Hello everyone, hope you’re well.
So this is a topic I hadn’t thought about before but it’s come up a bit these last few months now thanks to the pandemic – it’s my frustrations with sewing. Now, sewing is something I wish I was good at and enjoyed because I wish I could make those beautiful finished objects and justify being able to get all those gorgeous fabrics on display at almost every second stall at the Knitting and Stitching Show.
I started sewing a few years ago when I got a mini sewing machine in Aldi that pretty much just did straight stitches with no adjusting the size but worked for what I did, which was sew basic straight lines so I could make things these:
I did eventually upgrade to a slightly better sewing machine which was a cheap enough one from Ikea that at least did different stitches so I was finally able to use a zig-zag stitch on stretchy fabrics but my makes were still just sewing straight lines, like on cushions like these:
So while I can use a sewing machine, I don’t count myself as a sewer because I sew so irregularly that pretty much every time I do go to use my machine I have to watch YouTube videos to remind myself what to do.
However, while I don’t count myself as a sewer, by virtue of owning a machine, family and neighbours do and just assume that I’m proficient at using it and can make loads of things.
I own a basic machine, I had a small amount of fabric in my stash and luckily had some elastic so I decided that I would use what I had to make some facemasks for me and my parents. I had enough fabric to probably make about 10 or more facemasks but you see, I’m not a proficient sewer and I constantly make mistakes so I wasted more than half the fabric on mistakes. I did eventually get five facemasks made – two each for my parents and one for me. Great, I thought. I really struggled making them and I did not enjoy making them but it was done. They’re weren’t finished greatly but they’d suffice.
The reactions from my parents to them were ‘great, these will be really useful!’ followed fairly quickly by ‘hey, you could make and sell these’. Then my mum gave one of her masks to my older sister forcing me to make another for her and my sister also went down the road of comments about making and selling facemasks. My dad said something about maybe making some for neighbours and when I posted a picture of the facemasks I’d made online there were also comments about making and selling the facemasks. Also, some family members asking my mum if I could make facemasks for them.
I’m not lying when I say that actually, the whole situation stressed me out a lot and I almost wished I’d never made the facemasks in the first place. It stresses me out a lot and makes me really anxious when I make something for someone as a gift and one of their first responses is ‘you should sell these’. I know people think it’s a compliment but I want to be able to make things for fun and not have every single make be judged as worth selling.
See, I enjoy crafting. I especially like yarn crafts like crochet. Sometimes I struggle with making something but at the end I’m usually happy that I stuck with a project. Even if it’s not perfect or I’m not happy with it, I enjoy seeing the end of a project and thinking ‘yeah, I finished that’. Even with knitting, though I sometimes find it a struggle and get frustrated when stitches fall off the needle and it becomes a huge mess, if I stick with a project and get it finished I still feel some amount of satisfaction with it.
This is not the case with sewing. When sewing, I seem to stress out about the project at the research stage, get frustrated cutting fabric, make mistakes sewing it together, panic over the machine not working and feel dissatisfied at the finished result. I often struggle to even take photos of the finished item for a blog post because I feel so annoyed at it and the process that went into making it. I don’t get enjoyment out of the making at all and sometimes can’t even enjoy the finished object as a result.
I’ve never felt like throwing out my knitting needles and crochet hooks because the craft stresses me out but I have in the past few weeks thought about getting rid of my sewing machine so that people will stop asking or implying that I could make something (my sister mentioned during a phone call to my mum that she had a load of old t-shirts she was never going to wear but didn’t want to throw out so she was thinking about cutting out the front so that they could be sewn together into a blanket – she does not sew and has no intentions what-so-ever to learn).
I’m not really sure how I’m going to finish up this post. I wish I had some positive end to my craft frustration story but I don’t. Because of the ongoing need for facemasks due to the pandemic, I still feel like I’m being pressured into doing a craft that just makes me not want to craft. It’s not even that people are doing it on purpose but that unfortunately doesn’t stop me from feeling anxious and stressed and often it’s really hard to explain to people just how much I don’t like sewing 95% of the time.
So yeah, not exactly a positive post here. Let me know if this is a feeling you share at all, be it about sewing or any other craft. Feel free to vent your frustrations!