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What's the big deal with these old sewing machines anyway?

You may have noticed I have a slight obsession with vintage sewing machines. The old metal ones. You know, the one your nan/mum/great auntie used to have. Funnily enough, although I hear that from pretty much everyone I talk to about my machines I never hear “my grandfather used to have one of those.” That's because sewing machines have traditionally been seen as a woman’s thing and therefore they aren't valued in society as much as a classic car is, for example. I firmly believe that sewing machines are a part of the story of women in recent history and are therefore important. Sewing machines changed the world. The invention of domestic sewing machines meant women, who were expected to...

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Are we losing traditional skills?

Do you know how to sew? How to fix a fuse? The basic chemistry involved in cooking?  Odds are the answer is no. So few of us do anymore. Basic life skills that were once considered the cornerstone of education are no longer part of curriculum, and with so much else to worry about these days, few of us have the opportunity to learn these traditional skills on our own time. In fact, recent reports suggest that a scary number of traditional skills are rapidly dying out. Unsurprisingly, most have been replaced by technology. Some are just seen as irrelevant in the modern age.  Sadly, the fact that skills such as textiles, cooking, and woodwork have been gradually phased out of...

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