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The Future of Sewing

Although the days of home economics classes in school are over, I am hopeful that home sewing will prevail - just in a different form. YouTube and Google are our new teachers and they provide access to content from learn-to-sew to couture sewing with just a few key strokes. The best thing is, you can watch or read the content over and over until you master it, and you also have access to many different teachers.

We also have at our disposal the best variety of sewing machines ever, from inexpensive models to machines that cost upwards of $4000. Something for everyone.

Where the market fails us is in quality of fabric. There's a lot of cheap stuff out there and it is difficult to tell the difference sometimes. Price is certainly an indicator but that can only tell us so much. Sewists prefer to see and feel the fabric they purchase for weight, texture, print quality and more. Buying fabric, especially in person, is one of the joys of sewing. You can still buy quality fabric but it's not easy to find at local craft and fabric shops.

They focus more on crafts and beginner sewers, which frustrates experienced sewers no end. Yet it doesn't have to be this way. There is still good fabric for retailers to buy, they just choose not to. Maybe it's because they don't sew themselves. What I do know, is that when I go to Fabricland in London, Canada, for example, I have a completely different experience. Yes, they do sell home decor items like Joann Stores, but they have fewer crafts and more fabric. And guess what, they hire experienced sewers who know tons about sewing and fabrics AND the place is busy! They've been in business since the 60s and they still manage to sell quality.

I mean, what is the point in taking the time to learn how to make covered buttons or bound buttonholes, if the fabric quality of apparel fabrics is just not there? If you go to this effort you want the garment to last.

Although the online fabric business is growing, what we really need is a new chain store to emerge across the US that really understands sewing and sewing materials and change the home sewing industry from wavering to thriving. I know I'd drive a long way to go to a real fabric store and I bet others would too.