I received the new sales circular from Hancock Fabrics. Guess what? It’s Prom Time! Well, it is in the sewing world, anyway, which runs a couple of months ahead of the calendar.
This photo from the sales circular is a perfect example of why home sewing has earned such a bad reputation. Garish fabrics made into ill-fitting garments that just have that “home made” look. People who sew custom garments call this LHAH, or “Loving Hands at Home,” and it’s the reason that most people have come to prefer store-bought clothing over hand-made.
The main difference is education. When people sewed a larger portion of their own garments, they learned the proper way to do so from an early age. They had many hours to practice, and an instructor (usually a mother) to start them out with things like patchwork and mending (remember mending?) and work their way up to hems and finally garments. Not nearly as many people have this sort of knowledge or practice available to them.
Does this mean that without a great deal of training and practice nobody is fit to create clothes by hand? Not necessarily. While some clothing items (prom dresses) are best left to the advanced sewist (new term, since seamstress is not gender neutral, and we all know what a sewer is…), other projects are well within grasp for most with a rudimentary knowledge of sewing.
Think: pajama pants, skirts, and aprons (yes, aprons are back!).
And for heaven’s sake, remember to press your seams! That’s what my mother taught me.