For the Love of Sewing

For the Love of Sewing

When all is said and done, we sew for the love of it!  The Sewing and Craft  Association has chosen this theme for National Sewing Month 2011.  Sewing offers comfort to us and to those around us. The gentle rhythm of a needle in hand carefully placing stitches where they belong, the hum of a machine under our direction, the stimulating reverie as we envision the next garment, the thoughtful process as we engineer the construction, the memories that stir our hearts as we create on the shoulders of those who taught us.

Scientists have told us there is a definite connection to stress reduction, but don’t we know that? When my children were young, I set aside a time to sew just for me. It was Sunday afternoon.  Just a few hours, but I cherished those times alone as I re-grouped and let my creative juices flow uninterrupted.  Once they were in school I found time to participate in a sewing group that met once a week with a marvelous leader who inspired all of us to greater heights.  Many of us are still in touch today.  Now my sewing room beckons less often since my focus is here at SBDF, but I still spend time there and it is always restorative for me. I will definitely have needle in hand this weekend…I hope you do too.

Join us as we celebrate our love of sewing throughout the month.  Share your stories here and we’ll post them in the next newsletter.  (first names only)  A few sentences or an essay– every comment will be entered in a drawing for a $50.00 gift certificate…drawing on October 1st.  I’m so eager to hear your thoughts.

19 Responses to “For the Love of Sewing”

  1. Tester

    2011-09-09T16:32:00+00:00

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  2. Sandra Gerritz

    2011-09-09T23:04:00+00:00

    I love to sew everything.  Maybe I would get more done if I could decide what I like the best.  quilting, home dec, lingerie, heirloom, kids, tailored jackets and coats.  I just can’t decide so I think I will get out my knitting machine and think about it. 

  3. Catherine

    2011-09-14T22:23:00+00:00

    When I began sewing again after learning in high school, I was easily frustrated by all the mistakes I was making – my seam ripper was my best friend.  But somehow once I got through a few garments, I realized that in the interests of finishing pieces, I could handle the mistakes – at least they were my mistakes! Now I look fondly at them and remember that I learned something there – pride in ownership has been a welcome feeling in addition to making my own clothing!

  4. Jeanette

    2011-09-18T16:47:00+00:00

    My first experiences with sewing began at a very young age and have continued to this day. I am always learning something new and that is exciting. During High School, I found the only way I could have new clothes was to take Home Ec and sew. Same held true in college and after. Most of all I sew so that I do not see myself walking around on someone else. When my daughter reached High School and proms, she would say X is spending X and in the next breath ask me to make the gown. Her first question when she was engaged was “Mom, would you make my wedding dress.” These days I sew mostly for myself and then do the odd mending for children and their spouses. Too bad my sewing time does not keep up with the ever growing stash!!!

  5. Jenny

    2011-09-21T19:00:00+00:00

    I started sewing clothing for myself 4 years ago, when I was almost 29 years old.  I’ve grown to love the endless opportunities for creativity, new skills and sense of accomplishment.  I enjoy the on-line sewing community of vintage and retro enthusiasts and I have kept a blog to document my improvement over time.  My debilitating perfectionism has decreased, my patience has increased, and I get can see that I really do get better with every project.

    Sewing has also given me a different way of relating to my body through all the challenges of infertility, pregnancy and post-baby changes.  Now sewing is my me-time, a time to be disconnected from the endless to-do list yet still feel like I’ve done something worthwhile.  I love sewing!

  6. Ani Hudson

    2011-09-23T00:14:00+00:00

    One of the best things my Mom ever did was to teach and foster an interest in sewing in me at a young age.  It has been fifty years since I sewed my first doll’s dress. I have thoroughly enjoyed all that goes with being a seamtress, ie: doll’s dressmaker, clothing and stuffed toys for my child, home dec items, quilts and clothing for myself. I have met many fine people through my passion, whether it be at my local fabric/quilting shop or at one of the national shows. There is nothing better than to be surrounded by like minded people for days on end! In the last few years I have taken a notion for researching old fashions and how they were made, quite fascinating, and the antique clothing I’ve found for sale, although can not afford to purchase, has been amazing. Who knew there were so many antique garments still in good condition. Sewing, to me, is so much more than the thing I make, it is a way to express myself through a useful and creative medium.

    Ann

  7. Kathleen

    2011-09-23T00:18:00+00:00

    My Grandmother introduced me to the magic of sewing by making miniature davenports for all her grand-daughters one holiday season.  The seat of each was a lid that opened up to hold various treasures.  She showed me that year that a sewing machine can create just about anything!  Since then, sewing has become my oasis time, and often, I think of my Grandmother and how she used her sewing machine to express her love. 

  8. JetGirl

    2011-09-23T01:48:00+00:00

    I recently came back to sewing as a way to regain small motor skills after a long period of illness.  Now it is part of my sanity – to create something in the midst of crazy chaos and all of the loss – job, identity, sense of productivity.  Many times I’ve heard it said of our craft  “we have either the time or the money but never both simultaneously.”  I am so fortunate to have a wonderful stash built up during the flush years to keep me in good fabric while I have the time to work it.  It occupies my hands, brain, and I can create beautiful things – a prescription for wellness if ever there was one.

  9. Ruth Cabble

    2011-09-23T14:24:00+00:00

    Our sewing talents have an impact on our family members too!  When my son was about 4 years old he told his preschool teacher that his Mom made all his clothes, coats, costumes etc. ( He was wearing a shirt with a hot dog layered applique that day. ) She didn’t believe him and told him he was wrong.  He got very upset with her. He cried and said it again. He came home and told me the story. He was so hurt by her.  I went in the next day to confirm the story.  The poor little guy was devastated that he was being told he was wrong or lying. My sewing was obviously very important to him.  He clearly valued the items I made for him.  We do have an impact on other people when we make special gifts.  Ruth

  10. Sewlynnewill

    2011-09-23T15:31:00+00:00

    What is not to love about sewing?  The color, the texture, the hand of the cloth all thrill the senses, not to mention the trims and notions.   It offers limitless opportunities for growth and accomplishment.  Provides opportunities for personal gift giving.  Allows you to express yourself and creates a meditative experience that rejuvenates. 
     I am so grateful to my mother for introducing me to this art form, along with all of the other generous  individuals who have been so willing to share their knowledge.  For me, sewing is the gift that keeps on giving, and allows me to give in return.Lynne

  11. Anns

    2011-09-23T21:17:00+00:00

    I started sewing again after a hiatus of 25 years, because I was so frustrated at finding ill-fitting garments in the store.  But I am really enjoying the joy of creating and the satisfaction of saying, “Thanks, I made this” when I get compliments. 

  12. Crowdisbj

    2011-09-25T23:56:00+00:00

    My love of sewing started many years ago when I would watched
    my grandmother sew on her treadle sewing machine.  According to her when she got up, I would run
    over to the machine, pump on the treadle and make the machine “sew”.  She was a wonderful and very patience
    grandmother.   My mother helped to
    continue that love when you would surprise me with a new dress she had made for
    me while I was at school.  By the age of
    eleven I was making short sets to wear in the summer and continued to make many
    of my clothes.  Now in my late 50’s , and
    with modern technology, I continue my love and have helped other people to
    discover their love of sewing.

  13. justsewaudrey

    2011-09-26T16:45:00+00:00

    My love for sewing did not come at an early age as many a story.. As a matter of fact, I hated anything hand sewn.  One grandmother was actually a seamstress and the other sewd clothing for the family out of necessity.  My own mother sewd several outfits, dresses etc.. but I never took any interest.  My grandmother passed away in 2002 and I inherited her 1953 Pfaff which sat in my home as more of a decoration than anything else until about a year ago when I decided I needed new throw pillows and could not afford to purchase them.  Out came the Pfaff and a year later, here I am making quilts, heming clothing, making dresses, and anything else that I decide I can make.  Sewing has now become my vice and I cannot imagine a day without planning, searching for the “right” fabric, cutting fabric and breathing life into whatever I create.  I am absolutely in love with everything handmade!   This year all Christmas gifts will be handmade ~

  14. Diy

    2011-09-28T01:37:00+00:00

    I actually learned to sew, to start to sew, in my local 4-H club!I made a full skirt, popular back then in the 60’s. My mother had to help me with the hem there was so much to stitch! WE got a blue ribbon, 1st place. That spurred me on to want to learn to sew on a machine! haha We had a really old one in a cabinet with a big old wheel to turn. Within 2 years I talked my parents into getting a Kenmore while we were at Sears one day and the rest is history. Ever since the 4th grade and the 4-H, I have been sewing. I had the most amazing blue jeans when I was a hippie and they were envied. I continued to sew into my 20s, got married and was thrilled to sew for my little girl. Now my little girls are all grown up with their own children and they want Nana to make them outfits! Personally I’ve been hoarding fabric for the past two years while thinking about losing weight. I would not make fat clothes. Finally I am losing and I am now so excited to make clothing from all of the amazing fabrics I’ve been collecting! It’s a wonderful pastime, one that I will cherish forever.

  15. Pat

    2011-09-28T13:04:00+00:00

    I started sewing as a Freshman in high school when the only elective was a Home Ec. class.  My marks would go down with the cooking portion and up with the sewing portion as we alternated between the two.  I was a perfectionist who was so proud to finish the first garment – a sleeveless blouse – and as I snipped the last thread, I snipped the shoulder and put a hole in it.  I thought for sure I flunked.  Things improved after that as I took a lesson every Saturday through high school and made all the clothes I had to wear.  Money was non-existent so this was a luxury but I looked forward to that class every week as I worked on a garment and sewing has been with me ever since.  I love the fabrics, the textures, the colors.  I have to control my urge to ask people if I can touch what they are wearing – not everyone understands that fetish like a sewer does.  I don’t have the time like I used to and my body shape has changed over the years making fitting more difficult but the joy of being able to sit in my room and sew for the day puts me in a better place.  It calms me.  I take pleasure in any accomplishments even if it’s hemming a garment because I did it, I like it, it looks better and improves the appearance.  I told someone recently that I save my old clothes that don’t fit because once they don’t fit they are no longer a garment but a piece of fabric to be cut up and used as a muslin or a garment for a child or as an addition to something else.  I tried quilting for awhile but found that I kept picturing the colors or patterns in a garment and decided that quilting wasn’t what I wanted to do.  I hope to continue sewing for a long time and if I could get rid of the cooking and other chores, life would be perfect!!!!

  16. Carolyn Floyd

    2011-09-30T02:25:00+00:00

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    How do I love sewing?   Let me count the ways or the years or the things I
    sew.  I started sewing at my
    mother’s side for my dolls when I was very young, using the scraps left from
    the clothing she made to keep our family clothed.  She loved sewing, and it transferred to me and to my
    sister.  Her mother had sewn before
    she was married for ladies in her town in Iowa in the late 1800s.  She taught her daughters – some of whom
    liked it better than others.  I was
    a stay-at-home mother, and sewing clothing for my husband and three children
    gave me another way to contribute to the family.  It was also something that was enjoyable to me.  My children were always comfortable in
    the sewing room.  The boys learned
    to sew on buttons and one made a T-shirt. 
    My daughter sewed several things for herself growing up but doesn’t do
    much now.  I have hopes for her
    when she has children.  I have five
    grandchildren I sew for and have with me in the sewing room when they
    visit.   What do I sew?  Anything I want to – shirts for my
    husband, all my clothing, Christening gowns and clothes for the grandchildren, gifts,
    home décor items.  My daughter
    asked me to make her wedding dress when she married in 2010 and it was
    beautiful.  I had made mine thirty-eight
    years before.  For more than ten years
    now, I have taught sewing classes with our state’s Extension Service as a
    Master Clothing Volunteer and I love it.  That is how, for fifty plus years, I have loved sewing.  Carolyn

     

  17. Coralaine DeCoe

    2011-09-30T05:36:00+00:00

    I first experienced sewing back in the 60’s when public schools had sewing and cooking program requirements. I made an apron to use in my cooking class and was hooked. I took sewing for the next 6 years and in my last year I learned the Art of Hand Stitch Padding for coats. Somewhere during those years my dad noticed my love for sewing and bought me a used sewing machine. Some of my clothes and accessories were made by me and when my children came along I continued sewing to the extent that my husband bought me a brand new zig zag machine with cams to make machine embroidery stitches. I thought I went to heaven. I remember the robes I made for each of my children and how proud I was of the simple technique of attaching the belts so they wouldn’t lose them. That machine on my kitchen table made lots of memories. Another special memory was the cabinet for my machine my husband bought me, so I didn’t have to clear the table at meal times, anymore. I put my serious sewing down for a few decades and the old say, “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is true, but along with learning the new equipment and wonderful techniques I’m filling the empty hours of home with an old love, now anew.
     

  18. Jennifer Swetland

    2011-09-30T16:13:00+00:00

    My mom taught me how to use her sewing machine when I was about 8.  I sewed for myself (and my dolls) on and off until about 2 years after I got married.  I decided to sew myself a dress and haven’t stopped since.  Now, I sew myself dresses, skirts, pants, and way too many tops, dabble in home dec sewing, and create outfits for my boys and sisters’ kids from time to time.  My newest interest is quilting since I just made my first baby quilt for a friend.  However, I don’t think anything will take the place of my favorite reason to sew – using a yard of $20 fabric to make a skirt or dress I could buy for $500.

  19. Claire

    2011-09-30T17:47:00+00:00

    My mother always sewed clothing  for my sisters, brothers & I when we were young.  ((We were a family of 8 children, 4 boys and 4 girls.) She taught us to sew, and now all 4 of the girls sew, some more than others. 
     I remember how impressed I was when my Mom made a Cheerleader’s
     uniform with no pattern, for her best friend’s daughter .  It was so beautiful!  She would sew at night and each morning the progress of the uniform was amazing to me.
     When I graduated high school and got a job, my first big purchase was a sewing machine of my own.  It was a Sears Kenmore, with tons of stitches.   I never liked ripping out mistakes, but the more I sewed, the more my stitching improved, and ripping out mistakes was pretty much a must for me.
    After early retirement, my husband and I  moved to Florida, where I found the American Sewing Guild.  I have met so many wonderful people, we all have the same interest in sewing and take classes and travel to Sewing shows and conferences.    I ended up taking lots of classes, now I make lots of shirts for my husband and others. 
     I have a Bernina now, also a serger and an Embroidery machine.

     

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