Sometimes I get so caught up in the drama of whatever sewing project I'm involved in that I forget why I'm sewing in the first place.
For me, above all, I sew because I like it.
What do I like about it sewing, you ask?
Here's my top ten list.
1. It feels great to make something out of virtually nothing.
It still amazes me that I can turn ordinary fabric and some thread into something I can actually wear. If the fabric cost $2/yard or $1.99 at the thrift store, even better!
2. Sewing is a fantastic creative outlet.
I have always been interested in the arts, be it film, theater, music, fashion, drawing, or dance. For me there is nothing more fun than choosing a project (ideally some long-forgotten vintage pattern), finding the right fabric for it, and then slowly watching it be transformed into a three-dimensional garment.
3. I love the challenge.
Sewing is challenging in countless ways. As I mentioned, it feels great to start with something mundane (bedsheets!) and see what I can turn it into; it's fun to push ourselves and go beyond what we think we can do. Isn't that part of the reason for the popularity of shows like "Project Runway?" (What will they be asked to sew with next: packing peanuts, cardboard, and bottle caps? Go for it!)
4. It's exciting to work with my hands.
Let's face it, these days most of us are no longer doing work -- let alone earning a living -- that involves making anything. But there are few things as satisfying; it seems to be part of our human DNA. I don't entirely understand why, but it is.
5. When you've finished a project, you -- or someone you love -- has something new to wear!
What could be more thrilling after spending hours sweating over a sewing machine and fussing with flat-felled seams and Fray Check than to have a brand-new outfit!
6. Sewing feels like self-sufficiency.
Obviously, to use a sewing machine, we depend on electricity (well, most of us), which we're probably not providing ourselves, as well as on the people who make the fabric, the notions, the patterns, etc. Still, doesn't being able to sew feel like taking care of your needs yourself? Doesn't it feel as good as growing your own tomatoes or drinking milk from your own cow (something I have never done, mind you, though I do belong to a raw milk collective)?
7. Sewing stimulates the mind.
There is SO much to learn when you start to sew: to interpret and (ideally) alter a pattern, to understand fabrics -- what they're made out of and how to work with them; sewing techniques; how sewing machines work. You learn how to assemble a garment, to give it those RTW finishing touches, and so on. What could be more exciting than learning so many things?
8. Sewing connects you to others.
Granted, compared to knitting, sewing is solitary (with the exception of quilting, perhaps), but think of all the fantastic sewing communities out there, like Pattern Review and BurdaStyle. Today I'm actually going to be attending my first BurdaStyle Sewing Club meet-up, and I can't wait to meet the girls and talk about our FBA techniques! Seriously, though, in the past year I have met so many talented, inspiring, intelligent people through sewing, not to mention blogging about sewing!
9. Sewing is sexy.
OK, I'm kind of reaching a bit on this one and I can't back it up with hard evidence. But sewers, I ask you, isn't it kinda' sorta'?
10. Sewing is resourceful.
You get to have the clothes you want and nothing you don't. You're not lured by the 40% sale at Gap, from which you return home to find that you've spent your hard-earned money on something you care about not a whit. Who hasn't got caught up in the frenzy of a sample sale and lived to regret it when you tried on your purchases again at home or, years later, discovered those pants still hanging in the closet, tags attached, that never did fit right and oh, that color.....
There you have it! I think these are enough to convince even Sally McGraw to pick up an old Singer (no, not Wayne Newton, Sally) and get to it!
In closing, why do you like to sew? What are some of your top 10 reasons? Have I left anything important out?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!