Sew few: Dwindling skill means shortage for prom, wedding season

LEMOYNE, Pa. (WHTM) – Prom and wedding season is upon us, which means seamstresses and tailors are busy – at least, the ones you can find.

We’re finding sewing is not a skill many people have these days, and those who can sew are getting older.

Peggy Cook is one of them. She’s a machine with some thread; an aging but well-oiled machine.

“I’m 76,” she said with a laugh. “I didn’t retire yet.”

Today, she’s cranking away at a pile of prom-wear.

“It’s that season,” she said. “I’m a little stressed. You get a little stressed.”

Once commonplace, Peggy is now a rare find.

“I learned from my mother,” she said, “and I took it in school.”

But people like her don’t exist much anymore.

“I just don’t know what’s going to happen when we retire,” she said.

Her boss at Quality Cleaners in Lemoyne agrees.

“When we advertise for seamstresses, when we do need them, we never get young people to answer the ads,” Ed Sternberg said.

Sternberg is thinking down the road.

“It’s an aging population,” he said.

Peggy says it’s more than just sewing a button and hemming pants, which isn’t even an obvious skill these days.

“They should still teach it in school,” she said. “That would be a good idea.”

For now, Peggy shows no signs of pulling the plug yet.

“Alright, I have another one,” she said, picking up a shirt. “Never-ending.”

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s