When I was a kid, all girls had to take home ec. All boys had to take shop. No exceptions Any girl who wanted to learn how to fix a car or weld was out of luck. Any boy who wanted to learn to cook or sew was out of luck. Then along came Title IX, and we got some really good things – athletic scholarships for women, equal educational opportunities for women. Women, like me, went to law school or medical school. Men could become chefs or tailors without anyone questioning their sexual orientation. All good stuff.
But there is some bad stuff. No shop classes. No home ec classes. None trained in building trades. None trained in couture.
I was in Victoria’s Secret recently. I hadn’t been there in 18 years and I was shocked. Where are the pretty camisoles? Where is the silk lingerie? Instead, I saw cheap polyester, badly sewn items, serged hems rather than a rolled hem, straps attached to lace in such an incompetent manner that the straps were guaranteed to come apart from the lace. One style of panty had no elastic at the waist or the leg openings. Just unfinished edges. Victoria Secret prices for quality that isn’t even up to Walmart standards. If I want crappy underwear, I certainly don’t need to pay exorbitant prices.
I caught part of a PBS show about Donegal, Ireland. One segment was about a man who is the last weaver. There were blazers for sale in his shop and I could see the skilled tailoring just from looking at how the sleeve was attached to the body of the blazer.
Garments sold in the US are made in the Mariana Islands (so they can carry a “made in USA” label), Vietnam, and other Asian countries. The garments are badly sewn and the fabric thin and poor quality. People buy this junk because they don’t know better. They have no idea what a well-sewn garment looks like.
So lets have a quiet revolution. Any student can take a shop class. Any student can take a home ec class. Any student can learn building trades. Any student can study plumbing, electrical wiring or carpentry. Let’s learn what quality looks like. Let’s learn how to produce quality items. Let’s leave the crappy underwear on the racks at Victoria’s Secret. Let’s leave the badly sewn garments on the racks. Let’s learn to do for ourselves.
I’ve been learning my Pfaff Quilt Expressions 4.2 and making all sorts of garments.
Jim’s shirts. I haven’t put the buttons on them yet.
Another scrub top for me.
A blouse for me.
I’m linking with Nina Marie here.
Looking for a well-made gift? Please visit my store, Deb Thuman Art, here.