In these times of economic uncertainty, sewing can provide not only an outlet for creative expression, but also a useful skill with which an individual can create items for the home or fashions for themselves that they might otherwise not be able to afford. Enterprising crafters can use their sewing expertise to create items to sell at online venues such as etsy.com or at local fairs to generate income. There are also many charitable sewing project ideas to help others in need. My mother began teaching me to sew when I was seven and it has brought me great pleasure over the years as I have mastered new skills and techniques. Sewing is so versatile, allowing for varying ranges in skills, from making simple pillows to detailed couture garments.
September is National Sewing Month! While at first blush it may seem like just another of those wacky events manufactured by the greeting card industry, National Sewing Month was actually instituted to recognize the importance of the home sewing industry. At the request of the American Home Sewing & Craft Association, President Ronald Reagan, on September 21, 1982, declared the month of September to be National Sewing Month. Additional proclamations were made in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1988 and they state that "Tens of millions of Americans sew at home. Their efforts demonstrate the industry, the skill and the self-reliance which are so characteristic of this Nation."
Between 2005 and 2007, the Home Sewing Association (formerly the American Home Sewing & Craft Association) each year adopted a theme to celebrate the art and craft of sewing, a tradition that has been carried on by the American Sewing Guild and the Sewing & Craft Alliance (the two organizations that teamed up in support of National Sewing Month after the Home Sewing Association disbanded in late 2007). In 2009, in addition to introducing a specific sewing theme, the organizations added a contest to inspire people to bring out their creativity and show off their creations. The theme for 2011 is Sew for the LOVE of it! and the accompanying contest asks you to make an article that showcases your passion for sewing that includes a visible heart. The contest runs through September 30, 2011 so there is still plenty of time to enter! For more information about the contest, visit the National Sewing Month Contest website.
Need some sewing inspiration? These books are a great place to start!