Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sewing-- a lost art?

There a some fundamental skills that should not be lost. One of those is the skill and art of sewing. Statistics show that the number of sewing, needlework and piece goods stores in the United States has remained stable for the past ten years or so, but many schools have dropped the teaching of sewing and other home economics type skills. Except for historical dramas, the portrayal of people involved in sewing has completely disappeared from the American media. When was the last time you saw someone in a movie or television show sewing clothes for their family?

The real fact is that the woman who sews at home, says the trade organization Sewing Fashion Council, is college-educated, is 25 to 45 years old, often has a child ; her household income is $35,000 to $40,000. "There is a very high correlation between highly advanced education and women who sew," said Caryl Svendsen, a spokeswoman for the Sewing Fashion Council, a consumer-information resource in Manhattan. The Sewing Fashion Council says that the average cost of a contemporary sewing machine is $1,125. And while 29 percent of machine owners surveyed in 1988 had incomes under $20,000, another 29 percent had incomes over $50,000

Sewing, like many other activities, has become high tech. The number of electronic and computer operated machines for sale has increased dramatically. Even if you are not into the newest electronics, sewing is skill that can enhance your ability to weather the storms of modern life.

1 comment:

Cactus Gal said...

In a normal power outage, the power is out in one section of town. If you need to shop or buy gas, you just drive further away to where the power is still on. Cell phones usually work.

We lived in Michigan during the huge power outage that affected most of the north-eastern states and Ontario. The entire region was without power for at least 15 hours and up to 4 days. We were without power for about 18 hours, and only got power at that point because we were on the same grid as the water pumping station. Others in the area were without power for several days.

We were fine since we had stored water and food that was simple to cook on a camp stove. We try to make sure that our cars never go below a half-tank of gas, so we could have driven somewhere if we had to.

These are the problems we saw:
1. People with cell phones couldn't use them since the cell phone towers use electricity.

2. Stores couldn't sell water, food, flashlights, or anything, since they didn't have electricity. They also didn't have a method to accept cash without the computerized cash registers.

3. Gas stations couldn't sell gas without power to pump the gas, so if you were out of gas, you were out of luck. Also, people without fuel stored couldn't use their generators.

4. None of my neighbors had grills or camp stoves, so they couldn't cook any food.

5. The water purification and pumping stations, no surprise, use electricity too, so there was no clean drinking water coming through the system. There was limited water pressure to use the toilet, and we were more fortunate than some areas, since we could still flush.

6. Some people like to go buy dry ice to keep their food fresh in a power outage -- see #2 above. We lost almost all the food in our fridge and freezer, so on our limited food budget, we would've had a rough time for the rest of the month without food storage. You can't survive on mustard.

We had no problems, just a bit of an adventure, but the huge power outage was a real problem for our neighbors and others who were not prepared.