I watched a you tube video by Leah Day (link at end) the other day and it made me think about why I sew. I NEED to sew, it calms me down, allows me to sort out things in my head and at the end I have produced something. If I don’t sew for a while (2-3 days) I can feel the tension in me rising. It does not matter whether I am hand sewing, domestic machine sewing, embroidery machine or long arming it all helps to keep me sane.

This was highlighted to me when I went on my daughter in law to be’s Hen weekend at Disneyland Paris. I had two boys and so was used to sports, mud and jokes about smells whereas this weekend was full of nail painting, make up, perfume, boyfriend talk, TV soap talk and face packs – not something I was used to. I was the oldest by a long way and became the “mother” in the group and played my part by sitting on benches or in nightclubs looking after their handbags and coats. I did some crochet whilst they did all the theme park rides, cocktails and dancing. I remember coming home after that long weekend, arriving home late morning and immediately making a cake, planting some plants in the garden and making a handbag. It was a very productive afternoon and enabled me to ground myself back in the real world after a long weekend of Disney niceness and girly talk.

At other times the simple act of putting two pieces of material together and sewing in straight lines helps to create a calm and almost rhythmic atmosphere: listening to the sewing machine make its own noises, stopping and starting, moving fabric into the front of the machine and removing at the back. Seeing the pile of bits of fabric on the right hand side going down whilst the pile of joined together bits grows is very satisfying. This is then followed by the movement of the iron making the pieces flat whilst you stroke them, ironing to the dark side and then opening to reveal the patterns again. Doing this allows me time to think and process problems meaning I am in a better mental state than before I started.

So this weekend I am going sewing, no idea what to make yet but it will help to calm my mind and stop me worrying about my close friend and their relationship problems. I am powerless to do anything as they have to sort it out but being not in control is what causes the stress. So I am coming off the computer now and I may have made a quilt by tomorrow!!!

This is the link to the Leah Day article which I thought was very thought provoking.



  1. Christine Hutchins

    Lovely blog Andrea – I know that sewing and creating helps my mental health. The feeling of creating something – having achieved something is essential to my well-being. I hope that the weekend provided you with the head space – and thank you for bringing the gin – and the ice!