There is a great article on sewing and body image on Colleterie (collette patterns blog) that really has hit a nerve. Cation Designs has a post about her experience with sewing and I'm joining the chorus.
Five things Sewing Does for Me
1) It's a way to relieve stress. I can work slowly, I can be creative and it demands enough attention that I can't think about all the things that stress me out.
2) It allows me a sense of creativity and accomplishment. Okay, sometimes I am better at the creativity.
3) It's fun. I find sewing is a great way to relax and since I am doing something productive with my time, I don't feel guilty.
4) I've made all new friends in this online sewing community because I sew. I am continually inpired by others and appreciated by others too!
5) Really, the sewing community.
I started sewing before high school. My sister, whom I didn't like, took a course. She was into the utility of the sewing (I can fix this; I can save money by sewing that, etc.). I just liked the construction of it. Thinking back I made lots of outfits that I didn;t wear. The fit was bad or the material was impractical or I abandoned the project. It never stopped me though. I guess that was a my trial period. In college and until recently, my sewing was also utility. Drapes for the front windows, fixing seams, shortening pants, that is what I called sewing.
Then I taught a boy who was very angry. His life was not what he wanted it to be, and in truth, it was not what it should have been. He was poor, isolated and very, very angry at the way life had mistreated him. His mother had saved to buy him a fabulous coat from the Gap. When he wore it to school, we all admired it. He was in 8th grade and he shrugged off our compliments gruffly but I could see he was pleased. Then he stopped wearing the coat. I asked him about it and he made excuses. I feared that it was stolen or bullies had done soemthing. I called his mother. She said the zipper was broken. I offered to change the zipper.
That night, having never changed a zipper before, I spent several hours replacing the zipper. It was pretty good. Then I began changing other zippers. Soon, I was replacing zippers for students at lunch hour. I was taking them home on the weekends. I am so good at replacing zippers now, that I can do it in about 20 minutes. (Ripping out the last zipper, positining the new one and sewing it in.)
Then I started looking for skirt patterns. And I found one I liked but ran into problems with the waistband. So I googled it and came across several sewing blogs. I felt like I came home.