I have just made a cushion for a friend who doesn't sew. She brought a vintage curtain and asked if I could make four cushions for her. We found some plain backing fabric in a charity shop. I sewed the first one up last night and took it over this morning to check it was okay before doing the other three. She now thinks I am a genius! Yes, she actually used that word, "genius" - let me tell you it was a square 46 cm cushion with an overlapping back. Now, anyone who sews will know that a square cushion cover is a bit of a no brainer to make, and of course, it is nice to be called a genius and to receive praise, I am not moaning about that! But I am telling you this, not because I want your praise for my "genius cushion", but because I think it shows how far removed many people in our society have become from making stuff themselves.
She was really stunned that I made the cushion cover by myself in a relatively short time period while watching TV. Now, am I right in thinking that 40 years ago or even less it would not be so amazing to sew a cushion? I grew up in a house where my mum reupholstered furniture and sewed cushions, curtains etc. Was this unusual in the 1970s and 80s?
I take my daughter to playgroups and I often find conversationthere involves talk about shopping, clothes from supermarkets and Primark are very popular (I am not dissing these here) but with my charity shop clobber and me made clothes I feel more and more dislocated from these conversations. For me to say I am concerned about the level of pay people receive for making cheap clothes or the waste of clothes going to landfill marks me out as a strange killjoy hippy. I feel more and more like I don't fit in at these groups but I keep kind of quiet as the main purpose is for my daughter to enjoy herself playing there, not for me to fit in with the other parents!
People who don't know me think it is a bit odd or eccentric to sew my own clothes. Those who do know me often relate it to the fact that I did an art degree - maybe this has something to do with it.... I don't know. I am loving making clothes as I have a deep love of textiles and patterns and all these things and this activity makes me happy. What can be better than that?