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Are handmade items a dying art?

Today I took this selfie in a dress I made. Does anyone else enjoy sewing and making things by hand?

"Sewing is a dying art," people say. I find this hard to believe.

To keep us out of trouble, the mother of my best friend, Jami, taught us girls to sew the summer before we started 7th grade. Jami and I loved sewing.

We both sewed our clothes in junior and senior high.

Later, I made clothes and Halloween costumes for my daughter, Claire, and her dolls. Since it always snows on Halloween, I had to make her costumes warm.

Claire was a gypsy for Halloween at age 6-1/2. Here I'm working on her costume. Every five minutes, I gave her wiggle breaks.

Unfortunately, Claire couldn't go trick-or-treating because she had the flu. Hence the pouting photo.

"Mama, I love falling asleep to the sound of your sewing machine," Claire said.

By LiterateHiker8
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I make crafts of all kinds to suit my friends and family, I upcycle, can make anything you can imagine out of wood and I make preserves as I live off the land. I volunteer at the local school teaching how to build cedar strip canoes to prevent it from becoming a dying art. When Christmas comes I feel so much love and appreciation from all the homemade gifts it fills my heart to do it again year after year.


I make my own soap. Does that count?

me too!!


Of course it counts. Good for you!


I think there is still real interest in handicrafts amongst GenX and Y. I have several friends with very high level corporate jobs who still find time to sew, knit, crochet etc.

I have attended salami making workshops where many of the students were Italian men my own age who neglected to learn when they were younger because salami making was seen to be this uncool thing that the old men did. Now they have children of their own they see it as part of their heritage they want to be able to pass on.

I went to a traditional craft fair last year that was so popular I had to park a mile away. There were craftspeople there demonstrating everything from sauerkraut making to blacksmithing, patchwork to woodwork. I saw loads of people sign on for courses.

I see a bit of a backlash against mass-produced rubbish. People still hunger for the authenticity of handmade products and are willing to learn to create them.

Strabo Level 6 Aug 14, 2018


Great reply. Thank you.


I have a sewing machine and I try to make things with it, but I find patterns terribly hard to follow. I've not given up though. On the other end, I hand stitched an entire Queen-sized quilt. It took forever (read: years), but it's beautiful.

lslatt1 Level 5 Aug 14, 2018

My grandmother used to make quilts. They are works of art.


Wonderful! I'm impressed that you sewed a quilt by hand.

My plans was to make a quilt for my daughter when she went to college. Claire was such a pill as a teenager, she didn't deserve a quilt.

Honestly, I don't have the personality to sit sewing endless small pieces together. Would long to commit Hari Kari using sewing shears while kneeling on an unfinished quilt.

So,I downshifted to a crib quilt when Claire and Matt have a baby. Will use fabric scraps from clothes I made Claire as a child. Like me, Claire is sentimental.


I paint, cook, garden and trained in ceramics. I love to make my own decorative pieces for my home. Wish I could sew and make my own clothes but don't have the first clue. I'd also like to take up carpentry and metal work. I can make stained glass panels but alas there are so many things I'd love to do but just don't have the time. I think your work is superb. Hand made anything isn't dying out but with our busy lives it often takes a back seat.

MissMac Level 6 Aug 15, 2018

I cross-stitch...


I don't think sewing I'd a dying art, I know quilting is going on strong. I think one of the reasons people don't make too many clothes is the cost of material these days.

19dacar52 Level 7 Aug 14, 2018

It isn’t as common as it once was, but there are plenty of handcrafters out there to keep it alive. I learned a lot of my skills in sewing, knitting, etc., during the 12 years my children attended a Waldorf school. A Waldorf education is very rich in arts, music, history and handwork, among other things. Now you’ve inspired me to post!

Elusia8 Level 6 Aug 14, 2018

I totally admire people who can. I don’t because those aren’t my talents. I have a couple of quilts my brother made for me. He was this grumpy man but his wife had a quilting business and when he retired he took it up. He passed away a little over 3 years ago, but I still have the quilts and they mean quite a bit to me.


I used to sew. When my eyes got too bad to continue, I gave my sewing machine to my nephew's wife, and she learned how to sew.
We worked together on a few projects, and she sews when she has time.

I used to knit, too. Arthritis doesn't allow for that anymore.

There are a lot of times that I really miss doing both.

KKGator Level 9 Aug 14, 2018

I love to sew. Personally, I believe that everyone should at least be able to make simple clothing repairs. Because of that, my daughter is an wonderful seamstress. My youngest son knows enough to run a sewing machine to repair his own clothes and hem his jeans.

My older sister on the other hand can't even sew on a button. I've offered to teach her but she refuses claiming she can't see well enough to thread a needle. I did mention to her that they make self threading needles; she still refuses to learn.

kiramea Level 7 Aug 14, 2018

They do??? I was sewing buttons a couple months ago and getting the thead through the eye was pure luck!

@BlueWave Here is a link to self threading needles: []


It's lovely. I did sew some curtains once. They were for my truck, which was my home for a year when I drove around Oz.

Not very competent.


I do dollhouses and miniatures and have been trying to learn different fabrics and techniques to make clothing to fit different sized dolls. very challenging to make tiny things!


My mom was an excellent seamstress. How the term "tailor" doesn't apply is beyond me. But I remember her correcting me so I use that appellation at her behest. I can remember the swell of work she had when I ceded the small bedroom so that she could use it as her.... um. Studio?
And yes, the rattle of her Singer was as Sominex to me.

Hicks66 Level 7 Aug 15, 2018

As a single guy I only sew using a machine for basics like taking up pants or jeans, or making short sleeve shirts out of long sleeved ones, doing drapes and making a new round tablecloth for the deck table every year. I admire those who can make works of art using imagination and a needle and thread.


No, but most do not want to take the time or have the creativity. (I sew when needed but more creative with metal and woods.)

oldFloyd Level 7 Aug 15, 2018

My sex life says no.


Adorable! I used to make some of the kids clothes when they were infant /toddlers. And have made a few Halloween outfits, silly winter hats, and recovering projects. I need to whip up a bunch of curtains sometime this week.

I still do a lot of needlecraft projects...mostly Christmas themed ones...a lot of vintage things I find on eBay. And I crochet. ?


The craft industry was on an up swing for awhile. Do not know what it's like now. I do occasional leatherwork

t1nick Level 8 Aug 14, 2018

I learned how to sew in high school, don't think they offer that class anymore.

Nice dress, cute kid. ☺

sellinger Level 7 Aug 14, 2018


Thank you for your compliment.


I sew, crochet, knit, embroider. I love hand made things and to make hand made things. I make my own soaps and lip balms as well. Look at Pintrest or Etsy. Handmade is not dying out.


I know many people who knit and crochet. I never learned to see but wish I had.

GreatNani Level 8 Aug 14, 2018

As long we got two hands... dying art or not, somebody won't let it die. Love the Craft!


My website would let you know that it is not a dying You should join the growing number of people who sew, knit, crochet, paint, etc.

I have been sewing since I was 14 and still do it...for myself, family, friends and charity.

Your dress is lovely....sewing lets you make it unique and fit well!


A girl after my own heart. Thanks for the compliment on my dress. You are a wonder.


@LiterateHiker You have inspired me to cut into the many beautiful fabrics I have collected from my sense sitting in a safe box for "someday"...


I made almost all the kids halloween costumes and play clothes when they were small. I have knitted, embroidered, counted cross stich and I attempted tatting but never really developed the passion. My daughter on the other hand knits, crochets, and embroiders great mounds of beautiful and useful things. She has always enjoyed decorative crafts.

Donna_I Level 7 Aug 14, 2018
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