Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Household Economy is getting trendy (again).
Return of the 1950s housewife?
December 31, 2008 12:30am

SHE sews, cooks, knits, gardens and raises chooks. The housewife is back – with younger women embracing traditional domestic crafts in droves, new figures show.

Sewing machines have rocketed off shelves in the past six months, with Lincraft reporting a 30 per cent increase in sales.

"There has been a definite trend happening and we have also started to see an increase in dress-fabric sales," said Lincraft spokesman Jeff Croft.

"Demand for sewing classes has increased – and one of the biggest growth areas has been knitting yarn, with a 10-20 per cent increase in sales compared to this time last year."

Spotlight spokesman Steven Carey said DIY craft kits were its booming sector.

The new housewife also appears to be turning our backyards into veggie gardens, with sales of vegetables and herbs surging across nurseries over the past 12 months, according to the Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

Tomatoes are hot, as are beans, peas and herbs.

New data from social forecaster AustraliaSCAN shows home-based activities are the focus for people.

The survey shows a 5 per cent increase in the number of people spending time doing craft and a 4 per cent rise in people devoting time to home cooking, DIY and gardening.

"There has been a substantial shift in our mindset to a more old-fashioned, frugal lifestyle – that real waste-not-want-not approach," said social analyst and AustraliaSCAN consultant David Chalke.

"There are a confluence of forces - the global financial crisis, environmental concerns and a new cocooning - which are pulling together to form the new homemaker.

"That's why we are embracing the domestic crafts again," he said.

Nice to see I'm still ahead of the curve...LOL. My sewing machine hasn't left my side even after a dozen times moving since I first got it, and I cook just about everything from scratch. The younger generation of girls is absolutely lacking in these skills, however. It will be interesting to see how well they acclimate to the new economic reality.

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