Why I Sew, by Alethea (@sewingwithoutknowing)
Interestingly, the current theme for the We Sew Fabulous blog is 'Why You Sew'. Before I knew the theme I wanted to share with you why I started sewing in the hopes that it might encourage you to start sewing too or to tackle that project you really don't think you can manage. In fact the story behind why I started leads to why I love it so much.
It starts in 2019 with a day trip around Bourton-on-the-water. If you haven't been you must check it out; it is such a gorgeous place! There are so many shops there with hand made gifts and items and as I saw them I felt sad - sad that I didn't have a skill; sad that I couldn't make anything with my hands. My family are very creative; my husband especially so. I really felt 'left out'. As we walked along the river my husband asked that crucial question: "what do you want to make then?" I had already thought about sewing before. I'd done a bit at secondary school and used my grandmother's old sewing machine quite a bit but I didn't take it very far. I certainly hadn't attempted clothes. I just made door stops and lavender pouches. I knew that was what I wanted to start doing - making my own clothes. I really didn't believe I would be able to though because I didn't think I had the ability.
In enters the amazing @rosysewsmodernvintage or in other words, my auntie. A very skilled dressmaker who has spent years making her own clothes and years teaching people how to do the same. I thought she would have some ideas of how to start and which course I could do from home to understand the basics. She went one step up from that. She had me over for the weekend and showed me herself.
My husband bought me a sewing machine, I started to figure out how to set it up, I went to a fabric shop (Yes it's very overwhelming when you first go but trust me you get the hang of it), bought some fabric and off we went.
Wow what a weekend! What a confidence booster to actually make your first few projects: cushion cover and a skirt. How empowering to wear your first handmade item even if you known it is no where near perfect! From that weekend on I wanted to make more and more. I used the Tilly and the Buttons books as a fabulous learning from home 'course' and still do.
When lockdown hit I made gifts instead of clothes. I learnt how to insert a zip into a pouch and made these as gifts along with hair scrunchies and lanyards. Looking back this was actually a great way to practice some great skills before putting them into practice in garments. I set up an Instagram blog @sewingwithoutknowing to share my makes and be inspired by other people and I really have been.
Down to today I've now managed trousers, skirts, a top, a dress, and I have so many more plans.
So why do I sew? I love to create! I didn't know I was that person. I didn't know I loved making things but I do! I love feeling that I can do more than office work. I love wearing what I've made and feeling good in it. I love the calm that I feel when I'm sewing. Basically I really enjoy it. What about you? If any of the hesitation I've written about rings true in you I urge you to just give it a go anyway! Maybe you've never sewn before and you don't think you could do it- neither did I. Perhaps you're dreaming of making your next project but don't think you'll pull it off - I've felt the same on many occasions, especially with my first dress! Go for it! Honestly what have you got to lose? You have everything to gain.