You’ve probably heard it said that sewing is therapy. I believe this is true. It certainly is for me. But not just sewing, I think any hobby you are passionate about is therapy for the mind and soul.
Of course, when you do nothing but one thing day in and day out, you can get a little stagnant when it comes to creativity (like writer’s block) and then you might get frustrated and feel you need the other kind of therapy!
I read something a while back (that I promptly deleted so I can’t share it now), the gist of which was that it is possible to stimulate your creativity in one discipline by branching out and learning something in an unrelated discipline. For example, if your focus is art, try learning or doing something in a discipline that challenges the other side of the brain – like math.
I thought this was sound reason so when I felt my creativity waning, I decided to test it out.
Since I hate math, I tried electronics. I got a little kit for kids and decided to give it a go. It was for kids so how hard could it be, right? It was fun and I definitely learned something I didn’t know before –
I have no aptitude for electronics – whatsoever.
But the good news was, it did refresh my mind and motivated me back to my sewing room.
The mere process of doing something completely different really does help get your frustrated mind off your mental block and allows that part of the brain to relax. I would also suggest that learning something in a completely unrelated field could stimulate your brain to consider combining disciplines.
Check out this YouTube video about a man who makes instruments out of trash. Super cool and VERY creative!
But what about doing something different to stimulate your brain that is sort of related but not exactly your discipline?
In addition to sewing, I love to make craft projects. Over the years I’ve made enough things that I’ve accumulated a considerable amount of fabric paints.
So this time, when I started to feel my motivation waning, I thought doing a little painting might be a fun change of pace.
So out came my fabric paints.
I seriously have a ton of paint in my sewing room. The photo just shows a sampling of the brands of fabric paints in my stash. I decided I wanted to try it all.
Remember that denim jacket I started a few months back?
After I finished making the jacket I decided I really don’t like it. It fits just fine but there are several design elements I would change if I were to make the pattern again. First of all, the sleeves in the pattern are 3/4 sleeves. I wanted full-length so I extended the sleeve but never did any tapering so the end result was a super wide cuff. Not flattering.
I don’t really care for the center front on this jacket either. A personal problem I’m sure, as I just think it looks sort of weird.
So, since I figured I may not ever actually wear the thing, why not do a little painting just to see how fabric paints actually work.
As you can see, I did a lot of painting on this jacket. I used every brand I had in my stash. The only paint I didn’t use to its fullest potential was the “velveteen” which is the white paint. That stuff puffs up when you hit it with steam. I thought how cool would that be for the clouds.
Not cool at all, it turns out. Once the paint starts to puff out, it really pulls on the fabric so that it no longer lays flat. So, decided not to use any steam after all.
This was a fun and very relaxing project. I did learn a whole lot about the fabric paints that I own. The particular paints I used, I used at their full strength – I didn’t dilute them at all. They all dried very stiff so that jacket isn’t really all that soft and flexible.
I am currently debating washing it just to see what happens. I don’t know if things will soften up or just stay stiff. I know from previous fabric painting projects that the stuff doesn’t wash out so I’m not worried about that happening.
I guess my hesitation is, will this “really” ruin this jacket – and all that painting? If I decide to wash it, I’ll let you all know the results in my next blog post.
And if you are wondering at all about the buttons, I had exactly the number I needed in an old box of a billion buttons from my grandmother’s stash. I’m guessing, based on how roughed up they are, that she cut them off of a garment thinking that some day they would get used.
And they did.
Halloween Update and Challenge
I want to mention Halloween because it is time to start my costumes. I just received the fabric for my husband’s costume so I can get started on it immediately.
My costume however is another matter altogether. I don’t have my idea yet. Yes, I’ve tossed a few around but so far, nothing is making my heart race.
So, I thought perhaps you all could help me out so I am going to issue you a challenge.
I challenge you to offer me suggestions for my Halloween costume.
The End Date: July 15, 2017 (All entries my be submitted by midnight).
The Rules: Post your costume idea in the comments of the blog post that accompanies this newsletter (blog link follows). Any suggestion goes. I encourage you to think outside the box. And you can suggest as many times as you wish as long as your suggestions are posted in the comments – the more the merrier.
The Fine Print: I must get at least 20 suggestions.
The Winner: On July 16, 2017, I will choose something from the list (provided I have a minimum of 20 suggestions). I must have a choice so if only one of you participates, I’ll be bummed out – unless of course your suggestion is absolutely brilliant!
In my next newsletter, I’ll let you know if all systems are go but I won’t tell you who has won just yet.
You all know from previous posts, I keep my costumes under wraps until the big day. This way I can work on the costume, give you all some hints along the way and see if you can guess which one I picked.
The Prize: The winner will receive a set of custom made potholders (seriously glam prize). If you win, you can choose the potholder shape and color and providing I can find the fabric “theme” you want (if you want one), I’ll do that too! The shapes are Round, Square, Hexagon, Heart, Butterfly, or Ladybug and if you have something else in mind, I may even try that too. If you would prefer a notebook cover, no problem.
You can find examples of all of these potholder shapes in my Etsy Shop.
The Reveal: Halloween 2017 (on or about)
The Award: I’ll announce the winner and we can make the arrangements for your custom prize at that time.
So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed you are all up for the challenge.
I hope to see lots of you participating in my Halloween challenge. Until then. . .
Thanks for reading, V