Why Do They Sew? Women’s Motivations to Sew Clothing for Themselves

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Martindale, Addie
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
McKinney, Ellen
Associate Professor
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

The Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management provides an interdisciplinary look into areas of aesthetics, leadership, event planning, entrepreneurship, and multi-channel retailing. It consists of four majors: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design; Event Management; Family and Consumer Education and Studies; and Hospitality Management.

The Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management was founded in 2001 from the merging of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies; the Department of Textiles and Clothing, and the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.

Dates of Existence
2001 - present

Related Units

  • College of Human Sciences (parent college)
  • Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies (predecessor)
  • Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (predecessor)
  • Department of Textiles and Clothing (predecessor)
  • Trend Magazine (student organization)

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Garment sewing is undergoing a resurgence in participation, with a growing number of women choosing to sew their clothing instead of buying readily available fast fashion. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the current motivations of an ethnically diverse sample of women who sew garments for themselves. The in-depth interview data from 15 interviews revealed personal fulfillment to be the overarching reason for participation. Personal fulfillment was achieved through main emergent themes of investment, control, and empowerment with 10 subthemes. Theoretical perspectives of prosumerism, craft and do-it-yourself consumption, and uses and gratification theory were applied to the emergent themes to interpret the motivations of these women to sew garments for themselves. A model of sewing motivations for female garment sewing was developed to illustrate the connection between the emergent themes’ contribution to the women’s personal fulfillment and recurring cycle that takes place each time the women create a new garment for themselves.


This accepted publication is published as Martindale, A., McKinney, E. Why Do They Sew? Women's Motivations to Sew Clothing for Themselves. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal. 2019, Doi: 10.1177/0887302X19872552. Posted with permission.

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019