Sewing, along with many other traditional crafts, is enjoying a resurgence of interest, but still I seem to be among the minority of my friends who sew. And I really don’t understand why everybody doesn’t do it. It’s so easy, so satisfying, and gives endless opportunities for ‘smug’, who doesn’t love the occasional ‘smug’ every now and again?
In case you’re reading this blog as a non-sewer, and in case there’s any chance of me persuading you to pick up a needle, here are the big reasons that I love, love, love to sew.
Creativity and the chance to express myself creatively is hugely important to me. This doesn’t make me special at all, I bet you feel exactly the same. In fact, I bet everybody you know also feels the same.
Not everybody chooses the same creative outlet – some might prefer photography, pottery, painting, colouring-in, writing, blogging, make up or fashion. They are all equally valid and all hugely important to our emotional and psychological well-being. (I have no reference to support that statement – I just made it up, but I’m absolutely certain it must be true.)
I’ve tried all sorts of creative outlets, some of my favourites have been photography, pottery and screen printing (I want to do more screen printing, if you please), but I always return to the textile crafts. Sadly I can no longer knit or crochet as one of the side effects of pregnancy for me was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. But sewing – whether machine sewing, hand sewing or embroidery, will always give me the mental space to explore my creativity, and I can usually walk away with something fabulous to show at the end of it.
Choosing a pattern, choosing a fabric and constructing your very own garment, quilt, bag, toy or curtain is hugely satisfying and rewarding. And as you get bolder you can change the patterns, alter dimensions, make ill-fitting patterns fit, or even make your own patterns, and experiment with buttons, ribbon and trim – it’s So Much Fun. You should do it.
Sewing is my Zen.
Granted, it might not always look that way if I’m struggling with placing a collar or lining up my buttonholes, but I promise it’s true. No matter how wound up I am by life, as soon as I enter my sewing space my shoulders drop, by breathing deepens and I can let my brain stretch out as I concentrate on the task in hand.
And it’s cheaper than therapy.
I can express my love through sewing. I have great pleasure in making something special for my loved ones, knowing that they will have something unique and they will know the time and love I poured into making it. I love that my children recognise that there is something special about the hand-made gifts they get from me, and that they request sewn gifts at Christmas and birthdays.
I don’t make gifts for just anybody – that would eat into my selfish sewing time. Only the most special people get sewn gifts. Because I love them. And I hope that they know that.
And also, I love to sew. So it’s win –win.
The sewers and crafters I know are all super lovely and so generous with their time, knowledge and encouragement. The making community seems to be filled with these wonderful, giving people, with no competitiveness, jealousies or sniping. Not that I’ve noticed, anyway. This is probably because they’re all relaxed and loved (see above).
I have met some wonderful friends in the classes, workshops and groups I’ve attended. And always, always, new sewers are welcomed and encouraged. We want to share our skills and teach others our ways, so they can experience the pleasure, joy, satisfaction and pride of finishing a garment and knowing it was sewn well.
5. To make that specific thing
You know that thing that you want, you know exactly what it should look like but it’s not available anywhere – you can just make it. That’s pretty amazing, right? I’ve made tops and trousers, costumes and toys for these reasons, and it’s bloody marvellous. I love it. My favourite has been the Button Moon rocket, complete with Mr Spoon, Mrs Spoon and Tina Teaspoon characters that I made for my daughter’s birthday last year. This year she’s requested a Blaze and the Monster Machines toy – I’m on it!
6. To show off (a bit, sometimes)
Yes, everybody enjoys the showing-off of an item well made, of hearing the compliments, of being able to say “This? Oh, I made it” and hearing the reply of “Oh, you’re so clever”. We all love a bit of “smug” every now and again, but we do try not to show off too much.
So, why do you sew? What inspires you to pull out the sewing machine or the embroidery hoop? And why do you choose to sew over other crafts? Tell me in the comments, I want to know.
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