ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Zen and the Art of Sewing

Updated on March 8, 2017
Sewing Class in Victoria BC Canada
Sewing Class in Victoria BC Canada | Source

25th Anniversary Gift

In the fall of 2015 just prior to my 25th anniversary my husband asked me,”What you want for your 25th anniversary?” I answered, “I really don’t know. I’m pretty happy and fulfilled. I love my work. I love my life! I can’t even imagine what more I could have that would make me any happier than I am already”.

With glee, he said, “I know! I know what would make you really happy.” I looked at him, and seeing the light in his eyes, I thought oh boy this is going to be good.

He said, “We could out fit you with a sewing centre. We could get some machines, some tables, sign you up for some classes. You could completely revive your sewing passion. I had regaled him over the years with how much I had loved sewing and to be fair, over the years I did try. Twelve years ago I bought a sewing machine at a local sewing centre but it had turned out to be a big mistake.

I went to the small, local sewing machine centre with an idea to purchase a good quality portable machine. We didn’t have a lot of space and so I needed something light and portable that would be easy for me to tuck away in a closet when I’m not using it. When I was going to sew I could set it up on the dining room table. The owner talked me into purchasing a reconditioned Husqvarna which sadly never worked properly. I could have purchased a small portable Pfaff for the same price. I never actually did any sewing at that time and my husband ended up taking the machine apart to see how it worked. It ended up in the trash can ending my tentative venture.

For my anniversary we set off to do it right this time. We bought some sewing tables, a couple of beautiful sewing machines (albeit ones I have since replaced!). I signed up for some local classes and all this before I had to really wandered into the world of sewing.

The in-person classes were good. To be fair, they did get me started and I recommend you do local classes if possible. But once I had ventured fully into the online sewing community, I was at a full gallop. I started following bloggers, watching YouTube videos, taking online classes through Craftsy, and other private online classes. I began ordering patterns online and finally fabric. I set up a Pinterest board and leaving comments on blog postings making connections with a number of women. I learned a lot.


After a little more than two years in, I feel as though I have some things to share that new sewers or newly returned sewers might find helpful to know. There is a lot of people in the sewing business online that are struggling to get their businesses off the ground and you must be mindful of the intensive efforts that are being launched by many to attract buyers.

Watch out for,

  • Notions that you will never use. I have ordered umpteen number of notions that in all honesty are cheaply made and really don’t perform the task they advertised. Spend some time researching how others have found working with this notion. A good site to investigate for reviews is pattern review. At pattern review they have extensive reviews of all types of sewing machines, patterns, notions, almost everything related to sewing. It’s a great community. Deepika owns and manages the site. Professional and trustworthy.
  • Beware of patterns which are only offered PDF download. In my opinion many of these patterns are overpriced. They are going to involve a lot of work for you to paste/tape together and trace. Ask yourself, how many blouse patterns do I need? How many T-shirt patterns do I need? How many pants patterns do I need? Once you have a good fitting pattern there’s many ways that you can adjust this pattern to look completely different every time you sew it.
  • Resist the temptation or order fabric that is advertised on sale or seems surprisingly inexpensive. Much of this fabric is very cheaply put together and will fall apart after one wash. It’s one thing to have ready to wear garments that fall apart after one or two washes but it’s quite another to have spent hours, days, possibly even weeks making for yourself and have it fall apart after one wash. I recommend you buy the most expensive fabric you can afford and leave that cheap or on sale fabric to someone else. Either that or use cheap fabric to make your practice runs.

Tautly Pulling Where Creativity and Precision Meet

I’ve read other bloggers who say they can’t go a day without sewing. I remember the first time I read that statement and I thought, “oh that’s funny because I feel exactly the same way!” What is it about sewing that we feel we just have to do it every day or we feel discombobulated, disconnected…sort of toxic? I’ve tried so often to articulate why I love it so much. Perhaps even need it!

I love the challenge of it I think the most. The tension that tautly pulls where creativity and precision meet. The art of following the laws of physics and pushing at the edges of those boundaries with creativity, imagination and manifestation. There are rules! There are precise and detailed tasks that must be executed successfully. But there are endless possibilities too!

I even love washing the fabric ironing it to prepare it for pattern placement and cutting it out. There really isn’t any part of the process that I don’t enjoy. Sizing the patterns, drafting pattern adjustments so that it will fit well is among the most challenging tasks. All bodies have their own idiosyncrasies and frankly not all of us that are going to suit the same type of clothes. I always ask myself, “If I were in a store when I buy this for myself?” If the answer is no to that, then there really is no point in me making it either.

Meeting new people, some of whom I’ve only met online, I feel a special kinship to. We may have nothing in common at all except sewing, but we never run out of things to nerd out about. I have witnessed sewers make the most amazing creations, typically with a unique and yet characteristic humility.

Vintage Silk on the Bias
Vintage Silk on the Bias | Source

Working with a Sewing Planner

I get excited when a pattern arrives in the mail and I envision how that will look, what fabric I’ll use for the first my practice run and ultimately the finished garment. What sort of seams I will employ, what types of stabilizers and interfacing I’ll use. Even at the planning stages I’m excited.

I discovered the value of working diligently with a sewing planner. I can’t recommend that you do the same enough. You really need a book, a binder, a journal - something that will be a place for you to document your process from planning to make. Your final conclusions and what you would do in the future if you decide to make it again.

A sewing planner also is a place for you to really plan your wardrobe because sewing can become so random, repetitive and redundant. How many blouses do you need? What do you need to make your wardrobe complete? What do you wear a lot? If you don’t wear dresses ever, why are you making them? What is your style? What suits you? What is it that you would love to wear but cannot find anywhere in your size or the type of fabric you like to wear?

Sewing your own clothes is all that and more. For me it’s Zen. I enter the world of flow where time moves in a wondrous fluid sort of way. Sewing has shaped my life in so many ways. It’s a home coming for me. A place where I am completely myself and content with the world.

Lauren of the British Sewing Bee

Learning to Sew for Free

There are so many videos now available online for free.

Go to youtube and search:

The Great British Sewing Bee

Silhouette Patterns

Look for Blog Tutorials on Any Topic:

Sewing on a button by hand

Refashioning Tee Shirts

Making your own Leggings


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)