Lately, I’ve been editing my possessions, trying to sell excess furniture on Craigslist, and giving lots of stuff away. I’ve had to move all my fabrics into the garage for storage while we’re in the midst of building a new master bath and closet. I didn’t realize how much fabric I had until I moved it all. And the patterns and sewing books! I think most normal people would look at my hoard and say I have a problem. And I’ve already given away two black trash bags full of fabric this past spring.
When does the line between healthy creating and sharing for a sewing blogger, i.e. me, cross over to obsession and over consumption?
Why do I feel the need to constantly be making clothes when I already have more than enough?
I reason that I can inspire others to start making things for themselves, instead of being only consumers. And save money as well! I feel quite smug and virtuous for about a minute.
But the truth is, I’m still shopping like I used to. Only now I’m going to fabric stores, Etsy pattern shops, the fabric district, estate sales, and flea markets instead of clothing stores with loud music blaring. Have I just replaced one addiction for another? I think so.
I have several dresses I’ve made that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn. So yes, sewing can be just as wasteful as shopping. Five years ago
I started a sewing blog as a way to live a more sustainable life. But I have more stuff now, than when I started.
And what about the whole business of this need for getting validation for our handmade things? Would I still be into blogging if I never got any comments, pins or likes on social media? And are those comments and likes driving me to create instead of my own desire to make things I want to wear or actually need?
If you blog, how often do you check to see if you have any comments and if you don’t get any, do you find yourself wondering if there is something wrong with what you made because you didn’t get any feedback? And are you making an overabundance of clothing just to have material for your blog? What if we all were just to turn off all the blog comments to see if we still felt compelled to blog? It would be an interesting experiment to try. But it would also ruin our sense of community.
But for now, I need to figure out what I’m going to do with all this sewing stuff, which has turned into a psychic burden and a source of anxiety. Do I give more of it away or sell it? Or maybe force myself to stop buying for a certain amount of time? Or stop blogging altogether? I do love making clothes and also love being a part of the online sewing community, so I don’t think that’s the answer. But I have enough fabric, patterns and notions to last several years.
I’m going to start with a year long sewing shopping fast. No more shopping or accepting free fabric or patterns for my blog until my birthday in September of next year in 2016. The only stuff I can buy might be thread or the odd zipper. I have tons of thread and zippers already, so hopefully I won’t need to do that! I did try this once before, but I fell off the wagon. This time, I’m going to try harder.
And those photos? Just some sewing plans I made last March that I haven’t gotten to yet. I have plenty to work with. And I’ll be slowing down on my sewing, and taking more time to enjoy the process. Because if it’s not enjoyable, it’s not worth doing.
How about you? Do you ever feel that your sewing hobby has turned into more of an obsession and addiction, than an enjoyable creative outlet?