Monday, 30 December 2013

disagreeing on the 'joy' of hand sewing

It fairly irritates me to the point of soapbox ranting when someone indicates that if I don't love hand sewing that I shouldn't be making historical clothing.

Had I lived at the time, I've no doubt that I would have had to do that (assuming I wasn't from a wealthy family), but I sincerely doubt I'd have viewed it as more than drudgery.  I like following tech development now, and had I lived in the 1790s+ when sewing machines were being developed I'd have been more than a little excited at the possible end to drudgery ... in respect of seaming etc.

It sounds like the Austrian Josef Madersperger's machine of 1814 might not have been what we today would expect from a machine, but functioned it shows that even then people were looking for an alternative to hand sewing and had made a utilitarian machine.

I find it a little disingenuous for women who have the luxury of not having to sew the entire household's clothing by hand - - and who because of modern cooking, cleaning and clothing methods (even if they sew all their own clothes and cook from scratch) have time to spend hand sewing the occasional garment (ie for rare not everyday use) to imply that those of us who don't find it soothing or meditative or joyful should find another hobby and not sew historic clothing.

How blinkered a perspective. Suggesting I try historical cooking .... when I likely only have access to a modern electric stove!  How can that compare to trying historic food recipes using original methods only ie with only hand tools, open fires or wood/coal fired ranges/ovens.  But using modern cooking tools & equipment is acceptable when it comes to a historic food hobby, but using modern sewing tools & equipment isn't a proper experience.

Phooey, I say. Phooey to snobbery, because that's what it is.


  1. I don't know much about sewing whole garments by hand but I know that people who write sometimes do the same thing. "I hate to write but love to have written," as attributed to far to many people.

    Lets just be thankful for washing machines.

    1. I've got friends who love hand sewing whole garments .... and I'd never say to anyone who does that they shouldn't.

      I just don't get the mindset that says "if you don't enjoy doing your hobby my way then you shouldn't do it. Go do something else in a modern way".

      I'm eternally grateful for washing machines and ovens that self regulate to a thermostat setting!