When I’m not teaching English (which feels like too much of my life), one of the ways I like to relax is through sewing. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, but if there’s a bit of quilting, dressmaking or embroidery on the go, consider me ‘there’.
Sewing classes are great. Alongside the coffee and chat, there’s the making.
I find it deeply satisfying to piece together fabric from scratch and turn it into something that has some sort of functional or aesthetic use (or both). There’s a profound sense of accomplishment that comes from doing this; even more than from cooking, for me. This is probably because the sewed item lasts longer than food.
In last Saturday’s class, I finished my latest project: a bag. Voila!
I haven’t made it to sewing classes very often this year. Too much work has gotten in the way. This disappoints me on a number of levels. These levels actually have connection to how The Bible says we are supposed to live.
I think God made us to be living in communities. This can be families, relatives, the workplace or a social group. Meeting with a group of people on a regular basis to just sit and sew is actually in line with God’s ideas about people living in communities. It’s also good for those of us who have a ‘doer’ personality. Being in a community isn’t about just hanging around and sponging off people. It’s about being present and active and do-ing.
Sewing class has got some great community going on…
- Rest and Relaxation
It’s also an opportunity to take your head out of the work-game for a few hours. This, in our work-obsessed society, is a very good thing. In my opinion, it’s even better than a break at the gym. The gym for me still has that work mentality connected to it, but that might not be the case for others.
The whole concept of ‘Sabbath’ (taking a rest) is quite obviously very Biblical. And resting in The Bible doesn’t mean doing nothing. The concept of active rest is very much what The Bible is on about. My sewing classes are also very much on about it too…
Christians believe that God is the creator of the world and that he created us to be similar to him in some ways. It makes perfect sense then, that we as humans would feel a sense of real accomplishment when we finish creating something. It’s literally in our DNA to do that sort of thing.
It quite obviously doesn’t have to be something created out of fabric. Wood, bricks, music and food; writing a letter, poem or book (or blog) are still things we can put our hands to and turn into a new creation. It can be very satisfying to make these things, as well as to find them relaxing.
(NB I also find baking relaxing… baking as opposed to cooking… two totally different things)
I’m not sure what my next sewing project will be; I might piece together the fabric I bought in Japan recently. Whatever I end up making, I’m going to enjoy the satisfaction of being its creator and enjoy the relaxation and community involved in the process.
Yours in a sewing class,