When the theme of mending was decided by the team a while back, I knew straight away that I wanted to share my journey of using sewing to help mend and sustain my mental wellbeing over the past couple of years.
It’s definitely been a tough year for us all and I think even the most resilient person will have floundered at some point during this time. As a nation, we are certainly more aware of mental health and the struggles that many face on a day to day basis. The 2020 Olympics games in Tokyo have highlighted the need to promote good mental health and it has been reassuring that many athletes have been strong advocators for this proving that, now more than ever, taking care of ourselves is an important job.
A way in which I take care of myself is to sew. Sewing has always been my preferred method of calming any anxieties I might have had that day, distracting my mind just enough to not to add to my already busy thoughts. I like to hand sew as I find it really therapeutic. I was introduced to Boro a few years back and I absolutely love it! Boro is the Japanese practice of using simple running stitches to reinforce a textile item using scraps of fabric. It is often used to mend and repair clothes, but I have used it to make some mini artworks.
What I love about this technique is the freedom. You are not following a pattern or aiming for perfection, it is just simply about enjoying the process and seeing where it takes you. You only need to know a few stitches, but you can experiment with them creating some really interesting textures.
Each of these pieces was created over a period of a few months and they certainly went some way into mending my soul at that time. If you ever feel that you need to calm your thoughts and refocus, grab a needle and thread and some scraps of fabric. Don’t think about the finished product. Just go with the process and see what happens!