the zen of sewing

Hello friends!

How do you manage stress? I’ve found I need two things to get me through the tough spots: endorphins and a little zen.


The endorphins are easy: a good run or any type of physical exercise that makes me sweat and breathe hard will do it. It makes a huge difference in how I feel and in my general mood.

As for the zen, two things help me there, too. Tango forces me to focus all my attention on the dancing, on following my partner, and it forces all my other thoughts away for a while. It helps so much! But, amazingly, so does sewing.

Sewing doesn’t necessarily force me to focus like tango does. I’ve been sewing for such long time that a lot of the process is almost automatic for me. I don’t have to think too much about what to do next or about how to do something. But there is something about manipulating the fabric, feeling it take shape in my hands and under the needle, gradually creating something myself, that calms me and allows me to focus. I can listen to music or podcasts or even watch movies when I work. But sometimes it’s the absolute silence and, today, the sound of the rain on the windowsills, that gives me that zen.

Today I needed it, after three weeks away from my machine. There are so many other things that need doing right now, but just an hour or two with the fabric and the sewing machine helped me to feel more present, ready to tackle the other items on my list that I’m dreading or just feel powerless to control. Monday the carpenters will come to finish the last details on my new apartment, and I’m so eager for this long project to be over. But since there isn’t anything I can do about it right NOW, sewing helps.

Does sewing help you, too? If you’re newish to it, you might not have found that comfort in it yet. With time I think it will come for you.

Next on the list, a nap and a shower. And then I can get back to work, feeling better about it all. I hope you have a great weekend. And I hope you fit a little sewing into your schedule. I highly recommend it.

By the way, I’m sewing a new sewing pattern we’re releasing soon. I’m really excited about it, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed developing it. It’s always a little nerve-racking to release new patterns. I never know how they will be accepted. This is not one of our simplest patterns, and I suspect it will intimidate some of you, which is too bad. It has a lot of pieces, and it takes more time than most of our patterns, but the results are very worthwhile. It’s not a difficult pattern to sew. It’s just a little more involved. But the payoff is an enormous!  We’ll have have it ready for you in just a couple more weeks. In the meantime I’m sewing a few more samples because I have some ideas I want to share with you that I hope will inspire you to try it.



1 Comment

  1. Lodi

    I totally relate to managing stress with endorphins and zen! I always feel so much better after my daily two mile forest walk… but I still need the zen of a contemplative hands-on activity -which usually involves fabric one way or another.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your new design. Best of luck with your renovations, move, and Internet installation. (I live on a mountain and the Internet is often an issue.)

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