Last night I attended the monthly meeting of our sewing guild. A fun meeting, with the announcement of a new president. For once, we have someone under 40 in charge! This is exciting, we have a couple of young women in the guild now. So nice to see their interest in sewing.
After the business part and a tea break, we had a "fashion show" of sorts. Anyone who had an item to "show and tell" was asked to come forward and present their garment(s) and talk about it. This is always the best part of any meeting, getting to see the stuff people have been making.
The garments ranged from Claire Shaeffer suits to Kwik Sew dresses to baby sleep sacks and even one quilt from a woman who said "I hate to quilt" but she has to make one for each of her married sons!
The final item was a hat presented by Anita. This was so funny, I am hoping that someone will post a picture and I will put it up here. And yes, Barbara Emodi did put a photo of Anita up on her blog so I have it here for you now.
Anita was at her cottage and she gets together with some friends and they spend a day doing something funny and then their husbands judge them at the end of the day. They decided to make hats this year. This followed one week upon the royal wedding and Anita was inspired.
She happened to notice a can of insulating foam that her husband had inadvertently hit with a stray bullet when skeet shooting and the foam had squirted out and formed a rather unusual shape. Anita knew exactly what she had to do. She took the foam sculpture and applied it to the top of her straw hat, adorned it with some flowers and voila - she had her own version of the famous hat worn by one of Fergie's daughters. We could not believe that her hat was given second place by the men later that evening; I want to see what won first place. Anita took the cake last night; we had a great belly laugh and she was a wonderful sport to don the hat and let people take photos of her foam antlers.
An aside: one woman showed the maternity wardrobe she had made for her daughter who is due in September. Hopefully daughter will learn to sew too, because Pat won't be able to keep up with mom and baby and herself at this rate. Pat lamented the fact that there are so few maternity patterns in the books; Kwik Sew had the most at three; I think she mentioned that Vogue had only one (not sure of those facts); Pat resorted to Burda World of Fashion for many of the garments she made. She was puzzled however by the lack of maternity patterns; I didn't feel it was the place to tell her the truth about that.
With birth rates plummeting in the western world, women simply are not having babies as they used to. Canada's birth rate is 1.6 children per woman, which falls well below replacement level. The US is holding at 2.1 which is replacement level, but it will probably drop soon just as all other countries in the developed world have. Most people have no idea that countries such as Italy, Greece, Spain have birth rates of 1.1 per woman, which means that in two generations, they will no longer be nations of those nationalities - they will be composed largely of immigrants.
That is the real reason behind the lack of patterns - there is simply no call for maternity clothes in countries where fewer and fewer women are having babies.
This is a great concern of mine and I don't like to mix that in with my sewing blog, which I keep pretty much to the topic of sewing (and knitting). However, sometimes the truth just needs to be said, regardless of where you are. When I do tell people these facts, they often respond by saying "I see lots of pregnant women and lots of babies" but the fact that their immediate circle of acquaintances may be reproducing does not mean that the overall picture is the same. Quite the opposite in fact. And it should be a matter of great concern for any country that depends for its survival upon having future citizens.