Imagine an artsy montage of your sewing practice. It opens with a view of your space, and you can see your machine alongside all your tools and rows of thread. The soundtrack is a rhythmic humming as you step on your machine’s pedal, with a staccato of snipping noises from your scissors. Then, through a haze of steam from your iron, your two-dimensional fabric becomes a three-dimensional piece of clothing worn with pride.
Don’t you want to revel in that sewing imagery?
Creativity is a Hero’s Journey
When you first started sewing, you might have had an idea of the kinds of clothes you would make, but think about all the possibilities that opened up along the way. Like the hero in any story, even if you had a pretty firm destination in mind when you started this journey, there were likely some unexpected obstacles and meaningful revelations along the way.
We promised to take you on a sewing adventure at the beginning of the year, and the theme this month is Revel. So as the year wraps up, let’s take a look at where we’ve been, so we can revel in all we’ve learned and made.
Sewing is an Adventure
In the January 2021 issue, we shared three tips for starting a sewing adventure. The Adventure issue featured a group of inspiring makers who sewed a whole new wardrobe during lockdown, turned fabric scraps into new textiles, and sewed garments for new hobbies—like roller skating!
We Need Creative Energy
In February, the theme was Remix. An adventure requires energy—in this case, creative energy. This issue had tools to help you recharge your sewing.
The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up Your Sewing Space is full of ideas for a space that makes you truly feel creative.
- Adding some magical details—like these embroidered talismans—to your clothes can help give you energy for bigger projects.
- Get inspiration from the pros with Moni’s series of pattern hacks inspired by fashion designers. She films high-speed pattern hacks that completely transform a basic block.
It Can Be Hard to Maintain a Creative Mindset
As you progress on any journey, it helps to stay in touch with your mindset. This issue explored a few creative mindsets.
- When you’re feeling adventurous, learn something totally new, like how to sew leather house shoes.
- When you’re feeling overwhelmed by ideas, just look at some outfits. The monthly Seamwork Style capsules can help with this. This month, we have a capsule for lingerie!
- When you’re afraid of failing, make a muslin. Trudy shares dozens of tips for making the most of your muslin.
Creativity Requires Balance
In this issue, we shared tips for taking advantage of your creative time, whether you have 10 minutes or an entire weekend. Since burnout can happen, we also shared 10 ways to avoid sewing burnout.
Make Things That Last (But Be Realistic)
When you sew your own clothes, you can reject large parts of the fast fashion process, but sustainability means different things to each of us, so we shared a list of ways to be realistically sustainable when you sew.
Sewing your own underwear is a great scrap-buster, and the free Flo pattern also helps you cut down on menstrual-product waste.
- Sewing a personal heirloom is a way to honor your creative talents in the future. In this article, Brittany Archibald shares her heirloom blouse.
- It’s easy to eliminate single-use products if you know how to sew, and in this article, Ellie Rivkin shares three project ideas.
Bask in Your Maker’s Glow
Midway through 2021, we welcomed the summer with the Glow issue. This issue was all about chasing that maker’s glow, the overwhelming sense of pride you feel when you sew something you love to wear.
Notions are Tiny Sources of Joy
In the July issue, we celebrated the tinier sources of joy in sewing: notions! Shopping for notions is almost as fun as shopping for fabric—read a list of some of our favorite indie notions worldwide.
Wear Prints and Colors with Pride
In August, we focused on prints and color for Design Your Wardrobe. There’s really only one rule when it comes to wearing prints and colors: if you like it, wear it.
- Learn how to mix and match prints. Remember the one rule (if you like it, wear it) and pick up some clever tricks for wearing prints and bringing more color and texture into your wardrobe. The Seamwork team shares their tips and the prints you’ll find in their closets.
- Get inspiration from surface designers. We interviewed four talented surface designers to learn about their process and get even more tips for wearing prints.
Why Do You Get Dressed?
The theme in September was Purpose, and this issue examined some of the intentions we have when we sew our clothes. Brittany Archibald returned to share her thoughts on why she gets dressed.
“Our bodies are malleable, changeable things, with unique, individual needs; our wardrobe should honor that nature. If clothing is uncomfortable to the point of distraction, it’s not doing its job. This body is your home. You live here. Make it a comfortable place.”
Dress for Your Individuality
In October, the How to Fit With Confidence class went live, alongside our free fitting journal. We’re all individuals with unique bodies and different senses of style. In the Individuality issue, you can read 8 tips for starting your fitting journey.
Creativity demands a lot of us, and it can sometimes feel relentless (listen to this episode of Seamwork Radio to learn how to escape the cult of efficiency). Whether you’re trying to curl up with your favorite book or finish the hem on your latest project, the most rewarding activities can require a surprising amount of energy. You have to work to stay focused.
If it’s hard to just get started, we introduced Learning Paths in the Classroom. We organized our step-by-step videos into focused learning paths so that you can learn new techniques while creating clothing that is truly special and unique.
Celebrate Your Work
In episode 30 of the Seamwork Radio podcast, we talked about how to celebrate our progress. We often spend time pointing out our mistakes, so why not also celebrate when your skills grow!
That’s why we wanted to end the year in revel. This month, enjoy some inspirational project diaries from Tino and Aims. Try out a niche sewing skill, like making your own underthings. We have a guide to sewing a bra, some lessons learned from sewing lingerie every week, and a detailed sewalong for the new Robin bralette.
See You Next Year!
After starting this sewing adventure in January, it’s clear that while there might be a map, you get to choose what path you take. None of us will follow the exact same route or sew the same things, but there’s a whole world of tools and inspiring makers to meet along the way.
Thanks for a creative year, and may next year be even more so!