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Sewing by hand is a peaceful pastime

Threading an actual needle takes focus and concentration. Completing a project by using my hands is very theraputic.

By Cheryl E PrestonPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
Sewing by hand is a peaceful pastime
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

When I was a young girl in elementary school, my great-grandmother taught me how to thread a needle. I found it fascinating, although sometimes frustrating as I attempted to push that single thread through the eyehole. I have found over the decades that projects that require me to sew by hand have a therapeutic effect. The concentration and focus necessary to complete such tasks is a great way to slow down and pay attention.

Years ago I would hand sew my husband's hems in the pants of his new suits as well as hem my dresses and skirts. I actually looked forward to cutting the excess material away, threading the needle, and picking up just enough of the cloth with the needle to hem the garment and not have the thread show on the outside. In later years I began using hemming tape but I found other items that needed to be hemmed by hand.

By SHOP SLO® on Unsplash

I began using cloth from old clothes to make doll outfits for my daughter and later my granddaughter. This was a marvelous way for us to spend time together. I find it amazing how a piece of cloth and needle thread can create so many beautiful items. There were times when I bought clothing from thrift stores and had to shorten the sleeves on a dress or jacket. My skills at hand hemming came in handy and I always feel such peace when I am embarked on a project.

By Kris Atomic on Unsplash

I have made cloth placemats and also cut off pants to make shorts and hemmed both using my hands. As I age I used a bigger needle but the thrill of getting that thread through the hole is still the same. When I lost weight I would take up the inside of skirts and pants by hemming them myself and no one could tell the difference. It might take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to complete what I am doing and I enjoy how relaxing it feels.

As I focus on the task at hand I become unaware of what is going on around me. Our hands were meant to be utilized and as long as I can I will find something to hem with my 1o fingers and thumbs. According to the website MiNDFOOD, there are five specific benefits of sewing with your hands.

By Thomas AE on Unsplash

1. Reduces stress

Using your hands to sew encourages reduces anxiety and stress and encourages mindfulness. Sewing is a meditative action that brings about emotions of feeling relaxed and promotes positivity. When you are forced to concentrate on one specific task it enables you to become totally immersed in the situation which results in being able to truly unwind.

2, Fights against Dementia

Sewing works your brain because it makes you remember specific steps. It helps keep the mind focused, active and clear which helps prevent dementia as you age.

3. Improved cognitive function

Sewing requires creativity, which improves the ability of the brain to produce new brain cells. Since mental decline is a result of the lost connection between neurons when you sew you promote mental growth. This is great news for those who are concerned with memory loss due to aging as well as the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

4. Produces feel-good hormones

Sewing causes an increase in the feel-good hormone dopamine which is responsible for helping us experience the sensation of happiness.

5. Improved hand-eye coordination

Sewing can enhance your motor skills, especially hand-eye-coordination. Sewing with your hands requires paying attention to detail which in turn encourages coordination. It has also been reported to relieve physical issues like back pain, who knew?

I am going to add my own benefit of sewing by hand to the list

6. Satisfaction

There is nothing more therapeutic than looking at a finished product. When I would see my husband in church or another venue wearing the pants that I hemmed by hand I was so proud because no one could tell. When I watched my daughter and now my granddaughter playing with dolls that are wearing garments that I made with my own hands I have such a feeling of satisfaction.

My all-time favorite is looking at the pillow covers that were stitched by my fingers as they shelter the pillows that are on the couch or bed. Threading that actual needle begins a chain reaction of events that are very calming, peaceful, and relaxing. Anyone who is interested in learning to sew a pillow by hand can click on the following link:

Once you take a look at what you created with your own hands you will want to relax by creating more projects using the art of sewing without a machine. You will be so glad you did. There is an old saying "A stitch in time saves nine." This means that you stitch up a tear before it gets bigger and also refers to handling problems before they blow out of proportion. Finding ways to relax like threading an actual needle and sewing is a good way to keep stress at bay and head off other mental or physical troubles down the road.


About the Creator

Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a widow who enjoys writing about current events, soap spoilers and baby boomer nostalgia. Tips are greatly appreciated.

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