Fashion Focus: Why did we stop learning basic life skills?

Nowadays few children are taught in school how to sew or knit

Nowadays few children are taught in school how to sew or knit

DURING one of my dress making lessons my tutor Kate and I began talking about how nowadays society are generally not educated in how to carry out basic life skills such as sewing on a button properly, mending a fuse and baking a cake.

Many of us would have taken Home Economics classes at school up until a certain point, however I personally don’t recall learning anything spectacular in class that I hadn’t already learnt from my parents.

I was never particularly interested in learning how to sew or make my own clothes when I was younger and despite my grandmothers numerous attempts to teach me how to knit I just never bothered to really learn.

In my quest to be more and more original with my clothing and to be more economical by making my own and as the old war time slogan ‘make do and mend’ I decided to first of all learn how to crochet, which I am now really enjoying and doing really well at.

I then decided to take action on some of my clothes which I had put to one side for years always intending to have altered but never got round to it.

I am now in the middle of learning how to alter clothes, add little embellishments, repair and remake new items of clothing.

The thrill of completing an alteration and wearing it for the first time is much more exciting than a big shopping spree and the fact that it costs barely anything makes it even sweeter.

Whenever I’m sitting struggling with my sewing machine I sometimes wonder why I had never learnt how to sew before.

Before taking my lessons I barely knew how to thread a needle let alone sew on a button because I have a great mother who used to do all that for me, however now that I’m out in the big bad world on my own I have had to learn how to do these things myself.

Don’t get me wrong I certainly didn’t take lessons to learn how to do small tasks but instead learn all there is to know about dress making so I could make things for myself.

I often get annoyed that my generation never learnt things like this in school. My mother’s generation took sewing classes learnt how to run a home and cook; nowadays my generation and younger turn their noses up at what is seen as ‘non-academic’ classes however when it comes to running our own homes many of us are unprepared.

In the present time I seem to be much more concerned about how to change a flat tyre, changing a blown fuse, creating new items of clothing for my ever expanding wardrobe, baking nice treats for guests and trying to complete my crochet blanket (none of which I learnt at school) rather than solving equations and measuring humidity.

I have to admit I have been lucky and have learnt a lot from my parents and know how to keep things ticking over however many people my age aren’t as lucky and either have never learnt how to do general household tasks because their parents either did everything for them or never had the time to teach them.

I believe it is important to not only learn the academic subjects but also feel it is important to learn life skills such as sewing and baking (even the boys) as not everyone is fortunate enough to learn these skills at home.

With the economic situation being the way it is now and less people going to university it is getting increasingly important for young people  to know how to do what would in the past have been regarded as easy household tasks.
I know from personal experience if I had learnt how to sew at school I have been putting it to use long before now.

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