Thursday, 14 May 2015

This ain't your momma's sewing!

With the advent of video tutorials, blog sewalongs and a whole world of speciality fabrics open to the world of sewers, companies are finally beginning to realise that a new generation of makers are taking on the reins of the industry.

And they do things differently.

Shape Shape 11 Apron Skirt

Is the Millenial sewing boom going to change the world? Studies show that millenials (those born between 1980-1995) are more educated, globally mobile, socially conscious, proactive and less materialistic than their parents. They are more independent, but more likely to live with their parents until well into their 40s. Generation rent are living in an age of social hyper-connectivity, getting realtime Instagram feedback on everything from fabric and fit to styling and notions.

These millemials are breaking the mold by making wrap skirts with asymmetric hems. They have shummed the advice of their forbears by adding vintage buttons and bias binding to the hem. This ain't your momma's sewing.

Shape Shape 11 Apron Skirt

The millenial sewer is the NextGen, looking to blend the values of their generation with that of their parents. They make a skirt, they share it on the internet (of things). Look internet! I made a thing! They talk to their housemate, who talks to the fridge, who tells them they forgot to buy milk again. You can spot a millenial sewer by a few key features:
  • They are more likely to buy their patterns and fabric from a company who claim to be ethical and conscious of its social impact on the community
  • Short of cash due to high cost of living, wage freezes and zero-hour contracts, they look to buy their supplies from the cheapest possible supplier
  • Conscious to assert their individuality and support their community, they buy their supplies from a network of trusted micro-businesses
Shape Shape 11 Apron Skirt

Millenial sewers are going to shake things up over the next few years as peopple who make stuff change generation. Compared to baby boomers, they use more modern machines, they learn interactively, they use more technical textiles, they create new avant garde looks using hand embroidery and lace trim. It's up to the businesses of today to wake up and take notice.

Shape Shape 11 Apron Skirt

In the age of iPads and selfie sticks, the millenial sewer is keen to express their individuality and the full range of complex facets of their daily lives: holding down 3 jobs as arialists, office workers and low-level standup comedians. The millenial will show they've made an outfit for any occasion by buying the pattern of the moment and making it up in a Liberty Tana Lawn, adding subtle quirks to broadly recognisable RTW trends.

About the Skirt
Pattern: Shape Shape #11 Apron Wrap Skirt
Size: S/M, no fitting adjustments
Design: Wrap skirt with asymmetric hem. I removed the waist ties, added a facing and added some invisible buttons
Fabric: Red twill from John Lewis (leftover from B's birthday trousers)

I'm exposed to crappy articles all day every day: work, social media, leisure. This is partly an exercise in how easy it is to spew out a few hundred words on millenials. It's partly therapy and venting frustration at these kinds of articles. It's partly a jibe against how tough it is to spot genuine articles amongst advertorials or repurposed marketing texts. 

It's also partly venting at not being able to say the right things. I can't say the right things independently, but I am a pretty good mimic. In the absence of thinking and writing independently - coming up with some mindful and considered points in beautifully constructed prose - I can plagiarise. I can rehack and plagiarise and steal an article that's been written a thousand times before by a thousand generic sources. And somehow it's new.

I've got 600 new words on the screen. So I hit 'Publish'.



  1. I love you, I love your writing and I love your humour and I urge you to sew more so you can share more of it.

  2. Daft ha'porth! Love you Millenial girl! Like the skirt too!