Times have changed.
Crafting is no longer an expectation of women in society, rather it is now seen as a skill and a pleasurable pastime which can be enjoyed by both men and women.
That said, research by experts in the industry has shown that most of the people who have taken up sewing in the last decade have been women, but with so many crossovers with the fashion world and other textile industries, who is to say that more and more males won’t get the needle and thread bug in the next ten years?
As we’ve mentioned, sewing can be beneficial to both one’s career (if they so choose to follow a path into textile art or fashion design) but it also brings many advantages to a person’s health and emotional wellbeing. Of course, sewing is not alone in its healing and destressing powers; knitting, drawing, painting and numerous other activities can equally bring peace to your soul.
Keep reading to find out why you should be scouring the internet, picking up the phone or wandering the streets of Leeds now to find a sewing course to enrol on! It is for your own good…
As previously touched upon, sewing can be a very therapeutic hobby, allowing you to find a sense of calm and peace when you have had a busy day at work or school.
It offers you the perfect moment to take your mind off of all else and simply sit back and unwind (the thread, at least!). What’s more, the better you get at it, the more mindless a task it will become which means that your thoughts are free to wander as opposed to concentrating hard on what you are doing.
Sewing can take you far away from everyday life. Photo credit: Julien Haler on Visualhunt
Many people admit to having taken up sewing for a bit of “me time” and to get in touch with their thoughts.
Some like to destress after a long day by having a bath or sipping a glass of wine, but with these options, you have nothing to show for it whereas with sewing you could be putting your efforts into creating something tangible whilst also benefitting from the emotional downtime.
That is not to say, of course, that you can’t do both, or even all three!
Other benefits of attending sewing classes on your emotional wellbeing are the ability to mix with others on a social basis that is centred around something that you all naturally enjoy (and is therefore not forced). Along with making new friends, your acquaintances can help you to develop your skills by offering tips and advice on sewing supplies or products.
In short, there is nothing negative to say about sewing in terms of how it affects you as an individual. Sewing makes people happy and we are in no doubt that it will do the same for you. Just think, what could be better than taking old scrap items and turning them into shiny new ones?
It may not be obvious how picking up a needle and working at seams can benefit your health, but scientific studies have shown just that.
Working with sewing machines or sewing items by hand each requires strong hand-eye coordination, which some (mainly older) people struggle with. You can be any age when you take up sewing, but it is good to remember that this kind of activity is one that will keep your brain active and also help you to fight off those inevitable conditions that come with age, like arthritis.
Just like reading, sewing requires your brain to be engaged so by keeping it busy in this way, you will train your brain just like you train other muscles in your body to keep them fighting fit. However, even those who are suffering from Dementia can gain from sewing as it encourages you to enjoy the here and the now and to be completely focused on the task at hand.
Moreover, the focus and patience that you need when completing sewing projects teach you to be disciplined and to take your time over important tasks.
In these modern times, everyone wants to have the most up-to-date fashionable clothes or more, be one step ahead of the fashion world!
Knowing how to sew can open up a number of opportunities to create your own statement pieces or to upcycle an old garment. But this isn’t where it ends… those who are familiar with the craft can also try their hand at producing, fixing or revamping homeware (i.e. soft furnishings like curtains or cushion covers), toys and gifts for others.
There is no better feeling than offering someone a personal, unique present made using your own bare hands. With the help of your imagination (or places like Pinterest!) you can come up with tonnes of ideas for Christmas presents or birthday gifts!
Last but not least, sewing offers you a break from all of the technology around you.
Most people today will admit to spending too much time looking at screens, whether that is their computer screen from 9 to 5 or looking at their glowing mobile phone screen for hours on end in bed. This can be really tiring on your eyes and cause them unnecessary strain.
Taking up sewing is a great way to cut down on time with smart devices and instead use the time to let your mind slow down before you go to bed. Looking at bright lights and digital screens is said to be stimulating so doing this is likely to have an adverse effect and cause you to sleep badly. Not only that, scientists have found that the blue light emitted from smart devices can disrupt sleep hormones and lead to sleep deprivation.
We all spend a lot of time looking at screens in this day and age. Isn’t it time to give our eyes a rest? Photo credit: Beegee49 on Visual hunt
We understand the dilemma – you can’t sleep so pick up your phone. But what if you changed your habits entirely and spent half an hour in your craft room… you’d probably feel calmer and much more ready to fall into a deep slumber!
If you are utterly convinced that you need to get into sewing, then here are just some of the fantastic courses on offer in Leeds.
This eight-week, part-time, beginner sewing workshop priced at just £60 is designed to help you to advance in the area of dressmaking. During the sewing lessons, you will learn to pin fabric using a simple pattern; thread a machine and wind a bobbin; sew a straight seam; take measurements correctly; insert a regular zip.
In the first couple of sessions alone you will already work towards making a cushion cover and a tote bag; this will enable you to learn some of the beginners sewing skills.
Set in a slightly less academic setting, The Sewing Sessions are sewing lessons based in Leeds offered in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The workshops are available in Saturday School form as well as Evening Classes for those who work during the week. From beginners sewing classes to skilled dressmaking, you can learn how to sew in a day or develop your skill further across many sessions!
A beginners sewing session is a one-day course which costs less than £60, but there are plenty more flexible options to choose from so you can find something better tailored to you! There are two sewing studios: one in Rock Lane and one based in Farsley.
Much like a knitting group, you can find many social elements to sewing classes. Photo credit: Big Mind Zen Center on VisualHunt.com
At £50, Fabrication Crafts’ beginner course is the perfect option for those who maybe have a sewing machine but don’t have a clue how to use it, or those who want tips on how best to use their machine. It teaches you all of the basics and will fill you with confidence as you tackle those sewing projects you’ve always wanted to complete! Classes take place at The Headrow in Leeds.
Finally, if you want to learn how to repair your old worn jeans, make an apron, put together a patchwork quilt, or add some embellishment to a simple handbag, you can find so many tutorials or courses online or via websites and directories. Superprof is a great example of a place to find professionals looking to pass on their knowledge in a particular field, like sewing.
One place you might not have thought to look is on websites like Netmums, where some mothers advertise their tutoring services. For instance, one parent can be found on here running beginners and next step crochet and knitting skills. The classes, which run every day of the week, are held in a shop in Garforth, lasting two hours and costing £15. Some drop-in sessions are priced at just a fiver and the leader also offers 121 lessons and pattern making classes.
Whether you are enquiring for a child, teens or an adult, get in touch!