Sewing history: Consuming culture | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-0742
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0750

Abstract

The resurgence of home-sewing has led to renewed academic interest in the area. Current research has found that home-sewing is a substitute for purchasing ill-fitting, poor-quality and unsustainable fast fashion. Home-sewers report that they find the practice a creative leisure activity and that home-sewing is an empowering activity. What has been less examined are reasons why sewers make historical clothing, as opposed to making modern designs. This article examines home-sewing via the lens of historical material culture. That is, is seeks to understand the reasons why people sew and wear anachronistic clothing. It does so via an international survey of over 200 participants. A range of complex social and historical factors emerge in this research, which posit that there exist broad cultural phenomena to explain this contemporary trend. Of the recent research conducted into the reasons and motivations of home-sewers, the focus is on the sewing of contemporary clothing. Conversely, this research examines the motivations for sewing and wearing anachronistic clothing. Leading home dressmaking pattern company Simplicity claims that for many home-sewers it is vintage patterns that lead them to undertake home-sewing. This suggests that there are different types of home dressmakers who are motivated by considerations beyond that uncovered by previous research.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Commonwealth of Australia through the Research Training Programme
  • Dorothy and Keith Mackay Travelling Scholarship
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2021-03-01
2024-05-22
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