Today you are going to hear from a very special lady, Deby Coles from So Sew Easy. If you haven’t met her yet (can that even be possible?), you are in for a treat. Her story about how she got into sewing is definitely unique, but her passion for this craft will resonate with all of you, I’m quite sure. Thanks for sharing, Deby!
I’m delighted to write a little for Maris about “Why Sewing Is Important to Me”, for National Sewing Month. There are many reasons people of all ages take up sewing, and even more reasons why people love doing it. My own reason for sewing may be a little more unusual but the benefit I receive from it I know I share with many others, because many have written and told me their sewing stories in response to my own.
A little over 2 years ago now I had a stroke. The usual kind where you are affected both physically and mentally, but thanks to my age and otherwise good health, I was soon back up on my feet again. The worst effects for me were mentally and I lost a lot of my memory, forgot people, places, events, how to drive, even how to do my job. My short term memory and concentration were shot. I was confused a lot of the time, but there was one thing I was not confused about – I NEEDED to sew. It was all I could think about.
This was a rather odd compulsion seeing I had never sewn before, but a friend kindly lent me her machine, I rummaged around and bought some fabric remnants and I started to sew. Obsessively. From the very first time I sat at a machine with a piece of fabric, I started to write about it. I needed to document my journey, and keep a record of what I was learning, afraid I would forget it all again. I never expected my online diary to ever be found or read, but from the very beginning people began to leave me messages and feedback, and words of encouragement for my sewing projects.
I was hooked. My love of sewing and the So Sew Easy site were here to stay.
Over the last couple of years I’ve ‘met’ many others through my site who sew for various therapeutic reasons. It’s calming, repetitive, there are instructions to follow, projects to work on whether they are 30 minutes or 30 hours. The rat-tat-tat of the sewing machine breaks the silence of a quiet home. Sewing has something for everyone, for every level of expertise, whether you sew for you, for family and friends, for charity or for a living.
But sewing isn’t just good for you. It can be good for those around you too or for those you have never even met. In the last year, the So Sew Easy readers have helped others with their efforts. For example, we teamed together to fund a loan for a lady in Tajikistan so she could buy a new sewing machine and set up in business to support her family. Within a couple of hours of my posting about it, the So Sew Easy readers had funded her loan! I hope our interest in sewing helped to improve her life. There are a lot of women looking for support with their home-based sewing business all around the world. Please support them with a small loan if you can. Kiva will even give you money to loan when you sign up.
Many also took part in a charity sewing project, sewing tote bags for those newly diagnosed with newly diagnosed with cancer. MJ of MJ’s Lost Cause wrote about the story of her diagnosis and the hand-made bag she received from the hospital with her information, a journal and a few simple gifts to make life a little easier. Again the So Sew Easy readers rose to the challenge and supported her efforts and in the end she received more than 550 bags!
So I like to think that at So Sew Easy we are more than just people who share a love of sewing. It’s a site where people support each other, chat in the comments, solve each other’s sewing dilemmas in the Readers Questions feature – and more. I’m keen to introduce more people to the joys of sewing and share lots of free sewing patterns, projects and sewing tutorials every month. Why not drop in and say hi? I’d love to see you!
Deby, you are an inspiration in every way. Thank you so much for sharing your story today, and I know our paths will continue to cross!