Sunday, 16 May 2010

The lack of young stitchers?

We had such a great day at the quilt show, the sun shone and it was glorious weather. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of quilts to show. This was (ahem, embarrassed cough) because we spent most of our time buying wonderful fabric, ribbons, goodies etc. It was great! It was such fun to browse and I was very good and only bought things which I had a project planned for, so it wasn't too bad really. Honest...

There was a great atmosphere and everyone was so friendly. The only sad thing, as Helen remarked when we had our mid afternoon cuppa, was how sad that there weren't any young people. We actually felt like some of the youngest there, most of the ladies were obviously retirement age, despite it being a Saturday, and not a working day. This led us to discuss all the younger people we knew who don't sew, knit etc, which was all of them - except one! What are your experiences? - I know there are always exceptions, but despite a whole range of sewing and knitting magazines on the market over here, none of my friends my age or younger have yet to show any interest in making anything. Perhaps it's the UK dragging it's heels again, and it's different in the US and Australia?

When we finally arrived home Helen made me a gift of this beautiful faux chenille bag she had made, isn't it lovely? I was so thrilled. She's going to teach me how to do it!

So, talking of young people who don't sew, one of the items on my niece's wedding list was a sewing box ( for general use). Currently my sister in law has to take round all her equipment every time stitching needs to be done at Katherine's, as there is nary a needle and thread in the house.

To continue - 'aha', thinks doting auntie, 'I'll get that as a little extra personal gift for her'. Then I saw it in John Lewis. Wooden "hand carved"! ( hmmmm) box, painted pink with a dodgy "hand embroidered" needle case and pincushion, and a cheap tape measure wrapped around a fancy card. That was it, and they wanted £40.00! I was horrified, it was very poorly made and quite impractical.

So, flushed with my bag success last week, I decided to make a sewing bag like mine for her, in her favourite colours. I got some lovely material yesterday, and sewed like crazy today. I'm really proud of myself as I was given my original bag by my friend's mum, who is professional. She actually teaches textiles, patchwork and quilting, and made it as a gift for me. It's been so useful, and looks cute too! I managed to work out how it was put together, and voila!

Three pictures - you can tell I am proud!

This is my original bag and the "copy" I made!
Those who know my practical abilities are not great will appreciate what a big deal this was! It's not perfect but it was made with love. Now - to make the wedding cards and finish the other gift I am making, then I can start that next doll.

Have a happy, creative week x


  1. Thats a great gift. Your neice will love it. There are some amazing threads out there that you could add to tempt her into using it too. Glad you had a good time at the quilt show xxJ

  2. such a wonderful gift!!! It is beautiful. I sell at farmer's markets and there are young people that sell things they make. Also I have friend and all her daughters are amazing artists of one kind or another.

  3. Hi Jules,

    Nice post. I also sell at a Farmer's Market but the young people there sell soaps and wood type products, glass. There are no sewn items. You asked if there are many young women in the USA who are sewing these days. I know of none! Neither of my daughters sew. None of my younger friends sew..No pun intended but Sew (So) sad.

    I do love the sewing bag you made for your neice. Surely she will appreciate it and it is equal to the one you received in quality.

    Good Job!

  4. The bags all look great, Jules!=)

    I love those shows too and, yes, sometimes I've felt like the youngest there, but I also find it depends on the show and the style.

    For example, at the huge Knitting and Stitching Show I go to most years in Harrogate, there are school/college parties there with all the girls on textiles and fashion programmes in high school or FE College and there are also display by graduates and uni level finalists, so all young people.

    For some of the more general stitch and craft shows, it tends to be mostly older ladies who are there in my northern experience and I think the younger element are possibly less likely to go to quilting shows than any other. Quilting seems to me to really be seen as an old ladies' hobby! *I* don't think so, of course, but I daresay it's not something that presents itself as a possible option to many younsters.

    At least there are shows to go to back home. Nothing out here, bah!

  5. I wanted to try stitching in making wedding cards

  6. I have a sewing bag a little like yours , it took me ages as I too am not the most practical person. I like the colours of yours and its such a good present.
    One of my daughter's sews and paints but you are right I don't think there are that many young people who sew much in England . Here in France there is a huge army of ladies that make quilts,always perfect and from patterns. Mine would look very wonky next to one.I have found just one french friend here who makes bags and dolls, I was so glad to meet her

  7. The bag is beautiful as well as being useful, and I am sure she will keep it for years to come.
    There are youngsters sewing and seem to be more since the economic downturn. But there still are not that many. I think it is partly to do with the expense of fabric in the UK-it is frequently not possible to buy nice fabric and make something for yourself for anything like the cost of ready made. Sad, but I fear true.

  8. I agree with you about young people, maybe it is because we studied sewing at school? I have noticed that shops selling fabric, needles, thread etc are very thin on the ground here.

    I love your bag by the way, especially the pockets.

  9. What a wonderful gift! I know what you mean about the lack of young stitchers. I'm always the youngest and I'm 42! Crazy!

  10. Most young people these days don't want to learn anything. Especially if it takes time and practice and patience. They're too busy texting. :) But there are some young people out there who sew and knit. I don't happen to know them, but I'm sure they're out there hiding in their houses sewing and knitting away!

    The gift you made your niece is gorgeous! I hope she get a lot of use out of it.



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