Monday, 27 October 2014

Warning : Soap Box moment

Several years ago,17 to be exact, we moved from the South of England to San Jose in California with my husbands job. His new boss was very nice and so was his wife. I think she felt a sense of duty to help me integrate and invited me along to one of her soirees for the jobless wives and being the dutiful wife I felt obliged to attend.  It was one of those events where we "all got to know each other" and worse still we had to wear a badge we'd penned with 3 'life-statements' so we could mingle and chat using these one-liners as ice-breakers.  Can't say I was overly impressed at the time but I was reminded this week why I never went to one of her soirees again.  You see my 3 life statements were very simply Wife, Mother, Sewer.  Thats SewER meaning a person who sews.  Of course the inevitable happened and these 'Real Housewives of San Jose' were quick to single me out.   Well forgive me but anyone who thinks I enjoy being a soil pipe are quite frankly stupid beyond belief in my book and I didn't take kindly to being made fun off.  

Clearly other sewers have encountered the same problem because now we have the term SewIST.  Who the heck came up with that?  Personally I can't abide it even though I do accept it does avoid confusion.  It pops up all over the internet and last week I even saw an advert from leading thread manufacturer that referred to one. Asides from being downright irritating, it sounds mechanical, cold and unfriendly. Not your warm 'home is where the heart is ' kind of word plus I'm sure it can't be grammatically correct either.  You would never introduce yourself as a quiltist or a paintist, illustratist or knittist so why would you call yourself a sewist?  You are a Sewer.  Pet peeve and soap box moment over! (Normal service will resume shortly).


  1. Yes! I don't feel the need to be fancy and I'd rather be an unapologetic sewer too :-) On the other hand language does evolve and if as Wiki suggests this new word is a conflation of 'sewer' and 'artist' perhaps some of us are using it to give some additional credibility to what we do. I'm all for the fight to be taken seriously, especially in areas of art/craft that might be under-rated as "woman's work".

    1. Good point Catherine. I hadn't connected the 'ist' with artist. I usually use the term fibre or textile artist here but if sewist works for you then all power to you. I'm a qualified quilt judge and I would love galleries to take textile works more seriously. I'm still not convinced its a good generic term for all sewing genres.
      Thanks so much for commenting.


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