Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How sewing soothes my soul and keeps me moving forward!

Today I am celebrating life. I am celebrating the fact that I do not have pancreas cancer!
Unfortunately, even though cancer has been ruled out doesn't mean that I automatically feel better. What a lovely wish that would be. In fact, I feel just as crappy today as I did last week. What I do feel is a huge sense of relief and a huge weight off my shoulders.

My current diagnosis is Autoimmune Pancreatitis (AIP). A benign disease that can be treated. I say current diagnosis because the genetic tests needed to make a definitive diagnosis are extremely cost prohibitive and require a fight with the insurance company to get approved. So while we go through the process and try to cut through the red tape with the insurance company the doctors have decided that AIP is the most likely diagnosis. The treatment for the disease consists of a treatment regiment of high doses of steroids for 12 weeks followed by a course of immunosuppressive drugs. Sounds easy enough... except that I have an intolerance to steroids and experience abnormal joint pain.

I do not have cancer!! So, if 3 months of joint pain and assorted other crazy side effects is the path I have to travel then so be it! I have my family, my loved ones and my friends to stand by my side and help me down the path to health. They are the most integral part of my life!

I also have other things in my life.

I have meditation.
I have the beautiful outdoors and fresh air.
I have my dog
I have my sewing studio.

Yes, my sewing studio is a key part of my mental and physical health.
I can think of no better way to help myself get through trying times then to have some projects to work on. They will need to be 'easier' projects and projects that utilize my master patterns because success will be key to keeping my spirits up.
When I am in my sewing studio I feel like I have the ability to get into the zone. My creative energies flow and time seems to move smoothly by. Being in this zone has been quite helpful already in getting me through this illness. Even just pulling fabrics from my collection and sketching designs to create with them is a great way for me distract my mind from my body.

The process is the key. Having developed a process in my designing and sewing has already taken my skills through the roof and now I am using those same processes to keep myself moving forward in a an entirely different way.
  • Sketching designs
  • choosing fashion fabric
  • flat pattern work
  • making a muslin
  • finalizing all fabric choices
  • preparing fabric for construction
  • garment construction 
  • Final hand finishing
All of these steps are part of my creative process that allow me to get into the flow and enjoy life no matter how I am physically feeling!

On days that I am really feeling physically weak I retreat to my comfy chair with design and sewing books, my iPad and online classes, sewing and design blogs and of course, online fabric shopping! Plus there is always online fabric shopping to make me feel better ;-)

Does sewing mean more to your life than just producing a garment?


  1. I'm sorry you're not feeling well, but glad that cancer was ruled out. Thanks for sharing your fashion design process and how it helps you. I'm still struggling to use my sewing room, which is my grown son's old bedroom, and I don't know why. It might be because there is no TV in there to give me background noise. I tend to needlepoint in front of the TV when I'm feeling weak or tired, but I've been gravitating toward buying more kid-like kits because my eyesight is getting so bad, even with glasses. I'm thinking I'm going to just buy a bunch of needlepoint canvas and make my own simple designs to follow instead of buying kits since the floss is so cheap and what I've collected so far in floss is enough to last several lifetimes.

    1. HI! Thank You for the well wishes. I'm glad you liked the post... I always worry a bit when posting things so personal. A TV in my sewing studio helps greatly. I also like the background noise! I have enough fabric to last me forever but... i just keep buying more :)

  2. We joke about addiction to fabrics and I sometimes wonder about my obsessive pursuit of sewing perfection, but you are absolutely right about the therapeutic benefits of designing and sewing beautiful clothes. The creative process is absolutely transformative and I hope with all my heart that it is healing for you.

  3. Your positive attitude will help, I'm sure. Good luck.

  4. Great news! (OK well not absolutely great but at least it's good news.)
    You are so right -- sewing is sort of a metaphor for living well. Take the material, whether it's stash fabric, responsibilities, or relationships, and make something beautiful. As you do, every day, and will continue to do for a very long time, with your strength and energy improving each day.

    1. Thank You Liz! You are a part of my beautiful relationships and are so very appreciated!


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