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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Friday, July 2, 2010

The schmatta business and context

Yesterday was spent on yard work with family helping out and we went late. As a result I didn't get sewing but instead retired to the bedroom with two dogs to watch "Schmatta: rags to riches to rags" on HBO.

Now maybe not every viewer would have been as fascinated as I was but it was very interesting to put my own personal production and construction in context. Did you know that in the mid 60s 95% of all the clothes worn in America were made in the US and that the present ratio is 5%? Certainly puts our constant regrets about the decline of great fabric stores into context. Certainly makes too, or should make, us all think about what we can do to support local manufacturers. Send me the "made in the US or made in Canada" suppliers links and I will post them.

Much of the documentary was about the unionization of garment workers after the Triangle Shirt factory fire and beyond, but a lot of it too was about the skill of those who worked in this industry, which at one time was the biggest employer in NYC.

If you are like me, and you are, just seeing folks cut and pin and make clothes was on its own fascinating. I recommend this.

Now I have to share a line that I just loved.

A flasher approaches a woman coming off her shift in the garment district and opens his raincoat.

"You call that a lining?" she says.

Says it all.

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