Not a Lot of Sewing Round These Parts Lately

But I’ve been thinking about sewing a lot. It is comforting during this time of unrest in the US. I like to mentally plan all of the stages of a project, from matching fabric to a pattern to how the project fits together.

I haven’t actually had the energy to actually sew lately, though. The last few items that I’ve made have been duds; some of them I didn’t even have the energy to complete after realizing that they wouldn’t fit at all (I’m looking at you, Simplicity shorts). All these misfires have been discouraging. Normally, I would forge ahead and try again, but I’ve been rather down, so I’ve been dragging.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been working on losing weight for the past couple of months. This is for health reasons; all of my doctors have noted my weight and told me to lose it over the past four years. Unfortunately, all I’ve done is gain weight over the past four years. After suffering increasing joint pain, I decided to seek assistance, so I’ve been following a plan set by a doctor and have succeeded in losing some weight. I will continue to work on losing weight over the next few months, until I am no longer overweight. I know this has to be a permanent lifestyle change, so I am adjusting my outlook accordingly.

I’ve been changing sizes with every passing month. That also makes sewing a challenge for me right now. Plus, since I have gotten older, my body has become overall shaped differently. I still have a big derriere and thighs, as well as narrow sloping forward shoulders, but I now have a thicker waist too. I have to learn how to adjust for these things so that I feel less awkward in my clothes.

I’ve been wishing that more people would post in their blogs, as I love reading about others’ project details, but it occurred to me that I am not giving what I am getting. I feel badly about this. I want to share; I want to be as productive as others are; however, I am tired and uncertain. I’ve been reading books more as a way to escape.

How have you dealt with a changing body? Does stress make you turn to your handmade hobbies more, or do you deal with it in other ways?

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6 thoughts on “Not a Lot of Sewing Round These Parts Lately”

  1. Sound like you’re experiencing the same as I have over the past 10 years. And many other women I know. I’m 66 now and went through a lot of grieving when 3 family members died in just a few short years. My mother, oldest brother and only sister. It was hard. My sewing was my biggest therapy. I could create something beautiful when I felt my life was dark. I also started Dahn yoga–called mind, body, spirit. Not just poses but feeling light enter my body to heal. My teacher was so calming. Maybe give that a try. Or give yourself just half an hour in the evening to work on a sewing project. The weight is hard to lose at this age and all in the middle so styles are more important to figure what looks good. Keep up the good sewing.

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    1. I like the idea of setting aside a small amount of time every day to sew. I think if I set a timer and an intention, I can do it. I also like the idea of some form of meditation. Sometimes it seems impossible to escape all the terrible news.

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      1. Reach out to the sewing community like McCalls Facebook. They are wonderful for encouragement in so many ways. And lots of inspiration. We have that common thread (haha) that binds us as one.

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  2. First, I’d try to leave aside any guilt you’re feeling about not adding to collective sewing wisdom with slow blogging. Others are blogging for all kinds of reasons, and I’m sure many expect they will have many, many readers who never put anything out there themselves. Low-level contributions when you’re occupied by other things aren’t pulling anyone down, so try not to let any guilt get to you.

    As for the changing body: I want to recognize up front that I’ve been generally at home in my body. I’ve watched people I’m close to struggle with theirs. I don’t want to compare my recent changes to something that others deal with for years. Preamble out of the way: several months ago, I became pregnant, and my body has been going through lots of changes (duh). Initially, I was trying to sew THE BEST THING for those changes, and sometimes with really disappointing results. What has helped me is to take several steps back, and think about totally different shapes that I think MIGHT work for the body I have or will have in the next couple of weeks, and try to experiment with maybe two of those shapes. Honestly, sometimes that experimentation has involved a ready-to-wear purchase. I don’t always have the energy. Sometimes it’s a relatively quick project. This sort of contemplation is really a departure from fixating on one beautiful pattern/fabric combo and thinking hard about the execution. But it’s also given me options, for when I’m feeling different ways about my body, and what I want to dress for. Perhaps a similar (though probably not identical) shift in how you conceive of sewing projects might help?

    Finally, the news is a separate issue, and a hard one for many people to deal with. Some small things might help: limiting engagement with media after a certain hour in the evening; turning off alerts on your phone so you only see news when you deliberately seek it out; or maybe shifting how you consume news (Everyone is different, but for me: I can listen to the radio and read newspapers in print or on line, but television news almost always sounds like it’s at defcon 1 to me, and I find it sort of stressing regardless of what the content is.)

    There are a lot of meditation, yoga, and journaling practices that may help as well, as mentioned above. I’ve always been happiest when I work out very regularly, but I think the type of mind/body work that’s effective varies widely person-to-person.

    I hope things calm down for you, and I hope you’re soon back to finding pleasure from things like sewing (or from entirely new hobbies, if you need a break!).

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