A Mindful Sewing Journey: Sewing clothes you'll actually wear

It can be easy to get swept up in overconsumption, and making things for the sake of newness and novelty, rather than focusing on things that we truly love that fit our bodies and our lifestyles.  

We're so pleased to welcome Storyteller Jasmine Carraway to the Twig + Tale blog.  I'm sure that many of us can related to Jasmine's story of how the world of sewing can become overwhelming, with so many beautiful patterns and tempting fabrics to choose from.  Here, Jasmine shares some tips about how she is sewing more mindfully.  

In the month of May, the Twig + Tale Storyteller Team theme is: Mindfulness.  So, how exactly can we be mindful when the clothing industry is oversaturated with fast fashion and the sewing community feels flooded with sewing patterns and fabric? 

The answer?  It can be really hard. 

When I first started sewing, I was overwhelmed by all of the pattern testing opportunities that were available to me; I was caught up in the novelty of this new community.  I found myself testing patterns that my children and I wouldn't actually wear and started thinking about how mindless the pattern testing process and sewing had become for me.  

In 2022, I made the conscious decision to only sew items that I felt my family would wear, which brings me to the point of this blog: sewing what you'll actually wear

Where I live, the weather is warming up quickly.  The temperature has been up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32-ish Celsius), which is kind of hot for this time of year.  Needless to say, the clothes I've been wearing have grown shorter and the amount of skin showing has expanded LOL!

To add to the chaos, I'm a mom of 3 in my early thirties and there've been some MAJOR bodily changes, which means many of my clothes don't actually fit (that last baby changes it all >_<).  Instead of stressing about the societal "snap back" of my body, I chose to embrace the new curves and upgrade my clothes.  But first, I needed to PURGE the wardrobe (through donation of course). 

The next step was to inventory what I have left and what I need.  *Pro Tip: make a list and write the clothing inventory down*.  Since it feels very summery here, I decided to focus on shorts.  

As you can see (above), I like to have a variety of staple colors in different tones.  But, all of them are solid colors.  I’m very logical when it comes to clothing, meaning that while I love the look and idea of niche clothing items, I like to focus on clothing that can be paired with many other pieces that I already have.

So, how can I merge the two concepts?  With carefully selected…PRINTS!  I chose this beautiful printed lightweight canvas that is sure to catch the eye.  I chose this fabric because of all of the colors; it can be paired with pretty much anything, which is important for my mindful sewing journey.  The fiber content, 100% cotton, also serves the purpose of keeping me cool through its breathability (which is GREAT during the hot and humid summers - plus it absorbs sweat!).

Fabric?  Check!  Now, let’s look at sewing patterns.  I am a curvy woman, with a bigger booty and thick thighs, plus I have the post baby tummy shape (aka the pooch).  So, mid to high rise is a MUST for my comfort when it comes to shorts, skirts and pants.  I also prefer about a 3–5-inch inseam or a mid-thigh length in shorts.  Twig + Tale’s Coastal Cuffed Shorts have now entered the chat!

Now, I have made these shorts before and they fit great!  I did, however, opt to make some very MINOR adjustments to my second pair by doubling the waistband height and scooping the back crotch curve about ¼ inch.

Below, you can see the difference in the fit (the second pair has more tummy coverage):

With this ONE pair of shorts, I was able to make 7 different outfits, which means this item will get plenty of wear.  This is how I use mindfulness during my sewing process; tailoring my focus so that I can ensure the longevity of my pieces.  By doing this, I’m able to mitigate that overwhelming feeling of drowning in the sea of patterns, ideas and fabric. 

I hope you were able to find a gem in this blog to help you along your journey.  Happy sewing!

See more of Jasmine's sewing here.  


Read more articles from the Twig + Tale Storytellers here.