Bernie and I

the virtues of sewing

Hello there marvellous reader! Thanks for joining me for my first ever post on my (fancy) new sewing blog!

Thought I’d start it off by writing a bit about why sewing plays such an important role in my life. Here are some positive qualities that sewing helps me cultivate:


a picture of the skirt

When you visit a clothing store do you ever inspect the insides of a garment? Have you ever geeked-out over perfect piping or patch pockets? If so you clearly appreciate good workmanship.

In these modern times we have cleverly outsourced a lot of the less (immediately) interesting work to computers. Thats why it’s surprising garments are still created using such traditional techniques.

Sewing gives you that intimate understanding of how clothing is made and all the effort it takes to create it. I definitely feel a lot of love for the items in my closet, handmade or otherwise! They reflect my personal style and provide a way for me to adorn myself and my identity based on my current mood or mission.


a picture of the skirt

What’s better than having the freedom to make something you see in your head come to life as a three-dimensional garment you can wear?!

I love the planning stage! It’s like the honeymoon phase of any project.

You get inspired and you can riff off different ideas and entertain some of the endless possibilities.

I’ve been know to lose track of time looking through my fabric stash or my sewing patterns thinking about how I could hack this or how to best use that. It’s something I just never get sick of!


a picture of the skirt

Sewing can sometimes be a maddening test of will!

You can make a perfect garment only to have the zipper break and then you hastily unpick the zip all whilst accidently making holes in your fabric with your unpicker (zippers can sense fear). What about when the tension is off on your overlocker at the worst possible moment or those times when you’re on your 5th test garment but you’re still not happy with the fit of that dress.

I’ve had my share of throw-in-the-towel moments! If you’ve had these too I’m sure you can relate to the stress and the fits of crazy swearing.

Sewing WILL TEST YOU but you’ll be rewarded for your perseverance! No compliment or prize could be as uplifting as when you think of a better way to do something or you show that fabric who’s boss!

Also sewing is a total antidote to the pace of modern life, because the amount of time that goes into designing, fitting and making a garment would shock most of the non-sewing peeps! Have you ever had a non-sewer friend who just assumes you whip up a dress in an hour or 2?

I’m a speed sewer who avoids hand sewing and I frequently sew multiple garments at once BUT if you ask me how long it takes to make a dress (from a woven fabric) it could be, depending on the style, over 5 hours from cutting out to the finished dress.


a picture of the skirt

I’m mesmerised when I see craftspeople working because I can relate to the flowstate that occurs. When you’re sewing a pattern you love and you’re going through the steps it can almost feel like a dance.

The surprising thing about sewing (as a hobby) is that, it’s got the power to quieten down the mind and give you a sense of freedom from negative emotions.

Sure sewing can also cause anxiety (as learning any new skill can), but when the ritual of sewing becomes a part of your life, it can be almost like meditation. It’s a beautiful, tactile process of transformation.

I do design work in my home and it requires sketching on paper and then working for many hours on my computer. But staring at a screen (for long periods of time) can’t compare to the hum of the machine, the gentle molding of fabric with your iron or the crisp sound of sheers cutting through cloth. It’s such a calming process!


a picture of the skirt

My mum recently celebrated her 70th birthday. In many ways I aspire to be like her. She’s energetic and compassionate with boundless energy and enthusiasm. She also introduced me to sewing at a young age. No fabric was out of bounds in her sewing room just as long as I ‘cut from the side that had already been cut’.

Mum and I still go fabric shopping together! Though sewing can seem like quite a solitary hobby it’s also a wonderful way to connect with like-minded and creative people. By sharing your creations online you come across a fabulous, supportive community!

I love being inspired by what other people make just as much as I love sharing the things I create! It’s better than any fashion magazine! It’s such a diverse group of ladies and men who make things to suit THEM and they’re more than happy to share ideas and offer advice.

I mostly make things for myself, so I still need to work on making more for others but last year I taught 2 of my friends to sew and it was one of the most fun rewarding things I have ever done.

Self confidence

a picture of the skirt

Sewing for yourself is more about personal style than fashion. It has taught me so much about what does and doesn’t work me!

I almost feel as though making your own clothing is a bit of a radical act. You’re not limited to what’s available or what’s deemed fashionable by magazines.

When I wear clothing that I’ve made I feel more confident! I’m celebrating my personality by wearing something tailor-made for me.

Now when I try on RTW clothing (in a shop) and the fit isan’t right (on a garment in my size) it doesn’t bother me, because as a sewist you know more about fit and the complexities of tailoring clothing to your body. The concept of a single size starts to sound silly. We’re all so different and it’s time we start celebrating that!

I need clothing that fits me, my lifestyle and my sensibilities. I don’t lead a glamorous life, but it’s MY life and I love it!