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kcw: why I sew
fall

why I sew: lindsay

Hi everyone, it’s Lindsay here, with my last post for the season. I’m writing today about why I sew.

Three years ago, my husband gave me a sewing machine for Christmas. I think he had heard me grumbling about the price of curtains and how I was sure I could make them for much cheaper. Ha! Obviously, I had not yet realized that sewing rarely saves you money! It was a basic machine, but it did the trick. Consequently, I’ve been making exaggerated sighs while sewing and “accidentally” leaving my Amazon wish list open on the iPad in hopes of getting a serger this year 🙂

Apart from learning to sew a pretty pitiful pot holder in my 6th grade home economics class, I’m self taught and making lots of mistakes as I go! I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from learning something new. I remember the day I finally figured out how to make buttonholes. I thought to myself, “now I can sew anything!” I’m still working on perfecting those buttonholes and so many other skills.

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I started sewing at a time that I was really having a hard time with work-life balance. I have a meaningful job that helps provide for my family (I’m a pediatric nurse). Despite that, I struggle with wanting to be home more with my kids and to not miss out on anything in these early years. I think, in many ways, sewing helped me battle some of the mom guilt. I’m not domestically inclined in the traditional sense. My cooking ability is marginal and my kids assume someone must be coming over when they see me dusting. Sewing clothes for my kids is that special thing I can do for them. Though it might seem counter-intuitive that adding something to my plate would help with balance, for whatever reason, it just helps me feel like a better mom.

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Another reason I sew is that I have a fashion obsessed five year old. I should clarify that “fashion” to her just means it has to be a skirt or a dress. She is my fabric shopping partner and is always excited to try on a new dress hot off the machine. I often don’t find things in stores that we both agree on, so handmade has been a good solution. I know we will be in the awkward tween years in the blink of an eye, so I’m soaking it up while I still can! I like sewing boy stuff too. However, my little guy insists on wearing the same Batman t-shirt nearly every day, so I’m just not willing to waste any of my precious stash on something he will refuse to wear.

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I have always been an artsy/crafty person. I used do musical theater, dance, and I’ve always enjoyed making things. At one point in my college career I was double majoring in music and genetics. Then I realized that was crazy sauce and I would be in school for ten million years. Some time after that, I lost track of that part of me all together. I think I fell hard for sewing because I was, unknowingly, in need of something to bring that back. Not that any art form is any less valuable, but making things that will be worn helps the practical part of me justify all the time and lost hours of sleep!

Compared to others, I have been sewing a relatively short time. Even still, it feels so ingrained in me now, that I know it will be lifelong pastime. As my youngest is just nine months, I’ll be making kid clothes for a while. Someday, when my kids are no longer interested in wearing mama-mades, I’m looking forward to spending some more time on building my own handmade wardrobe and starting to quilt.

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I’ve never really given the “why” a lot of thought, so this post has been interesting to write. Hopefully you’ve been able to relate to some of the things I’ve mentioned here or in previous posts. I don’t have my own blog (maybe someday?), but you can follow me out on Instagram. I’ve been so inspired by all the amazing work this season that I have already added many things to my incredibly unrealistic to-sew list. How about you?

kcw: why I sew
fall

why I Sew- Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Hi, Stacey here today to tell you about why I sew.  Honestly, this should really be titled, “Why Don’t I Sew” because I could probably ramble on for a book’s length about why I do sew.

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 1.  Zippered Dragon Vest        2.  Schoolboy Vest        3.  Angry Bird Backpack          4.  Cowlneck Bimma Sweater

I started sewing to keep my creative juices flowing after an abrupt life change from full-time teacher to stay-at-home mom as an expat in a foreign country.  After having an entire school’s worth of teachers to interact with each day, as well as my own students, the stay-at-home life felt extremely isolating. In those first years of living overseas, it felt like my entire life revolved around wiping snotty noses, changing diapers, and meeting the demands of caring of a family.  Add the stress of a new culture and language and I was begging for a creative outlet.  Some thing that was wholly mine and sewing fit the bill.  

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 1.  Prepster Pullover         2.  Bear Hoodie         3.  Hulk Inspired Convertible Pants            4.  Winter Wonderland Collection

Things are a little different now.  Now that two boys are off to school full time and one is in half day Kindergarten, I have a little more free time.  I still sew as a creative outlet but it also fills a burning desire to learn more and perfect the sewing skills I’ve acquired.  I love the act of taking a piece of fabric, designing a garment, and molding it into my own vision. There is something so affirming about creating a wearable garment.  I gain a feeling of accomplishment from each and every piece I finish and even more so when I come across something that’s been a challenge (aka; the seam ripper appeared a LOT.)

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 1.  Bimma Sweater and Harem Pants         2.  Lillestoff Dragon Vest          3.  Dachshund Pajamas          4.  Inverted Triangle T-shirt

The contacts and friends I’ve made also drive my sewing.  It’s wonderful to have found a community of women with the same interests, whose own projects inspire me to continue pushing myself as a seamstress.   I add things to try to my list of things to sew every week- doubly so when it’s Kid’s Clothes Week.

Sewing is one of the great passions in my life.  It’s something that can break me out of a funk and always challenges me.  Sewing makes me happy and that, truly, is the most important reason I sew.

How about you?  Why do YOU sew?  Do you have trouble finding ready to wear clothing that fits well?  Do you sew for a sense of stress relief?  Do you sew for your business or because it makes you happy to give handmade gifts?  I want to know.  Why do YOU sew?

kcw: why I sew
fall

why I sew: jessica from willow & stitch

Earlier this week I said (in an instagram post) that sewing means the world to me, and it’s true, it really is. Sewing may be my hobby but it’s also sew much more (excuse the pun!).

Sewing brings balance to my world

I haven’t always been interested in sewing. For me it’s a passion that was born a few months before my first baby. While I was expecting her it was a relaxing and meditative pastime for me, it was an opportunity to slow down and spend some time thinking about this new life that was coming. Having embarked on the ultimate act of creating, suddenly a whole new world was opening up to me (if I can make a person then surely I can make a cushion cover….?)

Why I Sew

After my daughter was born and my world had been thoroughly turned upside down I found that sewing was in fact my lifeline, a way to keep me sane, something that I could do everyday which couldn’t be undone, physical proof that I had accomplished something that day. It was also a creative outlet. At times during that first year of maternity leave I felt lost, I didn’t know who I was anymore, my days were spent keeping a small and wonderful but terribly irrational baby alive, my family were half a world away and I hadn’t yet made the amazing friends that I have now.

Sewing connects me to the world

Looking at sewing blogs changed my world back then, and it continues to shape my life today in the most positive of ways. I doubt that there are many circles that are as welcoming, encouraging and inspiring as ours. I really feel like I have found my tribe, here, with you. I love these people who are so passionate and creative, so generous with their time and knowledge. I love this place where it’s fine to be part geek, part fashion fiend; part introvert and part show-off. We want to win, sure, but we want everyone else to win too.

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Some of the blogs which made me fall in love with sewing:

1. straight-grain 2. Made by Rae 3. Craftiness is not Optional 4. Sew Liberated

I have learnt so much from the sewing community over the past 6 years, and not just about sewing. I love the segues too – through them I have been introduced to Buddhism, to Montessori, and to Sustainable Fashion to name just a few. Which brings me nicely to my last point:

Sewing is my way of saving the world.

I have always felt that sewing and sustainability go hand in hand. While I haven’t always sewed, sewing is not new to me, I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up surrounded by homemade and home grown things. My mum used to sew clothes and toys for my sister and I when we were children and to me there is something particularly appealing about doing the same things for my children. I love that I am inadvertently instilling them with a surprisingly rare knowledge; that clothes and toys can be made by hand – they don’t just materialize from the mall; that it takes time and effort to create something and that these things should therefore be treated carefully and with love. I hope that this lesson will stick with them, that they will not be in too much of a hurry to dive into the horrible cycle of buying and discarding that our world seems to be stuck in.

Sewing really does mean the world to me and so do all of you awesome people who occupy this corner of the web.

Thank you for inspiring me, I shall try to repay the favour.