Notes on Jessica Bain:
Despite the complex relationship and history between sewing and feminism, researcher Jessica Bain questions, “can home dressmaking be conceptualized as an intentional engagement with feminism, and how might it contribute to the goals of feminism, without explicit intentionality?” This query is the basis of what Varize has been able to accomplish with the BayGanda Foundation and the “Sew What!?” sewing camp. The camp is intentionally politically charged and works to build girls up and empower them through “traditional” craft methods. It allows them to participate in feminist conversations without compromising their adolescence and innocence.
There is a political underpinning in the sewing revival that is currently happening. The work that is being produced at home is not done in a vacuum and often time responds to the current political climate. Home sewers have begun to use their craft to promote community and acceptance, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Liza Lou’s “Apartogether” Project is something that became popular at the beginning of quarantine and challenges people to create something that brings them comfort with only materials and items they have at home. These projects, most being quilts and blankets, visualize a person’s own personal history as well as act as a time capsule for this bizarre time.
Featuring: Erica Varize