My Sewing Circle

The importance of sewing to college students

I do not make baskets for profit, merely for fun, and I am not alone. I helped start a sewing circle with a handful of fellow University of Florida students. We get together on Friday nights for a few hours to talk and work on whatever sewing projects we have going at the time. Between the four of us who come regularly, we are interested in making clothes and bags, cross-stitching, embroidery, and basket-making.

Below is a silent look at a typical meeting.

Our sewing circle founder

Laura Jervis cross-stitching Laura Jervis, a journalism junior at UF, originally started cross-stitching to combat stress-related insomnia, finding it relaxing.

"It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something and being productive even in my leisure time," she said.

She enjoyed it so much that she helped found the Super-cool Subversive Stitchers in October 2008.

"The name of our sewing circle pretty much encompasses everything about why I like it," she said.

Soon after she took it up, Jervis, a self-described feminist, discovered several blogs and Web sites dedicated to subversive and political sewing. Inspired by their examples, she started a project with gay-friendly platitudes to give to a friend.

"I like to be able to cross-stitch things that aren’t usually associated with such a feminine and domestic craft," she said.

Many younger people don’t realize the relevance that arts and crafts can have to their generation, Jervis said. She recommended cross-stitching to all the college-aged campaign volunteers for Barack Obama now looking for a way of continuing to make their voices heard.

"You can do stuff that sort of surprises people," she said. "You put a political or social message where people aren’t expecting it."