I Don't Know How to Hem a Dress -- Is That Sew Wrong?


woman ironingI don't know how to sew on a button. I don't know how to grow a plant from a cutting, I don't know how to fold a fitted sheet, and I don't know how to cook a roast. Well, maybe I should rephrase that. I don't know how to do those things by heart, but I know how to learn them. YouTube, of course.

New research shows that Gen Y women are losing their female skillsThat sounds like we're losing our ability to bear children, and it's offensive. But what I think they mean is that we don't have the same set of household skills that our mothers and grandmothers had. There, isn't that a better way of explaining it?

And while I totally agree, I don't think it's necessarily a 'loss.'

My grandmother, Virginia, was an amazing woman. She was a dressmaker, a chef, and a florist. She smocked our blouses, cooked our holiday dinners, and I'll be darned if she wasn't the flower arranger on the East Coast. I would love to have all her skills, but I don't have the time like she did. I suppose I could make the time to learn those skills, I just choose to make the time to learn others.

Like HTML, accounting, and drinking games. Joke. But seriously, with financial independence and a ball in the air in almost every one of life's categories, I choose to take my zipper repairs to the dry cleaner. I choose to have my laundry folded for me, and I choose to make a cake from a box.

And if I find myself with some time, I'll watch a how-to video on the Internet. As male and female roles become more blended in the household, I think we Gen Y'ers will be just fine.

Are you lacking 'female skills,' and do you care?

Photo via Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M/Flickr

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Lynette Lynette

I do care and I think it's sad what we have lost.  There are many skills I wish I would have learned

angev... angevil53

absolutely not, i still have breasts isn't that a female skill? seriously though i still do those things. my grandmother and aunts were great teachers, i learned a ton of things going up on a farm that other's will probably never know. i went to a small school where every year in hs it was the in (anda required thing) to take home ec and art.

TikiW... TikiWiki33

If someone would have told my 15-year-old self that one day my hobbies would be sewing, cooking and flower arranging, I would have thrown myself out a window. That being said, I'm so happy they are! I'm driving distance from Los Angeles' flower market and I'm so happy I can utilize this awesome resource. My cooking skills have endeared me to my in-laws; this white girl can now make Navajo fry bread like a native! And being able to sew has allowed me to have the modern, mid-century decor I love, without paying thousands. These traditional female skills can really pay off!

Steph... StephanieSD

I do know how to sew a hem, but I find it so tedious. I taught my husband to sew his own buttons. I enjoy sewing, but as a fun hobby, not a female task. I also enjoy cooking, but I'm horrible with meat. My husband does the roasting and grilling and I take care of the sides and desserts. We share!

And we currently live in a country where domestic help is affordable, so I leave most of those tasks to a housekeeper so I have more time to spend with my baby, work on my graduate courses, or enjoy my hobbies.

Steph... StephanieSD

Oh, and on top of having a housekeeper, her husband is a florist. I have a standing order for a fresh arrangement every week! :)

kisse... kisses5050

there is something lovely about homemaking... not housekeeping but  the art making a home ... that seems to have been lost...and I must admit I am happy that our schools knitting club is 16  seventh girls strong ( and two boys) and that we have kids clamouring for our after school cooking and sewing classes...

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I'm an odd duck in this area, because I do all the things labeled as old-fashioned and female... and love them. I cook and clean and run my house in ways that amaze others. But I do it because I love it, not because it is expected of me.

However, I'm not sure I could ever go back- my family is rather spoiled and they would rebel!


And- I disagree with one of your comments... it isn't because you don't have TIME it is because you allocate it elsewhere. If you wanted to, you could make the time... it is all about the choices we make. This isn't a bad thing, just the way it is... and just the way we look at our lives.

Knitt... KnittinMama

I do it and I love it. Though I do cheat and use a breadmaker. Seriously kneading dough all day has to wait til kids grow up. Sewing knitting etc love it.


I'm right with you HistoryMamax3! I enjoy " making" my home and doing those things. I hope my daughter will carry on those traditions that I've learned and loved.

PonyC... PonyChaser

I sew, I'll teach my son to sew.  I think it's a waste of money to pay someone to fix a button or hem a skirt/pants.  I bake bread, and so does my son.  I find it a relaxing task (and it's maybe 5-10 minutes of kneading.  Anything more than that, and you ruin the bread), he thinks it's awesome when he gets to "punch" the dough down.  I can build a fire from scratch, filet a fish, and cook just about anything.

Let me tell you, they're more than "old fashioned" skills.  They're survival when a storm like the one this week passes through, and your electricity goes out for a day or two.  You can't pay someone to come and heat your house or make your food when the roads are blocked.

I'm happy to say, Grandma is looking down from Heaven saying, "yep, I taught her that."

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