#WorthOfSewing And Mental Wellbeing

So the Sundays in January are rolling on by… and it’ll be February soon. Can you believe it? It feels like just five minutes ago I was counting down to the Christmas break, clinging on by a thin thread, the only thing keeping me going was the thought of that week off work where I could roll out of bed at 10am and wear sweatpants for ten days straight. Ahhh, #LifeGoals.

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You might remember a couple of weeks ago I spoke about the #WorthOfSewing movement that launched at the end of last year. After round one, which focussed on the worth of the time and skills that went into a garment (and challenged people to guess how long it took to make it), we’re now on to round two – the ‘worth of sewing’ to ourselves. To our mental health and wellbeing.

Why do we choose to sew? What do we get from it? To non-sewists, it’s probably a crazy hobby – why would we spend our (probably limited) free time creating clothing, when clothing can be so easily bought from high street shops?

There could be (and most definitely are) many factors in our choice of hobby – purely and simply because we enjoy it, because it’s a way to unwind, or a creative outlet. Or it could be that we value handmade, individual things in a world where so many things are mass-produced. Or it could be freedom of expression, if we spend all day in a job where we’re told what to do. A way of giving restrictions in other parts of our life the finger, by doing whatever the hell we choose with our sewing projects. We’re in charge and what we say goes. We don’t need to answer to ANYONE. You want sequinned pants? You go for it. Ain’t nobody gonna stop you.

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MY CRAFTING HISTORY

I’ve been creative pretty much all my life (apart from in my finance career, where ‘creative accounting’ is considered dishonest or even fraud ??). My mum was a knitter, and although she never taught me anything sewing-related she was a tailoress when she was very young – before she married and had children. I only ever remember her knitting, I never saw her sew any clothes. She didn’t own a sewing machine. It’s a little bit sad, on reflection, because she probably could have taught me a thing or two! I’m about 90% sure she said that she made men’s suits in her tailoring job, but my memory is a bit hazy.

This photo of her, taken in Paris in the 80’s (probably only a short time before I was born), is almost definitely the source of my love of fur coats.

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My earliest memory of crafting is cross stitch as a teenager (and I’m ashamed to admit that I still have some unfinished projects from my twenties, which I’ve promised myself that one day I will finish. Probably when I’m retired, lol). I also did scrapbooking and card making, and knitting. The first thing I ever knitted was a garter stitch scarf – my mum cast on for me, and I literally went back and forth knitting the rows with varying shades of neon yarn. It was proper lairy.

Some of my scrapbooking attempts from my younger days:

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And that one cross stitch project that I’m determined to finish before I die:

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So although crafting has been a big part of my life for a long while, I didn’t actually sew an item of clothing until about 2014. The very first garment was this skirt – the thing that started me off on this sewing journey that I now find myself on:

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The back zip is proper dodgy, and there’s a whole lot wrong with the waistband, but it sparked something in me.

SO WHY DO I SEW?

When I thought about why I sew, and what benefits I get from it, it was initially hard to pinpoint the precise reason – the closest I got was ‘because I enjoy it’, and that’s not a very good answer really. On considering it a bit more carefully, I think it’s to do with certain aspects of my personality – who I am, and my approach to life.

The husbeast will confirm that I am very stubborn, and determined. And defiant. And that I don’t like to be told what to do, or follow the trends. I am fiercely, uniquely me, and heaven forbid anyone that stands in the way of that. A company I worked at a few years back tried to impose that all workers only used company branded mugs, didn’t have any personal photos on their desk, and had the company logo as their computer desktop background – no exceptions, no funny pics of your doggo etc – and believe me I left that place with a bang and told them exactly what I thought of their policies and attempt to turn their workers into robots.

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So yeah, you could say I’m pretty strong-willed, and I have a very definitive idea of what’s okay and what’s not okay.

My hair colour (and nose ring, to some extent) can be a bit of a sticking point with some people who make presumptions of what a 34-year-old should look like. But I love my hair and that’s all that matters – I don’t care that other people my age are ‘proper grown ups’ with a family and a mortgage and I’m still over here wearing Pikachu socks and sewing bags with zombies on them. Or that sometimes I eat pancakes for dinner rather than a proper meal. I’m not ready for that ‘adult’ life that everyone assumes you should have. I’m not sure I ever will be – I don’t think I was made to fit the standard template.

Clothing that matches both my age and my lifestyle, is therefore hard to find. If I go into the shops that are aimed at your standard 34 year olds, my reaction is usually:

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The clothing is just not me. It either screams school-Mom, or just plain BOR-INNNNGGG. Which forces me to the stores that stock the type of clothing I like, but are clearly aimed at teenagers and girls in their twenties. And it’s not very often that shops like that cater for someone of my shape – the clothing seems to be made for lean teenage girls. Which clearly (espesh after last week’s demolition of the ‘serves six’ bread and butter pudding) I’m not. So I’m stuck in the middle. Clothing brands seem to be assuming that your life progresses in a standard way – so by the time you’re 34 you’re probably married and probably have children and therefore probably don’t care too much for a dress that has Iron Man on it.

Well, they can shove their assumptions, basically, because I wanted a dress with Iron Man on it. So I made one.

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If I wear the clothes that are offered by these dull-as-dishwater brands, I’m dressing for a lifestyle that isn’t mine. I’m swaddling my young-at-heart personality that still says ‘soz’ and ‘cosmic’ in a dowdy cardigan that’s easy-wash, easy-iron and hides baby vomit. NOPE.

It’s very rare that I actually see things I like in shops anyway – I only came back from New York with a handful of items, and believe me I spent a fair amount of time in Macy’s, Bloomingdales and strolling along 5th Avenue. But – as I’m sure you’ll remember – I came back with a hefty amount of fabric to make my own clothes.

I think this is probably what draws a lot of people to sewing – in one way or another, the ready-to-wear clothing available doesn’t align with who they are. And it’s no surprise, really – every single one of us humans are unique in our tastes, personalities and body shapes, and it’s just not possible that we’re all catered for with the clothing that’s available in the shops. For some people, it probably doesn’t bother them too much and they just choose the things they like the best from what’s available, and forget about a perfect fit. But for those of us who it does matter, sewing can be the answer. It can allow us to make the clothing that we want, which allows us to express ourselves however we choose. We can tailor it to our own individual bodies, and hit whatever point on the gender spectrum we choose. I could make baggy jeans, or ‘boyfriend fit’ shirts, without having to shop in the men’s section. Guys could make themselves more fitted (or ‘prettier’) items without having to shop in the women’s sections. By sewing our own clothes, we do away with this segregation and instead create a selection of clothing that is defined as ‘ours’, rather than by our gender.

BEAUTY IS ON THE INSIDE

I’ve never been focused on my own appearance in a ‘beauty’ sense – I’m not one to spend ages styling my hair, or painting my nails, or applying makeup. I’m not into revealing clothes either – short skirts, cleavage, nah mate. None of that. I’m not out to impress others with my flesh. I don’t understand why so many clothes are designed to have body parts precariously hanging out of them. Or even why some bras are apparently made with the sole aim of getting your nipples to touch your chin. As a teenager, it was really hard for me to find ‘going out’ clothing that met my style preferences – it was all short tops and skirts, the aim seemed to be to use as little fabric as possible. For me, the exception who wanted something different (something nice, but just a little more modest) there wasn’t much choice.

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As I’ve got older, I’ve come to care even less about what others think. I’m not wasting my days trying to make myself look ‘prettier’ for other people. They can take me how I am, or not. I don’t care either way. If I’m not ‘pretty enough’ for someone, or my eyebrows aren’t tidy enough, or my boobs aren’t perky enough, then that’s not my problem. I for sure ain’t gonna lose any sleep over it. It’s why I’ve never understood plastic surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, and why it saddens me to find out that Superdrug give botox injections in store along the high street. You could swing by on your lunch break for a top up, as if it was nothing to inject chemicals into your face so that you appear better to others. If people don’t love you the way you are, then you’re hanging with the wrong people. I have wibbly bits, bingo wings, and stretch marks from my teenage years when I was a lot heavier. If someone was to use any of these things as a reason to distance themselves from me in any way, there’s a bigger problem at hand and it’s certainly not mine.

As a society, we seem *so* focussed on outward appearance – which is madness, given that your body is just the housing for your personality, your sense of humour, and all the other things that make you who you are. I don’t care if you’re the prettiest thing on the planet, if you have the personality of a plastic bottle then nobody is going to want to spend time with you. People seem to forget that their body is the most amazingly complex thing they will ever own, and if there’s a few wrinkles coming through or a few wobbly bits, you should give it a break. It keeps you alive 24/7. Even when you’re sleeping, it’s working hard to make repairs and prepare you for tomorrow. Rather than injecting it with toxins, try eating some greens and getting an early night. Take care of yourself.

My (very basic) morning routine, for many many years now, has been:

1. Wash face with The Body Shop tea tree facial wash

2. Moisturise with The Body Shop hemp moisturiser

3. Clean teeth, and use mouthwash.

That’s it.

It’s quick, it cleans everything that needs cleaning, and suits me just fine.

When I overhear conversations of people discussing their make up regime, talking about a million different creams and lotions and this and that, my mind is just BLOWN. I couldn’t imagine going through that drama every morning. Life’s too short to care about shaping my eyebrows (which are just going to grow back anyway) or trying to correct uneven skin tone. Over the last few years, during the summer, I’ve started getting this blotch on my face which is basically a massive freckle-y area that makes me have a freckle-moustache – sure, it’s annoying, but whatevs.

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MY DREAM WARDROBE

I want getting dressed to be a similarly simple process – I’d like a wardrobe of clothes in prints that bring me joy, and that fit me. I don’t want waistbands that dig in, tops that are too short, shirts that are too tight around the bust. And if that means that I have to make all my own clothing in order to have that, so be it.

Shopping for clothing has always been a depressing experience for me – in the springtime especially, it’s all pastels and florals. NO THANKS. Plus – and this is gonna make me sound super old – it’s hard to find a nice skirt in a decent length. You either get a pretty, but teeny tiny ‘belt’, or a matronly number. When I started making my own clothing, I realised that I could take control of my wardrobe – I could choose the styles, the fabrics, the colours – and the skirt lengths. The only limit was my imagination. I could be ME. I could choose fabrics with designs that made me happy, and make them in a style that I wanted. Again, it’s  me not following the path that’s already been laid out (the clothing collections produced by the high street), and instead taking a random left turn off the beaten track and cutting a fresh path through the jungle.

A lot of the shops assume that you ‘grow out’ of the fun stuff as you get older too – children, for example, can get underwear with llamas on them. Try finding an adult pair of pants with llamas on them. Go on, try. Bet ya can’t. So what if I WANT a pair of adult pants with llamas on them? Well, I can make them ??

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SHARING THE SEWING LOVE

I sew for the husbeast as well because he also falls the wrong side of what the clothing manufacturers deem to be the ‘norm’ in terms of clothing style and size. He’s about 5’5, which off the bat means that shopping for jeans and trousers that are the right length is a drama, let alone finding something in a nice style that’s also a suitable length. He’s also not particularly keen on what you would call traditional ‘man clothes’ – baggy fit, boring colours. When we were younger, he used to wear a size medium in everything even though it was clearly way too big, and if it wasn’t black or navy, it could jog on. Over the years, I’ve slowly encouraged him to shake off society’s expectations of what a male should wear, and wear whatever the hell he damn wants. Some very big steps that we’ve made are the neon fur coat, and also the outfit we put together for an upcoming Minerva blog post:

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Yes, that’s a fur bomber jacket that I made for him.

Yes, those are my heeled boots.

Yes, that’s red nail varnish.

And yes, those shiny jeans are mine (or were mine, up until the point that I became too fat to get in them. Now they’re his because he’s still skinny).

And you know what? He looks bloody awesome. MUCH more awesome than he would ever look in clothes from the men’s section of Next, or Marks and Spencer. I’m so proud of how he’s giving two fingers to what’s expected of men’s clothing choices, because I know that for him, this is a big deal. He used to worry a lot about what people thought of him – he still does, a little – but he knows that I love him for who he is and I want him to express that in whatever way makes him happy. However he chooses to dress himself to walk down the street, I’ll be walking right next to him. Haters can hate if they want, but they are the ones with the problem – they just don’t know how to react when they are faced with something that’s outside the realms of their narrow-mindedness.

Despite all that, I know that it’s hard to be yourself when you feel like you might fall outside the lines of what’s considered ‘normal’. As humans, we’re designed to want to be accepted. But how far do you stray from your true path in order to ‘be accepted’? How much do you have to sacrifice? Is it worth it? Sometimes people say to me that they wish they were brave enough to dye their hair pink, or wear a certain item of clothing. It makes me sad that they feel that they can’t – it’s their body, and they can dress it however they want. They shouldn’t fear being judged by others. What other people think doesn’t mean jack shit. You’re never too old to get your lip pierced, or your first tattoo. These age-related expectations really grind on me.

We will only change society’s norms by stepping over the line, digging our pink leopard print heels into it as we go and smushing it into oblivion.

So, what is the ‘worth of sewing’ to me? It’s my freedom of expression. The ability to smash down the barriers and walk my own path. The power to be who I truly am.

And in this field of horses, I want to be the unicorn.???

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Ahhh, what a rant ? That felt good! What really amazes me though, is that every single one of the millions of us that are on the planet are unique. No two of us are the same. We’re all different shapes, with different markings and colourings. And each one is as beautiful as the next, no matter what anyone says. You owe it to yourself to be you, because no one else can.

What is the worth of sewing to you? What makes you continue to pick up the fabric and create things, over and over again? Think about it. You might be surprised at what you discover.

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Next week on the Wanderstitch blog… I’m heading back to New York City with my By Hand London Victoria Blazer ✂️ Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out! ??

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42 Comments

  1. Ruth
    January 20, 2019 / 8:26 am

    Love this post, I’m currently embracing my inner toddler at the age of 44, all the colours ? Your husband’s outfit it awesome ? Happy Sunday to you both x

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 5:58 pm

      Ahh thanks Ruth! ❤️ Age is just a number and shouldn’t influence what you wear – if you want to wear all the colours, you go for it! You have my full support ❤️?????

  2. January 20, 2019 / 8:41 am

    Wow! What a blog. So very refreshing too. I don’t dye my hair anymore, it’s grey and I love it, it suits my skin, but the flack I got (all from women) about it being ageing, blah blah, well yes I am getting older, 65 and counting. I sew a lot for my 2 grandchildren. My daughter loves that a lot of their clothes are unique, and I love knitting too, that’s my evening relaxation. Nothing beats seeing my grandkids in clothes I’ve made them. You two should have been around in the 70’s I so wish I’d kept some of my stuff from then! Your man looks fab!

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 6:02 pm

      Ah, thanks Chris! I’m really glad you enjoy the blog ?
      I personally think grey hair looks amazing! I work with a lovely Indian lady who has the most amazing short grey bob, she says that whenever she goes back home she gets stared it as it’s not the done thing – the ladies are expected to dye their hair black FOREVER. But she totally loves it, and it looks fabulous on her! Good for you for not dyeing yours – you love it and that’s the only thing that matters ❤️
      I so wish I’d seen the 60’s and the 70’s – the fashions were just amazing!! I’ve just actually bought a pair of high-waisted rust orange jeans that are proper retro – I love them!!

  3. January 20, 2019 / 9:36 am

    How I love this, it’s the bestest most fab post ever! Unicorns and Llamas all the way, but the little brown donkey needs colourful friends too.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 6:03 pm

      Ahh, thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! ?? And the donkey can definitely come along to the party too ❤️??

  4. Clairey McClaire Face
    January 20, 2019 / 9:44 am

    I agree – make your own kind of music. I’ve gone the other way recently and have been sewing more ‘on trend’ (hate that phrase) stuff, because l’m now l’m my early 40s and l’ve got to the stage where l’ve outgrown the off the wall style l once had. But l don’t want to start shopping at marks and Spencer and l’m feeling a bit too grown up for New Look. Next is far too grown up!! I may have children and a mortgage but l still care about my clothes and style ?

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 6:06 pm

      YES! Make your own kind of music. Exactly ??
      I’m not entirely sure who it is that Next actually cater for… is it women in their 30’s or 60’s? Or is it everyone in between them as well?! ??‍♀️ ?

  5. January 20, 2019 / 10:11 am

    I’m 60 now and was recently told by someone that I dress ‘a lot younger’. Wtf? I like a bit of colour and comfort and I make a lot of my own stuff too. Individuality is a trait to be admired not despised. The one really great thing about aging is that you really give so much less of a fuck what others think and you have a bit more time to try new things out. I’m determined to enjoy my life and if that means I don’t conform to what’s expected of me then tough. I’m with Madonna all the way (except the plastic surgery)…

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 6:10 pm

      Ah, it’s these ‘you dress a lot younger’ thinkers that we really need to do away with ? Who are they to pigeon hole us based on how long we’ve been on the planet? ? We are still the same person on the inside!
      And YES – individuality definitely SHOULD be admired. It takes way more courage to stand up and be yourself than it does to follow the crowd ??
      And totally agree that the older I get the less I care… Can’t wait to see how little I care in twenty years time ???
      You keep on being you ❤️

  6. Donna Bartlett
    January 20, 2019 / 10:57 am

    Fab Fab FAB!!! Loving this post so much, saying it for all us ‘not norms’ out there ❤️ I’m 48 & walk on by all the ‘age appropriate’ shops because I don’t want to look like Margaret Thatcher thank you very much ?
    My worth of sewing (& knitting) is very much a back to basics thing. Being resourceful & practical touches some sort of need in me, keeps me away from shops which get on my nerves with their crowds & marketing ploys & means I can create at home where I’m happiest ??? Much love & have a great day xx

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 6:14 pm

      Haha, loved your comment about Margaret Thatcher ????
      I don’t know who had this bright idea that our fashion tastes would vary according to how many summers we’ve seen ??‍♀️?
      Totally with you on the being resourceful, I love using up small scraps of stuff! And don’t even get me started on advertising and consumerism ?
      I’m also with you that a day spent at home in our happy place is much better than braving the shops – I hope you enjoy many lovely days of crafting ❤️
      Yay for all us ‘not norms’! ?? May we never conform to being normal ?

  7. January 20, 2019 / 11:36 am

    I love this post but still feel unable to shake the feeling of being “different”…probably cos I was born with a cleft lip and palate, I’m constantly stared at and I don’t want to do anything that makes people stare more! I’m 37 and tired of it!! But I have much respect for anyone who is able to do so! I sew to protect my mental health lol, I started machine sewing only recently (last July) as I NEEDED a hobby I could do at home (another sob story…I lost my fella at the end of 2015 and I’m now stuck at home raising the kids…which is a joy but can be insanely boring when they’re in bed) and I’m proud of how far I’ve come in that short space of time! I started with simple reversible hobo style bags but I can now sew tops and am about to make my first pair of trousers WOOHOO! I’ve signed up for two challenges this year and so far my makes are much more unique than the masses posted! Your hubs looks amazing on that pic too!! xx

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 6:19 pm

      Wow you’ve come on leaps and bounds since you started sewing! That’s amazing! ?? You’re attempting trousers way quicker than me, I put it off for about two years ?
      So sorry to hear about your partner – sending hugs. It’s excellent that you’ve managed to channel your evenings into something creative though ❤️
      And YAY that your makes are much more unique than what’s out there! That’s what I like to hear ? Be that unicorn! x

  8. Bren Holmes
    January 20, 2019 / 12:14 pm

    Brilliant blog. I’m with you all the way – in my unique style. I’ve never fitted into the boxes and labels put on people of certain ages and gender. Do I care? Well, I did when I was younger, but only knew how to be ‘me’. Now I’m 66 (67 next month, shhhh) and I really don’t care. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, either. Why do I sew? I’ve always enjoyed sewing. I began by watching my mother, then was usually found doing hand embroidery from the ago of about 5. I sewed household items and my own clothes in my teens and beyond, then when the children came along, I began making their clothes, too. Then work and study got in the way and there was no time. I missed sewing, which was always something for ‘me’. When my son left home at 31 (he stayed at home longer than most as he had cancer, although recovered), I took over his room as a sewing room. It was brilliant. I bought my first embroidery machine and software and had a ball learning how to use them. Moving on 7 years, our son died in a road accident caused by a stupid driver. Sewing saved my sanity. It gave me something to focus on, a reason to cope and carry on. I began learning to free machine embroider and eventually took a City & Guilds diploma in creative machine embroidery, which I completed in 2017. While I didn’t enjoy the actual course, it taught me a lot and I loved the creative process. Now I make clothing, bags, quilts, etc, sew for charity and have just begun a new project, an embroidered mystery quilt, which I’ve not done before. For me sewing is part of the life long learning I feel is so essential to keep one’s brain active, it keeps me occupied when I may otherwise be brooding, gives me pleasure in both the creation of my makes and in seeing them around me every day. I also love being able to dress in clothing that actually fits me and avoid clothes shopping, which I absolutely detest.
    I began a cross stitch project in 1989 when I was off work for 3 months following major surgery. I completed it a couple of years ago. So, almost 30 years in the making and yes, I was retired by then 🙂

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 22, 2019 / 6:13 pm

      Hi Bren! So glad that you enjoyed the blog ? Like you, I cared when I was younger, and I shouldn’t have, I wish I could tell my younger self to be proud of who she was and not listen to other people. And like you I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up ?
      So sorry to hear about your son – sending hugs. It’s so good to hear that sewing helped you through tough times, and you’re totally right we do need to keep the brain active! Sounds like you’re quite the expert with machine embroidery – I’m sort of thinking about making a quilt (sort of ?) but it’s all the stitching on the top of it (the quilting? Is that what it’s called?!) that kind of daunts me… I’m good with sewing in straight lines (and curves, if called for) but when you start going freestyle I get a bit scared ?
      It’s amazing how many of us actually hate clothes shopping… I wonder if on some level it’s why we make our own? ?
      Well I’ll come back to you in twenty years on the status of my cross stitch, we will see who wins that one! ?

  9. January 20, 2019 / 12:38 pm

    Right on sista! When I was younger, I was too damn shy to wear the clothes I wanted…and also too damn poor to afford them! I started to find my style in my late 20s I suppose, but having kids, then going to uni in my 30s, meant time and money were at a premium. In the ‘noughties’ I realised that I could never find my favourite colurs [purple and green] in the shops, but now I have a wardrobe full yay!
    Husbeast looks fab in his Izzard-esque outfit, bravo that man.
    I haven’t been clothes shopping other than undies and socks, in YEARS now, it’s a great feeling.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 22, 2019 / 6:16 pm

      YES! Eddie Izzard. I knew that look reminded me of someone! ?
      I think I sort of touched on my style in my teens, lost it in my twenties, and have now picked it up again in my thirties ??‍♀️ Better late than never, though, right?!
      I notice that you have a lot of purple and green in your plans for this year’s SWAP!
      I do still buy a couple of bits of ready to wear, mainly things that I can’t make, but it’s getting less and less ??

  10. Fiona in Aberdeen
    January 20, 2019 / 1:38 pm

    Love your post today. So totally agree, though yeah, I don’t quite live the colours the same way! My son has no qualms about what people think and wears all red every day, long hair & beard un-waxed. Guess what, he still had loads of friends and they are all lovely people and individuals of many sorts. Life is grand!

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 22, 2019 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks Fiona ? So glad you enjoyed the post!
      And that makes me SO happy to hear about your son ?? and great that his friends are all individuals as well! There’s nothing worse than these groups of people (at high school, especially) that all seem to look alike and have the same hairstyles and are basically all just variations of each other ??‍♀️??‍♀️

  11. Mauree McCann
    January 20, 2019 / 1:47 pm

    I love this post Sarah and I love your style even though it is nothing like mine. I will be 70 next month going on 40! I have sewn a bit all my life – always wanting to wear something that was not fashionable that year/season. I resent the “fashion” that dictates now not only what we can wear but also what colours we can use for ourselves and in our homes. When I had a colour analysis session 30 years ago, it released me from wearing only what I can buy! I make some stuff but fit is more of a problem these days! I love reading your blog. Thank you

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 22, 2019 / 6:21 pm

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post ?? And I LOVE that you’re 70 going on 40 ?? That’s my life goal when I get to 70 ?
      Exactly, who are all these people to tell us what colours are ‘in season’ or ‘trendy’ this year?! I’ll choose my own colours, thanks ?
      Fit is a tricky one to nail, but take comfort in the fact that ready to wear stuff is always a ropey fit anyway (as it’s designed for nobody in particular) and at least the stuff you make is in a colour that you like, even if it doesn’t fit exactly how you want ??

  12. January 20, 2019 / 2:18 pm

    Another fabulous post Sarah 🙂 woof! that husbeast of yours is gorgeous in everything but that outfit on him is so alluring I know people will say wow seeing him in those duds. You are both so beautiful/androgynous you must turn many envying heads walking down the street.

    Why sew is a great topic to address at the beginning of the year…I’m just making up a Wiksten Kimono for my husband. He NEVER asks me to make him anything but when I showed him my plans for my Wiksten he asked, “Would you make me one of those?” I was astounded and immediately jumped in with two of my favourite stashed fabrics (true love right?); a navy, drapey, tencel and a coral flowered silk. He picked that flowery silk for the lining. He can’t wait to wear this kimono which tickles me no end. The fact I can make this lovely garment for him makes me just as happy as making the one for myself that will be on the cutting table next! Sewing to me is the satisfying marriage of precision to creativity. A box containing a tempest, a rock wall around a blazing fire…the wildness barely contained with a confine of precision. I know this barely makes sense but it’s the closest I can get to WHY I love sewing 🙂

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 23, 2019 / 6:05 pm

      Thanks Kathleen! So glad you enjoyed the post ☺️? and I do think the Handsome Husbeast looks especially handsome in that outfit! ?? Ten years ago I’d have said he wouldn’t be brave enough to wear that, but look at him now! ?
      I can’t tell the husband that you’re making a silk kimono for your man… he’s gonna want one NOW ? In fact, I’d put money on him already wanting one, and me mentioning it is going to bring it to the forefront of his mind ?? I love that your man chose the floral silk for the lining – it shows he’s proud and comfortable of who he is and what he likes… and that makes me so happy.
      And I totally get your ‘why’ for sewing! It’s a brilliant explanation! Hurrah for us finding joy in needle, thread and fabric ??????

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 23, 2019 / 6:06 pm

      Ahh, thank you Cynthia! ?

  13. Deb
    January 20, 2019 / 8:29 pm

    LOVE your blog.
    Husbeast…WHOA!!!!

    Look at the ages of the people who are responding …I’m 62. Couldn’t agree more with this post. California in the 60s-70s….sorry you missed it! You would have loved it.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 23, 2019 / 6:08 pm

      Ahh, YAY! Thank you Deb ? So glad you enjoyed the post.
      And yep, I think the Handsome Husbeast looks especially handsome in that outfit! ??
      I so would have loved to be alive in the 60’s and 70’s… the fashions, the colours, it was all fabulous! Today actually I’m wearing a rust coloured pair of high-waist wide-leg jeans… they are proper 70’s! And I love them ???

  14. cat
    January 20, 2019 / 9:08 pm

    LOve this post and am going to think more about why I am sewing and also WHY I am avoiding making pants! Well I know, b/c of fit nightmare! Also I am only into sewing SIMPLE garments. I wish that would change too!
    XXOO Cat

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 23, 2019 / 6:10 pm

      Hey Cat! How are you?!
      So glad that you enjoyed the post ?
      When you figure out your ‘why’, let me know. I’m interested ☺️
      Haha, yeah, pants. I’m very shortly moving on to pair number three – the first pair were not so much of a success – the second pair were were wearable. Third time lucky hey?! ?

  15. artcoopsville
    January 21, 2019 / 6:57 am

    Exactly my thoughts. I could never get clothes to fit my shape and shopping was depressing. Now I rarely go to the high street to shop. I’m embracing going grey, but would love a bit of colour, just trying to find the right hair dye as I don’t want a permanent colour. Since I started making my own clothes. I’m more confident and don’t give a crap about what anyone else thinks.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 23, 2019 / 6:13 pm

      Yay for finding a kindred spirit! ?? Shopping IS depressing, isn’t it? I feel so much happier now that I’m not trying to fit into clothes that weren’t designed for my body shape. I know that if the things I make don’t fit me, I’ve only got myself to blame ?
      I use Manic Panic hair dye, it’s semi permanent *BUT* they don’t guarantee that the colour won’t stain. Other brands I’ve used in the past are Directions and Stargazer… they both have a fab range of colours ❤️?????

  16. Tania
    January 21, 2019 / 6:24 pm

    It seems that reading your blog is good for my mental health. :o) I really needed this today; I’ve been stressing about buying “suitable” ( ie, boring) shoes for the office that I know I’ll hate and never wear outside of work. Now I’m gonna be that unicorn in a field of horses and buy what I like. Thanks??

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 23, 2019 / 6:15 pm

      DO NOT BUY THE BORING SHOES! Unless your work are paying for them, don’t waste money on something you don’t like just to please someone else ??
      Buy what you like! Buy the shoes that make you happy to put them on in the morning. If they happen to be brightly coloured, or glittery, or have bows on them, so be it. If a company is going to fire you for the shoes you wear, they don’t deserve to have you as an employee ??
      You’re welcome ?

  17. January 21, 2019 / 9:31 pm

    I feel like I could have written your post word for word. I totally agree with everything you have said. One of the main reasons I sew us so that I don’t have to buy the boring stuff I’m supposed to be wearing. I want colour, I want fun, I want different. I too have coloured hair even now at age 40 and I so often get the comment I wish I was brave enough to do that and in many ways I think this us the saddest comment. That there are so many people who don’t feel comfortable being even a little outside tge box, it doesn’t bodewell for those even further out….so for now I wear what I want nd hope that by doing so it gives someone else the courage to take that small step too.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 23, 2019 / 6:20 pm

      Ahh, yay! A kindred spirit! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post ???
      You’re so right, that IS the saddest comment. My heart sinks when I realise that people feel they can’t be who they are – can’t express themselves truly – because of fear of what others will think. ? I want to smash all these ‘rules’ down! ?
      I’ve never actually thought of it like that… if people see us wearing what we want and dyeing our hair however we want… it might encourage them to do the same. That thought makes me happy ❤️

  18. Phoebe
    January 22, 2019 / 8:02 pm

    Ha, OMG I get a freckle-stache in the summer too! I thought it was just me!!!

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 23, 2019 / 6:21 pm

      Haha, nope! I’m part of the freckle-stache club too! ??????

  19. January 23, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    Also how sad is this, a midwife I used to work with has been suspended because she has pink hair , words fail me.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 29, 2019 / 8:47 am

      NO WAY?! ? I mean, there’s literally no situation in which could this could be acceptable, not least one where the colour of her hair has absolutely NO impact on how well she cares for expectant mothers!! Surely this is cause for an employment tribunal?

  20. Cathy
    January 27, 2019 / 7:30 pm

    Hi, I love reading your blogs. I am 57 size 16/18/20/ who knows, and 4′ 9. Just finished work and have started getting back into sewing. I buy the fabric I like but then don’t have the confidence to wear what I make! This blog has really made me think. I need to finish my beautiful cherry red boiled wool coat and wear it with pride. Thanks. 🙂

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 29, 2019 / 9:09 am

      Hi Cathy! ?? So glad to hear that you enjoy reading the blog ?
      You should most definitely wear your makes with pride! The cherry red coat sounds absolutely divine… and it’s a crime not to wear it! You’ll look absolutely stunning in it ❤️? Please take some photos of it when it’s complete, I’d love to see it!

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