Welcome back to another Sewing For Self-Care: Your Story post! I’ve been so overwhelmed by the response to this series and particularly the willingness of such an amazing collection of sewists to share their stories. Talking about mental health, in any form, can be a daunting task. Doing so in an unfiltered, globally accessible forum – as with blogs like mine – takes the challenge to another level. So I want to take a moment (acknowledging that it isn’t nearly enough) to thank all of the beautiful and courageous souls who have shared their stories on Sew for Victory so far.
This week’s contribution is an amazing addition to the conversation surrounding sewing and self-care. Moriah offers an incredible insight into the many ways that sewing has helped her with her mental health – particularly around the types of body image issues from which so many of us suffer. So, without any more chatter from me, I’ll hand over to Moriah!
*If you’d like to contribute your own story to this series, details can be found at the bottom of the post.*
My name is Moriah Conant and I blog at www.thelordismyteacher.com.
I’ve been sewing for almost 13 years, and it is a huge positive in my life.
Sewing and Mental Health
One of the first memories that I have of sewing was during a summer that my older sister/best friend was spending with our grandma. We’ve always gotten along well and my sister is a great support, especially when I am struggling with my mental health. Eight year old Moriah was pretty upset about her sister being away for so long.
To keep me occupied one day, my mom suggested sewing a quilt for my beloved dolls. Together we cut small squares of scrap fabric, sewed them into rows, and then into a small quilt. It was amazing to see these wrinkled scraps of fabric become a beautiful and useful object.
Apparently we still own the little doll quilt!
Needless to say, I was hooked. Sewing provides me with something to do with my hands on the hard days that I can’t quiet my mind. I make the rules, I control what I’m making, and where my focus is. Doing something constructive with my hands allows me to makes positive choices for my mental health.
In college I was always busy and rarely had time for sewing. About a year ago I picked up embroidery (again) as a way to sew on the go. That revamp of a hobby became an Etsy shop that I run (www.owlofit.etsy.com). My small embroidery projects are portable, do not require a lot of time investment, and provide a way to be creative when I don’t have much extra time.
My Etsy shop is a good way to fund graduate school, do something that I love, and boost my mental health.
I’ve also done some fun projects for myself.
Sewing and Body Image
I think most people can relate to struggling with body image to some degree. For me, I lost over fifteen pounds over the course of a few months (about two and a half years ago). Even before this loss I didn’t have any weight to spare. It’s frustrating to try everything that you can to gain weight and still feel like your clothes are falling off of you.
It wasn’t until almost two years later that I finally connected the dots between the weight loss and a medication that I was taking. Thankfully, when I brought that up to my doctor he made some adjustments and I’ve now gained back that weight.
It is an amazing feeling to create a garment specifically designed and fitted to my unique body.
This bodysuit is one of my most recent makes and it took several pattern adjustments to make it fit but it paid off!!
This is a Barrett Bralette (pattern from Madalynne Intimates). I love the way it turned out.
Sewing and Self-Confidence
I love saying, “Thanks! I made it.” Every new project reminds me that I am capable of making things and overcoming challenges. Failing, learning, and growing also helps the perfectionist in me to give myself grace.
There are few things that get me more excited that a sewing project that turned out great. Even when plans don’t turn out so well, I can learn from what went wrong.
This is my beautiful niece in a beanie and leggings that I made for her.
My cat Wednesday also likes to give her help and input with my sewing.
If you want to hear more from me, check out my blog www.thelordismyteacher.com !
Thanks so much to Laura for allowing me to share some of my story with sewing.
A massive thanks to Moriah for sharing her amazing story! Definitely take a look at her blog – The Lord Is My Teacher– to follow along with her journey. You can also buy some of her incredible makes via her Etsy Shop – OwlOfIt (seriously, the embroidered hats are amazing!
If you’d like to contribute your own story about using sewing for self-care, please get in touch. You can email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – or message me via Instagram/Twitter – @sewforvictoryuk. Alternatively, make sure to check out my original postintroducing this series and starting this larger community conversation about using sewing for self-care.