I distinctly remember a moment a few years into my sewing journey. This was back in 2018, shortly after I had started Needle Sharp, and I decided to go to my first sewing gathering, the Pattern Review Weekend in Stratford, Ontario.
Up until that point, sewing had been a largely solo experience for me. I tend to pick hobbies that allow me to sit quietly in an empty room, so the idea of going to a place with 100 other women - in a different country no less - was very intimidating.
But that changed when the first speaker got up. In her presentation, she asked, "How many of you feel better about yourselves since you started sewing?" Nearly every hand in the place went up, including mine. It was a moment of revelation and kinship for me, and it has stuck with me to this day.
We always tout the benefits of sewing - self-care, meditation, working with our hands - but I don't think we talk enough about how much it can help you gain confidence about your body and yourself as a whole.
Here's how I see it happening: When you start to sew, you are forced to take your body measurements, to learn the quirks of fitting your own unique body. When you wear store-bought clothes, these quirks are a liability. Your waist-to-hip ratio means you can't wear a certain store's pants or your bust size means no dresses fit right.
But when you sew, your body's idiosyncrasies are merely a starting point, the thing that makes you you. From there, you can adjust the pattern, make changes to get to look you want – change a bust dart, add length to the torso, adjust the rise on the pants – the options are as unlimited as your creativity. As I used to tell people when they asked me about making my own clothes, "Sewing will make you aware of all the weird things about your body, but it will also make you kind of love them." In other words, it will help you come to terms with your body and learn to love it!
Wearing clothes that fit, especially clothes that you made yourself, with your own hands, is like having a superpower without the need for spider bites or gamma rays. And the confidence you gain from sewing inevitably touches other parts of your life because when you feel good about what you're wearing, you feel good about yourself. And there's so much power in that!
So this month, I'm making an effort to flaunt my makes a little bit, to show off that confidence I've gained from sewing, to be thankful for my body and the ways I can create for it. Because sewing has made me feel so much better about myself, and, given the number of hands that went up at the retreat, I'm guessing it did the same for you.
Until next time. . .
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