Sunday, February 13, 2011

A rose, by any other name...

As a person who sews, what do you call yourself?

I've always called myself a "sewer", as in someone who sews. But when I Googled "sewer", this is what I got:

There goes that term.  I'd never made that connection before, and it's certainly not the badge I'd want to earn. But what to call myself? According to wisegeek, a seamstress is a woman who makes her living by sewing. This means that she has the skills to make her living doing this, an implication that is just not true for me (as yet).

Plus if I called myself a seamstress, people will assume that I am willing and able to mend any garment they throw at me.  Although maybe I just need to take a page from the Selfish Seamstress and JUST SAY NO!

So what does that leave us? I've heard the term "seamster" thrown around lately, and when I googled it, I got the impression this is the "hip" new term for a new generation of (not sewers) people who sew. There's even an online magazine, Modern Seamster, that is targeted at this group and contains everything from sewing tips to embroidered naked people, and even a how-to on self tattooing. A little out there, but fun to read!

But am I "hip" enough to be a seamster? Probably not if I have to ask, and especially if I keep putting 'hip' in quotation marks.

So what do you refer to yourself as? A seamstress? A seamster? Any other term I haven't heard of yet? All I know is that I won't be calling myself a 'sewer' anymore!

ETA: The lovely and talented knitsnwovens (go check out her blog; she's got some beautiful projects in both sewing and knitting/crocheting, and I'd really like to steal one of those toques for the cold weather we've been having lately) recommended the term "sewist", and I love it!  Much better than "sewer", eh?

Renoir's 'Seamstress at the Window'.  Found at Wikipedia, and instantly fell in love.  So peaceful!


  1. Ha! I call a friend of mine crafty, but for an entirely different reason! :) Good term, though!

  2. I adopted a term from a sewing board a while back: sewist. For exactly that reason.

  3. Sewist! That's an excellent term, and one I've never heard of (or that stood out, if I did). Thanks!

  4. ok I needed a name for my twitter feed description and I'm going to use sewist. I like it! Thanks,


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