Is Sewing a Survival Skill?

Is sewing a survival skill? Good question. Some would argue sewing is a forgotten or dying art and therefore irrelevant. I couldn’t disagree more.

Back when I was in high school, learning to sew was part of the Home Economics curriculum. From what I understand that’s not the case today. Too bad.

So is sewing a survival skill? I would argue that it is. Read further to find out why.

Quilts make Great Gifts

Quilts make Great Gifts

Why learn to sew?

A burning question for many may be…. Why should I learn to sew? To which I reply, why not?

Like gardening, food preservation, animal husbandry and butchering, sewing is just one more skill for your survival basket. That’s not to say everything we wear is homemade. But I’m confident that if I had to I could keep us clothed in homemade garments if the need arose.

Want to save money? Learn to sew. Back when I was growing up, my mom made most of my clothes because money was tight and it was cheaper for her to make stuff than buy it. I wasn’t sure this was still the case until I perused some mail order clothing catalogs recently and was stunned at the prices for new clothes. Many of the pieces were of simple construction and not fancy so any one could sew them together if they knew how and save a bundle of money in the process.

Learning to sew also makes you more self-reliant as now you don’t have to depend on someone else in a foreign country (possibly even in a modern day sweat shop) making your clothing.

Learning to sew can also turn into a means of recycling. How? Because the pattern pieces are so small, baby and kids clothing can be cut out of large adult clothing you no longer want. Hence you recycle your unwanted clothes into something “new”. Or large pieces of fabric such as sheets can be turned into kids and/or baby garments.

And then of course learning to sew opens a whole new world of homemade gifts. A hand made gift is a testament to your thought and consideration not to mention your time that went into fabricating the gift.

At age 11 I learned sewing basics from my mom. As a result, I’ve made many garments through the years. Many for myself as well as many for gifts. In my opinion, nothing says you care so much as a home made gift.

Having sewing as a skill not only enlarges your survival basket but it’s one more skill you can use as a bartering tool for something you can’t do. That may give you an edge over others in the bartering game.

Sewing Isn’t Limited to Clothing

I should mention sewing isn’t limited to just clothing. Once you learn to sew, you can produce items for the house such as table placemats, table runners, pot holders, curtains and even slip covers and pillow covers.

Bed Quilt for Cold Winter Nights

Bed Quilt for Cold Winter Nights

Production of many craft items are now open to you too. From quilts and coverlets to countless decorations for the house including but not limited to Christmas gifts and decorations.

Getting Started

To get started you obviously need a sewing machine. This need not be fancy. A vintage machine is fine. I use a treadle machine that’s over 100 years old. You certainly do not need a computerized, modern machine.

Sewing Slip Covers

Sewing Slip Covers

For first projects stick with something simple that are straight forward and don’t require a high degree of expertise. Select patterns for simple, easy to construct garments that don’t require lots of pieces to cut out or sew together. Something like an apron, a poncho, or wrap around skirt at first then move on to night gowns followed by pants, skirts and shorts, jumpers then dresses and shirts.

The same suggestions apply for the first craft items you attempt. Placemats, pot holders, quilt blocks etc should have as few intricate pieces as possible and as your confidence and experience grows you can tackle more elaborate projects.

Final Thoughts

So what do you think? Is sewing a survival skill? I hope you agree that at the very least it’s one more skill to add to your survival basket and makes you more of a well rounded, self-reliant homesteader.

Until next time, keep the dream alive! We wish you a great day!

Ron and Johanna

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2 Responses to Is Sewing a Survival Skill?

  1. mamabear57 says:

    Oh I totally agree!! It’s only a plus in the self reliant lifestyle,,, and I always figured it to be a good bartering option too.

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