why I sew

why I sew: Marisa

Why do I sew? Well, probably for many of the same reasons that YOU sew: for enjoyment, because I can make clothes I love that actually fit my kids, and because it’s become a passion, something I can’t stop thinking about even when I’m not actually doing it. Sound familiar? Read on to find out more about why I sew!

Because I just like making stuff

I’m one of those people who loves to make things. It almost doesn’t matter what – over the years I’ve dabbled in rubber stamp carving, cake decorating, origami, jewellery-making and countless children’s crafts. Since having children I seem to have lost the ability to sit still, so I fill every spare moment with creating things. Making stuff that is useful, like kids’ clothes, is an exercise in multi-tasking: it’s a leisure activity that satisfies my need to make things while providing things for my home and clothing for my daughter (and occasionally my son). While I try to keep my sewing useful and practical, I do have my limits. I will NOT sew school uniforms!

things i make

1. Tissue-paper flowers  2. Coffee sack baskets  3. Stamps  4. Cardboard Christmas tree

Because I needed to carve out some me-time

A few years ago I realised I was run-down and emotionally depleted. Years of child-rearing had taken their emotional and physical toll, and although it’s something of a cliché, I had gotten into the habit of putting others’ needs first and neglecting my own. It was time to take action: do something for myself, just because I enjoyed it. This was not something that came easily to me, but in my mind sewing was not – and is still not – a purely selfish activity, since it involves making things for my family (at least, that’s how I justify it to myself when I go fabric shopping!).

I’d had a sewing machine for some years, but there wasn’t anywhere in old home that I could sew, so I very seldom used it. When we moved into our new house in 2011 I quickly snaffled up a ‘spare room’ to be my sewing space, and this is when I really got started. I discovered the world of online tutorials, and made simple girls’ skirts, zip pouches and dresses. I was hooked, and since then I have always had something on the go, however many days or weeks it might take me to finish it. My ‘me-time’ might be an hour late at night, or a few fifteen-minute blocks whenever I can grab them, but it’s such an important part of my life. In a very literal sense, sewing keeps me sane.

early sewing_edited-2

1. Market Skirts old and new  2. Zip pouches  3. Ice cream dress in seersucker

Because I love being part of the online sewing community

Having benefitted from so many other sewists’ blogs, tutorials, reviews and sewalongs, I eventually joined the party and started uploading some of my own projects to Flickr. I really enjoyed the social aspect of it, commenting on others’ projects and receiving feedback from them. Then came my blog, Thirtynine, which I originally started to document kids’ art and craft activities I ran at our local playgroup. While I continued to post these activities until finishing up with playgroup last year, sewing very quickly took over, and I love the way that blogging has connected me to a supportive and inspiring online community.

sewing community

1. KCW 2012  2. Roots series sewalong  3. Japanese Sewing Book series on Nutta

Kids Clothes Week was the first online event I took part in, and look at me, coming back for more, season after season! I love the way KCW makes what is essentially a solitary activity into something so social, especially important for those who, like me, have very few ‘sewing friends’ in real life.

This is my final post for the Kids Clothes Week blog, so I thank you all for reading, and for being part of this wonderful community. And to Meg and Dorie, thank you for having me – it’s been a pleasure and an honour to contribute.


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  • Reply Shino November 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thought, Marisa. It’s same with me. Literally, sewing keeps me sane. Well said!

    • Reply Marisa November 19, 2014 at 4:04 am

      Sewing is so many things, isn’t it. And as addictions go, it’s a harmless one 🙂

  • Reply Renee //nearestthepin November 18, 2014 at 5:07 am

    Yes, I agree with you Marisa and with Shino! It’s such a treat to find some time to be creative and being part of this great community is awesome too 🙂

    • Reply Marisa November 19, 2014 at 4:08 am

      Yes sewing is no longer a lonely activity!

  • Reply Lightning McStitch November 18, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Seriously, a dedicated sewing room?! I’m coming over and bringing my dining table after dinner projects with me. You’ll have a real life sewing friend then!

    Lovely to read more about you, Marisa.

    • Reply Marisa November 19, 2014 at 4:03 am

      It’s known as ‘the study’ as it also houses the computer and a filing cabinet, but I think I’ve successfully made the room my own. And you’re always welcome to come join me in it, McStitch!

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