Sewing – a lost art worth discovering

Sewing is a bit of a lost art. It’s a skill that grandmothers always seem to have, but it rather fell out of fashion and younger generations often have no sewing skills beyond learning to thread a needle in a craft class at school. This is a real shame, as sewing is an incredibly useful skill, not to mention a whole lot of fun. Fortunately, sewing has undergone something of a revival in recent years. Perhaps it’s time to dig out those pins and needles, and consider a few reasons why sewing is worth exploring.

Sewing items of clothing might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be complicated and it can be extremely useful. A good place to start is altering store-bought clothes – if a top is the right design, the right price and fits well except for the straps being a little too long, then they can easily be shortened. Altering ready-made clothes allows beginners to develop their needlework skills and build their confidence. The next step is to make an item of clothing from scratch. Good sewing patterns are indispensable here – start off with simple pieces such as an A-line skirt or a t-shirt. Before long, it’s possible to design and sew clothes that fit perfectly every time and are always exactly suited to the occasion!

Creating home decorations and soft furnishings is actually much easier than many people think. With some basic skills, and the right tools, it’s surprisingly simple to make cushion covers, lampshades, table runners and even curtains. Soft furnishings make homes feel cosy, particularly in rooms such as dining rooms that often have hard floors and wooden surfaces. Adding some textured throw cushions to a window seat can make all the difference. For bigger projects, such as making a pair of curtains, a sewing machine really is worth having. There’s lots of advice online to help beginners to choose the right machine for their sewing needs. It’s also a good idea to master a few basic stitches, using online tutorials.

With a few basic sewing skills, it’s easy (and cheap!) to create thoughtful gifts. If a friend has a new baby, some cute home-sewn bunting for the nursery makes a really lovely present. Children will love being given personalised items that have been made specifically for them – bags, dolls, pencil cases and clothes in their favourite colours and made of fabrics that feature their favourite characters. For adults, aprons, table runners and clothes-peg bags are all easy to sew and make delightful gifts. Allbirds recently created an all wool hand sown shoe that is very comfortable and eco-friendly. Sewing can help save the planet one stitch at a time.

Sewing is a hobby that can be picked up easily at any stage of life. It doesn’t cost much to get started, and the rewards – in terms of satisfaction, money-saving and fun – can be significant. Don’t leave it to the grandmothers.