Arts and crafts, which includes sewing, annually ranks among the top favourite hobbies people enjoy. It’s right up there with gardening, cooking and music. I know sewing is fun (and pleasantly addictive) for the following five reasons:
- Relaxation: After a tough day, sewing asks for just enough mental energy to relax me. It’s a relief to turn the brain down from a hard boil to a steady simmer, which is a comfortable human default position. Alert and motivated, open to inspiration, patient with minor frustrations. Sewing gives me a perfect mix of technical problem solving, innovating, and free-styling.
- Pride: When I finish an outfit that fits well and is stylish I can stand back and assess the results. Despite my critical eye, I get a sense of accomplishment. It looks good, is comfortable and holds up to normal wear and tear and is one-of-a kind.
- Snowballing: Crafters build on success every time they make something, and are aware of progress over time. If you improve steadily at sewing, you will notice how far you’ve come from a beginner. And you will be confident about how far you can go. And the more items you finish, the easier it all becomes.
- Quest for Technical Perfection: Standards are always going up. You will be able to take on projects that seemed impossible to you a year ago. As your skill set expands, so to does your ambition and soon you will be looking for ways to become more efficient and economical. There is no limit to what you can learn and the creative options keep opening up before you, so it’s fun chasing your ideas.
- Dollars and Cents: If you factor in a modest hourly wage, I usually do not save big money by making my own outfits. Yes, I will likely find a comparable garment cheaper on the store racks. Of course, it will not always measure up in quality. Now, fancy dresses, these can be cheaper to make than buy, but not always. But consider that some special functions are such let-downs that the highlight may very well be planning and sewing your outfit beforehand! Take heart, because there are ways to lower production costs, for instance recycling buttons and zippers, knowing exactly how little fabric to buy, patterning off existing favourites, etc. And budgeting is constant challenge too.
In the end, we all like to spend time improving at the things we love. My best advise to sewers for 2013 is to push your limits beyond the usual things you do, expand your area of expertise. You’ll find this leads to new design ideas you can’t even imagine yet.