Sewing lets students create one-of-a-kind garments, save money

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Though sewing once was thought to be something only a grandmother did, studies and statistics, sewing has become trés chic, according to recent news articles.

Macy Wendler, junior in apparel design, said she believes the heightened interest is partly because of America’s obsession with fashion and shows like “Project Runway” and the Style Network.

Bernina Shoppe owner Lisa Lang also said the interest comes from retiring men and women who are looking for a hobby to help them unwind.

Chris Miller, sales representative for Weisner’s Sew Unique, said she thinks people enjoy sewing for its relaxing benefits.

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, some studies have shown sewing can lower heart rate and decrease blood pressure.

Miller said she believes many people sew not only for its soothing results, but also because they can make handmade garments and avoid store-bought alterations.

Wendler agreed and said by having basic sewing skills, one can take an inexpensive, assembly-line item from stores like Forever 21 and tailor it or make it a one-of-a-kind piece.

“You can buy something that’s just OK, and you can make it better for free,” Wendler said. “It’s a cheap alternative to buying really expensive clothes.”

Even though she said a lot more people have told her how cool they think sewing is, Wendler said she thinks the high-cost of sewing machines inhibits a majority of college students from actually pursuing the hobby.

Yet, that hasn’t stopped everyone.

A 2005 Census Bureau report showed the number of sewing machines imported to the United States has doubled since 1999 to 2.8 million.

Lang said she definitely has seen an increase in her store’s sewing-machine sales since she arrived at Bernina in June 2006. She also said the number of people enrolling in her store’s sewing classes has almost doubled since then.

“Sewing is a relaxing and creative outlet,” she said. “There’s an (infinite) amount of projects you can do, and there’s no rules – everybody fits in.”

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