why I sew: miranda from inspinration

Hi again, it is Miranda from Inspinration, all good things have to come to an end and this is my last post for KCW. I enjoyed writing these posts a lot. On my own blog, I mostly write about what I have actually sewed, not about my plans, mistakes and drives in general. These posts have challenged me in a new way. If you would like to get the chance to do the same in the next season, apply to be a contributor, I highly recommend it!

The topic of this post is to write about why I sew. I am actually often asked why I sew. By non-sewers sewing is still often seen as a dull thing their grandmothers did. If people react positively on my hobby their first thought usually is that it saves money. This is not true, or at least not in my case. I indeed spend less money on clothes, but actually saving money…, well you know how expensive fabric and sewing supplies are. So, what are the reasons that I sew?

KCW2

1. Baby playsuit 2. Brueram dress 3. My first Theo

Giving a practical, “useful” outlet to my creative drive
Ever since I was a kid, I loved to do creative stuff. I made Playmobile doll houses from shoe boxes, I knitted or hand sewed doll clothes, or hand knitted a jumping rope. When I became bigger, and no longer played with my output, my creativity lost its purpose a bit. We aren’t big collectors in my family, so no boxes full of old creations or walls filled with pictures. Just making something pretty to look at didn’t get my creative juices flowing. In the Netherlands we celebrate a Holiday where you create your own type of specially wrapped gift (Sinterklaas, it often involved paper mache or other creative building with paper). I loved it, I used to start in September to make December gifts. When I discovered sewing, my worries about what to do with my finished projects disappeared, they now have a very clear storing area, our wardrobe closets. I have to admit that the closets of my kids are starting to get a bit full. How many dresses can a girl actually wear? But let’s not think about that too much.

Satisfying my need to challenge myself, learn and rebel
I like a challenge myself and I love to learn. I once did a programming course just for fun. I love things that are logical and that I can visualize in my mind. Sewing is like that for me. Without drawing on paper, I see the garment I want to make in my mind and then the process of finding the optimal construction method and resources begins. I hardly ever make the same thing twice, even if I would like to, I will change at least a few details (and then I am not speaking about fabric). I seem to be incapable of following manuals and love to do things my way. I am self taught, I learned a lot from blogs and from my own mistakes. I feel that there fortunately are still a lot of things to try, an enormous amount of techniques to explore.

kcw11. Knot dress 2. Theo polo 3. Baby outfit

Finishing a sewing project gives an instant feeling of success
In my job as an academic, project cycles are extremely long, actually finishing an academic paper will take several years and the result will be a bunch of words. You can print it, but it doesn’t really give something tangible. I love the relatively short project cycles in sewing. In the past I knitted but then it would takes weeks to finish a sweater. Most of my sewing projects are finished within two or three days and when I see my kids wearing them, I get to enjoy my work quickly and often.

To have clothes that fit
My kids are very skinny and retail clothes do not fit them well. My measurement also usually do not fall in the same size, for example I have never found a retail blouse that actually fits well. Sewing your own is the best remedy.

KCW31. Penny play suit dress 2. Janet blouse 3. Waterfall dress

Justify my fabric collection
I started to actively sew because my daughter wanted twirly dresses. I looked what was available in stores and saw a few that we both would like, but those where above 50 euro’s. I don’t buy expensive children clothes because I believe that kids should be allowed to play freely in their clothes and for that price she wouldn’t be allowed to. I decided to try making one myself. I bought some cheap fabric and a pattern and just tried it. It went quicker and better than I expected. After the successful standard woven dress I wanted more and bought my first Ottobre. I loved the designs and ordered a bunch of knits. I haven’t stopped buying fabric since. Although, I started with cheap woven, now my biggest delight is organic knit and those are far from cheap. I often see nice fabrics and I want them all, so another reason for sewing is to justify buying fabric. I have a big stash. I might not have a clear purpose for all my fabrics, but sitting in front of my fabric closet, watching my fabric, imagining the clothes I could sew from them, makes me really happy.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Saskia

    How fun to read this. I can relate to all of these reasons, but especially the first three: needing a creative outlet, challenging yourself (indeed, sewing is quite technical and requires good spatial skills) and the quick satisfaction that it gives (yes, I’m an academic too). Love your projects, they’re really creative

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