Sewing Mends The Soul:
Sewing, I’ve read, is not just a craft but therapy. At least, that’s how it functions for some of us.
I remember a cathedral quilt I made when Expresso, my son, was in college. At the time, I was very worried about him. Given his lack of interest in academics and marginal grades, I feared he would drop out. I desperately wanted him to succeed.
My way of coping was to handsew a cathedral window quilt. With each stitch, I said a prayer that he’d make it to the end. I finished the king-sized quilt just in time for graduation.
Nearly thirty years later, I had the rare opportunity to share my love of sewing with the Wizard, Expresso’s son and my grandson.
The Wizard stopped by my place in the early afternoon on a midweek holiday. Without knowing why, I asked him if he wanted to learn how to sew.
His answer surprised me.
Within a half hour, he was fully engaged in assembling, sewing, and ironing the fabric I’d cut out earlier for a project. We finished by afternoon’s end and were able to use four of the dozen table napkins we’d made at dinner. No more paper napkins for us!
We have more projects planned—a kimono for him and a tablecloth and matching napkins for his parents for more formal entertaining.
To make these projects, he’ll have to graduate to sewing with my new Serger machine that is currently sitting in a box in the corner. Given the Wizard’s technical skills and my experience with my old Serger, I’m confident that we can get the new one operational in record time.
Throughout his visit, the Wizard remarked several times that he found sewing very relaxing. He hadn’t imagined he’d enjoy it so much.
Clare Hunter writes in Threads of Life that “sewing mends the soul is increasingly becoming recognised as an effective way to combat depression . . . calming the mind and reducing stress. The sense of accomplishment can boost mental health and improve our immune system, as relief from the pressure of multitasking is replaced by focussing on one thing.”
Ms. Hunter also describes projects where sewing is used in prison therapy and for treating dementia patients.
I think I understand why sewing is good for us.
When I’m sewing, I’m so deeply engaged that I lose track of time. I escape into a world of creation. Sewing becomes a kind of meditation. This hobby is something I can do to calm and relax myself.
Not only is sewing much cheaper than therapy, but I have something to show for my time when I’m done.
Setting aside these considerable benefits, the Wizard and I can take pleasure in using our napkins daily. Beyond that, we made a lovely memory and hopefully will cocreate even more.