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2013 May 14
by elizabeth_admin

I don’t know about you, but picking up sewing (as if you just pick it up, hah!) has really changed my life.  No, really.  It has changed my life in so many ways.

  • My perfectionism, which was just a minor irritant before, is now in full bloom.  I regularly have conversations with myself that go like this, “You’re going to go out of the house wearing that?   It has a pulled thread in the hem!  The side seam is ripply!  I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing an off grain garment!”
  • Housecleaning is completely and happily ignored.  Oh wait, that happened pre-sewing too.
  • I stare at other people’s clothes with a maniacal gleam in my eye.  Or sometimes, I even ask to touch their clothes, saying, “Don’t worry,  I know what I’m doing.  I sew.”
  • I procrastinate my sewing projects with other sewing projects.  Well, I procrastinated before too, but not by doing the same activity.  I should get an award or something for this high falutin’ procrastination.

Seriously though sewing has changed one major aspect of my life, my love for reading.  I have been an avid reader since I learned to read.  My mom always read a ton.  I did too.  I would rather read a good book than go play outside.  (We were a rather indoorsy, sedentary folk.)  In junior high and high school, I would read until the wee hours and then have to get up at 6:30am to go to school, bleary eyed or not.  I read the Lord of the Rings eleven times.  ELEVEN. TIMES.  All three books.  Who has time for that????   As an adult, my love for books still knew no bounds.  I once stayed up all night to finish a book before work.  But when I got to work, I felt so nauseated from the lack of sleep, I had to go home and go to bed.  My boss just laughed at me and said, “That must have been some book!”

But since I have started sewing, reading has completely gone by the wayside.  Why would I spend time reading when I can read about sewing or actually sew something?  That’s a waste of my time.  I could be sewing!  I have tried to read.  I remember the feeling of losing yourself in another world, another character.  Living and breathing with them as you follow their stories.  I remember it fondly.  I would like to read.  But sewing has such a hold on me.  I have been in its grip, under its control, for nigh on 6 years now.  When I’m not sewing, I feel guilty that I’m not sewing.  I plan my days, my weeks, my workouts around what I have to sew that day or week.  Nope, can’t work out today, I only have 4 hours until I pick up Jack.  Can’t waste my time working out when I have the Gatsby dress to make.  If I can’t work out, how could I possibly read.  That would be the height of insolence.  It would be punch in the nose to sewing!

Do I miss reading?  Yes.  Will I get back to it ever?  Probably.  Maybe when I’m 80 and can’t see to thread my needles anymore.  But right now, I am so happy with sewing as my hobby, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.*

So tell me, how has sewing changed your life?


I can’t resist showing you my Mother’s Day present from the little boy who lives with me.  So sweet!




* Yes, I am an obsessive/compulsive person, bordering on clinical.  And yes, these obsessions can last decades.

27 Responses leave one →
  1. May 14, 2013

    Hi Elizabeth! I really enjoy reading your blog. I also am obsessed with sewing and love to read. I put audio books on my iPhone (which I can download free from my library) and listen with earbuds while I sew. It can be tricky if I’m sewing something complicated — I do a lot of quilting, so that is more mindless sewing and more conducive to listening to a book. Anyway, that’s my little trick, give it a shot!

  2. Lisa P permalink
    May 14, 2013

    I like you am/was an avid reader. Believe me my reading had taken a downturn as my love for sewing has increased. I really cannot reccomend enough the joys of audiobooks. I now sew and listen to books while I sew. I put them onto my ipod and purchase them via amazon ( audible) Honestly you wont look back.

  3. Maureen permalink
    May 14, 2013

    Enjoyed the trip down memory lane! While I love your blog and the beautiful things you make, I’m a little sad you’re not reading much any more x

  4. KathieB permalink
    May 14, 2013

    oh, I understand completely and felt the same way before I found audio books… I have them in the car and also listen to them whenever doing tasks that don’t require me to be figuring anything out.

    Give them a try… they are wonderful!

    ….and Happy Mother’s Day!


  5. May 14, 2013

    That is the sweetest mother’s day gift! And I’ve frequently said this too – as a former English Lit major who speed-reads and can easily get through 6 books a month – I NEVER read anymore (unless it’s a sewing or knitting text). And I’ll pick it up again after I’ve got as proficient at sewing as I am at reading.

  6. May 14, 2013

    Wow, this post thoroughly applies to me. I come from very bookish people and not only has sewing taken over my pre-bedtime reading window, but knitting has taken over my commutes. I am currently procrastinating fitting a cami muslin by sewing linen pants… 😉

  7. May 14, 2013

    Jack’s card is just soooooo perfect! What an awesome gift to receive!

  8. May 14, 2013

    When I first started sewing I noticed that I stopped reading for fun. But over the past year I have really missed it, and now I try to balance my reading and sewing times. And, yeah, sometimes I really want to look at the details of what other people are wearing, just for construction ideas.

  9. May 14, 2013

    Are you sure you weren’t writing about me? The only thing that didn’t hit home was procrastinating finishing one project for another. I’m also known to ask people if I can have a FEEL myself – I just can’t resist.

  10. May 14, 2013

    So here is my suggestion: work on your Gatsby dress, read “The Great Gatsby” before bed and here and there immerse yourself in on-line research of 20’s fashion (the Met, Kyoto Costume Institute, the V&A, Kent State University fashion school, FIT)….*that* will be satisfying, trust me 😀

  11. May 14, 2013

    “A sewing machine that can do anything” 🙂 Priceless!

  12. Sara permalink
    May 14, 2013

    When my great-grandma went blind and couldn’t thread a needle, she would get her grandchildren to do it. They kept a drawer of threaded needles ready for her. Everyone called her “Grandma Needles”.

  13. Meredith P permalink
    May 14, 2013

    Digital audio books. You can even check them out of the library, and they don’t have to be “returned.”

    I find that I can listen except during the most complex sewing operations, where I have to read directions and/or really have my wits about me.

    An interesting result of this is that I associate the project with the title.

  14. May 14, 2013

    Olá Elizabeth, lindo blog lindos trabalhos. Gostaria de ler com tradução mas não consigo. Um abraço.

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      May 15, 2013

      Eu adicionei um widget de tradução na minha barra lateral! Agora você pode ler o meu blog em Português!

  15. Sue permalink
    May 14, 2013

    Reading is another healthy addiction. I imagine as Jack gets older and has to do reading logs for school you will find that sitting next to him and reading your own book will make the time fly for both of you. Yes, I work in an elementary library and reading children’s books cuts into my sewing time. But, I love sewing. I love reading. And, it is wonderful that Jack knows you so well!

  16. May 15, 2013

    I listen to audiobooks when i’m sewing and knitting, as a way to get my sewing/knitting fix but also not put reading completely by the way-side. I know audiobooks aren’t actually reading, but they’re close enough for me 🙂 I got an audible subscription for christmas a year and a half ago and haven’t looked back, I also raid the all the local libraries for audiobooks. Love them!

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      May 15, 2013

      Ok, ok! Audio books. I guess that’s the way to go. Especially since the tv in my sewing room, I mean my bedroom is behind me when I sew. 🙂

  17. May 15, 2013

    I have been known to take pictures of strangers (minus heads) at parties because I liked what they were wearing and wanted to copy it later. Real-life moderately creepy pinterest! How’s that for obsessed?

  18. May 15, 2013

    What’s your best book about sewing?

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      May 15, 2013

      The internet. Just kidding. Any book by Adele Margolis is aces in my book. 🙂

  19. May 15, 2013

    What a sweet mother’s day gift! Such a lucky mom! I’ve also been an avid reader since I was a child (The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a particular fave as well!), and like you, sewing/knitting/life have taken away from it. These days, I try to set aside a bit of time right before I go to bed for reading — it helps me to decompress from the day and, even though it isn’t a huge chunk of time, I enjoy it.

  20. May 16, 2013

    Oh my god! The exact same thing has happened to me! I was also a voracious reader, and now I never read. I just sew. I don’t even weigh in on the next book club book because I know I won’t read it. Very strange…..

  21. Wendy Hillhouse permalink
    May 17, 2013

    So now you’re writing things for us to read!

  22. May 19, 2013

    I started sewing 2 years ago and now I think to myself what did I do before then?? What filled up the cold rainy winter days? I know what you mean about reading, I tend to read while doing something else now, like when I’m eating or in tv ad breaks, I haven’t sat down to just read for so long!

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