Thursday, January 15, 2009

What would we do without technology?

I've been surfing around sewing blogworld reading about stashes and sewing back stories (thank you Marji and LindseyT for inspiring so many posts!) and everywhere I keep running into Apple technology...or some type of "new" technology.

People are surfing the internet looking at fashion sites on their iPhones and iTouches. People listen to podcasts on their iPods while knitting or sewing. Some are even creating podcasts and sharing them through iTunes. And who hasn't taken out their cellphone and snapped a picture of a piece of fabric, a pattern, a finished garment and sent it to a friend or even blogged about it...and let's not even talk about how digital cameras have changed the sewing landscape! You can actually see a step-by-step tutorial of a technique...watch someone construct a garment...or even watch a video of it on YouTube!

Yeah, technology is everywhere! Think about it just five short years ago most of us didn't even know about blogs...never mind having them, posting to them, reading them, obsessing over them (okay maybe that's only me! *LOL*) but most importantly learning from them! Gosh, Phyllis is making the Chado Ralph Rucci dress and one of Ralph Rucci's patternmakers leaves her a comment! Audrey is making an entire SWAP wardrobe using Japanese pattern magazines so that she can better learn pattern drafting! Then there are others like Towanda who regularly uses her pattern drafting software to make wonderful plus size garments...and the legions of BWOF fans! GLP must be thrilled to no end at all of the new BWOF magazine subscriptions...

So can you feel it? Do you notice it? Or am I the only one seeing the coolness factor here!?! Do you see how our centuries old craft is marching headlong into the 21st century and beyond and how we (yes all of us) are using technology to promote it! How we are upping its coolness factor! How we are reaching across borders, languages and time zones and touching others who have the same passion to take a piece of fabric and create something amazing from it? Do you see it? Can you feel it?

So the question of the day or evening is, "What would we do without technology?" If we didn't have these everyday electronics, would our sewing horizons be as open as they are now? If we didn't all have a pc or a laptop or a blackberry, would we be as in touch with our fellow sewists or would we all still be sewing in isolation?

Really, what would we do without technology?

39 comments:

  1. oh my gosh, before finding the blogs just about this time last year, my sewing machine was used for the odd thing - curtains, sleep pants, maybe a skirt. I did make 2 pairs of pants that I wore to death (now I'm not sure how well they fit, but at the time they were great & I got a lot of wear out of them)

    This year though, blogging and surfing thru sewing sites of all kinds has inspired me to do more (not quicker, but more !). I made a shirt for DH - and he wears it ! I 'will' finish a coat - hopefully soon - that will be the product of all the amazing help available through Marji's coat sewalong.

    Go back ? Not me !

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's funny - DH and I were talking about this the other day. Not in the context of sewing but about technology and the strides it's made in the last 20 years. I worked with Netscape back when my son was born 13 years ago, and that was the coolest technology then. And we were telling our kids how are first car phone (before they were called cell phones) was a bag phone that we kept in the car. And now I have serious iPhone envy!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We would be lost. I often exclaim "I love modern technology!"
    And not just for sewing. Keeping in tough with teenagers - via the phone, emails and Facebook is priceless.
    BTW, just reading GT's comment - we don't call them cell phones here in Aus, they are called mobile phones. Or mobile for short. eg..I'll give you a call on my mobile.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You always pose such interesting questions. I love techy stuff, but my heart still belongs to the hands-on life...sewing, reading, tennis. Technology just makes them all better. I'd be doing exactly what I do now, but I probably would have a slight computer withdrawal. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well get more sewing done for a start! But it would be far lower quality, and would not be half as much fun without being able to share and learn through all the internet resources we have.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Having all this technology opens up a whole new world. I think it's great to have so many resources available at a fingertip.
    Keeping up with it all is another story. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great question. My sewing wouldn't be where it is, I have learned so much from the internet community and that has made my garments better. I sure wouldn't have such nice fabric, internet stores have been such a blessing. Patterns, which I would not have looked at twice, are now in my pattern stash or made into garments in my closet. This is all thanks to PR and blogs. Also, my podcast would never existed. Most of all, friends, all these wonderful sewing buddies/friends, some I have met in person, some I know through email and blogging. It is all such a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've posted about how 21st century technology allowed me to collaborate with my non-sewing sister in NC on a sewing project. That was fun and would have been impossible without technology. But for me, blogs are the most influential. I'm able to look over shoulders, learn from and be inspired by dozens of extremely talented sewers. I agree with Faye - I sure don't want to go back!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It keeps me in business.
    I get no one when I spend money to promote my sewing classes in any form, even on TV. Everyone finds me through the internet"s". And there are so many free places to put yourself for people to find you on here.
    It's a great tool to keep learning, to share our passions whatever they may be. I share so much information online and I'm always amazed what I learn from people like you. Thank you!
    The only thing that I think won't change is the way we sew. If you think about it the machines change some but basically the way they work, the way they make the stitches hasn't. The way we put the fabric together to create hasn't changed either. I use the same techniques as I did when I learned the art.
    Now,
    Sing with me...4 more dayyysss :) yippe! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Technology has been a huge boon to my sewing! It's interesting - my husband and I used to really be into photography and we had our own darkroom and everything, but the introduction of digital decreased our enjoyment in photography. On the other hand, my husband has always been an amateur musician, and the introduction of technology for home music studios increased his interest! And technology is huge for my sewing. I wonder if it has something to do with whether technology changes the nature of the basic task that you enjoy (photography - yes, no more "wet work"; music & sewing - no) or supplements the basic task that you enjoy (music & sewing - yes)?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well, I'd still be sewing along w/just what's available at the local brick and mortar (Hancock's), using big 4 patterns only (probably mostly Butterick and McCall's, since I had bad connotations w/Simplicity from my youth and wouldn't know they'd changed and I considered Vogue beyond me), wondering why I couldn't get the blessed thing to look like the picture...the internet has really opened opportunities for learning! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm a huge fan of technology! The internet especially. There are so many people with whom I have so much in common and who have become dear friends (Cidell among them!) who I never in a million years would have met if not for the internet. It's really amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The same thing hit me when I read a post recently where the blogger had come up with this huge list of what is available in terms of sewing classes in New York. It made me realize that without these new technologies, a whole lot of us would not be able to even learn to sew or learn to sew better because..we don't have sewing classes in our areas. The whole infrastructure for learning to sew has broken down over the past 20 years; without the internet and video, etc., we'd really be lost in terms of learning or passing on the knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, without technology, we'd probably still be sitting in caves and sewing hides with bone needles.

    Just kidding, of course. That's about how it felt, though. When there is no one or very, very few people around you with sewing skills it can be very lonely. My MIL is the only one I know locally with the same skill level as mine and she rarely sews anymore. Now, I feel part of a community that inspires, educates and commiserates when needed.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'd have about 30 fewer (virtual) friends without the internet, and my sewing knowledge would probably be about a third of what it is now. Books are helpful but Google is a lifesaver!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I know no one locally at my level or interest in sewing. But, the internet has introduced me to so many people, some of whom I've even met in person. I can find gorgeous fabrics on line, tutorials on techniques I am unsure and fitting help that I would never find otherwise. My sewing is better for all the inspirations I see on line.
    I love the internet, even when I use it to procrastinate!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Without technology I'd be sewing alone in my sewing room making things that didn't fit. I wouldn't have all my wonderful cyber sewing friends. I wouldn't know how to make a pair of pants fit and I wouldn't know that I even could. I was a sad, sad world back then.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Excellent topic, Carolyn! I still have the flu and cannot rally the brain cells to think of anything clever to write here, but ditto what everyone else said. I heart technology.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Having an abundance of resources via new technology has allowed me to venture into sewing garments and I guess, without the new technology I would still be sewing curtains and pillow slips.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I wouldn't know who sews, other than the wonderful ladies who run the 4H sewing clubs, to try and teach young girls a bit about our obsession. I still have my few old sewing books, because I really want my paper and ink in front of me if I am unsure (invisible zippers and non-centered zippers - what's the name for those again - come to mind). I love seeing what others are doing, and though I'm not devoted to the same degree you are, because I don't have to leave the house every day, I love to feel that others do this much, and so can I, if need be!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I wouldn't have the great friends I have now like you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Without technology, It would just be plain boring! I wouldn't know about sewing blogs let along start one myself. My daughter and I would still just sew like we used to and bounce ideas off of each other. And, anxiously await my Vogue Pattern magazine subscriptions for their latest pattern offerings. I had no idea there were so many people sewing until I stumbled onto PR and then found EricaB's blog! That alone opened a whole new world to sewing. Those who don't (and believe me there are still some) have access to technology just don't know what they're missing, not just for sewing but everything!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Without technology I quite possibly would have given up sewing when I rediscovered it this time around. I wouldn't have been inspired to learn how to fit the patterns to me (which I am still learning) without all the resources available via the internet. That is primarily why I gave it up before. Nothing fit right and I thought it was my fault - so why waste my time and money. Now a whole new world of information and inspiration has opened up.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I started sewing in the 60's without any technology other than a sewing machine. I loved it then and love it now; only now I know I'm not the only one who loves it! It's great to belong to a community of supportive people who also know a whole lot more about the craft than I do---and are willing to share that knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Flashback ten years, sewing in my basement, isolated from other similar humans; pouring over every dot and period of every book and magazine I can find, and missing out on any type of comradery from shared passion.

    This technology is incredible. It has brought me to your wonderful blog, Carolyn, and the blogs of so many other wonderful sewists. You all inspire me, encourage me, and teach me and I thank you all for it. I could never go back.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would not know half of what I've learned in the past couple years and not met so many interesting people without the internet. Plus in my day job I work with computers, so it pays the bills as well. I would not have been able to start my own business without it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The few that sew around here are quilters. Others cannot understand why one would sew garments when rtw is available cheaply on clearance racks. I sewed in solitude for many years and remember when a monthly sewing magazine was a big deal. Now everyday is a smorgasborg of sewing inspiration with the blogs and PR. I had quit sewing for myself when I gained weight in the bust and tummy and had a few beautiful wadders that left me in tears. I played with machine embroidery for a long time but now want to use my sewing skills to sew for myself. I was always good with the techniques and length/circumference adjustments sewing for others but the small shoulders, large bust thing was something I did not know how to handle. I know that thanks to all the fitting advice online in blog land and purchase of fitting books recently I can deal with the challenges lots better now. Even when I have been away from home and not had sewing time the past few months I have been able to study and enjoy the sewing blogs. Thanks Carolyn for all the blog inspiration and the newly stashed patterns with Carolyn's tnt written on the front. I like others would hate to go back to no technology in regard to sewing. mssewcrazy

    ReplyDelete
  28. The only thing I have stumbled across online that no one else has mentioned yet is Burdastyle. How fabulous is the idea of open-source patterns and instructions!

    Sometimes it is difficult to tear myself away from all of my inspiration, though...

    ReplyDelete
  29. You are so sweet. I'd be so lost without technology. I've gotten spoiled with being able to reach out to other people that sew. The companionship, giving, caring and support freely given between internet sewers is priceless. Reading blogs and other sites has given me the inspiration to improve how my garments fit and sewing techniques. Computer drafting has allowed me to enjoy sewing again.

    Then there is world of internet shopping. This opened up a whole new world for me. Sometimes going to Joann's for fabric was a frustrating experience. Now I can find the fabric that I want with a few keystrokes. I have become a huge fan of internet shopping.

    The internet and the computer helped DH to recover enough memory skills after his brain surgery that he was finally able to return to work. Now at 55, he had decided to learn to play the bass guitar. So for many reasons, I will always be grateful for technology.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Let me start by saying that I agree with and share all of the sentiments expressed above. I also think that internet technology has been a great aide in revitalising a craft/art/practice that was in danger of serious decline in our part of the world.

    All that being said, I'd like to play devil's advocate for a moment. As a scholar of history of dress focusing on the pre-industrial western world I'd like to ask you not to sell the past too short. I am currently engaged in a reproduction project of 18thC garments that I am sewing all entirely by hand. I'd just like to remind everyone of the fact that we all drool pantingly over costume-pRon, and that the 18thC (when there wasn't even sewing machines yet) is one of the most popular periods. There was no internet then, and look what seamstresses and embroiderers produced. How many of us now could hand-sew 10-12 stitches/inch? The internet cannot teach you how. And look at the variety of styles and details that have emerged over the many centuries prior to the internet. There were other, comparably effective, methods of passing around ideas and skills. I think the main difference is an advantage that past (c.1950s and earlier) communities had over today's : nearly all women sewed. There was no lack of comradeship then as there may be now. Personally, I don't think anything (even the internet) can entirely replace it. I don't wish to live in the past (I like bathing and being able to brush my teeth with something that tastes better than urine) but I like to try and give credit where credit is due. Each age responds logically to its given stimulus.

    Now, that being said, I have benefitted from the internet in the same ways as the rest of you, and use it a great deal for my own research. I am also immensley glad that our noble and time-honoured art has managed to take advantage of a medium that enables us to get around obstacles like distance and encourage our community to grow!

    And if anyone is at all interested in the project I mentioned I'm doing - I invite you to check out my blog about it! ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh, I agree, thank you for this post! I too love all the newer technology. Sewing is so much more interactive now. I am from the US but living in Santiago, Chile, now, and spend much (most?) of my time traveling internationally with DH's job. But even as I travel, I can still stay involved with my online sewing sites and follow my favorite blogs. It lets me feel still connected, still a part of the "sewing community". I might be thousands and thousands of miles away, sitting alone in a palatial hotel lobby, surrounded by people whose language I can't speak and don't understand... or sitting with DH at a tiny airport in the middle of nowhere, waiting for a long-overdue "crop-duster" to take us on to the next village. Either way, no matter where I am, I still get to feel connected to my love of sewing ... but most especially, I get to feel connected to people who share that love.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Well, without technology I would probably get more sewing done, but it sure wouldn't be as successful without the expert feedback from my "imaginary" friends, some of whom have become "real" friends. Honestly, I never would have met some sewing neighbors (within 20 miles, say) if it weren't for the online sewing community.

    I also wouldn't have as great a fabric collection as I do, having no really good local source any longer.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Remember the original TV ads...the little girl with the big hat standing on the "information highway"? Wasn't that long ago was it? I'm still not with most of the new tech, heck who am I kidding, the computer is it for me. And a cell phone I rarely use. I would love to get more into it though. But the sewing websites, blogs etc. are a lifeline to a craft I thought was on the verge of extinction.
    Marguerite

    ReplyDelete
  34. Yep, we came a long way... I remember running to the newstands to get a look at the first fashion magazines of the season... Now I can preview the new trends several months in advance!!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Without technology none of us would have ever have met each other, and that is still amazing to me.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am seriously technology challenged - but can stumble around enough to make basic use of it. I just wrote on my blog that I have learned more in the world of sewing in the last year than I have in all the 30 years before that. I have had no one to help me in sewing for a very long time - to see the sewing blogs, on-line classes, and free tutorials has been amazing for me.

    While my sewing skills had been pretty basic until recently - my knowledge of fabric was in the basement! Just yesterday I walked into a lady's home and while a couple friends were debating what to call a fabric they saw there - I piped up with, "That's a cotton twill." I startled myself!!

    But enough about me - I love "meeting" all the rest of you here on my computer - to me you are all amazing and I thank you all for being willing to share your knowledge and love of sewing with others!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. So well said! I love feeling connected to women who crafted in the past and you are so right about the amazing coolness of crafting in the 21st century! It is so inspiring that so many have taken up sewing and crafting. Thank you for these wonderfully thought provoking posts!
    ~Emily

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love the technology! I quilt and write about African American quilt history. I love that I can still use microfilm or Google searches to learn more about sister quilters past. I love that I can blog and capture current quilting activities from quilters across the nation - or email a friend in Tanzania to ask for a bit of Obama fabric that they have there. I love publishing sites like Lulu.com that allows one to create their own books - can you image creating your own sewing fashion catalog! How cool is that!

    Best, Kyra
    www.BlackThreads.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails