Sewing used to be a huge part of society. It was a skill that most people were taught so that they could mend a pair of pants or create a dress.
Although people in the last few generations lost interest in the craft, it seems as though it is becoming popular once again.
Why does there seem to be increased interest all of a sudden?
“Many people are dissatisfied with the quality of clothing that people are getting at stores,” said Darellyn McKnight, a Buffalo-area fashion designer and graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. “And also, it’s so practical. I find a lot of people want to have it as a hobby. It’s an advantage to learn how to hem a pair of pants.”
Alexandra Kane, 17, agrees. “I love sewing,” she said. “It’s useful for me because when my clothes rip, I can easily mend them myself. That, and it’s a good skill to have for things like arts and crafts, or being a clothes designer.”
McKnight, who ran a fashion design camp over the summer, said that sewing was something that came naturally to her, given that her mother was a seamstress.
When McKnight was younger, her mother used to make clothing for her Barbie dolls. As McKnight got older, she would think of these wonderful clothing items and realized that she could not find them in stores.
McKnight taught herself to sew when she was just 12 years old with the sewing machine she received for Christmas.
When she was 14, McKnight began sewing for clients. This sparked a life-long love for fashion that inspired her to attend FIT in New York City, and then work in the garment industry.
“If you have enough interest in anything, you can teach yourself anything,” McKnight said.
For people interested in learning to sew, McKnight recommended purchasing the Simple Singer sewing machine, which can be found at most department stores for around $99. This machine doesn’t have fancy embroidery attachments, which makes it easier to sew a simple, straight seams and sew on buttons and zippers.
McKnight also recommended going to a fabric store and checking out the pattern books and fabrics. She said that patterns have clear instructions, and if you go through enough, you will start to see how garments are laid out and soon will be able to figure out how to create other styles.
She said that for people who are serious about sewing, finding a mentor or taking sewing lessons might be a good option. For people who are interested in working in the apparel industry, McKnight highly recommends formal training.
For more information, contact McKnight at 986-7099 or email@example.com.
Aerin Wagner is a junior at Buffalo Seminary.