Sunday, June 29, 2008

a few miscellaneous items

First things first: Oliver + S is offering free shipping on all web orders now through July 10! See here for details.

So I'm beginning to think that using the term "sewer" really is simpler than calling someone a "seamstress." What do you think? After all, what would we then call men who sew? Seamsters, perhaps? Sounds a bit threatening, I think. Like someone who carries a pair of very long sewing shears in their back pocket, wears an eye patch or keeps a pack of sewing needles rolled in his shirtsleeve, and you probably wouldn't want to bump into him in the back aisle of a dark fabric store late at night. Hmmm.

But I would be willing to bet the jacket he was wearing would be beautifully tailored, even if it was made of black (Italian) denim or leather...

Anyway, I keep forgetting to call your attention to this post over at the Oliver + S blog. If you're interested in making and selling Oliver + S clothing to be carried in New York City boutiques, please drop me a line at I'm assembling a list of interested parties and will pass it along to the shop owners shortly. See the post for details.

Also, thanks for all the reminiscences regarding teddy bears and the like. I really enjoyed reading all your comments!

Back soon.


  1. Sewer is too easily confused with 'sewer.' You know, the waste-removal systems used in cities?

  2. I have seen the term "sewist" used often recently, but I find it both artificial and annoying. I agree with kim about "sewer" - all too easily misconstrued. In many other professions, the dominant sex-linked expression has prevailed; the classic example is Doctor. Who, in these modern days, would dare to say "doctoress," even though it was not uncommon in the early years of the last century? So I say, use "seamstress" proudly, whether male or female. All will know of which you speak.

  3. Anonymous12:13 AM

    My sister and I used to wear Salt Water sandals all of the time when we were children. I didn't know that they were still made!

  4. too funny :)
    we've got a seamster working at one of the local fabric shops here in asheville. and this is great - he wears a kilt every day - and he makes tham all! not only traditional plaids, but cottons, and even (yes!) a black leather one.
    he is awesome. i'm sure he'd get a kick out of being called a seamster!

  5. I just had the sewer seamstress conversation yesterday with my husband, too funny. I like it, but the "sewer" waste disposal confusion thing kind of bothers me as well.

  6. i still like seamstress better. it reminds me of corsets and fancy dresses. what is the difference between seamstress and tailor?

    the yellow dress looks so cheerful!

  7. Anonymous4:01 PM

    I was at the printer printing my pattern for the "seamstress apron" and the man behind me in line asked if I was a seamstress. I sort of hesitantly said, "Yes" and then he asked if I would alter his shirts. "Um, I don't sew clothes" I told him. Seamstress seams to imply some proficiency in clothes-sewing. So I use "sewer" on my blog asusming the average crafty blog reader will figure out what I'm talking about. :o) Somehow I can't bring myself to use the word "sewist".

  8. about those saltwater sandals I just bought a pair for myself on ebay. love love them.

  9. Oh dear! I can see that seamster and he is indeed intimidating!!

  10. I started using 'sewist' last year. I was won over by the very wise and experienced women in my ASG group. It's the term they all use and now that I've been indoctrinated it seems totally normal and second nature to me. I wouldn't think to describe myself as a sewer or a seamstress.

    Personally for me I've always associated seamstress with sewing clothes. The majority of my sewing are non-clothing items so I was easily won over with a new term (I think I just don't like calling myself a sewer).

    It's interesting that a group of serious and talented clothes sewists turned me on to the term. I'll be sure to do some more probing on why at our next meeting.

    Interesting topic Liesl!

  11. Sewer does not bother me at all. I agree with craftapple (hi!)... I am not truly a seamstress. I aspire to be, though. When I become one, I might change the name of my blog.

  12. I think we have to be careful with terms that might fade. Along the same lines as doctor and doctoress, My grandmother used to be a tailoress. She even had the photo to prove it, with over 20 elegant woolen mill women lined up with two dour looking tailors.

    (apologies if I posted this comment twice, am having a bit of keyboard grief)

  13. I like the term sewist as well, though it's taken me a while to warm up to it. I think I could technically call myself a seamstress because when I do sew, it is clothes, and women's clothes (dresses, skirts) in particular. I think of a tailor as sewing suits. There are particular seams and skills you use in constructing a suit that you don't really use in any other kind of clothing.

    Sex linked expressions really, truly bug me. I'm even known to eschew the word actress. If words like doctoress fade, well, all the better.