Sewing Revelations

With the new year fast approaching, I’m still bouncing around resolutions. Last year my goal was to continue to build my handmade wardrobe which I feel like I did a pretty good job of. Next year I would like to do the same but with intention. I want to be more focused and intentional about what I’m making. I want to waste less (time to bust my stash!) and focus more on making timeless pieces that better reflect my style.

I have found quite a bit of inspiration around the blogosphere lately which has led to a few personal “sewing revelations” that I wanted to share…

Revelations on not sewing everything

Crab and Bee recently posted about not sewing everything which really ignited some personal reflection.

crab-bee

Sometimes I feel crippled by my “to sew” list. The post sparked a reminder to myself that sewing is something that I enjoy and if I’m feeling pressured or frustrated with a project, perhaps I should re-evaluate why I’m making it. If it’s not something I enjoy sewing [maybe the material is hard to work with, the pattern is too difficult, or it’s something that someone else wanted but not something I wanted to make], I don’t need to pressure myself into making it.

Revelations on creating with intention

Over the past few years of sewing garments I have learned a lot. It has taken me quite a while to reign in my focus. Building a handmade wardrobe doesn’t mean you are immune to being wasteful or unintentional. We are just as vulnerable to sewing clothes that are ill-fitting, not our true style, or focusing too much on what’s “trendy” and not enough on what is our style. {I found this post particularly enlightening about how to stop sewing “unworns.”}

I have been trying very hard to be more intentional with planning garments to make with a focus of styles I know I will wear in more timeless fabric (i.e. more neutral, versatile prints and solids).

simplicity-quote

Revelations on purchasing something I “could” make myself

When purchasing something, I try to support local businesses and makers or source it second-hand for an environmentally-friendly option. Yes, I’m an Amazon Prime member, and yes – I occasionally get sucked into the Target spiral, and that’s okay too.

Sometimes the best option is to choose what will create the lowest level of stress.

For me, sewing is a stress reliever. It’s the place for me to dump my creative energy. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, an outlet like sewing is important for me to protect.

Over the past year or so, I have tried to step back from feeling the pressure to sew for others {to my fellow seamstresses out there: how do you handle this?}. I often get frustrated with expectations of others that I will sew things for them {not every gift I give has to be handmade..} and then get even more frustrated when I find myself volunteering {I have a bad habit of spreading myself thin} and even more frustrated with the guilt I often feel for not sewing something for someone that I wanted to {hello, anxiety}.

Purchasing a thoughtful gift can be just as special. Plus, it can be an opportunity to support a fellow maker!

Revelations of repairing old clothes

“…old is better than new, and when it breaks, keep fixing it.” – 91 year old, Eric.

worn-wear

{Click the image to read the full story}

I ran across the best post via Worn Wear on Instagram. Crab & Bee mentioned them which sent me into stalking browsing their feed. Equally inspiring are the repairs shared by Santa Cruz Gear Repair on Instagram.

I absolutely loved the post about Eric (above). He was gifted a handmade jacket which he then had modified to a vest that he has worn daily. Perhaps after all the work one puts into sewing a jacket, having the recipient modify it would be sad, BUT if it makes the piece something they can enjoy the heck out of, it’s so worth it! ❤

My take-away: I need to love my current wardrobe more. I should be repairing and investing in long-lasting pieces [handmade or otherwise]. I’ve never been big on “trendy” clothing {I’m always out-of-style} and have always appreciated quality {sewing has further pushed me into being a clothing-quality-snob now that I understand construction} so I have a good platform to start.

Revelations and inspiration for Refashioning

I tend to focus more on making-from-scratch and occasionally reusing/recycling material {like my Dad’s shorts for these baby shoes, a handkerchief for this zip pouch}, but I don’t find myself altering or repairing clothing as often as I wish I did.

My sister gifted me DIY Wardrobe Makeovers: Alter, Refresh & Refashion Your Clothes. She didn’t know I’d been following Suzannah’s blog, Create/Enjoy, for a few months now and loving it.

book

I have been known to refashion in the past {like this housedress and this skirt}, but it’s been a while since I have taken a look at my closet [or the thrift store] through the lens of planning a refashion.

I want to focus more on altering clothes I already have [handmade and RTW] so that they become pieces I want to and will wear more often.

Revelations on sewing as therapy

A few years ago when I was making jewelry and sewing bags for my shop, I realized creating had transitioned from being an enjoyable activity to share with those I love to what felt like a never-ending-cycle of trying to “stock inventory” for customers who were beginning to become more and more sparse.

My day job was feeding the fuel (financially) for my shop. Since my shop was only a side-hustle and never became a dependent income, I had the luxury of walking away before my creative joy was depleted.

I began transitioning to creating for myself with a focus on patterns and projects that excited me.

Since then, sewing has become so much more than just sewing for me. It is something that I retreat to in times of stress and something I “reward” myself with in times of celebration. Through my sewing journey I have not only learned so many skills, I have also learned so much about myself.

creativity

Conclusion

I’m not perfect. I don’t have the skill set [or the time] to make everything…and that’s okay! If I can make intentional purchases and use those to support my fellow makers as often as possible, that’s wonderful.

At the end of the day, the focus should be on joy. Creating should energize and inspire you. It’s important to show grace to yourself – it’s okay to say no to or walk away from a project that will not or is not bringing you joy. This is all easier said than done, but I will be doing my best to put it into practice in 2017 🙂

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