Sewing And Self-Care

April 29, 2020 1 Comment
Chelsea, sitting on a bench, reading a book in sweatpants and a shirt that she made.

How I’m learning to love my body, one stitch at a time.

I’ve written about my sewing journey, and touched briefly on why I love it. I want to dive a little bit deeper into the different reasons I love sewing because it’s my blog and I do what I want. For me, sewing and self-care have a lovely relationship, and it’s poly with creativity!

A Chance To Flex My Creative Muscle.

I love creating things; from writing (hello!) to assembling IKEA furniture. Getting out of my head in a creative way helps me relax. But I find creating without boundaries or instructions, like drawing or painting, a little intimidating. I’m working on it, but for now give me a set of instructions and I’m golden. Sewing allows me to be creative while also providing me with guidelines to follow to keep the process from becoming overwhelming.

Now that I’m more comfortable with my skills, I have started experimenting with nicer fabrics, and changing up patterns to better suit me! I’ve also started to look more at fashion brands for inspiration and seeing what patterns I can use to create similar styles. I’m excited to be flexing my creativity in conjunction with fashion in this way, especially since a lot of brands I love don’t really design clothes for people of my size.

Learning To Love Myself

Sewing more of my own clothes has also been a journey in loving myself. For too long I bought beautiful fabric that I squirreled away for the day I would lose weight and magically be a smaller size, more worthy of the fabric. But at some point in my sewing journey, I realized that I didn’t really like wearing what I had sewn because it was made from cheaper fabric with the intention of being good enough “for now.” Why was I putting in the time and effort on items that I liked enough, but didn’t love?

I’ve finally started buying fabrics and sewing with the intention of being able to wear my clothes as soon as I snip the final thread. Through this, I’ve started incorporating bolder colors and patterns, and luxe fabrics into my wardrobe. I proudly wear what I’ve created, and get tons of compliments on the items. It makes me feel good to be able to say “Oh thank you! I actually made it!” in response.

I’ve learned that I am good enough now to sew and wear my dream wardrobe. I don’t need to wait until I am a size xyz to wear a luxe designer dead stock fabric, nor do I need to work out a certain amount of times per week to earn the right to wear the beautiful florals I’ve stashed away for a year.

I can wear it right now.

And I do wear it right now.

Learning To Roll With It

Any sewer knows that you need to have a good seam ripper close by, because mistakes happen. This is something that my perfectionist self took a bit of time to fully understand, and learn to not beat myself up over.

Mistakes happen.

And you need to roll (or in this case, rip) with them. I can’t even count the number of times I accidentally sewed a big chunk of fabric in on the bottom piece that shouldn’t have been included. The amount of seams I’ve ripped out? In the thousands. The amount of seam rippers I have floating around? 3. Because you never know when and where you’ll need one.

You can follow the directions as closely as possible, cut precisely and align everything perfectly, and something can still go wrong. You can do everything right, and still have a flaw (or hundred). And that’s okay! Big mistakes offer the opportunity to learn and grow from what has happened, smaller ones have given me the chance to embrace imperfections. Such as the lovely Quince Day Robe I’m wearing below, one side of my collar was a half inch short when I went to sew it on. Instead of freaking out, I adjusted and took in a half inch on the hem in the correct spot, and graded it out to the original. Can you tell? Only if you look at the exact stitching on the hem, and no one’s getting close enough to my knees with this on to inspect it.

Getting out Of My Head

This has been especially important now that I’m in the thick of my coding academy. Finding the time to stop the code running through my mind has become a priority to keep myself inspired during my on-hours. Sewing and self-care have become linked for me because it requires me to take time out of my day to focus on what I want.

Do I like that fabric? If I don’t, I won’t buy it! Is this pattern speaking to me? Let’s shop my stash to see what will work with it. My thoughts and desires are at the forefront of my decisions when it comes to sewing, which is honestly the best. Also, slipping on a freshly stitched dress to wear out to drinks is a feeling that can’t be beaten. It makes me feel like I’m in a commercial for living your best life, you know?

My Suggestion?

Give it a try! If you’re curious about sewing (and I know a fair amount of you out there are!), try renting a machine or taking a class. Get some inexpensive fabric from a local store and have fun! I can recommend some easy patterns (seriously, this top is only 5 seams) and will always be a cheerleader for you. For me, sewing and self-care go hand-in-hand

Chelsea

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Hello There!

I’m Chelsea, half human, half disco ball, total joyful disaster. When I’m not walking my dog or sewing some fun clothes you can find me listening to records, exploring my city and doing my best to bring joy to my every day.

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