I love to sew, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I love taking a pattern for a dress or coat (or anything, to be honest) and essentially creating something with my own two hands. To many it’s just a hobby – or an unwelcome chore – that they occasionally engage it, but for me it’s much more. There’s just something that I personally find very peaceful and settling about it, for starters. It’s immensely satisfying in ways that are probably difficult for other people to understand, but I’ll try to explain it anyway.
First of all, I enjoy picking out patterns. (For the uninitiated, patterns are basically the template that you use for creating an item of clothing.) For me, finding that right pattern is almost like Christmas shopping: you are looking for just the right item that you can use to create an article of clothing that will absolutely make someone’s day. Therefore, finding the right pattern is akin to striking gold; you don’t get quite the same heady euphoria, but it’s a rush all the same.
Next, you get to show off your own ingenuity in putting the item together. To be frank, it’s a lot like a jigsaw puzzle in that you are measuring, cutting and estimating – among other things – trying to figure out the best way to put all the pieces together so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And like any good puzzle, sometimes you’ll put pieces together thinking they are an obvious match, only to find that it is a forced union and you’d be better off unraveling the thing and trying something else. However, when the pieces actually do come together and form a beautiful coherent whole, it’s almost like magic.
Finally, I really enjoy sewing as an act of creation. You’re taking something that actually only existed as a concept and making it tangible. You’re reconfiguring what was initially an abstract idea and bringing it into the material world. (No pun intended.) Outside the realm of cooking, there aren’t many things that the average person can hold up and say “I did this; I made this particular item,” but sewing is one of them. Simply put, there’s just something immensely satisfying about seeing the work of your own two hands.
In short, I realize that sewing is, for a lot of people, an unpleasant task that they really wish they could dispense with. But for me, it really is one of those activities that allows me to relax. I suppose you could say that it’s therapeutic to a certain extent – much like maintaining a garden is for other people. Hopefully I will be sewing for a long time to come.