"What are you doing?"
The question took me by surprise when baby sister Rikki Tikki Tavi called last Saturday afternoon. Sure that she was imagining my slothful self sleeping or napping, "I'm a little ashamed to say" was my response.
"Oh gross! Are you in the bathroom?!"
"No, it's worse. I'm watching a quilting show on television."
"Ugh, you shoulda let me believe the first guess."
Rikki Tikki Tavi doesn't mind having a sister/free tailor but the last thing she wants to hear is sewing talk but I am feeling a bit more special today after reading that Julia Roberts is taking sewing lessons. How about that? I think we've reached the stage of Sewing Is Now Officially Cool.
While perusing sites such as Craftster.com, I am impressed by the young age of fearless sewists with no formal training. Those teenage chicks are seeking old sewing machines, vintage fabric and patterns to make their own mark.
Back in Mom's day, every female took Home Economics courses and knew how to sew. In my high school days, it was an elective but because my elective was already fulfilled by music, I wasn't able to take any Home Ec classes, ever. Even if my casual interest in sewing had been explored, I didn't really want to be a part of what I considered kinda pathetic path. Home Ec in the 80's is what you did when you had no collegiate or career future.
Brought on by television show Project Runway, perpetuated by Anthropologie marketing and augmented by online commerce site etsy.com, personally crafted items are still (or yet again) appreciated even in our current age of cheap factory made everything. Our eye zones in toward the imperfect handmade touch and it's not the first time in our history. The Arts and Crafts movement (1860-1910) was a reaction against industrial consumerism. And what better rebellion from 1970's plastic than macrame and pottery? It ebbs and flows, my friend.
When I sit in my craft room, late at night, mending a favorite clothing items or rummaging through the buttons, I wonder what my great-grandmothers would've thought of my late-bloomed passion for sewing. What would they say about massive craft room? Or online sewing blog?
I hope they're proud.