Sewing is such a great outlet for creativity and an escape for so many right now! Wanting to stay creative while we continue our roundabouts of isolation is probably one of the reasons why 2020 was such a big year for the sewing industry.  In all of my years as the Beginner Sewing Facebook group founder, I have never welcomed so many new members into the community. When I heard from Alexandra from the Digital Pattern Library today, I couldn’t help but notice her blog post on how to stay creative in isolation. Her ideas are ones worth sharing with all of you who may need a little more inspiration on what to sew for your next project. Her words of encouragement may just be what you need!

Here is what she had to say…

HOW TO STAY CREATIVE IN ISOLATION

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With the world straining to heal itself during the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves abiding by government guidelines, sticking to quarantine restrictions and struggling to stay entertained within the four walls of our homes.

I don’t need to explain how we’re all feeling, given we’re all in this together, but understandably the creative souls among us are finding our energy depleted and inspiration waning.

Firstly, this is totally normal given the circumstances but secondly, it doesn’t necessarily take a widespread virus for us to feel creatively lost or stuck in limbo with our sewing projects. The good news is you can keep your spark and use this time to enhance your aesthetic, improve your skill-set and explore something new. So read on for some guidance on how to stay creative in isolation.


GET INSPIRED

As you may know, you really can draw inspiration from anything. However, that thought alone doesn’t stop the creative block from arising. When I find myself drawing a blank, I often refer to reliable websites like Design Boom, Vogue’s catwalk catalog or even Pinterest to spark some energy into my mind’s eye. Project Runway re-runs or Amazon’s latest Making the Cut is also a great port of call for the pockets of time I find opening up during lockdown.

FIND YOUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY

Of all the silver linings to find during these uncertain times, the fact we live in an age that is more connected than ever has to count for something. Being able to video chat with friends and loved ones, although not the same as face-to-face interaction, has still been a saving grace for many. Over on Facebook, you’ll find The Fashion Studio which is our friendly and welcoming group of creative sewists, designers and innovators, where we all come together with shared interests in a safe space to express who we are.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

Okay, I understand times are challenging already, but this is in respect to your inner creative urge that needs awakening and revival. There’s nothing better than to sink your teeth into a challenge and shake up your sleeping imagination. Why not try our 3 Day Design Challenge? Learn industry fashion design techniques and applications that can provide practical skills that translate into your sewing projects. What’s more is I’m on hand every step of the way to encourage and support you unlocking your hidden talents!

TRY SOMETHING NEW

Have you shied away from a certain fabric, fearing it’s too tricky? Do you want to test out that funny looking machine foot and see what it does? Now’s your chance to explore new tips, tricks and techniques to advance your sewing and up level your garment construction. You could even dip your toe into pattern cutting, it’s not as daunting as you might think, I promise! I’ve actually created super simple and easy to digest fashion file packs. They have clear illustrations to guide you through a multitude of topics and methods to try out for the benefit of your dream wardrobe.

SELF CARE OVER ANYTHING

Above all be kind to yourself. There’s a lot of pressure to use this time for some magical personal development or unachievable levels of productivity – if getting out of bed and putting a smile on your face during these days is the best you can do, then I count that as a win! Step back, breathe and recentre yourself. Look after number one and the creativity will follow or eventually return. It is totally normal and expected to not feel like yourself, we’re all adjusting to a new normality, one we’re not sure as to what the future holds. For me, creativity is an integral part of who I am, my character, it keeps me grounded and is a form of self care. When I lose myself in a creative task, it’s almost meditative. For however long that period of time lasts, I am focused on nothing but the work in front of me. And when that focus turns to me cursing at my sewing machine… I know it’s time to step away and do something totally unrelated!

Wherever you are in the world, wherever you are in your mindset, just keep going and go easy on yourself.

Stay safe and keep creative x

Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created www.beginner-sewing.com. An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!

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