Saturday, 9 August 2008

About the Connecting Threads project

Connecting Threads Questionairre.

I want to record the teachers and inspiration for today’s home sewers and needle-workers. This is very much a project in progress but I have a notion that it would make a wonderful book.

I found the Artisans Square forum in February 2008 and participated in the Sewing With A Plan (SWAP) contest. I found new friends and lots of ideas. Over time I noticed that people would often tell stories about how they started sewing or the people that taught and influenced them.

I realised that sewing seems to be a passion that is passed on and shared, in the past passing from generation to generation. However with the increase in mass produced clothes in the last 30 years the home seamstress seems to be in decline. A mum in the 1970s might have learned to sew from her mum but might not have passed the skills to her daughter. Fewer and fewer schools are teaching sewing and home economics so another route for learning is closing down.

Conversely the internet has a vibrant sewing community. Forums and talk boards abound, blogs and review sites, online tutorials and so much more to connect sewers and needle-workers around the world.

Seeing the generation of home-makers that grew up in the first half of the 20th century and lived by the motto of make-do-and-mend begin to pass from us, I wanted to capture the stories of today’s home seamstresses and needle-workers and the people that taught and inspired them.

My grandmother is 90 something and if I don’t ask these questions soon then I may never hear her story in her own words.

This is how the Connecting Threads project came about.

I want to hear your story and the story of the person that taught or inspired you in your craft and if at all possible the story of the person that inspired them.

While it would be wonderful to see the connection between family members, grandmothers, mothers and daughters (or fathers and sons) I also want stories that represent all the other ways people might have learnt.

Perhaps a great home economics teacher, an adult ed. class or maybe you are one of those amazing people that just decided to learn to sew and taught yourself.

So please tell me your story.

In the first instance please complete the questionnaire here and indicate if you are available for follow up research.

If the person that taught you is available and willing it would be fantastic to have their response to the questionnaire too. For those of us that were taught by people that have gone to the great sewing circle in the sky we are too late to ask them these questions, but if you know some of their needlework history then please do add this information in if you wish.

Please answer the questions here as fully and candidly as you can.

About the “age” question – I am trying to get a feel for different eras and how times and sewing trends have changed.

If I get that far I won’t publish any details without consent.

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