This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Sunday 2 June 2024, 3.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Location: In-person only
    Tempest Anderson Hall, Museum Gardens (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Tens of millions of people sew for necessity or pleasure every day, yet the craft is surprisingly under-appreciated. 

Barbara Burman, author of The Point of the Needle: Why Sewing Matters, will redress the balance, arguing for sewing’s place in our lives. She’ll celebrate not only sewing’s recent resurgence but sewists’ creativity, well-being and community. Join her as she provides an insight into people who sew today, by hand or machine, exploring what they sew, what motivates them, what they value and why they mend things, revealing insights into sewing’s more intimate stories.

In our age of superfast fashion with its environmental and social injustices, Barbara will make a passionate case for identity, diversity, resilience and memory – what people create for themselves as they stitch and make.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

Photo credit: Louise Jasper Photography

About the speaker

Barbara Burman is a writer and former academic at the University of Southampton and the University of the Arts, London. She is co-author of The Pocket: A Hidden History of Women’s Lives, 1660-1900 (2019) and editor of The Culture of Sewing (1999). She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives near Cambridge. Her latest book is The Point of the Needle: Why Sewing Matters (Reaktion Books, 2024).


University of York

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop