Become and support your local seamstress!

From a previous comment, a great example on localism that makes sense.  The era of ultracheap textile production is rapidly fading away and we are already at the point where local production even of cloth is on the table.  Those skills are not entirely lost, for all that it may seem so when glancing around at people very proud of their uneven wool mittens on etsy.

Anyway, all women shouldn’t do it, but the women who have a talent and a flair should be supported by their fellow neighborhood peers.  I’ve supported local seamstresses in the past and plan to do so in the future.  The problem with the mostly-liberal promotion of localism is that everything has never been local once humans figured out how to travel elsewhere.  Some local production makes more sense than other local production, even if it costs more upfront.  This is a real tradeoff that conservatives reliant on endless supplies of cheap goods at thrift shops and big box stores like to handwave in their idolatry of frugality achieved by exploitation and poor treatment of workers.  It’s not pure goodness that socks are cheaper (for now) to replace than to darn.  Shipping abuse of workers to other countries wasn’t a win, either.

And yeah, you can have less than fabulous working conditions without exploiting the workers.  A lot of (white) workers still do fiber mill production for small-batch wool goods and it’s dusty and dirty and hard work, but they are generally treated decently by the fiber mill employer.

Clothing being mostly local is not necessarily a bad thing, if the quality can be maintained.  And there is much more precious than rubies.  Keeping respectable, traditionally female trades viable for women with drafting, cutting, sewing knitting and weaving talents should be worth owning fewer clothes of high quality, durability and pleasing cut.

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One thought on “Become and support your local seamstress!”

  1. Just to be completely contrary to my prior comment… IF you can find a seamstress these days, you can have amazing things done. I think, dear authoress, that you’ve seen the pic of my wedding dress. I had that made by a lady who’d gone through the sewing classes at the local junior college. She charged me $10/hour (which was about 1.75x minimum wage at that time). 30 hours of labor…. $300… and I had a wedding dress that fit like a glove. (My mom had bought the fabric some years prior, on a trip overseas).

    I can sew, but my fitting isn’t up to that sort of thing. Not for strangers, and … well. Someday I’ll get *myself* fit that well. Probably take me 30 hours to fit it, much less do the sewing on heavy silk satin!

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