10 Darn Good Reasons Why I Sew

It’s September, and that means National Sewing Month! Today I am going to tell you a few of the reasons why I sew, and throughout the month you will also get the chance to hear from some of my favorite sewing pals. We are going to celebrate sewing in all forms around here!

Sew Maris and Berninas

I sew because…

1. …I.Must.Make.Things. I believe that all people have a creative drive within them. Some people make paintings. Some people write stories. Some people create beautiful buildings. I make beautiful, handmade, clothes.

2. …I love to pet fabrics. I am a very tactile person. My mom used to tell the story of me as a little girl, visiting a five and dime store (this term shows my age!), and literally being physically incapable of not touching everything I could reach. Much to my proper, rule-bound, mother’s chagrin.

3. …I love the idea of following a tradition that all the women of my family enjoyed. Some were more skilled than others, but my mom, both my grandmothers, and both my aunts were all darn handy with a needle. Tradition!

4. …I like my clothes to look unique. As my mother used to say, I never “meet myself coming and going” in a garment I have made.

5. …others who sew are my tribe. We speak the same language. We have an instant bond. The sewists I have met are among the nicest, most generous, interesting people on earth. I have made loads of friends through ASG, and others through the fantastic online sewing community.

6. …making beautiful things with my own hands makes me feel beautiful. And proud of my accomplishments.

7. … it is fun! Sometimes I giggle, or even chortle when I am sewing. At my craziness, or mistake-making. You just never know what sounds you might hear coming from my sewing studio.

8. … I think it is special to share my homemade-with-loads-of-love creations with my family and friends. Yes, I could buy pajama pants for my family for our annual Christmas Eve present. But purchased pants are not the made-by-Mom-or-Nana PJ pants.

9. …I know that in this one area I am not paying other human beings slave wages so I can buy cheap, disposable clothing. My actions alone are not going to turn the tide of our discount, throw-away fashion culture, but at least I am not furthering it.

10. …it is HARD. I tell my young students that stupid people can’t sew—it’s too hard for them. I am happy that sewing is difficult. I like problem-solving. Figuring things out. Making 2-dimensional patterns and fabrics into 3-dimensional forms. It stretches my brain in all kinds of great ways. If you have a growth-mindset, you know that working through challenging problems is good for you. At any age. So get on it, people. Find something that challenges you and start working it!

What about YOU? What about sewing lights you up?

Happy sewing!




30 Responses to 10 Darn Good Reasons Why I Sew

  1. Love this list! I love the feeling of turning a pile of fabric into a wearable garment… it’s like magic! And I love being able to dress myself *exactly* the way I want to- things fit me, they’re in the colors and prints that I like, and no one else has the same thing. Plus, I have serious champagne taste and, like, a Budweiser budget, so I keep an eagle eye out for sales on plush textiles that I could never afford to buy RTW (just bought wool crepe for a blazer for $7/yd… would NEVER be able to afford one, if I could even find one in a store!).

    • Thanks Ginger! Isn’t is amazing how we all have some similarities and some unique reasons why we can’t keep our hands off the fabrics!!! Totally agree that making a beautiful garment for much, much less than RTW is a wonderful skill, and it feels so great to wear them, too! Keep on sewing, lady!

  2. Fun post! And though I’m a little younger than you – but I know of the Five and Dime! My daughter and I are tactile too…we both got into a wee bit of trouble in the Green Room at the White House on our tour. I was touching the moire fabric on the walls (the wall was squishy! There’s batting back behind the fabric!) and she had her hand up a large tassel that holds back the curtains….and she was shaking it, lol. Well, sometimes you just gotta touch, right?

  3. I don’t sew. But the thing I like about sewing is how it is a metaphor for life. That we all, even the best sewists, make mistakes. Sometimes that mistake is irrevocable and not fixable. But usually, it just matters what you do next…most things can be fixed if you try hard enough and are willing to put the work into it. And the results are beautiful.

  4. Those are 10 DARN good reasons, they are perfect! I love “stupid people can’t sew”, so true. I always say it is like playing an instrument, you have to practice every day.

  5. Thanks for the inspiring list! I’m going to bookmark this to come back to whenever I’m in a rut and need a boost. It’s refreshing to hear from a pro like yourself that sewing is HARD. Sometimes my lack of patience gets the better of me, but I always feel better after I finish a project (even if it’s not perfect, which it never is!). Great, thoughtful post. 🙂

    • Thank you Dani! And never let your lack of patience get the better of you for too long. Of course it will for a while – but working through the tough situations will help you become a better sewist. Keep sewing, and enjoy all of it! Even the rough spots! 😉

  6. Yes, yes, YES!! And I love the feeling I get when I finish something, whether it’s an in-a-hurry project or something I put a lot of time into. When I sew for my family, I lap up their appreciation! I especially love when I try something new, or do something that I know is difficult but I get through it. I also love a successful “unintentional design element” that works!

  7. Thank you, Maris. I need to get back into sewing. Your 9th point is increasingly pertinent. Recently I bought a new tank top for $2.80 and our daughter pointed out that I should consider where it was made that it could retail at this price.
    On another note, I need to buy (probably online) an adhjustable dressmakers form. Can you provide any guidance on this? The best brands and anything I should look out for or avoid?

    • Oh do jump back in Adele! So.Much.Fun.

      As for dressforms – I bough mine from PGM in LA. Watch for sales + free shipping offers (sign up for their newsletter). Happy sewing!

  8. I was agreeing with each item on your list as I read. I would also add that for me I like wearing well fitting and quality clothing which isn’t always available in the ready made market. I would much rather have a few really good quality garments rather that lots of poorly made with low quality fabrics.

  9. I sew, partly because I am NOT creative but can follow most instructions and the result is still something that I made. The other reason is that I like to give gifts, and when sewing I can personalize something so the gift is unique and shows that I cared enough to go beyond a gift card. (And, those times that I do give gift cards, they are placed inside a nice fabric sleeve that represents the personality of the receiver.)

  10. This is a great list! I agree with all your reasons. I love sewing because I too need to be productive, it allows for me to be a bit creative, and I love clothes (especially unique clothes)! I also love fabric and all the notions and gadgets that go with sewing. I just bought myself a Clover chalk marker that is so cool and it makes me smile every time I use it. What can I say, I’m a nerd!

  11. Sewing is in the blood, isn’t it!?! My mother and grandmother both sewed and I just bought my 13 year old grand-daughter the sewing machine for which she has been begging. She put her new pillowcase on her pillow and carried it around all evening.
    I also love the thrill of planning the next project. I can get lost in a fabric shop for hours. Love Pinterest!

    • I agree with you Vola – it IS in the blood! So glad you are passingitdownto your granddaughter. I hope I get to do the same with mine when she is older.

      Happy sewing!!

  12. I love all of the reasons you stated for sewing, but you left out one of the main reasons I sew. I don’t like paying someone sooo much money to create something I can do myself, for a whole lot less. I look at some of the current batch of designer linen tops and pants and think “This is just basic drawstring pants, and they want $160 for it… on sale?” My mother never learned to sew. Which she found tragic since her grandmother and aunt were professional tailors. She wanted me to learn, so I could make many things for myself. In high school, I quickly learned that while my parents would seldom buy me a lot of clothes, they wold, however, buy me fabric (because that’s educational). I have been sewing ever since.

Leave a reply