The many benefits of learning to sew

There are lots of reasons why you should get into sewing and after over 15 years teaching hundreds of people here The Sewing Club’s views:

Happy

Making time for yourself and doing something you are interested in makes you feel happy.  Sewing being a single focus task, can help banish any negative thoughts and prevent any anxiety creeping in. It slows your heart rate which is a good thing in itself.

My students really enjoy their two hour of me-time per week when they can forget their other concerns.

Express Yourself

When you make something, you are expressing yourself and whether it turns out how you wanted or not quite, you should feel content that it’s unique to you.

I love seeing my students really let go and use their imagination and do ‘their thing’!

Pride

Sewing encourages self-discipline and it instils in you a sense of pride in your work, which in turn boosts your mood. I feel a sense of upmost pride when I see a student reach their goals, after a struggle or two and I always encourage them to tell their friends and family ‘I made this’!

Confidence

Learning a new skill and gradually mastering it can greatly improve a person’s self-confidence.

My studio is welcoming and relaxed, so any little worries are put aside when I start showing you how to thread up or help you get the perfect fit on your garment.

Groove

Sewing helps you get into a groove.  Immersing yourself in a repetitive task can lead to increased speed in productivity and efficiency and gives you a sense of fulfilment.

Often my students are so absorbed in their sewing and they block out what’s happening around them and that’s ok! I often have to step in just to make sure they’re on the right path or if things could be done in a better way.

Sharpens the mind

Practicing a hobby like sewing keeps the mind healthy and active by learning new things and problem solving.

At each session my students can decide if they want to make something simple or more complex where they can face a challenge with me always by their side.

Coordination

Sewing requires concentration and hand-eye coordination, which helps with cognitive skills such as paying attention, listening or understanding instructions.  It also helps with the development of fine motor skills such as threading a needle or using a foot pedal whilst steering your sewing.

A common hurdle is often to thread the needle! It’s a delicate operation as is the threading of the machine which all adds to your fine motor skills.

Money

Sewing can save you money, if you are thrifty and re-use what you’ve already got.   Your sewing skills can help you adapt second-hand clothes or curtains or clothes you find in a sale that can be transformed into your size and style. 

For more money saving tips you can even copy your existing clothes and then make them again and again!  Replicate the catwalk styles you’ve only ever dreamed of and make that runway masterpiece you’ve always wanted!

Kids always need dressing up clothes for parties and school so make them something unique, more durable and wholly more appreciated by running up a special occasion outfit for them. 

Over the years I have gathered information about all the pros and cons of different sewing machines and their attributes.  I often advise as to what machines are best for beginners and what to look for if you’re keen to progress further with your sewing skills.

As regards getting a sewing machine, you don’t have to buy a new swanky one in fact the old ones are the best, the mechanical ones (not digital) are robust and easily mended and serviced.  Ask around your family and friends and see if anyone has a sewing machine you can borrow, there’s bound to be one collecting dust that will love to be brought out and used again!

Environment

Upcycling, recycling and revamping old clothing is good for the environment (and your wallet).

The skill of sewing allows you to repurpose almost anything made from fabric.  Even with minimal sewing skills, you can embellish ready-made garments making them personal and unique.  Patching up worn clothing is on-trend right now along with Japanese Sashiko which is a type of visible mending using embroidery.

I’m very thrifty and encourage all my students to look around them to see what they can use and what they can revamp and upcycle.  I supply my children’s classes with all their equipment including fabric and we use old curtains or fabric samples, sheets and throws.  They don’t know what they’re using, they’re just looking at how great the fabric is and that they want to use it!

Patience

Sewing requires a lot of patience and attention to detail.  As a beginner you may want to cut corners and get to the finishing post quickly, and that’s possible once in a while if that dress is for the weekend but mostly you need to take your time and be patient. 

Cut out your pieces accurately and your sewing will be more precise.  Mark all your pattern pieces as you’re told to with notches, small dots and large dots and your sewing up will go smoothly.  You will appreciate that all the instructions need to be followed to avoid future problems.

When my students realise that their hurried cutting out will affect their neat sewing, they understand that everything should been given an equal measure of care.  Cutting out may be the boring bit or hemming or tracing but once that’s done you can sit down and get on with your sewing.

Friends

The sewing community is an easy way to make friends and seek advice from people that enjoy the same hobby as you.  Sharing time with fellow sewers leads to a relaxed informal atmosphere and it’s fun sharing stories and having a good old chat while you sew.

Many friendships have been made during my sessions and they continue to see each other out of class.  You can enjoy each other’s company once a week and know that you’ve got some similar minded friends who ‘get’ the sewing thing.

Lifelong Skill

Sewing is a valuable skill in your life, which proves itself useful over and over, whether to hem trousers or to make a thoughtful gift.

I love teaching children to sew and feel it is my duty to set them up with this useful skill which will benefit them and those around them all through their lives.  It’s never too late to start your sewing journey and as you learn at your own pace in my lessons you never feel you’ve got to catch up all the time.

Unique

Sewing skills can help you to make your house a home by allowing your own personality to shine through with your creations. 

Make that dream dress or outfit that really fits you well and makes you feel really good about yourself.  Don’t’ skimp on fabrics, after all it’s going to cheaper anyway because you’re making it!  You’ve always admired brocade duster coats! Well make one of your own! And make it as unique and fabulous as you are!

Lots of my students learn sewing because they want to make something or wear something that no one else has.  It’s that ‘one-off’ look they are searching for.  It can as simple as changing a collar or putting a frill on a hem.

Quality

You know how difficult it is to unpick a seam when you’ve gone wrong? then you’ll know that when you’ve personally made something yourself with all the lock stitches in the right place and all the fraying ends and seams neatly tucked away that this garment is going to last!

The quality of your finishes will be super-neat too, all pressed beautifully because you won’t be going out in anything second rate and that topstitching will be there to be admired!

My students are all on a learning curve in the studio but we try and strive for a quality result whenever we can.  I don’t encourage students to repeat projects over and over again because that becomes boring but I do encourage my students to have an acute quality control and learn from what they’ve done.

Versatility

Sewing is multi-faceted because there are so many types of projects that you can do. Its flexibility extends because you’re not just limited to fashion items, but you can also cover home items and crafts!  Learn to put a zip in a cosmetic bag and you’ll know how to put one in a skirt!

I usually ask my new students “what are you interested in making, clothing? Soft furnishing? Accessories?” but often the complete beginners start on a zipped cushion cover or lined bag because the techniques involved cross-over to all types of sewing so choosing at the beginning of your sewing journey isn’t so important.

Keepsakes

With sewing being so hands-on and personal, you can create such wonderful keepsakes for yourself or family and friends.  You can create special memories with a quilt or memory bear, needle case or pincushion, something to cherish and made with love.  Receiving sewn gifts really makes you appreciate the home-made as well.

In my studio we’ve made lots of memory bears and heirloom quilts, in fact some students may come to a class just to fulfil one personal project and then return to do another course when they see how much fun it is to sew for themselves!

And finally

What if it goes wrong and you’re not feeling very positive about your sewing?

Think of it as only a setback (not a major disaster).  You can easily unpick your sewing and start again, what a bonus!  If that’s too overwhelming, just walk away and come back with fresh eyes, a cuppa and renewed energy to sort it all out.

I find that any glitches and hitches that happen during the making of something are soon forgotten when you’ve actually finished the project; imperfections are forgotten over time and who’s looking anyway?

Have you got any reasons why you sew? I’d love to hear your stories and how you got started on your sewing journey….and if you have any friends who you’d like to encourage to sew, share my views here with them; you may just get a new sewing friend!

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