Video: Sewing in Sweden – What’s it really like?

So let’s explore the Swedish sewing culture! In this video, I talk about why baby clothes are a driving force behind the current Swedish sewing boom, why I feel that those wonderful Husqvarna sewing machines have lost their soul and I top it off by doing some very sweeping generalisations around the Swedish sewing aesthetic (don’t come for me fellow Swedes 😁)  Plus lots of other fun facts about Swedish sewing life. 

So now I curious about what the sewing culture is like in your country? I think many of us went through a sewing recession, with lots of fabric shops closing.

Though now it seems like several countries are experiencing a garment sewing revival, which is really interesting to observe. But I would still say that garments sewing still remain a niche pursuit in many countries, even though it’s had some great momentum in the last few years.


  • Karen
    December 18, 2019 at 10:59 am

    I learned to sew properly in Australia. On my mother in law’s green Husqvarna…just like the one you showed! It’s a gem. A lot of sewing in Australia centres around quilting, children and crafts. But of course there is a vibrant online community and some online stores selling dressmaking fabrics also. Thanks for the insight into Swedish sewing! 😊

  • Corey
    December 18, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    I’m in Canada and getting good fabric for garment sewing is not so easy. The main fabric store across the country is Fabricland. I was just there recently and did find some fabric i was looking for to make some garments over the holidays for myself and family. What I have noticed over the years is that real fabric made of wool, and other natural materials has seem to disappeared with replaced with polyester equivalents. The trend everywhere i go is a sea of polyester and quilting cottons. It seems the whole world quilts and strangely enough i am going to make my first quilt. I am working with some quilting cottons to see how shirts come out with it and how it wears.

    • Alex
      December 21, 2019 at 6:51 am

      Quilting seems to be king in the Midwest of the USA outside of major cities. It’s easier to find quilting cottons and polyester polar fleece than quality garment fabrics. I think a lot of US sewers buy fabrics online. The trends here seem to be for print your own or limited run knit fabrics too. Sewing isn’t mandatory in schools anymore and due to that there’s a generation gap for most people. Their grandparents sew but their parents may not and many people learn to sew using online services to help. Big 4 patterns still reign supreme for most home sewers because they’re easy to find and reasonably priced. Seam allowances are included.

      • Corey
        December 21, 2019 at 2:12 pm

        Reading your comments reminds me of what i go thru. Finding quality fabric is hard. Polyester, and various other blends of polyester are everywhere, trying to find 100% wool/wool crepe, next to impossible. I have been looking at rtw fabrics used in clothing that i wear and i am able to find these fabrics (bengaline, ponte di roma etc) I have been really big on clothing i can travel with, and wash in hotel rooms, machine washable, and polyester fabrics that are breathable and/or moisture wicking. As far as sewing patterns I stick to SytleArc out of australia and burda patterns, they are well drafted and don’t require big alterations. The big 4, stay clear of these anymore, I end up with fitting nightmares with their patterns, poorly drafted and the styles of late are grotesque, did i mention bell sleeves, bell bottom pants???

  • ElOmbu
    December 24, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this video. I have Swedish family by marriage and when I was young, the older ladies (who were themselves young in the early years of the 19th century) could all weave, embroider, and work with silver, so it’s particularly interesting to know that this has carried over into the present, at least to some degree. I still have some of their work, and it’s just amazing. I also thought about the newer Swedish pattern company The Assembly Line, which has patterns for wovens, all shown in dark colors, so as you said maybe the home sewing market is catching up with what people are actually wearing.


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