When I wear my hand stitched Alabama Chanin style skirts, the reactions I get are these: “Did you make this?” (because it is clearly hand made) and then the next one: “BY HAND? It must have taken forever”. Funny thing, sometimes these reactions come from knitters! I was a knitter myself and know how long it takes to knit a scarf (or a pair of socks for that matter). “No, not forever” I reply, and certainly not as long as it takes to knit a sweater by hand. Or making 500 granny squares.
I like to stitch by hand for many reasons, and one is that you don’t need electricity, or undisturbed time as you can do it with people around. I often have good ideas when I sew by hand. Because it is me and what I’m making and not the sewing machine, me and what I’m making.
Nothing against sewing machines. They liberated many girls and women from tedious work with no escape. They are wonderful tools to get a job done. And I own one. She is nice and fast and has almost all the time… off.
I’m dreaming of a handmade wardrobe where one day, most of my things are hand sewn. It’ll be a slow process, but I will add to it stitch by stitch, item by item. And it will grow because I won’t throw anything out. Because I will mend them too! Just like a Boro textile from Japan.
The garments above are stitched with a simple running stitch. Anyone can do it. Probably much more quickly than most people think.
Does anyone else sew by hand?