Why Sewing?

Even with the growing popularity of sewing bloggers and DIY fashion in recent years, I still often get confused looks when I explain what I do with my free time. I get the idea that when most people think of sewing they think of grandmas making quilts or maybe they're having flashbacks of sewing pillowcases in home ec class. There's nothing wrong with either of those things, but unfortunately I think the word "sewing" still conjures up images of outdated, unstylish, and poorly constructed things slapped together under the label "home made".

In fact, even I didn't realize that it was possible to make store quality clothing (or better!) on a home sewing machine until I discovered sewing blogs online a few years ago. I was amazed at what people were making! One of the first bloggers I followed has since stopped blogging (I hope she's doing well!), but she was my biggest inspiration that led me to do what I do today. Does anyone remember Kayo (aka Ophelia), a Japanese sewing blogger who had just the cutest style? Here is an interview with her I found on Tilly and the Buttons from back in 2011. She'd only been sewing for a year and I'm still astounded with some of the stuff she was producing, many from her own patterns! I would have expected any of her makes to come out of a trendy independent clothing boutique (and would have gladly bought a few for myself!). I think she actually sold some of her dresses on Etsy for a while.

Dress by Ophelia, via her flickr

Why I sew:

- It's a great way to be creative. The possibilities are absolutely overwhelming! You get to play with color, pattern, style lines, and texture. You get to be your own fashion designer!

- It's also a great way to challenge your brain and you can get as technical as you want. When I was a kid I loved taking things apart and putting them back together (you can imagine how much my parents liked that!), and sewing appeals to that puzzle-loving side of my brain. It's fascinating to see how you can take two dimensional shapes and make them fit onto a three dimensional body. I never get tired of looking at something I put together and thinking "hey, 2 days ago that was just a flat sheet of fabric!". It's amazing to me. The same thing goes for knitting!

- I think of sewing as being a practical art, which I really appreciate. If you draw or paint, at the end of your project you get to hang your finished piece on the wall or maybe in a gallery. At the end of a sewing project I get to wear it! It can go with me throughout my day, and it can fill a space in my closet. It can be something really unique that no one else will have, or something practical that fits me better then anything I could find in a store. It can be beautiful and unique and serve a purpose.

- Fit! All women struggle with this to some degree, and we hate finding something we love only to go into the dressing room and find out that it's not the right shape, or maybe it would look good if there was just one thing different about it. I think we all dream up designs in our head as well, even if we don't realize it. How many times have you searched stores looking for a specific image you have in your head, but you just can't find it? Sewing is the answer to all of this.

- There is always more to learn. Always! I learn something new every time I sew something, and with every project I feel that I'm improving a little more. I don't think I could ever get bored with it!

- This goes for all crafts, but there is just something immensely satisfying about the act of making. Of doing something purposefully and being creative. Even if it's something simple, or something silly, making just makes most people feel good! I think it takes us back to the way we felt when we were kids and we were allowed more freedom to be creative and to think of things in a new way. I felt myself losing that as I got older, and crafting helped me reconnect with that creative energy that I've always felt is such an important part of who I am.

Why do you think you love sewing so much, and what kind of reaction do you usually get when you talk to others about your passion?

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