I absolutely love all things to do with sewing and I write this blog and share my pictures on Instagram and Pinterest to share my joy with you. The more I share, the more I am connecting with others and I love it! I don't have anybody in my 'real' life that shares this passion with me so I love talking all things stitchy with all of you online. However I really struggle with putting myself out there into the world, and I’m definitely guilty of writing a blog post and not telling anyone about it as I just find it hard to “promote” myself as such. But I’ve received lots of lovely compliments about my blog lately, so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who reads it. It blows my mind that so many people are interested in what I have to say. So I will try harder to be braver and to announce my posts on Instagram each time I write one. I’m surprised by how much I love writing, and particularly writing about sewing! I really love having this little space to share my thoughts and I have lots of ideas for more things I want to share here in the future. Today I want to talk to you about what I share and why. I also want to tell you a little more about me too.
As well as my own sewing journey, I share products, companies and patterns that I genuinely love. Currently there aren't any affiliate links on my site and there isn't any sponsored content. I share what I love and what I think will be of genuine interest to my readers.
Sewing can be an expensive hobby. With endless new beautiful fabric ranges being released, gorgeous notions and tools, not to mention fantastic sewing machines with all of the bells and whistles, there's always something to tempt us! I like supporting small, independent businesses wherever possible. I find you are more likely to get excellent customer service and a unique product and that's what I love. However I am not averse to shopping the sale in Hobbycraft or John Lewis either, and both of those shops are the only sewing shops available to me locally.
I know some people have huge fabric stashes full of variety and that’s fantastic. I have quite a small stash of fabric, many of the fabrics I've got were bought years and years ago, I tend to hold onto things for far too long! I'm trying hard to use what I've got, but I have bought some fabric this year too. I also love repurposing fabric from old clothes and this costs significantly less than buying new fabric.
I am currently a stay at home mum, which is my dream job but it doesn't bring a wage in! So I have to consider every purchase carefully. I don't spend much money on cosmetics, clothes or going out, any spending money I do have, I spend it on my hobby. I’m not judging anyone for their spending habits, I’m simply just sharing mine. Believe me, I’d love to spend lots of money on the latest fabrics and I feel the pressure to keep up sometimes, but it just isn’t possible for me.
As well as being passionate about sewing and sharing what I love, I am passionate about sewing being accessible to as many people as possible. I see and feel the benefits of sewing each and every day. It is calming, soothing and relaxing. It helps improve mental health and wellbeing and this article in the Guardian newspaper explains it beautifully. But if sewing is an expensive hobby that requires so many tools and notions, and if we constantly feel we need to use the latest fabrics, how can it be accessible to all?
That's where embroidery and English paper piecing come into their own. Both types of sewing require minimal, relatively inexpensive tools and materials. Making a large quilt is a huge commitment in terms of time and investment of money, but there are many smaller embroidery and epp projects you can do at a fraction of the cost. Over the coming months, I hope to share more projects here that are inexpensive to make as I strive to include more balance in my blog between projects that I have chosen to spend money on and projects that cost very little. I also hope that continuing to provide some free tutorials and free printable patterns will be a step towards making sewing accessible to more people. Speaking of which, have you seen my free printable Dresden flower template? Click here to find it, print it and make it! Thank you to everyone who has given this a go and shared it online, it's been really exciting for me to see everyone's versions of it and I really appreciate it.
What are your thoughts on the topic of sharing online? Do you feel a pressure to keep up with others or are you happy doing your own thing? I'd really love to know. You can leave me a comment here or send me a message via the contact form on the home page if you wish.
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
I'm sure it happens to us all at some point, and if you are anything like me, it can happen every couple of months. For a variety of reasons, you can lose the ability to create. Sometimes it can be down to hormones and how they affect us. Other times it can be as a result of external factors such as illness or the stress of daily life. Whatever the reason, feeling unable to create can be really frustrating and upsetting, especially when it is an important part of your life. Creating has such a powerful and positive impact on our mental wellbeing that when we go through these periods of of inability, we can feel really down as a result.
When I hit one of these roadblocks, I feel listless, aimless and tired. My head is saying “sew something, whilst you have time!" but I don't seem able to motivate myself to focus on a project and nothing seems to inspire me. I try to look through the projects I am currently in the middle of to choose something to work on, but I cannot pick a project and I don't feel like doing anything.
I recognise that I have these moments every few months or so and I feel like it's something I have no control of. It creeps up on me and before I know it, I am in the middle of this internal battle over doing something I inherently love to do but for some unknown reason, cannot make myself do. Have you ever experienced this or something similar?
In the past, I have battled with myself and it hasn't worked. I have also tried just waiting it out, choosing to watch TV in my spare time or focus on other jobs. This has left me feeling unproductive and even more frustrated at times. Recently, when I experienced a spell of difficulty, my husband suggested I find a really simple project to work on and led me to an old Cath Kidston book called Stitch. The book focuses on cross stitch and needlepoint designs, which by their nature, are simple, repetitive and rewarding to do. The book came with the materials to make a little zip pouch with a cross stitch design on the front, using soluble canvas and I gave it a go and managed to complete it in a couple of evenings. It was the perfect project to do because it didn't require any thinking. All I had to do was follow the simple instructions and along with the lovely, bright colours in the kit, it lifted me out of a creative rut and got me ready to sew again. Using soluble canvas was a lot of fun. The stitches turned out surprisingly neat so now I'm thinking of lots of other things that might need a bit of cross stitch on them to give me an excuse to do some more!
So if you ever find yourself stuck in a place where you feel you have lost your creative mojo, I suggest trying a really simple project to lift you out of it. If you have any other ideas for how to break out of creative block then please leave them in the comments. Happy sewing!
I thought I’d share a bit about myself as I know it is nice to learn about the person behind the business. I’ve been making things since I was a really young child. I used to love tapestry long stitch kits and I can remember getting sewing kits for my birthday when I was about five. They were the sort of kits that provided you with fabric with holes punched in it so you could use a large plastic needle threaded with raffia. I can remember using this kit to make purses and scissors keepers. I can also remember doing fine embroidery as a child and trying to learn to knit. I found knitting very difficult and I have only really found the knitting bug recently since discovering the continental knitting style.
So the creative arts have always been part of my life and I have been heavily influenced by my Mum and Gran. My Gran is a fantastic embroiderer, crocheter and knitter. Her stitches are impeccable. I really love this tablecloth she embroidered in the 1940s.
I love the design as it’s the sort of thing I’d choose to do today. Her crochet work is so intricate. For this mat, which I have framed in my house, she used cotton thread and a hook the size of a pin head. She also created a whole tablecloth using this pattern. I wish I could say I will do something like this one day but I know I won’t!
My Mum is an amazing knitter and can knit anything at all. Her work is perfectly neat. She also embroiders and does cross stitch from time to time. Here is a picture of a christening shawl she knitted from lace weight yarn.
With all of this influence I have turned my hand to many crafts but all types of sewing remain my favourite. Throughout my teenage years I didn't do very much sewing and making, but I did love textiles at school and incorporated this into my GCSE art work. After university, I returned to sewing and bought my first sewing machine. 13 years later and I've never looked back. Sewing is a part of my daily life and I can't imagine ever not doing it. When I became a mum last year, many people said you'll never find time to create. My son has inspired me even more and I make sure I find as much time as possible, when he naps in the day or is asleep at night. I don't really watch TV (mainly as there's never anything on that interests me) so this is another reason why I can get lots done.
I find sewing and creating in general so beneficial to my life, which is why I want to inspire more people to learn to sew. A recent study by Hobbycraft found that 1 in 5 people can't sew a button on and 52% of people were never taught to sew at school. Up until becoming a mum I was a primary teacher. I loved teaching my classes to sew and always found it really surprising and exciting that the children you least expected to be good at sewing were always the best. The calming effect that sewing had on my classes was very evident and it was often the boys who really loved both sewing and knitting.
The methodical, repetitive nature of sewing is very soothing and calming. Concentrating on creating with your hands frees your mind of worry, anxiety and stress. This is because you are focusing on creating something. In this fast paced world we now live in, slowing down, taking time and relaxing with a sewing project is like therapy in itself. The sense of achievement and pride when you complete a project is difficult to find in other aspects of modern day life. In addition to this, sewing benefits our environment because it creates sustainable objects and moves us away from the throw away society we have become. It teaches us to respect objects and appreciate the work that has gone into crafting them which can only be a good thing. So if you are new to sewing, give it a try and I hope you become as hooked on it as I am because I am sure it will benefit your life greatly.
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing, especially EPP.. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to! All opinions are my own and I only share things that I think you will love. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.