Sewing and Simplicity

For me, simplicity is about living intentionally and sustainably.  In my decision to narrow my hobbies to six, I want to make sure that I spend my free time on things that bring me joy and also let me live more sustainably.  Sewing currently fits only one of these categories.  I like the products of sewing and how they can reduce my spending and consumption, but I have to admit I’m not a big fan of the actual process and often get frustrated.

My dog will report that sewing does not always bring me joy. I guess I’ve experienced too much frustration when sitting down to my sewing machine because when I do, Domino comes to me with his nervous tail wag and big eyes saying, “oh, no.. my Ma is going to get angry.”


I think my problems with sewing include having perfectionist tendencies and not really knowing what I’m doing. I learned to sew by trial and error, which definitely doesn’t always bring me joy. I feel like I spend more time with a seam ripper than the sewing machine. I also have a sewing machine that’s more than twenty years old and it was a cheap machine to start with, so I’m not sure if that contributes to my frustration or not.

But sewing is a hobby I want to get better at and the only way that’s going to happen is with practice. I’ve thought about taking a class, but currently I’ve been using YouTube instead. One reason I want the skill of sewing is to alter clothes. I’m more petite than what the label petite is made for, so hemming is something that comes up often in my life. I recently watched a tutorial on making a blind hem and it turned out well (and without huge amounts of frustration).

My latest project is sewing cloth napkins from some old sheets. This project fits with my goals of simple living because it is recycling something I no longer need and will help me reduce my waste by eliminating paper napkins. The other good thing about this project is that it involves very simple sewing. The bad about this project is that I find it involves a lot of tedious ironing. I’m making sixteen napkins, so it’s beyond a little repetitive. At least my boredom doesn’t stress out Domino like my frustration.


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