I’ve always had an interest in women’s history and the history of the domestic (I have a Master’s in literature, and my thesis was all about 19th century domestic fiction). Until very recently, sewing wasn’t “hip” in the mainstream sense. But now it’s been rediscovered by young women and embraced as part of their creative identities. We think this is a new phenomenon for the DIY generation, but I knew from my graduate work that this same thing had happened many times over in the past few hundred years. I really wanted to investigate that ebb and flow, specifically how some generations of women were able to view sewing as creatively empowering, while for others, it was a skill forced upon them that felt stifling. I wanted to talk about all of this in a smart—but accessible—way that would appeal to modern women who love to sew. This book allowed me to combine the research I love with the creative process of sewing (I designed and sewed all of the projects in the book).
Sew Retro was published by Voyageur Press in 2010, and it’s done very well in the craft world—including a special sale to Singer. It was even featured on HSN in 2012.
“Judi is the writer everyone wants to work with: knowledgeable in her subject areas, deadline oriented, and wonderfully pleasant in every interaction.”
— Margret Aldrich, Acquisitions Editor, Voyageur Press [note: Margret was my editor on the book, but she has since moved on]