Recently Tara has taken up the challenge of sewing and writes about it on her Victory Lamour blog:
Why did I make a promise to myself to (finally) learn the practical skill of sewing? The reason is simple. I wanted to be more self-sufficient. Scratch that, I needed to be.
Over the years it became clear to me that it was well and truly time to learn how to mend my own clothing, fix a busted seam before it rendered a garment unwearable, and sew buttons on in a way that didn’t immediately make them fall off again. I also wanted to be able to make clothing and cosplay outfits from scratch and from recycled materials, but I had no skills whatsoever in either respect (even the sewing on of buttons was a mystery to me), having never been taught any sewing or mending skills, and having never put time into learning.
My inability to mend my own things had become distinctly unhelpful to me, particularly considering my love of vintage and the tendency for even the best made vintage clothing to come apart at the seams, thanks to ageing, 60-year-old thread. It also occurred to me that I’d downplayed the importance of these skills in my younger years in part because sewing, mending and dressmaking have been considered ‘feminised skills’. It is ironic, in a way, that a feminist woman would avoid things precisely because they are considered feminine, and in doing so, become less self-sufficient. In time this imbalance became impractical, and though I took a while to recognise it, recognise it I did.
I am a newbie with much left to learn, but in the past few months I have discovered a great deal about what goes into making the kinds of material objects I for decades took too much for granted. Fabric quality. Stitching techniques. The construction of garments and the hours of work that goes into even the simplest item. I look at things differently, more carefully considering the making of an item and what its life might be, how it might be repaired, and whether I’d happily wear it in 5 years or 50.