Sewing has a bit of a reputation as a skill we associate with queens who end up lip-syncing for their lives. But listen, guys — sewing is something pretty much every human should know how to do, and it's a lot easier than you might think. I’m not talking about a high level of sewing: I really don’t expect everyone to be able to draft up complicated patterns or sew a placket into a shirt, but c’mon — being able to fix your zip or sew on a button does not require a tailor!
To be honest, I am not the greatest seamstress. I learned to sew from watching my mum and then begged for a sewing machine for my 14th birthday. I loved sewing. It gave me time to sit in my own thoughts and concentrate on something creative for a bit. Admittedly everything I made was rubbish, but that’s not the point. I haven’t put together a garment in years and I could not tell you about different types of seams, but I do own a sewing kit, which I recently realised a lot of people don’t. Think of all the minor emergencies that can be easily solved if you just have a sewing kit to hand. I remember being on vacation when my bikini clasp popped off, and guess who was there for me? My humble pound-shop sewing kit. That sweet, sweet sewing kit and my basic sewing skills stopped me being bikini-less for the rest of the holiday. Obviously, it didn’t help when I had to do a weird run covering myself back to my room, but let’s not talk about that.
But even in slightly more everyday situations than my bikini nightmare, sewing is crucial because it actually saves you money. Hemming your own trousers actually takes a lot less time than you think and is relatively easy, which means you don’t have to pay money for a tailor to do it. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home to get them fixed, which if you’re also lazy like me is a very big perk.
You’ll find being a keen sewer saves you money in ways you weren’t expecting. You’re able to buy clothes that are slightly too big because you know you’re able to make them fit you. If you have the ability to take seams in and out then you’ll no longer need to throw away clothes as your body changes. It doesn’t end there: There are loads of situations in which knowing your way around a needle and thread will save you money. Zips that are broken can be replaced, lining can be re-sewn, broken bags can be fixed, and of course you can start charging your pals to fix their clothes for them as a little side hustle.
Of course, if you're not motivated by money-saving or avoiding embarrassing situations, might I interest you in a little thing called helping the planet? Instead of throwing away your clothes, you can learn how to fix them, which sounds like a lot of effort but it actually isn’t when the world of YouTube tutorials exists. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, landfills received 10.5 million tons of textiles in 2015. You’ll find your clothes last so much longer once you learn to maintain them; fixing the lining and replacing the fastenings will mean you have to replace your clothes far less often, meaning you’ll contribute less to landfill waste and become a sustainable babe.
I understand that not everyone has the time, energy, or ability to sew their own clothes, but next time a button falls off of your favourite blazer or you need to hem your trousers, please consider getting a needle and thread and giving it a go. The worst you can do is sew a shoddy button and have to get a professional to help out, but the best outcome is that you save money, contribute towards saving the Earth, and let go and switch off for a bit while learning something new.