I think it is fair to say that there are so many terms for those who love to sew. If you are like me and don’t just make clothes you want to be able to have a much broader name for what you do. People ask me what I do, I say I make things or I sew, so they respond with oh you’re a seamstress. The only downside to seamstress title is it isn’t gendered equal, for example, Fireman is now a firefighter. Making this title apt for both male and female. So where does that leave us? There is quite the heated debate around the words sewer or sewist. What do you prefer, sewer, sewist or do you have something entirely different? I would love to know what you call yourself. Welcome to sewer VS sewist.
Sewer, not a sewer.
So many people I have spoken to have heard the term sewer, but to many, this reminds them of sewers as in underground waste pipes. And yes, unfortunately, they are spelt the same and do sound the same but does that mean we shouldn’t use the term? I am sure if you spoke to someone to say you are sewer they wouldn’t assume you were an actual underground waste pipe. Would you use this term and wear with pride on your CV and never think anything of it? The term is originally from the 14th century meaning ‘one who sews’, this term is a traditional and long-standing term but does this make it the right one to describe you?
Are you a sewist? A sewer come artist? This is a relatively new term combining sew and artist but this might not fit all. Some people feel this term is a little bit of a hacked term and not true to the English language. Many seem to feel this term as a hip creation and are not yet in the dictionary, but when should that stop us? Some believe it is a more contemporary term rather than the traditional.
Some Colourful Alternatives
So no matter what you prefer or don’t like any of them, here are a few colourful alternatives for you to try out. Recently on one of the sewing groups on Facebook, I am a part of had this very debate a few weeks ago and here are some of the wonderful names some of the men and women prefer.
So no matter what you call yourself, we generally are all the same. We all enjoy sewing, creating and making, no matter the name, term or title we all love what we do. There are more terms such as seamstress, tailor, quilter and so on and generally they all have their own definition but eventually all come back to the same keyword, sewing.
Let me know in the comment what you use whether this is for professional users, to tell people what you do or just for yourself.