Why Sewing is good for you

We all love sewing but often it’s hard to pin point exactly what it is that makes us enjoy this hobby so much. It’s not just the pleasure we get from sewing itself but being creative is good for you in lots of ways. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make friends. It can also be especially beneficial if you are managing stress or mental health problems.

Here we wanted to share with you our top 10 reasons for why sewing is good for you and have included some interesting articles, vlogs and a podcast too. You can also hear from bloggers and pattern designers in the sewing community as well.

1. Be creative

Apart from creating a wardrobe full of handmade clothes and curating a sizeable stash, the other thing that most attracts us to sewing is the opportunity to be creative. The sewing process includes lots of creative steps from choosing fabric and haberdashery to finding a pattern that you want to make and wearing the finished garment out and about. Each stage is curated by us and it makes every finished garment unique. You can feel totally unique in the process and it also impacts on our identity too. So what’s stopping you? Check out the wealth of patternsfrom independent designers and commercial companies in our pattern database and let your imagination run wild!

2. Time to yourself

One of the reasons that everyone loves a sewing meet up is that sewing can be quite a solitary hobby but this can also be a positive too. I love nothing more than knowing i’ve got an evening to myself and getting engrossed in my latest sewing project surrounded in my sewing room by all my fabric and notions! Taking time for yourself every now and again is good for you. We all have such busy lives but sewing can give us that opportunity to sit down, put on a podcast or a box set and spend time by ourselves, being creative.

For lots of tips on making time to sew, check out these posts from Christine Haynesand Tilly and the Buttons: Making time to Sewand Sewing for 15 minutes.

3. Digital detox

Instagram and other social media platforms are really important in the sewing community for sharing our makes and getting inspiration for our DIY wardrobe. A lot of time spent on social media and online can get overwhelming and i’ve chatted to lots of makers about how it can make you feel like you’re not sewing enough or feeling the pressure to make something to blog about. In this digital age a detox from our online selves is a healthy thing to do every now and again. Turn your phone to silent and log out of your email, spending time with your sewing machine away from the online world can be a great way to relax and escape these pressures.

Alex, who works as the Social Media Manager at Sew Over It (read her Careers in Sewing post here) knows how this feels more than most as she spends her working days managing social media accounts.

Alex: “As the content manager for Sew Over It I spend a lot of time on the computer and my phone as part of my work, but despite spending my 9-5 looking at screens, if I’m not careful I can easily spend all evening on Instagram too. Though I love social media, at the end of the evening it can often feel like I haven’t accomplished anything – and that’s without thinking about how bad it must be for my body. Last year I ended up developing an RSI in my hand from too much scrolling – certainly a wake up call!

Sewing my own clothes offers a welcome break from screen time. It’s not only a chance to be creative but also an opportunity to get into that meditative flow state. Because so much of the prep is fairly mindless, I enjoy the time to think or just get lost in an audiobook or podcast for an hour or two. As well, there are so many elements to dressmaking – the planning stage, sticking together a PDF pattern, cutting your fabric and then the actual stitching – that ticking off each ones gives you that feeling of accomplishment that’s hard to get from constantly consuming media.”

4. Mindfulness

At the Sewing Weekenderthis year, one of our lovely speakers was Elena from Randomly Happy blog. She talked about how you can use mindfulness to enjoy your sewing more. She has also written about this on her blog and shared 5 tips, check them out here!

5. Boosting self esteem – Learning new skills

I don’t think it matters how long you have been sewing, there is always a new skill you can learn or a top tip on making a sewing technique better. Learning a new skill is great for our general development but it is also a good way to boost our confidence. There is nothing quite like learning how to insert an invisible zip, for example, and the satisfaction of getting it right for the first time! There is a wide range of complexity in sewing patterns from basic cami tops to sewing up a suit – each comes with its own challenges but what we love about sewing so much is there is always a new pattern to try and a new technique to master.

There are lots of ways to learn new skills from sewing booksto online classes and learning from people who blog in the sewing community. Check out one of our most popular blog posts of last year, our top 20 sewing hacksto make life that little bit easier. If you are a beginner it’s also worth checking out this post from Colette about How to Build Your Sewing Skills.

6. Boosting confidence – feeling good about what you wear

Being able to sew your own wardrobe is an amazing thing. I still don’t think there is a better feeling for sewists than when someone asks you where you bought the garment you are wearing and you tell them that you made it. Once you have mastered some basic sewing skills and tried a few patterns you will start to learn more about fit. One of the reasons a lot of people sew is because they want to wear better fitting clothes that reflect their personal style. Wearing garments that you love and make you feel great is such a good feeling and a perfect boost to your confidence.

If you are planning your makes for this year and looking for a helping hand in tailoring your style and finding gaps in your wardrobe then check out the amazing resource Colette have on their blog – The Wardrobe Architect. If you are worried about taking on your next sewing challenge, give yourself a pep talk and put those fears aside, you can do this – check out these tips from Heather Lou at Closet Case Patterns and also hear her on the latest Love to Sew podcast.

7. Social

Look at this lovely bunch of sewists at the Sewing Weekender last year! The sewing community is what makes sewing so great. We are friendly, supportive and love nothing more than a fabric shopping trip and a cup of tea. You really couldn’t find a nicer bunch of people.

If you are looking for local groups to meet up with check out our forumand also all the sewing-related events and socials happening this year in our sewing calendar.

It’s not always possible to meet up in person, especially when sewists are spread all around the world but there are plenty of sewing challenges you can join as part of the online sewing community. Check out our updated list of sewing challenges and hashtagsto follow in 2018 here.

8. Self care

Sewing just doesn’t give you time to relax, be creative and meet people but these things can have a positive impact on your mental health too. We hear from Ana at CocoWawa Crafts and what sewing means to her. You can also watch her Vlog here to find out more about her sewing journey.

Ana: “When I was suffering from anxiety almost on a daily basis a few years back, a therapist recommended to find a hobby, anything that would made me happy, smile and that it was not related with my job (I was a freelance writer). Having recently moved to London I tried different activities, but it was my first sewing class five years ago (or even more now that I think about it) what turned on the light. When I left the place with my very own tote bag, something I had made with my hands (and a sewing machine), I could not believe it. I had a big fat smile all across my face and I knew it, I wanted to do this for the rest of my life 🙂 Now sewing has become much more than a hobby that has brought me immense happiness and that has helped soothing and calming my mind when nothing else could. It is my business, my job and a way of life, but I still find great comfort in just sitting down, on one of those dark, cloudy days, in front of my machine, even if it’s only for ten minutes. And like magic, it does the trick”.

Find out more about Ana and follow her here: cocowawacrafts.comInstagram: cocowawacraftsYouTube: CocoWawa Crafts

9. Inspiring other makers

Although this might not be something that would initially come to mind, one of the great things about sewing is that it really inspires other people to be creative. This is at the heart of everything we do at The Fold Line and we are always trying to think of ways we can inspire your next make. One of the best places to get inspiration is to read reviews from other sewists of what they have been making. You can pick up tips about a good technique for a pattern, see how the design looks in different fabrics and how the pattern fits different body shapes. Every time you make and share something with the sewing community you are inspiring everyone around you and their creative journey. We have thousands of amazing sewing makes and reviewshere to browse!

10. Sense of achievement

Finishing a project can give you a great sense of achievement and pride in what you have created. There is nothing better than wearing your new garment out for the first time! It’s great to share your finished makes with the sewing community too. Many an hour can be spent on Instagram catching up on the latest makes the sewing community has been busy stitching up. Here we hear from Harriet of Hobbling Handmades about what a sense of achievement sewing has given her.

Harriet: “As someone whose ultimate dream was to be either a long distance runner or Combat Medical Technician in the British Army, it was a bit of a blow when I was diagnosed with a joint condition at fourteen that severely limits physical movement. At the time, I’d consider an achievement to be running a mile in under 12 minutes, going up a class in cross-country, horseriding or physically pushing myself further than I had done before. But when I was told by the doctors that the pain I was experiencing as a result wasn’t normal and the dislocations and seizures started ramping up, I was forced to give up on what I wanted to do as a career – and with it, anything and everything that gave me the feeling of having done something good, I was at a bit of a loss. My mental health went downhill, and the counsellor that was helping me to come to terms with my diagnoses told me to try and find something else that could give me the same sense of happiness. After many failed attempts at cake decorating and jigsaw puzzling but relative success with knitting (until it started to make my hands hurt a bit too much), I gave sewing a go – and instantly fell in love! I couldn’t afford to invest in a sewing machine right away so my first dress was entirely hand sewn, but I found that as soon as I started concentrating on following the steps of a pattern and piecing things together, it was easier to push the physical pain out of the forefront of my mind. I’d found something that gave me the same sense of achievement as running a mile and beating my personal best; without even getting out of bed. There’s just something about turning a flat piece of fabric into something you can use or wear – all while remaining sat down – that gives you the sense of achievement that you really need when you’re having a bad day.”

Find out more and follow Harriet here: hobblinghandmades.com Instagram: @hobblinghandmades YouTube:: Hobbling Handmades

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