I know some readers will be delighted to hear that there has been a huge jump in home dressmaking, according to the Guardian.
I speak as one who who has both two left feet when it comes to dancing, and and two left hands when it comes to sewing, and who thinks that shop-bought is always better than home-made (when it's my home it's being made in) but I'm nonetheless quite pleased to see any revival of creativity:
So it comes as no surprise to me that more and more people are taking up sewing. Last week, Argos reported that sales of selected sewing machines have rocketed by 50% in their stores in the past 12 months. Explaining this phenomenon, they cite increasing concern for the environment, awareness of social issues and a backlash against the "throwaway society". They need only add the words "credit crunch" to give a complete picture of why sewing has suddenly become popular again. Woolworths has also just reported a similar trend, with sewing-machine sales growing by 258% in the same period. Their explanation? "We think it's down to more home economics classes being taught in school, the increasing popularity of fancy-dress parties and the death of the high-street tailor."
And those figures show that a trend that has been bubbling under for a decade has finally hit the mainstream. The crafting revival began in earnest in 2000, when Debbie Stoller, editor of popular US feminist magazine Bust, took a fresh approach to the traditional skills of knitting and crochet, reinventing them for contemporary crafters. She wrote the knitting book, Stitch and Bitch, and soon groups of the same name were gathering in clubs, bars and cafes across the world to make stuff together. In the UK, other groups started, too, including Knitchiks (knitchicks.co.uk), the Cast Off knitting club (castoff.info) and IknitLondon (iknit.org.uk).