2017: Into the Light...(or; how sewing saves me..)

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 09:03

Leaving the path of 2016, I'm hoping that it's going to be a path into the light.

2016 has been a year of turbulence. The delicate ship of our little family was rocked by waves and we've struggled to find our even keel for most of this year.

In the spring Mr As it Seams lost his job, having worked in the same place for 20 years. It had a profound affect on his sense of identity, our security, our vision of the future. The ripples of stress and anxiety have affected me, the children, everything really. I've had to work more, and reassess everything.

We've had to build something new. And as well as our little family drama, there have been so many other ripples of trauma. My wider family has also coped with personal trauma. And we've had Brexit, Donald Trump, a global future that seems unrecognisable, and daunting.

In the midst of this all, I've wanted to sew more than ever. A few weeks ago I read Marie Fleurine's post How sewing Saves me. Her openness about why she sews, in the face of her own difficult year and hard path ahead, really resonated with me.

Marie Fleurine's blog is so beautiful, her creations always gorgeous, and I love the glimpses of beautiful Norway in her photography. Yet her post was a reminder that beneath the beautiful photography, fabric and clothes, we're all carrying our own story. 

I've learnt that so much this year. That people who smile in the street, who say hello in a shop, may all be living with their own personal struggle, and anxiety. We keep going, we look for human connections and reach out and that's what helps us to get through the day and the next day.

I've tried to be kind this year, to allow everyone I meet a little bit of gentleness. Because this world is cruel and hard enough, so let's try to soften the edges.

And in the midst of this sewing, has been a little lifeline. When I sew, my mind is absorbed completely. I create something that began as a vision in my head. I see my little girl wearing a new dress, knowing that no factory in India was involved. My online sewing friends share my sense of achievement, encourage me a long, and share the joy of beautiful fabric. And that is how sewing saves me...

Now a word about these pictures. This is our much needed holiday in the south of France, visiting the river gorge at Minerve on a baking hot day. The river has carved out a tunnel beneath the village, with welcome cool air. The children, like every visitor there, paused in the tunnel to build rock towers and create their own sculpture.

Missy wore an Experimental Summer Sewing Dress... A beautiful piece of voile that I hacked into a dress in less than a hour, on the night before we left for our holiday. It's a simple rectangle, shirred at the top, with an attempt at flutter sleeves.

Perfect for exploring caves, mediaeval paths and more.

It was a beautiful day. A bit of building, and a tunnel  into the light. And that's where we're aiming for in 2017.
Happy New Year to all As it Seams readers... looking forward to sharing, sewing, creating in the year ahead 

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  1. i went through so many losses this year. i fell in love with a wonderful man in may after not having dated for a long time and suffering from a horrible disease, only to have him pass away in July, and other things, and Trump, and family. I have been trying to start a business for refugee women in St Louis so they can earn a living wage and avoid becoming sex-trafficked. Sex trafficking is big business all over and is growing for many reasons. I want to hire them to make unique children's garments using mostly organic cottons is I can afford them. I do have a huge stash because I went overboard when I was so sick. but creativity is so good for recovering from PTSD. At any rate, it is good for me. but it has taken me so long to do anything lately.I am glad I have blogs to read and grand daughters to sew for. the sewing keeps me going. and DIY is so important. thank you for letting me post.

  2. Ah, Vicky, I have thought of you so often during the last year. I really hope that things are going to get better for you in 2017 and that you and your family will be able to calm down and relax a bit more. Anxiety is just such a terrible feeling and I hope that you won't have to go through this in 2017. Sending you many, many hugs and love,

  3. I don't seem to find the time/energy to browse blogs these days, but Marie Fleurine's post definitely caught my heart. Yours did exactly the same. Mainly because we all carry our own personal struggles and anxieties and try to rise our heads above it. Sending love and serenity over to you and your lovely family. Ana Sofia

  4. I have experienced myself a rough couple of years, still getting out of the hole sometimes... and suscribe your thoughts on how sewing meant some time away from it all. So necessary and so precious. Friends to talk about something which has not been "infected" by the despair..
    really wishing you and your family a bright 2017.

  5. They say sewing is cheaper than therapy. I am not sure though. I think if I showed to whoever said that my bank or PayPal statements they would have taken their words back haha but sewing is sure something that keeps me sane also! I hope 2017 will bring you peace.

  6. I can relate so easily, I think most off us can in fact. We all, as you so well say it, have our history, that's not shared as often as we maybe should and we know little off people other than what they choose to share. A friend once told me that it seemed my life was easy and all beauty. First I thought that was so unfair but then I understood it was my choice, she choose to complain all the time and I choose to focus on what's good in my life. We may walk different paths but it doesn't mean we don't have the same problems or difficulties.
    I wish you and your family what I wish for me and mine; let us fight for happiness everyday and take responsability of our lifes, finding in love and each other the strenght to rise every time. <3

  7. beautiful post . just like you, it took me a while to understand that we all have our own struggles and battles to fight. And just like you said, creating saves our lives. but also kindness, and sharing our struggles. Because it is in the sharing that the healing can take place. I love this ancient asian story about a woman who lost her baby and went to ask the wise man to resuscitate him. He said he needed a bit of straw from every home which had not encountered struggle , in order to make a potion. but as she went down into the village, and knocked on eveydoor and asked the people how was their lives, she understood that there is not one home who doesn't know loss, or suffering. and after sharing her story with all of them,and hearing theirs, she went on and buried her baby.

  8. Thank you sharing!! It's so hard to put the hunger for creative activity, for clothing our children in items we've lovingly made ourselves, for making, into words, especially if our audience is not creative! On the one hand, it's really a minor thing, I make some clothes for my kids, and some presents, and a few things for myself - much of it could easily be obtained at a store instead, for less money, and the quality would be pretty similar! Also, as far as legacies to leave behind, the items won't last that long. But somehow it's very fulfilling. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, I am glad to have a hobby that is not only fun when life is going well, but provides me with meditative rest during harder seasons of my life.

    Here's to being kind and not assuming anything about anyone's life. Into the light.

  9. 2016 was a tough year for so many people and it sounds like you've really been through it, 2017 will be better, it has to be! I've always called sewing my natural antidepressant, I makes me feel so much better to have time out and achieve a level of satisfaction I don't get elsewhere. Keep positive and keep sewing.


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