Sewing isn’t just a creative skill for making stuff. It’s also a great way to learn and apply concepts related to math, engineering, and problem solving.
When I talk to people about sewing, they usually have an image of their mom or grandmother making stuff for them when they were kids, or of people crammed in a warehouse churning out stacks of new clothes. We don’t really think about everything that had to be done before the sewing, or all of the other necessary skills.
To be successful at sewing and make the items you want, it takes more than just being creative.
Until you’ve taken a few lessons yourself, you may not realize that sewing can be physically and mentally taxing, and that it isn’t just running fabric through a machine. Instead, most time is usually spent on planning and preparing everything that’s needed before ever sitting down at a machine.
The prep work involves a lot of math, particularly fractions and geometry, calculating amounts of fabric, and adjusting measurements for different applications.
Even when working with sewing patterns, everything needed isn’t always spelled out step by step. Especially with custom sewing, you have to figure it out on your own, solve problems that will arise, and make sure everything is planned out precisely to ensure it comes together correctly in the end.
Similar to constructing anything else, knowledge of materials going into the project is essential. Sewn items need to be constructed using the right fabrics, stitches, and other accessories for how they’re going to be used. Otherwise, they won’t last long or could fail outright. The last thing anyone wants is for their clothes to fall apart while they’re wearing them.
Sewing can also help you learn how to visualize flat patterns as 3-dimensional objects.
Sewing for Kids
When I talk to parents about teaching sewing to their kids, I also explain how it’s a great way for them to apply other things they’re learning in school. For example, sewing enables kids to directly apply math they’re learning and see the results. This is great for kids who may be bored in class, but excel when they can apply what they’re learning in real-life situations. I also encourage them to try and test different techniques so they have a deeper understanding of why some things are done a certain way.
Let me know what you think. What other benefits do you get out of sewing?