This year for Sew Swansea, my focus is going to be on sewing (and crochet) for self-care. But, what exactly does that mean?
If you've had a wander around my website and to my 'About' page you might have an understanding of what I'm getting at and the meaning of 'Sewing for self-care' already, but if not I thought I do a little blog post on what self-care is, why it's important and how textiles can be benefical.
My main aims when planning and prepping my workshops, aside from the practical skills you gain, are self-care, confidence and relaxation.
I think that all of these things are fantastically important, practical skills are amazing and vital BUT, they are no good if you don't have confidence in yourself to use them. Practical skills are no good if you don't think you are worth the benefit of them. Practical skills are no good if you don't get something out of having them. So, I use textiles to not only give you these practical skills but to also allow you a little time for you. The "You can't pour from an empty cup.." I posted in the Blue Monday!? Bollocks to that! blog post is perhaps a little cheesy but true!
Basically it's taking care of you before you take care of everyone/anyone else or spending a little time on doing lovely things for yourself and through the workshops I run I allow you that space and time away from everything else where you can just learn and make and enjoy without pressure or stress or other responsibilities.
It's been well publicised that crafting in general is amazing for mental health, it can reduce stress, anxiety and help ease depression, there are some great articles about it here by thisblogisnotforyou , here by Sew Daily and here in the Guardian.
We use it as an escape, a distraction or a way of working through things we can't cope with in other ways and making something with our hands makes us feel good - happiness is, I think, something that is massively under appreciated.
Sewing and crochet can also be a useful tool in regard to isolation or loneliness. Sometimes we have a lot of people around us not at all, but equally people can feel isolated or lost and gentle group activities or social sewing events can be a life saver for this situations. I know within my own Stitch Social event we've built up a really amazing group of women. They come together once a fortnight to crochet or stitch or knit in my studio but they've become a group of friends who care about each other, ask after each other if someone is absent for the evening.
So, #stitchforselfcare is what I'm all about this year. I will be launching some beautiful little handmade craft kits specifically for self-care in the coming months, but all my workshops from beginners through to the pattern drafting will, as they always have really, be about well-being and making time for yourself.
Let me know below what self-care for you looks like.