The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Sewing Through Adversity

My life is pretty calm these days, but, I remember going through some very scary times in my life.  No one’s life is without strife or adversity – no one!  It’s all how we handle it.  Some turn to all sorts of addictive things that aren’t so good for us and some can magically channel that energy and drive into something beautiful and productive.  And it really isn’t magical.  It’s a choice.  And that choice is all up to you.

For me, working through any sort of adversity meant that I needed to go to my sewing space, and work on something – anything.  The whole idea of getting started was difficult, but once into the cutting out (I tried not to linger too long on the decision-making part), I was literally in heaven.  Before I knew it, hours had passed and I wasn’t in any sort of misery.  It was that fast.  Realizing that made even more of an impact cause once I begin to think that I could climb out of the doldrums and actually get my brain in a coherent enough place to make decisions about how to handle the adversity before me.  Now, I’m not advocating rushing into the sewing room immediately after the crises and not returning to the real world a week later, but what can happen is an afternoon or period of time away from the crisis, sewing can be the beginning of reasonable and clearer thinking than letting the worrying and fear compound!

This actually isn’t new.  Most sewists, artists, and amazingly enough very successful people describe this exact same process on how to deal with calamities that happen in their lives.  I had even read this before, but let’s be honest – really – I mean simply because I’m doing something that, OK, yes I love sewing, but simply sewing will allow my brain to think straight!!!     That can’t be right.  It can not be that simple.  And I’m fully prepared to admit that reading about this isn’t convincing – no matter how many adjectives, adverbs or other descriptive phrases I use.  You will have to try it.

I will guarantee you that once you do experience this sort of other-worldly phenomenon, you will be impressed with how fast and successful it is.  The only problem is that in the fog of war feeling you get in the middle of a calamaty, it’s hard to think clearly much less remember that sewing through adversity is a wonderful way to get grounded and think straight.  From unexpected deaths, husband walking out with discussion of “I’m leaving”, having financial property sabatoged to two diagoses of cancer in 3 months and impending financial doom, sewing has been my constant source of strength and grounding.  I may not have always know that the strength and grounding was what I was getting, but years of living has taught me that this is exactly what was happening.

As if that weren’t enough, the cherry on top of this sewing sundae is that the very act of sewing brings on the creative muse in spades.

But that’s a whole other story!




  1. Claire, wonderful message!!! Lolly

  2. I totally understand. My way of explaining it is that in times of crisis and when something happens that’s “abnormal” I have to do something that “feels normal”. Sewing has always been there for me.

  3. Claire, What a wonderful message! You remind me that sewing, for me, is often meditation. It brings the calm in the storm. Eckhart Tolle discovered, during one of his crises, that his essence was not his ego or his thoughts, but the observing spirit that oversees both. When I sew, that spirit gets stronger, and I am blessed with creativity. When I am trying to force the process, I sometimes chose the wrong fabric or even cut the fabric out wrong. Then I learn, again, sewing is a process. It is art. It is messy. It is imperfect, like me. It rewards practice. I am very grateful to be able to sew. I am very grateful for a teacher like you.

    • It is a very mysterious activity when you stop to think about it. It’s one sure way to call the muse for more ideas; it keeps you healthily active and not worrying about things we really can’t do anything about and gets us through those times with our minds and souls intact, without bitterness, anger or victim-hood!!! As if that weren’t enough, it turns out the type of mental activity used to assemble our garments, turns out to be one of the best ways we can exercise our brain to prevent memory problems later on. It’s the problem-solving aspect of sewing that’s so beneficial to the brain. That part of deciding whether to put the buttons 2″ apart or 2½” apart, whether to use rust or maroon colored thread, which piece to start with (always start with the #1 or lowest numbered piece), and then how to attach #2. It’s the process of taking the information we already have in our brain, and then by combining it with situations, we haven’t seen before and then forming new information in our brain! This is commonly called problem-solving, but dang, simply doing that and poof – it improves our brain, makes us look better, gives us a garment, makes us proud of accomplishment(s) and calls the muse! Good grief!

      Why would people NOT want to sew!!!

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