More than one kind of sewing?

More than one kind of sewing?

There's more than one kind of sewing?


Has this ever happened to you?


You’ve recently met someone new, and they shared their joy sewing with you. You then follow by asking them one of these questions:

“Could you hem my pants?”

“Replace this zipper in my jacket?” or

“I have this really simple dress that needs to be taken in. Do you think you can do it?”


They may kindly reply with a yes. However, you mostly heard;

“No, I don’t do that kind of sewing.” Which leaves you wondering, “there’s more than one kind of sewing?”


So, let’s explore the definition of sewing and of the person who sews.


What is sewing?

Or what does it mean when someone says they sew? Are all the descriptions of someone who enjoys sewing interchangeable?


(The following definitions are from either www.dictionary.com or www.urbandictionary.com with a few editorial comments from me for clarification. I also chose not to link every term to their definitions of the above-mentioned websites.)


Sewing-the definition:


Sewing as a noun is described as the act or work of someone who sews.


Sew as a verb is described as follows:


1. to join or attach by stitches

2. To make, repair, etc., (a garment) by such means

3. To enclose or secure with stitches

4. To close (a hole) by means of stitches

5 (without object) to work with needle and thread or with a sewing machine.



Sewing titles, don’t they do all the same things?



People who enjoy sewing are referred to by various terms and titles. For many who sew, the title or term used to describe them truly matters. These titles often give insights into what form of sewing they most enjoy. Yet, you will find the terms are not always interchangeable.


The following list of definitions is sewing as a noun, using the names/references as the term of someone who sews. Then, as a verb to describe the noun in reference to definition number 5 above. To sew with needle and thread or sewing machine.


It’s all in the name:


  • Sewer: a person or thing that sews

  • Sewist: Street slang for a badass seamstress. A mix of hobbyist meets seamstress. It is also a word that is despised by many seamstresses. According toUrbandictionary.com (I believe this word was created due to the dislike of being referred to as a sewer.)

  • Seamstress(from seams-mistress) or seamster (from seams-master):a woman/man whose occupation is sewing.

  • Dressmaker: a person whose occupation is the making or alteration of women's dresses, coats, etc.

  • Tailor: a person whose occupation is the making, mending, or altering of clothes, especially suits, coats, and other outer garments, mainly menswear.

  • Alteration-ist: someone who specializes in the act or process of altering clothing

  • garment worker: often used to describe someone who assists in assembling clothing in mass production.

  • Quilter: a person who stitches together (two pieces of cloth and a soft interlining), usually in an ornamental pattern.

  • Upholsterer: someone who provides (chairs, sofas, etc.) with coverings, cushions, stuffing, springs, etc. (home furnishing, auto, boats, bicycle & motorcycle seats, etc.)

  • Crafter: someone who practices an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill, especially manual skill

  • Couturier: French term for a person who designs, makes, and sells fashionable clothes for women.

  • Designer: a person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates forms, structures, and patterns, as for clothing fashion.


People who sew often specialize in the type of sewing that appeals most to them. Much in the same way people who are passionate about cars, woodworking, painting, sports, or gardening. For someone new to sewing, it’s best to learn fundamental skills. Then grow into a specialty as their skills and goals grow. For the non-sewer, asking questions when someone shares about their sewing shows interest and respect. Not a service to be provided (unless they hand you a business card).


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