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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: MaryW
Date: 05-17-2007, 10:53 AM (1 of 19)
Post here and maybe you will be the winner of a lovely gift basket of goodies from

How has sewing affected you? Do you calm down when you are sewing, does it bring your creativity out, does it make you happy to know you can make something beautiful or useful or both. Tell us how it has affected you.

Good luck to everyone.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: krewlkathy
Date: 05-17-2007, 01:24 PM (2 of 19)
I enjoy sewing, quilting and machine embroidery. These hobbies have given me gret joy over the years. My interest in sewing started as soon as I was able to use the sewing machine and a pair of scissors. My mother, as well as her mother, made clothes for their families as well as fun stuff. Mostly they made practical stuff, me I like to do all kinds of things.
Sewing is my way of stress release. When I am in my sewing room, the rest of the world goes away. I can stay in there for hours and never realize how long I've been there. It is also a great joy to see the faces of the recipents of my finished projects. To be able to make something special for the ones we love is my favorite thing to do.
Sewing also gives me an ongoing connection with my mother who has been gone for over 17 years. When I am sitting at the sewing machine I can sometimes still feel her presence guiding me how to make the item turn out right.
Sewing is what helps me keep my sanity in a life filled sometimes with chaos and confusion.
<email address removed for privacy>
User: krewlkathy
Member since: 03-21-2003
Total posts: 3
From: carmencoyle
Date: 05-17-2007, 02:47 PM (3 of 19)
March, 2007 was an interesting month in this family's life. Our daughter was being trained for a new job and needed a little help. Our 4 grandchildren were going to be spending a little more time with us. There ages are 11 yrs, 10 yrs., 9 yrs., 18 mos. They would be staying later once a week. It is now May and they are now here 24/5. I am 60 yrs. old and have 4 children 40 yrs., 30 yrs., 19 yrs., 15 yrs., and I have looked forward to empty nest with anticipation. Stress is mounting because they are here all the time except for 36 hrs. a week and our finances are limited. I found myself beginning to begin to enter the realm of depression. I have been there before and recognizing the symptoms I thought "Oh no! I can not have the luxury of zoning out. What can I do?" I pictured my sewing room, piled high with fabric and many items that do not belong in that room because it was an easy access room. I began cleaning and organizing. Now I can go in and sew to my hearts content. I have, in 2 days made 3 baby quilts for our Emergency folks to carry in their vehicles for the kids facing a difficult time. I have become calmer the grandkids, even the boy wants to help put the quilts together. We all put our heads together and figure the patterns. Instead of yelling, or zoning out, I am having memories made with the grandkids. We are going to put our hand into the fabric art trading cards this weekend. Yep!! We are having a lot of fun and now my daughter (15 y/o) and 2 grand daughters are wanting to someday buy a used sewing machine. So as you can see, sewing is so good for me; and mine. Carmen/Ga.
User: carmencoyle
Member since: 12-19-2005
Total posts: 1
From: AndreaSews
Date: 05-17-2007, 04:16 PM (4 of 19)
Spending my time sewing has really boosted my confidence in myself, and not just in my sewing ability. I used sewing as a distraction and creative outlet when I was crawling out of a hard time, and I've let it stick with me right into the good times. I used to feel funny talking about sewing, since most people I talk with don't know anything about it, and I wondered if they thought it was just a cute little hobby for me. (How quaint?) Over time, I started to get comments of admiration from those same people, and eventually began to build relationships through my craft.
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: paroper
Date: 05-18-2007, 10:01 AM (5 of 19)
My life long affair with sewing is kind of like my marriage. My relationship with it has changed and grown through the years. As a child I often sat with my grandmother as she was sewing, threading needles and playing with hand work. As I grew, I watched my mother and my sister sew for the family and the home. In college I majored in clothing construction but never taught after college. In the early years of marriage, when we didn't have a lot of money, it was a hobby and it provided clothing and house hold needs. It was a source of pride for me as my children (finally) started to come along and I could make outfits for them. When I left work it became a source of income. I've seen my children toddle to church in their new Easter outfits, shine in the school/church Christmas plays, go to the prom in their "home made" gowns..almost got to see one walk down the aisle.

Now, in later life, I enjoy sewing for my children and grand children. It is fun to "see" a new set of curtains or a accessory pillows when I walk through a fabric store. It has always been a social outlet as I have met other seamstresses and sewers but now, at a time when I am not working and my children are leaving home I have time for clubs and meetings with other seamstresses, compare techniques, methods, and problems. It is a lot of fun to talk to others about the passions of sewing and the internet has provided a wonderful place for many of us to meet and discuss out that!

Over the years I have seen many changes in sewing trends and I am amazed at the fantastic new notions that are ever being introduced (too bad that many do not stay on the market long). I think that it is a shame that it is becoming so expensive to do fashion sewing at a time when there are so many wonderful machines and cool notions to help in that endevor! I am encouraged by the number of people who are into home decorating and embroidery. I think that many of those people may develop an interest in garment sewing. I also find it interesting that so many quilters do not sew "other things".

So, sewing has provided a skill that sometimes challenges my mind, a fun hobby, a source of income, gives me relaxation, provides satisfaction from seeing my work completed and enjoyed and it has provided me a social outlet!

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Addicted2Sewing
Date: 05-18-2007, 04:20 PM (6 of 19)
I recently got into sewing after I had kids. I have seen so many wonderful things people have created on this site and you all have given me so much inspiration. Any time I get frustrated with kids, life, husband lol, I can sit at my sewing machine, take a deep breath and i'm in my own little world. I love nothing more than creating something for my girls and to see their reaction to it when i'm finished. The thought of my 3 year old hugging me and telling me how much she loves it and loves me for making it for her is just priceless.

I'm sure my garments has some flaws to it since I am a beginner, but they don't see it. To them it is the most special thing because their "mommy" made it especially for them.

I have tried doing other hobbies but sewing has to be the one i've stuck with most. When I first sat down at the sewing machine I was so lost and had no clue what to do. When I first looked at a pattern I was telling myself there was no way I can do this. I would sit there for hours trying to figure everything out and mostly was done with little or no help. Well, after several outfits later, I proved myself wrong. I can do this and love doing it.

I can see this will be something I will be doing for years to come and I hope that I can pass it along to my girls.
User: Addicted2Sewing
Member since: 02-01-2007
Total posts: 133
From: bridesmom
Date: 05-19-2007, 01:19 AM (7 of 19)
I come from a family of sewing women. My mom taught me the basics, and I plunked along at it until I started having babies, then picked it up again when they were older, but I never felt like it was good enough, just homemade. Then my oldest daughter got engaged and next thing I know I'm offering to make her wedding dress!! Good heavens, I must have been crazy to offer, but slowly and sometimes painfully I made her dress which turned out beautifully. And I was hooked. Since then I have sewn non stop, except for holiday time, but I have grown from half of a little bedroom area to a huge 14 x20 room which is still not big enough. I find that sewing is my therapy. I work at an extremely high stress job and I can come home and sit amongst the fabrics and threads, forget about it and happily sew. I get such satisfaction out of most of the things I create. I have a very talented sister who I've always envied her sewing abilities, and when she said one day ' you made THAT!!" I felt fantastic. And I have also found a great bunch of people who also love to sew in this group. It's wonderful to be here and to be able to share my hopes, dreams, frustrations, etc with all of you!
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: prairielady
Date: 05-19-2007, 09:16 AM (8 of 19)
I'm a 'busy hands' type of person, so sewing has given me an outlet for that in a constructive way. I often hear things like "is my shirt done yet?", or "Aunt Faye, what material are you going to use to make my jumper?" It makes me feel that my skills are important.
Then there are those who admire what I have made for my family, and they wish someone would do that for them. In that, I feel admired.
Then there are those who ask me to sew for them (and pay me), and in that I feel profitable.
When I do a tough project, and have trouble with it, I tend to feel frustrated, so it's not all positive. However, it is all a large part of my life and I thank the Lord I have been given the ability TO sew, as there are many who cannot or do not.
When money is short and the month is long, and there are things I can make at my machine, then I feel needed.
Sewing? I guess it affects my life in almost everything!

User: prairielady
Member since: 03-17-2006
Total posts: 31
From: allie-oops
Date: 05-19-2007, 03:59 PM (9 of 19)
Sewing has taken over my life! I can't walk by fabric without touching it - I love to iron it - cut it up - put it back together in new ways - snuggle under it, wear it, make art with it.

The feeling of accomplishment when a project is finished is like no other feeling. The reactions to my work are so gratifying...especially from my mentor, who taught me to sew. Praise from her is high praise indeed!

I believe there is a 'sewer's zone', like what runners experience during marathons. The world could go away and you'd never know it. All that matters is this moment, this seam, the comforting hum of the machine....the snip of the scissors, the "whoosh" of the rotary cutter, the chugging away of the embroidery machine are all music to my ears. The only jarring note would be the seam ripper picking out my hard work. *G*

I'm grateful to sewing. I've found my passion, my art, my creative outlet. I can't imagine life without it.
"onward through the fog"
User: allie-oops
Member since: 10-25-2002
Total posts: 282
From: keljo60
Date: 05-19-2007, 09:59 PM (10 of 19)
I've never actually thought about how sewing has effected me until I read this thread, but the more I think about it the more I realize it has. Sewing is the only thing that has always been there since a very young age. I was in 5th grade and I can remember sitting at my mom's machine, I don't remember what I was doing there, but she must have been teaching me because the next sewing memory I have is 6th grade sewing class and mom taking me to Cloth World and buying me a pattern and fabric and one of those small plastic sewing boxes with the tray (remember those?) and the notions I needed for class to make a poncho. I remember helping my friend make a tie for her father. To think at 12 I was helping someone else learn to sew!
I remember in high school getting compliments on my clothes that I'd made, one boy even argued with me that I couldn't have made it because it was too good! I remember taking sewing class because it was an "easy 'A'" and I'd make 3 articles for the others 1! I remember after I got married at 18 it wasn't a year before I got my first used machine (Mom gave me an iron & board for my shower saying that I'd be the one to use them!). I've always had at least 1 machine (I have 5 now, a Singer treadle that was dh's grandmothers' (both of them!) with all the gadgets, a White model from around 1950 again with the gadgets including a zig-zag attachment and a ruffler!, a Riccar electronic, a Simplicity serger, and a Kenmore as a back-up if the Riccar slips it's timing), and I couldn't do for long without one.
I've tried my hand at a lot of different sewing projects, but I think garment sewing gives me the most satisfaction & joy because there are so many different things to try and it's so hard to get the patterns to fit me right! I'm hoping that my youngest dd (age 16) will eventually find the total pleasure that I find in garment construction or just sewing in general!

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!
User: keljo60
Member since: 07-30-2006
Total posts: 154
From: MotherInLaw
Date: 05-19-2007, 10:53 PM (11 of 19)
Sewing has affected me in a way that I don't know if I can explain it in one thread. Sewing is a stress buster for me. It helps me keep my mind off problems and onto something creative and useful. I've also created bonds with people from all over the world on this board that I wouldn't have know if it wasn't for sewing. Before after and during the hurricane I felt like I wasn't alone that I had all you people here rooting for me and helping me cope with some of the darkest times of my life. As, Andrea also said it has given me self confidence in myself that I lacked before sewing. As time goes on and I sew more and more I have mastered some of the craft I never thought I could ever do and that has made me proud of myself.
I'm regressing back into my youth, I just have to figure out how I'm going to convience my body to come along with me.
User: MotherInLaw
Member since: 06-25-2005
Total posts: 1118
From: Cathie.Tombs
Date: 05-20-2007, 05:07 PM (12 of 19)
Hi, I posted yesterday, but wrong spot. I adore sewing, and, I agree - there is the equivalent of runners' high. I also have done extensive dance, and long distance swimming, and all have the same high. I actually began to sew at 2 1/2, with a darning needle, for dolls. I am now 57, and simply adore sewing. I collect sewing books, and clothing design/style books. A few days ago a friend gave me a lovely Japanese fashion and colour book (rummage she came across for me). I hunt for vintage/luxury fabrics at charity shops, with my Hubby. He is very tolerant/encouraging about my passion. I once read on the internet somewhere, that piles of fabric, throughout the house (slight exageration) could be used as cat beds. I do cover more luxurious fabrics with denim, etc., until they are filed in suitcases, etc., with labels, as my cats are as much fabric connaisseurs as I am. The actual sewing takes me away!!! And, fitting, my biggest challenge, is coming together, thanks to all you WONDERFUL ladies. I have often been ill, and still am, sometimes. I think of sewing, and once stronger, back I go. But, when not strong enough, there are always sewing books, and those lovely vintage patterns to read (oh, joy), all from my favourite haunts - the charity shops. (So, sewing needn't be expensive). Happy sewing!!!!!!!
User: Cathie.Tombs
Member since: 08-27-2006
Total posts: 44
From: sewhappyrtr
Date: 05-20-2007, 08:11 PM (13 of 19)
I started sewing back in the 1960's when girls learned it in grade school. I had a class in high school, and after that just sewed now and then. I work in the medical field so I would sometimes make uniforms to work in. It used to be that sewing was a "hidden" craft, in other words, you didn't want anyone to know that you actually wore the clothes that you handmade. Now that I am much..much older:smile: I find I enjoy sewing much more. I started it again about 8-10 yrs ago to make Halloween costumes for our son when he was little and as he grew. I branched out into making window toppers and curtains. Now I still work in the medical field and I find I like to make my uniforms now because EVERYONE the I work with is so amazed at the material available now and how many tops and pants I make. I think its wonderful with the amount and types of fabrics available now. I even like all the fleece types. I don't feel like I have to hide that I actually wear something I have made. My husband and son still think I am amazing that I can take material and a pattern and make what I want to. Of course I am in no way in the league of the T.V. show on Bravo.. the NewYork designers. I still need a pattern. Well, thanks for letting me ramble on and on.:USA: :smile:
User: sewhappyrtr
Member since: 08-01-2006
Total posts: 43
From: cmayne
Date: 05-21-2007, 10:09 AM (14 of 19)
Boy, sewing has really been a life save for me over the past year. I have been going through some very difficult times, and sewing has provided an outlet for me to deal with all of my emotions. I have found a perfect way to combine it with another love -- reading. With an audio book playing and some project or another taking shape, my mood is considerably lightened. I was able to send out hand-crafted gifts to everyone on my list this past Christmas, for Mother's Day I gave some very well received wall hangings, and I'm just about done with Father's Day. The giving of these gifts just adds another dimenstion. Everybody is always happy to get them; little do they know how much crafting these items has helped me!
User: cmayne
Member since: 05-17-2007
Total posts: 1
From: LoveSewin
Date: 05-21-2007, 09:16 PM (15 of 19)
I started seriously sewing when I was about 23. Since then I have grown tremendously as a sewer. I have learned so many techniques I never thought I could. It has been so rewarding to pick out a pattern and end up with a garment that people compliment you on. Now I get to sew for my dd's and every year they have some of the best halloween costumes. They usually brag to their friends that their Mom made them:smile: I love it and hope my kids will take an interest in it!
User: LoveSewin
Member since: 01-31-2006
Total posts: 103
From: pucktricks
Date: 05-21-2007, 11:51 PM (16 of 19)
Hmmm..... :monkey: This is a fun thread to read. I like the creative outlet that sewing gives me, which I'm not the only one to enjoy it. Scrapbooking is fun, but I"m pretty much the only one who looks at the books. But sewing..... Now, I can give away clothes I make as presents and have people be amazed. I can embroider things for people on my machine. I can make blankets that are used all the time by my family. That is what I call making an impact. Besides, it's lots of fun to see it all coming together. I'd write more on this, but I don't want to write a book right now, and my character on World of Warcraft has probably landed, so I can go and start working on that now rather than sleeping like I should be doing.........:bolt:

User: pucktricks
Member since: 03-31-2004
Total posts: 570
From: beachgirl
Date: 05-22-2007, 12:04 AM (17 of 19)
I can't really express what sewing means to me. It's the biggest stress reliever there is & has saved my sanity a number of times. It got me through the years my mom had Alzheimers & her death, my dad's bone cancer & his passing, losing one of our daughters & one of my brothers. I love doing home dec, sewing for the grands, guilting, redoing some of the clothes I buy even. I love doing machine embroidery plus still do it by hand at times. I make lots of gifts, sew for friends & family when they want something. When I sew I just get into my own little world & lose track of time. I can't sew in a messy room so do have everything organized & labled. I hate searching for things. I love learning new things & this site has taught me a lot & brought on new ideas. Everyone is so nice & helpful, just an extended family. That in its self means so much to me. Wouldn't it be grand to have a huge reunion ? What fun !! Thanks for letting me ramble on & on.Thank you Mary for having this site, it's the very best.
User: beachgirl
Member since: 08-31-2004
Total posts: 615
From: grandma C
Date: 05-22-2007, 01:33 AM (18 of 19)
Sewing has given me hope for my retirement. I too work in the medical field (since 1969). I know that physically I need to retire soon but I had no Idea what I would do to help bring in a little money. Now I know that I will do something to do with sewing. I have a lot to learn about sewing and that will keep mind laboring to learn. Thank you everyone here for renewing my love of sewing. Each project has become an adventure to share here with you all.
Grandma C:bg:
User: grandma C
Member since: 01-15-2007
Total posts: 263
From: Janice
Date: 05-24-2007, 05:31 PM (19 of 19)
I learned to sew in high school 56 years ago, and have been sewing off and on ever since. My mother and two of her sisters sewed a lot and were an inspiration to me. As there always seems to be a shortage of money, I have made many of my own clothes, although that was more fun when I was "smaller." :bluesad: I thoroughly enjoyed sewing clothes and things for my children when they were little. Now that I am retired, quilting has taken over most of my sewing and provided several Christmas presents for the kids. For a short time years ago, I sewed pioneer-type bonnets that were sold at Knott's Berry Farm in California. Now, I often sew items for our church bazaar or other charities. Sewing has been a big part of fulfilling my desire to create something special.
User: Janice
Member since: 07-30-2000
Total posts: 10
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