Sewing by the numbers

April 22, 1993|By The Sewing Fashion Council/Orlando Sentinel

Some facts about sewing:

* About 60 percent of U.S. households have one or more sewing machines, while only about 51 percent have a VCR.

* More than 150 million patterns are sold a year.

* Thirty percent of U.S. households buy goods by the yard at fabric stores.

* The Old Farmer's Almanac predicted home sewing would be a hot fashion trend in 1988 and the following few years, "with new emphasis on style and originality rather than just saving money."

* Fortune Magazine 1991 Investor's Guide listed fabric retailing for home seamstresses as one of the seven most promising industries for 1992.

* Although pattern sales dropped between 1974 and 1978, sales increased steadily during the '80s and into the '90s.

* Demographic studies show that professional women are signing up "in droves" for sewing classes.

* It is possible to sew a designer outfit for 50 percent to 70 percent less than the off-the-rack price. For example, Ralph Lauren's red cavalry twill, military-style dress, which retails for about $1,400, can be sewn for about $203 at home, including the price of fabric, notions and Vogue Pattern 2782.

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