Sewing quietly – Prioritising self-care.

sewing and mental health - prioritising self-care. By thisblogisnotforyou.comOh, hi! It’s been a while!

I’m back from yet another random blogging break. I wanted to start right back with a fun little project post, but now that I think about it, I’d rather talk a bit about shifting down a gear and putting self-care first. It’s such an important topic and it shouldn’t be brushed over by just going on posting the next cute outfit.

I have to disappoint you, there’s no big reveal or good excuses. I just took a while off blogging and social media because other areas in my life were a bit busier than usual.

Did you read my post a while back, about why we should stop making our hobbies stressful?

Well, I just basically followed my own advice! Since I started a further training course last year, the work bit of my work-life balance has a bit more weight to it. I have to study or go to seminars on weekends and have a bit more on my to-do list at work. Also there are times when my daytime job as a psychologist is more stressful and demanding than usual. This is why I took the “worky” bit out of my hobbies for a while. For me this sometimes also means blogging. As much as I love it, it can sometimes feel a little bit like work. To be honest, it IS work in the way that blogging for me is also a side business that needs to be run. It’s a very small business, but a business nonetheless. Emails, calls, project planning, taxes and all that. Editing pictures, writing content and managing social media is more or less the “fun part” of the business.

sewing and mental health - prioritising self-care. By

It’s hugely important to have the courage to prioritise self-care when needed. It does not mean being a selfish person, but looking after oneself, when your body and mind tell you to.

I’m a perfectionist and I take everything – including my hobbies – quite seriously. Feeling like I cannot live up to my own standards stresses me out endlessly and can be a source of anxiety. I love my blog and I’m fascinated that there are, oh, so many lovely people out there that have been following this little blog’s adventure for ages and still are enjoying content that I create. Taking a break sounds easy enough, but I noticed how much courage it still costs me to make a conscious decision that IT IS OK. This is the part you should always keep in mind: It is OK to self-care. 

The frozen blog had been a nagging thought in the back of my head before I consciously chose self-care before an overly organised hobby. It just felt so disappointing that I couldn’t make the time or have the energy to blog at the time. At first I thought I would disappoint blog readers if I just stayed quiet like that. I now know that it was rather my own feeling of disappointment over my lacking standards.

It’s hugely important to have the courage to prioritise self-care when needed. It does not mean being a selfish person, but looking after oneself, when your body and mind tell you to. Being anxious that others  might think you’re selfish makes it sometimes really hard to stand up for your own mental (and also physical) health.  When you actually find the courage to do so, the feedback in most cases is one of appreciation and understanding.

Now that I feel like I really want to – not should – share the next project, it’s a good time to ease back into blogging! During my offline-time I explored some other hobbies (like book-binding, knitting and crochet) and also delved into projects that I usually wouldn’t consider “bloggable”. (That sounds awful, right?) Mostly projects for kids or little personal gifts that I do not see fit to put up on the blog. I had a lovely but quiet creative time. I would even say it was therapeutic in a way, that I could use my hobbies again as counterbalance to work-related stress and immerse myself in funny little crochet projects and sewing for my friends’ babies.

Although I’m now swamped with emails of people almost aggressively offering guest posts, I feel like this break was more than worth it. Instead of adding to the stress, I could explore my hobbies as something incredibly refreshing and therapeutic. It helped to clear my mind and busy my hands on very stressful days.

Quiet sewing time is a source of calm and peace. Take it when needed.

The same applies to self-care in general. Just as you rest when you are physically exhausted, you need to allow yourself a mental-health time to balance things out again. I’ve been making the conscious decision to cancel an engagement in favour of self-care more often over the past year. I now also let other people know that I’m cancelling not because of time issues or scheduling conflicts, but because I feel stressed or drained that day and need to look after myself. So far, not a single person could not understand this. In most cases I even got very endorsing and supportive reactions. It showed me once again being anxious about other people’s opinions and reactions is wasted time.

sewing and mental health - prioritising self-care. By

Have you made similar experiences? Do you sometimes struggle with self-care or stressing out about even your own hobbies?

Please chime in, if you feel like it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!



Happy sewing!


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The Blog Hop!

I was nominated by the lovely Lara of Dreaming of Avonlea to keep the blog hop tour going. She a very talented seamstress and I adore her style! If you haven’t done so yet, please hop over and check out her blog!

Nobody really seems to know where and when the blog hop started. If you have any idea – please share! The only thing that is known is when taking part in the blog hop, you answer four questions before nominating two other bloggers to keep the blog hop alive. And this is exactly what I’ll do! So here we go.

Why I write

Why do I write? Probably because I once started writing and just never stopped. I started writing as soon as I learnt how in primary school. I scribbled tiny stories on Post-its in second grade and the continued to fill notebooks with imaginary sequels of my favourite books. I had way too many pen pals back then. I continued to write stories when I was older, but soon noticed that I was a bit too impatient for that and had way too many other hobbies which consumed my time.

I always liked the whole idea of blogs and at some point really wanted to write my own, although I had no idea what to write about. When I moved to London I took the plunge and started It started out as a personal blog for friends and family who wanted to track my new London life, but it changed into crafts and sewing very quickly. Luckily, the blog name gave me lots of freedom in terms of the content of the blog! So here I am now, writing and sewing at the same time! Add a little design, photography and picture editing to the mix and you’ve created my favourite hobby!

JL SEWING_015What I’m working on

Since the release of my last patterns I’ve been doing so many things. I thought I would need at least a couple of weeks to recover from my previous workload, but I was back at the sewing machine after only a few hours. Now that I do not have too many to-dos and tasks to get done, I can basically sew whatever I want! How awesome is that? (I forgot that it used to be like that all the time!)

So now I work on several projects simultaneously, inserting a zip here and cutting out fabric there. I’ve just finished another Hepburn Dress (scooped neckline version), photographed my new (and awesome) Coco (Tilly & the Buttons), printed out the Malvarosa (Pauline Alice Patterns) and another Hepburn Skirt is waiting for a waistband.

In planning are at least one Miette skirt and one or two Mimi blouses (Tilly & the Buttons), a quilted baby blanket, a knitted couch blanket and, fingers crossed, a pair of trousers.

thisblogisnotforyou.comHow my blog differs from others of its genre

Good question! I have no idea! Well, maybe it differs because I do not just strictly stick to sewing. I enjoy and love to write about the odd craft project, I shared blogging tips and love the occasional refashion post. I would also describe my process as quite experimental, I’m not the kind of person that follows instructions and patterns meticiously. I am a big fan of the trial-and-error approach and love to share all my fails along the way. I also started my own sewing pattern company recently and generally enjoy developing my blog further.

thisblogisnotforyou.comA little bit about my writing process

Whether there’s a process behind the madness really depends on my mood and how much time I have on my hands. Sometimes I feel all professional, making to-do lists, printing out schedules, writing blog posts in advance and pretending all I do is super duper important, like stock prices and that sort of stuff. And then there are days (and weeks and months) where I do not stick to my own blogging advice, because I realise that I need to focus a bit more on the real life – friends and stuff like that. That’s when I do not plan anything, do a bit of sewing here, a bit of picture editing there and then frantically put together a rather crappy blog post because I noticed I haven’t written any in the past three weeks. I really like my non-existing balance and so far it worked really well for me.

My two nominees 

Freya May who blogs over at The Dressmaking Diaries. We’ve followed each other’s blogs for a long time now and I consider her one of my bloggy friends, although we actually haven’t met IRL yet. Freya is always up for collaborations and fun projects and we’ve hosted the Hollywood Sewalong together.

Hannah from Made With Hugs And Kisses, also one of my bloggy buddies. Hannah is a very talented seamstress and she drafts and shares her own patterns on her blog every once in a while. Check out that Allie Dress!

Happy sewing!


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