Hello, I hope you’re well, I’m not doing great at the moment and currently cosy in bed with my laptop and weighted blanket dreaming of sewing all the things. Whilst I stuck here in bed I thought it would be a great time to do some writing, for months I’ve wanted to write more about sewing with disabilities and chronic illness but there’s so much I’ve decided to make it into a mini series.
My disabilities and chronic illnesses
I’m going to start with listing my symptoms, I think that gives you a better idea of me and my rather than giving you my conditions because you might not know how they affect people and everyone is different.
- Seizures – small and large
- double vision (I’ve recently started to wear and eye patch for this)
- slurred and slow speech
- poor concentration
- brain fog
- poor balance
- poor grip
- chronic pain in my lower tummy, lower back and legs.
I think that covers the main ones? as you can see its quite a list! Some of these are more difficult to manage than others and some of them don’t really impact my sewing at all.
How my disabilities and chronic illnesses affect my sewing
My disabilities and chronic illness do affect my sewing a lot, when my seizures, dizziness and pain are bad I don’t sew at all, I’m usually napping, nesting or resting.
I find the inability to sew due to my health incredibly frustrating, for me sewing is a release both mentally and physically. Even before the pandemic I rarely venture of of the house due to my conditions so sewing and being creative is wonderfully freeing, I can sit at my machine and do whatever I like without assistance or supervision. I can get lost in a sewing vortex watching my needle sewing thread into fabric and forgetting about the constraints and issues my disabilities create. So when I’m not well enough to sit at machine I feel like a bird thats had its wings clipped, a slice of my freedom has been taken away.
I have found other small sewing hobbies and tasks I love to do when I’m not well enough to sit at my machine like creating a sewing journal or planning my future makes.
I find ways to get around my other conditions and disabilities like using ergonomic tools and scissors, taking time to read through the instructions and make notes to help me with my brain fog and setting up sewing timers so I don’t get exhausted.
Over the next few months I’d love to share more about how I sew with my disabilities and chronic illnesses, I’ll write some posts on my favourite tools and my machine and sewing with brain fog. is there anything specific you like to hear about?
I’d love to read more about this subject and how other people sew with their disabilities too, the more we share the more we can learn and find ways to make our sewing easier.
5 thoughts on “Sewing with disabilities and chronic illnesses – An introduction”
Hi there, just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this and other future posts! As someone who cares about both accessibility and fiber crafts, it’s really nice to hear personal stories about how folks are navigating their hobbies alongside their disabilities. Your post is a great reminder to me of the value of being mindful of what your brain/body needs at a given point in time, and working with that instead of against it. Thanks again for sharing your story!
Your so welcome and thank you for reading my journey x
Hi. I am glad you have found ways to “sew” when actual physical sewing is impossible. I will look forward to more about your journey in future posts.
P.S. What an outstanding job on matching the print in the blouse you are wearing at the top of this post!
Thank you so much