What does National Sewing Month mean? Well, the official site will tell you that it’s “a great time to indulge your passion for sewing and a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the craft if you’ve never tried it before.” That’s not a bad message at all, but I think there’s something more to it. National Sewing Month should be a time to celebrate that you are a sewer! Indulge yourself by getting a new fabric you’ve been wanting, but just couldn’t quite justify. Or try a new technique or pattern that you’ve been worried about getting started on.
Celebrate that you are a sewer – you can take two pieces of fabric, cut them up in various unusual shapes and sew them back together in a fashion that is not only coherent, but is pleasing to the eye!
Okay, now that the pep talk is out of the way, more about the holiday. It’s nice to know where events like this come from, so I decided to look into the history of the event. I was pleased to find that National Sewing Month actually has it’s own website, so the information below is primarily from that site.
Many people believe that National Sewing Month is only a few years old because of the intense marketing campaigns in the last few years. But it actually was declared by President Ronald Reagan on September 21st, 1982 that September would be recognized as National Sewing Month. This was done at the request of the American Home Sewing & Craft Association.
The American Home Sewing & Craft Association later became the Home Sewing Association (HSA) and in 2004 they renewed their dedication to National Sewing Month. In 2005, a full advertising campaign was launched to make the public more aware of this holiday, and for the first time a theme was associated with the holiday for the year: “Sewing… the alternative yoga.” From that point, themes have been continued for the holiday each year:
- 2005 – Sewing… the Alternative Yoga
2006 – Sewing… Express Your Creative Spirit
2007 – Sewing… it’s What You Make of It
2008 – Go Green! Sew Green!
2009 – Reuse, Remake, Restyle
In 2008 the American Sewing Guild (ASG) took over the promotion of National Sewing Month along with the Sewing & Craft Alliance. You can find out more about this history, and links to this year’s contest at the official website.
Yes, you read that correctly – there is a contest associated with National Sewing Month, and I encourage everyone who can to join in. Even if you don’t feel that you can submit your final project for entry, I’d like to hear from those of you that do try to make something in the spirit of the month. Details on the official rules can be found here: 2009 contest rules, but here is the challenge:
Reuse, Remake, Restyle Challenge
We want to see your most creative ideas for how you implement environmentally-sound sewing into your life.
Have you designed a clever method to reuse a garment that you made and no longer wear? Do you shop thrift stores and garage sales for designer garments that you restyle into bags, totes or ‘vintage’ style garments for yourself? Have you found a way to remake an everyday product into something unique and eco-thrifty? Sew up your best ideas for National Sewing Month and you could be a lucky winner!
My challenge to you – get out there and sew! Sew whatever you like, even if it doesn’t meet the qualifications for the official contest, you will have celebrated that you are a sewer! And I’ll be happy to post pictures of projects that are made this month – just email them to sewingheart @ hotmail.com (sorry, but to prevent a bunch of spam, I can’t give you a link to the email, just take out the spaces around the @ sign and use that as the email address). By the end of the month, I hope to have so many pictures from you that we’ll have to make a series of posts about them!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing