very nice young people..

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  54. Claire from EdinburghMay 3, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I don't like the phrase. Of course we all want to make stylish clothes whether knitting or sewing, but somehow people have to denigrate things to make sure they know it is new and fashionable. I have just started to laugh at some typical UK things - like 'cardigans are back in fashion' frequently crops up. Or, wow, knitting can be fashionable, you don't have to be a granny. Or worse older women in the public eye saying they are not ready for settling down and knitting. etc. etc. I have knitted for years, but only just learned to sew a couple of years back. I have a lovely photo of my mum cutting out her wedding dress c1937, an absolutely lovely bias cut dress - but I got put off sewing at school. It is so great to be able to create something, often looking to the past for style. I think people are so worried about not being cool that there is a need to qualify crafts by saying 'this is different and new'. I sort of understand how people feel the need to do that, but really we shouldn't need to put down others?

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  56. Hey! I made this turban! :) You look great in it! xx

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  57. Based on the comments here and @ STC craft, I think I have had a very different experience than most with crafting. Crafting was something my grandmother HAD to do. She worked very hard to make sure her kids wouldn't have to. My mother sewed a bit when she was young, but never learned to knit, and that was seen as a GOOD thing. She went to college, got her Master's, she didn't need no stinkin' sewing. My grandmother never taught me to sew either, I just figured it out by myself, in my bedroom, with a piece of fabric I bought at a yard sale and the needle I stole from my mom's darning box (hidden away behind the linens).
    Homemaking in my family was seen as drudgery and suffering. Successful educated people need never worry about that kind of drudgery. What I craft is not at all drudgery. It's fun. It's creative! What I do is definitely not my grandmother's sewing. I do it for the pleasure of crafting, not because I have to, not because I need to clothe my children, not because I can not afford to buy new pants, not because my socks have holes. My grandmother's crafting was work, mine is play.

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  58. I think it's an awful phrase and disrespectful - and often those that use it most often produce the most mediocre things with no true workmanship. I'm from a family of stitchers and I'm proud of that.
    When people talk about the breakdown of the traditional family units, I think it's reflected in these wonderful skills not being passed on. Long live our rocking' grannies I say!

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  59. I always say that I inherited my love for sewing from my grandma, who passed away two years ago. My mom was never interested, so when I expressed an interest she was surprised, to say the least. I sew (or draw, or sculpt, or create in general) because I love to. Anyway, I've always felt removed by such statements as "not your grandma's sewing", which almost feels more like self-promotion than anything else. Hehe... but this does make me think of a certain Natalie Dee cartoon :)

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  60. I hope my sewing is every bit as much "my Grandmother's sewing"! She made the most wonderful dance costumes, pageant dresses, and other things for her kids and grandkids. She made my wedding dress and I wouldn't have had one from a store for all the money in the world. All the little seed pearls sewn on by hand by my Grandmother, my Mom, my future MIL, and me - sitting in my Grandmother's living room on the sofa, on the floor, sewing and talking for an entire weekend. The marriage may not have lasted, but that dress and those memories will ALWAYS be special! Now, when I sew, it is my grandmother to whom I show my handiwork. I want her to see what I can do since those days of making clothes for my barbies and awkwardly attempting to put together quilt squares as a little girl. It is also my Grandmother that I call when I have a sewing question or problem. It is the tradition of sewing for oneself and one's family that inspires me to continue to sew, create, learn, and do! Love Live Our Grandmother's Sewing!!!!

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  61. I completely forgot to add this in my post previously and my husband reminded me. His grandmother was the seamstress that sewed the first astronaut suit for test flights from NASA and her prototypes are now at NASA/Johnson Space Center here in Houston, Texas. So if his grandmother's skills were good enough for NASA then good enough for me!

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  62. Depends on who your grandma is/was. For me, it's NOT my grandma's sewing.

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  63. It's a tempest in a teapot frankly. It's not my grandmother sewing (and also mine for that matter because I learned to sew before Title IV was passed); women who sew today do it because they want to, not because it was something they were expected to learn because it was considered the badge of a good wife and mother and it was their sole option because only boys played sports.

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  64. I totally agree with you and my ambition is to learn old the old techniques. I love the turban, if it's a scarf tied into one, could you do a tutorial for it? I'm rubbish at tying them! You look gorgeous, have a safe trip! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk/

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  65. I like Eleanors' way of defining 'homemade' vs. 'handmade'. To me, 'not your grandmothers' ______' is naught more than a marketing tool, & I treat the idea as such. Your bow turban is a smart way to travel, especially when arriving very early or very late :)

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  66. I'd be honored to think that my knitting was anywhere near the standard of the women of my granny's day! They had serious skills on the needles...

    Great discussion!

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  67. My grandmother sewed because she had to; she stopped sewing as soon as she could afford shop-bought clothes, which, frankly, were better quality than anything she could produce (she was not one of the world's most domesticated women).

    My mother sewed our clothes when I was little; she stopped sewing once we discovered charity shops as an endless supply of good-as-new garments (you just have to track down the one in a hundred that was meant for you...)

    I started sewing as a way of using up fabric that would otherwise have been wasted; I sew 'like grandmother' because I don't have a lot of money to throw at this hobby (why spend money on vanishing ink and glue guns and self-adhesive hem tape when you have yards and yards of thread to mark and tack and hem with?)

    In one way I sew couture; in another way I sew vintage. Basically I sew frugal, because my time and skill costs me nothing, and shortcuts come expensive. I've been given old thread, old notions, old patterns, an old household/sewing manual from the 1930s - I sew the way they had to sew when they didn't have the option to sew otherwise. I learnt to sew by mending with needle and thread...

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  68. Sorry about the anonymous post; I ticked Name/URL, but Blogger isn't giving me the option to enter them...

    I meant to add that in my 1930s household manual, a section on crochet is introduced by the words To most people this probably sounds very dull, as they begin to remember the crochet mats and antimacassars they have seen in the homes of their grandmothers...!

    So let's not forget that our venerated crafting grandmothers were, in all probability, busy looking down on their own forebears :-)

    Harriet Bazley

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  69. Welcome to Denver, it's my hometown! :)

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  70. Personally, I would love to have the sewing skills that my nanna, and all of my previous forebears had. They had a sense of individuality because every piece was homemade, and tailored to you, in the fabric that you wanted, and the pattern that you had saved up to buy. I remember my nanna saying once that it also meant that you took better care of your clothes once you appreciated how long it takes to mend/ make them. In this day and age, where it costs so little to replace something that would have taken hours to fix, we seem to forget that it was a highly valued skill that women learnt from a young age(and I say that as a femenist, yes - we can achieve true equality and hold onto some useful skills along the way :)) A few of my male friends feel the same way about things they didnt learn (some as simple as learning how to perform home maintenence stuff like fixing leaky taps etc) because they felt that their grandfathers knowledge was obsolete nowadays... kind of like how we shun our female elders as antiquated and opressed housewives when thats not the case.

    As someone who was actually taught by my grandmother to sew and knit, I'm pretty proud to say that I sew like my nanna does :) As one of the younger generations I feel that they have valuable information that we can always learn from and build on. And we could be losing valuable knowledge because as a society our obsession with identifying ourselves as youthful cause us to shy away from identifying with our (usually) wiser elders.

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  71. Hate that phrase. Also am sick of hearing "back in the day."

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  72. I find the idea of "not your grandma's sewing" strange as I think people who sewed back then had to have a better mastery of all things sewing. I'd assume. And it's also strange since retro-type clothes are in style. It just seems like a forced catch phrase.

    Side note - without make-up and your hair in a turban, you're still adorable. It's a little irritating. ;)

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  73. My beloved Grandma sewed until the end of WWII and then gratefully stopped. She became a working woman and was very proud of her job as the person who bought furs from northern trappers for southern furriers.

    She once told me that she hated sewing, and was in fact the person who taught me every trick in the book (and then some!) to avoid threading a needle. She loved to craft for fun though, and was a true artist with food, knit, crochet, needlepoint, and even embroidery - all of the 'fun' stuff. As far as I know, she was the first generation in our family to be able to do 'the fun stuff' and buy ready-to-wear.

    My mom writes and that is her creative thing. She is constantly marveling at my organizing, carpentry, sewing, canning, etc... So it's not my grandmother's sewing if only because I actually enjoy it.

    When I started to sew I learned it all on my own, and a little from my youngest son, age 15, who took sewing and loved it.

    I must be a genetic sport!
    The turban is fabulous, btw ;-)

    Renata

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  74. My grandmother sewed very well. And did embroidery. And knitted. And crochet. And woodwork. And made shoes! She died before i was born and I know her through the things that she left behind. My mother sews too. I sew for the same reasons they did. To get a well fitting, stylish, well made garment which will be exactly what I want and at a cost I can afford. My grandmother's sewing is ok with me. I wish she was here to teach me.

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

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