Why do you sew?

Utility, gifting/making, personal joy, creativity, purpose, passion, expression, art, mental health, self care, or some other reason. Why do you sew?

I have been thinking a lot about this lately.

Clearly, there is no single correct answer for everyone. There’s just the right answer for you–for each of us individually–at any given point in time. How we answer today might be different from our answer in 2 days or 5 years.

For me? I guess I sew for all those reasons and because it seems to be one of the main outlets for the “maker, gifter and problem solver” in me. Also because it connects me to the past, present and future all at the same time. The past: I can not walk into my sewing room or pick up a project and not think of my sweet Grams who taught me how to sew. The present: During this time of Covid-19, sewing helps keep me grounded each day in doing something positive…even if it’s only thinking about sewing and mentally working on the next project. The future: Making gifts for children or grandchildren; stitching love for them and pouring out my heart of hope for their future gives me hope for the future. Sewing. It’s part of who I am. It’s just what I do.

I’d love it if you would chime in and share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

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26 thoughts on “Why do you sew?”

  1. Wow, some wonderful thoughts shared here. I sew because it gives me an outlet for creativity. It wasn’t always that way…I sewed as a young girl because it was an opportunity to have new clothes that I couldn’t otherwise afford. Then I sewed because it was a way to stretch the family budget and a creative outlet for me. Once the birds left the nest I sewed for me…or rather I quilted for me! I’ve been quilting more than 40 years, but could never do it “just because” until there wasn’t someone depending on me to be somewhere or do something for them or others. Now I quilt to give back…quilts for the cancer patients at the Medical Center where my daughter works, quilts for charity fundraisers, quilts for the grandchildren and the children, quilts just because. I still make pajamas and pajama pants every Christmas for the grandkids…24 pairs most years as each gets 3 pair, but this year we added in a few newcomers to the family circle in “special someone’s” for some of the older grandchildren, so there were more. I still have a fairly high pressure job (I retire in April!!), so sewing and quilting is a release and relaxing…and pretty soon I’ll be able to do it full time! Yippee!!

  2. My mother, with infinite patience, taught me to crochet, knit and sew when I was young. It was an important connection especially when I had children of my own. I love to make things for my family and friends that are handmade and useful. And I love being part of this community of creative, caring and talented folks.

  3. When I was younger my Mama “won” a sewing machine (that she had to make payments on)…then Home Ec class…then life. I made clothes from my kids when they were young. In 1997 the quilting bug bit me hard and I was addicted…then life. In 2015 I lost all form of interest, in fact, repented for having so much ‘inventory’ fabric, tools, machines, etc. In 2016 my 33 yr old son, my only son, my baby of four kids died; we had been taking car of his only daughter since 2013 until 2020 when her mother got clean & sober and gained custody back and at 10 our granddaughter moved back with her mother. When covid hit, she lived with us continually for 3 months, I started making masks and teaching her how to hand sew. We had many hours together creating more memories. Masking making ignited the want to touch fabric once again…and helping people cope with the new way of existing. One thing lead to another and it was fun making the Got Sudz item with Tracy…my Father is the Creator of Heaven and Earth…so I’m thinking His dna is within me and I, too, love to create and recreate. I’m 71 and happy with this new older version of me.

  4. I did not sew until I was married (except for classes in school). It just did not interest me. Then I made my clothes and my daughters’ clothes. Someone I worked with asked me if I would sew for other people, but I declined. I enjoy sewing and can do it whenever I wish – if I sewed for others, it would be a job and something I would have to do.

  5. I’ve been sewing since I was a small child & quilting for about 25 years. I’ve always found sewing therapeutic, especially since I started quilting. Just being “with” my fabric is soothing, and the process of creating is what gives me so much satisfaction. I think maybe it’s because the process is so calming that I have so many UFOs — finishing is nice, but the process itself is what I crave. I also find doing some small hand-piecing projects is a great way to spend an evening while watching TV. They seem to mount up so quickly! In the past year, I’ve made enough 4-patches to make a couple of queen size quilts. I have an appreciative family, who all respect my love & need for this craft, and look forward to seeing & receiving the results. I’m so grateful to my mother & grandmother for guiding me to this wonderful world, even though neither of them ever made a quilt. Their love of sewing led me here, where I’m so happy to be — especially at this stressful time. I miss my sewing friends and our annual retreats, but our connections are strong.

  6. Sewing relaxes me and releases my creativity. I feel incredibly happy and productive.

    I also do numerous swaps with a Tula Pink group. Making items that I have never tried and receiving a wonderful item in return.

    Since Covid, I have joined various sew alongs and BOM. This gives me a reason to be motivated.

    I sew for philanthropy, making dozens of pillowcases and numerous quilts. These donations give me so much satisfaction.

    I really enjoy when my family makes a request for a quilt. Typically the color combinations they ask for is something that I would not choose and helps me get outside of my box of Tula Pink and Kaffe.

    At least my stash has decreased a little. 😁

  7. I meant to add that I’ve been sewing quite literally since I could pick up a needle. When we got electricity Daddy bought an electric sewing machine for Mom. I I wasn’t beg enough to make the treadle work but the new machine had a knee lever to make it go…and I’ve been going ever since.

  8. I sew because I can. I sew because I enjoy it. I sew because I can make something wonderful, and don’t have to go to the store to try to find a gift for someone.. and many more reasons too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say ”I LOVE SEWING AND QUILTING “.

    Happy Sewing to everyone and my very best wishes for a great 2021!

  9. I sew because I can create a unique gift for someone I love and it will not be replicated in a purchased item. I have been sewing since four years of age when my grandmother taught me how to hand sew and embroider. Sewing is part of my identity and those around me know it. When I sew it makes me happy and the result my project, whether it be small or large, is a reflection of me. Not many people receive handcrafted items as presents and it is an honor to give one of these. I find so many inspirational messages on your site to motivate me to sew unique items.

  10. I sew because i love how meditative it is. i can use all types of skills that keep my mind focussed and off the busy world around me: math, organizing, pattern design, fabric matching, cleaning the machine, quilting, piecing; i love it all. i no longer sew for me or my family but for homeless shelters who need items such as hats, earbands, blankets . . . when quilting it is meditative watching the needle and hearing the hum of the machine . . .

  11. I love reading all the reasons you sew. I find a common thread among us as we all sew to relax, create , give to others and to retreat from the rough days this life sends us . What a blessing to share with all of you and feel the kinship we share .
    I cannot imagine what my life would be without quilting for charity, family and friends . It is my way of touching the lives of others many of whom I will never know personally . And they as well will never know what they have done for me .

  12. Investing myself in the process of quilting is the gift I give myself hopefully every day. The challenge of coordinating fabric, sewing almost perfect seams, choosing a machine- quilting design and watching a finish work of art is so very satisfying. In November I lost my husband to Covid, so after 61 years of having him by my side, I find myself so alone and my apartment so lonely. My studio is now my retreat for escaping the realities of my altered life.

  13. I sew as a form of stress relief. If I’m anxious or stressed, it’s a way to relax. (Although sometimes when things don’t work like I want sewing makes me more stressed…. LOL) During the pandemic quarantine I finished several quilts and in fact gave each of my immediate family members a lumpy Christmas gift. 😁

  14. I sew because I need to. Its part of me, it calms me, its what I do. It identifies me. And its wonderful that others benefit from it. Its much more than just a hobby !

  15. I sew because it’s something I can do to make something beautiful to share with friends and neighbors. I’m grateful that I have enough to be secure and share with others, too.
    Most of my friends also sew and I can Zoom with them so we support each other.

  16. I sew because I can be lost in my own little world that is a happy place. In the last 2 1/2 years I moved out of my home, an hour away from daughter and her family, filed for divorce and moved in with my mom who is 86 and has dementia. I was the only baby sitter for my youngest grand since birth, she was turning 5 when I moved. Divorce has finalized, I am sort of getting used to life in the country again, but make frequent trips to daughter’s and shopping there. Not so much since Covid and I am lonely some days. My mom isn’t my mom- becoming less verbal and more child-like. So I go sew, mostly quilts for charity, family and friends. Some doll clothes, pj’s, wall hangings, table runners and the like. It’s been my salvation. I choose happy fabrics and patterns, happier days are coming my way!

  17. Sewing and quilting can take me to a place where I can laugh with friends (before COVID). At home I find it makes me happy and I think about ladies who came before me and how difficult their lives must have been, but yet their quilts were exquisite without using modern day tools. It feels good to make something with my hands (unless I am ripping out stitches!)
    Linda A

  18. I always joke that sewing is my therapy… but it truly is. I find peace and comfort when I am creating with fabric. I don’t only love to create, I have a NEED to create and fabric is the medium I have become very comfortable creating with. It brings me comfort to put put something together and joy to gift it. My mind is always multiple projects ahead of my capabilities and time constraints but none the less excited about each one! Now, back to the machine….

  19. All these answers are wonderful, we all need a purpose and be appropriated, sewing gives us that and helps us be creative. Thank you all and you all are so special!💕

  20. I sew because I like unique clothing. I also enjoy teaching sewing. I would rather teach someone to sew than make something for them. Then they would have the ability to sew and make as they see fit.
    Sewing relaxes me and I really enjoy having clothes that cannot be bought off a rack.

  21. Sewing is relaxing to me. I love to make things for family and friends, especially for grand kids. I have been retired for 21 years and love to keep my hands busy.

  22. I sew to keep my sanity it’s my Zen place. In the last two months I’ve been taking care of my 91 year old mother. This is not the time to move her to an assisted living environment. I’m thankful for the support of my family realizing this is what must be done. I’m calling it a deployment. In my case I can take my mother with me and go home for a few days. Our service men and women can not do that. So I’m also thankful for their service.

  23. I have always sewn. It’s my release. I love seeing smiles on the faces of the person receiving a quilted item. Now it’s my vacation place. My retreat. Hubby just diagnosed with cancer stage 1, Covid has us really shut in now. But sewing gives me fresh air and sunny sky’s. I am blessed.

  24. Sewing is relaxing to me. I don’t have to think as hard as I do for my job. I also enjoy creating something useful and being able to donate quilts makes me smile. I feel blessed.

  25. I sew for many reasons. I love creating things out of fabric and trying making new things. And I love looking at all the beautiful prints that I have and that are available. Sewing is a huge stress reliever for me. I just go into my sewing room and close myself off from the rest of the world and all the problems we have. I make belly bands and little doggie harnesses and donate them to a small breed rescue in Eastern Tennessee in my late daughter’s name and memory. She is the late WWE pro-wrestler, CHYNA. It always makes me feel good to know that I can use my sewing talent to help out all the little doggies in need. I’ve made hundreds of face masks since last March and donated them to various organizations in my community. I feel like by doing that I’m contributing to my community in a way that I can.

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