I have often been asked why sewing is so important to me, and I suppose I could sum it up by saying that sewing is how I connect with the world around me. It may seem like a strange answer, but sewing is much more than a simple pastime or common chore. Sewing involves all of our senses, taps into all of our learning styles, engages our thoughts, and challenges our thinking skills. The excitement of the creative process draws us in, making otherwise tedious exercises an enjoyable experience. Sewing is a great skill to learn whether you are simply looking for a constructive hobby or a way to develop personal skills. Perhaps the following list will encourage you to try it for the first time or work on honing your skills.
20 Reasons to Take up Sewing…
- For the Sheer Pleasure: Their simply aren’t words to describe the pleasure you can experience watching something come together in your own hands, or seeing the joy or excitement expressed by someone you have sewn something for.
- To Connect with Others: Sewing is a social activity. Get together with some friends and work on a project together. Start a sewing circle and work on charitable projects such as Sew Powerful’s Purse Project. Spend quality time with a friend or loved one teaching them to sew.
- To Save Money: By repairing and altering your clothes and linens, they will last longer, which means less money spent on new things.
- To Make Money: Need a little extra cash? Despite my encouragement, not everyone will develop a passion for sewing, however, many will be more than happy to pay someone to sew a project for them.
- For the Sense of Accomplishment: Make your own clothing, accessories, curtains, pillows, and toys and you can look around your home and enjoy a wonderful sense of accomplishment that is far more exciting than getting a good deal on ready made items.
- To Make a Special Occasion More Special: Being able to sew means you can create custom garments for any occasion: a wedding, a prom, or a costume party. Nothing compares to the pleasure of making your own wedding dress or creating a special wardrobe of dress-up clothes for an imaginative child.
- For a Creative Outlet: Sewing is a fantastic way of expressing your creativity, the sky really is the limit when putting together fabrics and trims for your own projects
- As a Constructive Use of Time: It may seem counter-intuitive, but after spending an entire weekend searching all over for an outfit for a special event, I concluded that my time would have been better spent sewing it myself?
- To Develop a Positive Body Image: The problem with off-the-rack clothing is that it is designed to fit and flatter a very narrow range of body sizes. Sadly, this has played a key role in our societies issues with negative body image. By learning basic sewing skills, you can adjust ready-made clothing to better fit your body shape or to create attractive garments that are more comfortable and help you feel good about the way you look.
- To Be One-of-a-Kind: Making your own clothes means you can create your own unique style and you’ll never again arrive at an event and see someone else in the same outfit… unless, of course, you want to.
- For Stress Relief: Sewing is an extremely engaging activity that requires focused attention, giving your brain a break from the daily overload of our 21st century lifestyles.
- To Create a Customized Wardrobe: Adjust necklines, hemlines, and trims to fit your personal preferences.
- Empowerment: Being able to sew means you don’t have to be at the mercy of someone else to make something for you.
- To Master Math: Whether you are good at math or bad at it, sewing will help to improve your skills. Sewing develops real-world math and critical thinking skills. Think about how you manipulate two dimensional pattern pieces into three dimensional structures. This is spacial reasoning, geometry and physics all of which are critical skills used by engineers. Interestingly, as you develop spacial reasoning, mastering numbers and equations becomes easier as well.
- To Explore History: History isn’t all about dates, politics, and wars. Clothing tells a much deeper and personal story about individual people and the cultures they lived in. Who isn’t perplexed by the complexity of Renaissance clothing, fascinated by the hand colored Victorian fashion plates, or intrigued by what their grandmother wore when she was a young lady? Recreate these clothes for yourself or for dolls if you prefer a smaller scale to gain a better understanding of how these clothes were made and the meaning behind the designs.
- To Develop Hand-Eye Coordination: Sewing helps to develop good hand-eye coordination. This is obviously a great skill to develop if you want to do delicate work with your hands, but did you know that when our hands and eyes work together our brains are better able to store and retrieve information?
- To Create Heirlooms: Whether it is doll clothes, quilts, or wedding dresses, items made by someone we care about have a deep personal meaning that can be passed down from one generation to another.
- For Simple Appreciation: With the influx of cheap and poorly made clothing, fashionable has been replaced by trendy. Clothes are designed to be worn a few times and then cast off. When you o sew, you begin to look at clothing differently, noticing the work and quality… or lack thereof. Before the influx of massive overseas factories, garments were made to last, sometimes being passed down from one generation to the next.
- To Protect Our Environment: There is a lot of talk out there about going green and reducing the size of our environmental footprint. One of the biggest contributors to excessive waste is our throwaway mentality. By learning how to sew, you can mend, remake, or re-purpose almost anything made with fabric. Our closets and thrift stores are overflowing with cast of clothing and linens just waiting to be transformed.
- To Stand Up for Human Rights: Factory related human rights issues didn’t disappear with the Industrial Revolution and many overseas factories are still exploiting their workers. By learning to sew for yourself you are taking the first step toward becoming less dependent on the sweat shops in the global economy.
This article really speaks to me.I have many stressful family problems that keep rearing their ugly heads and my way to stop falling into severe depression is to sew.I make dolls clothes,my clothes,embroider,quilt,knit –you name it,I do it to keep sane.Love your article.
Community, creativity, and sanity are the three main reasons I sew.
I am now retired, and continue to sew. However, I began sewing on a machine at the age of 8 years. I used my Barbie doll as a draping form and made my sisters and me all the doll outfits, since the budget for a single mother of six was quite challenging. Growing up during space race of the sixties, and “The Great Society” implementation by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, I got to go to an engineering school and eventually got to work in America’s space program where the number of women in the field was few. After a stint there, I got a chance to retrain to become a secondary and post-secondary teacher. I am quite fortunate that I got the opportunities of the mid-twentieth to early twenty-first century to pursue my dream, but I still recognize glass ceilings still exist for both girls and boys of limited means and income. The public schools of today are not the same as those when I went; sewing as a part of middle school or high school home economics has been eliminated in most if not all school curricula.
Mothers working outside the home find it easier to shop “Big Box” stores. Thank goodness for the 18 inch doll and all the patterns that are now available to attract young sewers. Even my grandson wanted a male 18 inch doll to dress, so along with my granddaughter, he took up sewing. Now he sews to dress the myriads of toy “block-type” soldiers. Taking up sewing does make a difference.
Definitely agree with the sense of accomplishment when you create something
All of the above. But especially #1. For the sheer pleasure. But I have learned so much, especially with the historical sewing. When Shari hints at her next project, I start looking for fabric inspirations. I always seem to wander off in Google search tangents — I have learned new sewing techniques, and learned about the history of the time period. When we watch “Jeopardy”, my family members often ask, “How did you know that?”. My answer is frequently that I learned it sewing for my dolls.
Sewing together, whether at my sewing table table with Melangell, or on-line through the forums or Facebook, has also brought me joy. I love sharing the joy of sewing.
Love the picture of Lucy! All good reasons to sew but accomplishment and stress relief top my list.