National curriculum is sew, sew out of touch, say stars in make-do-and-mend campaign


For generations of children, clothes arrive as most of their meals do: ready-made. But one chain of craft stores is fighting to change that by lobbying the Government to reinstate sewing on the national curriculum.

Hobbycraft, the Dorset-based retailer, is planning to present the Department for Education with a petition, arguing that "basic sewing skills" are vital for everyday life.

Patrick Grant, the Savile Row tailor who hosts BBC2's Great British Sewing Bee, and Kirstie Allsopp, Channel 4's crafting queen, are among those backing the petition. Their campaign is part of a sewing revival that has seen thousands find fresh joy in mending something old rather than just throwing it away. This has accelerated during the recession.

The model Cara Delevingne, actors Katie Holmes, Katherine Heigl, and even George Clooney, have also admitted to being fond of crafting. Sewing, which disappeared from schools during the 1970s, left generations of pupils incapable of something as simple as sewing a button back on.

Patrick Grant said the popularity of Sewing Bee fired support for the petition.