If the growing resistance to fast fashion hadn't already led more women to start making their own clothes, then the pandemic certainly has. Digital magazine service Readly reported that of the 5,000 titles and 83 million issues read globally in 2019, the most searched topic was needlework craft. Post-pandemic, more and more of us are dusting off grandma's sewing machine or joining the thousands causing a surge in new machine sales – John Lewis has seen a 127% increase since lockdown began – and we're not just making protective face masks.
The pandemic has given us the space and time to sit down and make alterations to our existing wardrobe and create new pieces from old. Whether it's to open up your wardrobe to plus-size possibilities, take a stand for sustainability or embrace a slower pace of life, there are countless reasons to dive in.
If you've forgotten everything you learned in GCSE textiles, though, getting started can seem a little overwhelming. Fortunately there are YouTube tutorials showing you how to set up every kind of machine out there, while Instagram is a goldmine of inspiration, tips, tricks and hacks that will teach you everything from the basics to the more advanced moves. If you fancy making a Batsheva-style prairie dress out of an old pair of curtains or simply want to patch up your favourite jeans, there's nothing you can't learn online.
Click through to meet 13 of our favourite creators, from slick seamsters to knitters extraordinaire.