Tale of the missing Sewjo

noun, plural sew·jos, sew·joes.
Motivation, reason or inspiration to Sew or Stitch.

I love this term, I was reminded of it recently by the lovely Cat of Raspberry Rainbow.

Last week I lost my sewjo. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a pretty week. Normally one to love picking up any kind of craft, not even the prospect of a bit of cross stitch or making a pom pom could draw me out of it. Struggling with the tail end of Hong Kong flu I disappeared into a slump of questioning everything and anything in my life. I didn’t know it at the time but this quiet slip into depression was a side effect of the cough medication I’d been prescribed and it was a scary place to be. I still don’t quite feel like my old self but the very thing that I’d lost the motivation to do was what made all the difference.

My gorgeous, caring husband looked at the state of me and said… today once the kids are at school I want you to do the thing that always makes you happy. Turn on some tunes, really loudly (I’m known for my love of loud music and have blown more than one car speaker… that’s another story)… anyway… turn on some tunes and Sew. Just sew anything. OK?

So I did.leopard_fabricsI cried for most of the time – the kind of tears you shed when you’re pregnant and have no idea why you’re crying, you just are. But by the time I’d done two hours of sewing I felt like a new person. I really did. My sewjo was back. My smile was back. My eyes were ridiculously puffy. But a little ray of sunshine had come out. Perhaps it was the leopard print, and really how can you not smile when working with leopard print??




I have to say that this fascinates me – I’ve always known that for me crafting isn’t about making stuff, it’s making happy but having been lost there for a moment I’m going to explore it some more. I’ve started reading a book called Craft to Heal by Nancy Monson and I really want to learn more about this link between craftiness and wellbeing.


Have you ever used craft to heal? Does sewing, painting, baking lift your spirits?


14 thoughts on “Tale of the missing Sewjo

  1. Dear Claire, Get the name of the cough mixture, write down the active ingredient so you don’t take it again under a different name. Tell the doctor about it. Stay well and happy. Love from Carol


  2. I love this. Yes crafting of any type is definitely therapeutic. And it makes me feel better just to feel like what I’m doing is something productive. It’s kind of like meditation just to sit down and focus on one thing and have some stillness in your day.

  3. Your husband is awesome!

    When I’m in a funk it’s hard to make, but making is what I truly love to do. I think I craft more when I am happy. I really need to try to sew when I’m down. I think I crochet no matter how I feel,
    There is a book called Crochet Saved My Life or something similar, I’ve only read part of it but it’s an interesting topic.

    Glad you are feeling better!

    • Oh I must read that Katie, thanks for the tip. It’s funny isn’t it, that one of the very things you know makes you happy is something you don’t feel like doing when you’re feeling sad. And yes, I’m so lucky to have an awesome husband 🙂

  4. Hey, Claire… You mustn’t forget you’ve also just moved continents! I’ve ”been there – done THAT” and from my experience, this can knock your sewjo for a six. It’s an odd place to be when you don’t feel like doing something you usually love to do. Thank goodness it does kick back in….. mine did with a vengeance! It’s great to hear you’re getting your happy, crafty self back. 😀

  5. I know without a doubt crafting is a must in my life. There’s always ideas, patterns, puzzles, solutions and possibilities running thru my head and creating is a release for me. The excitement and pleasure I get from seeing something come together that I’ve made with my own hands is indescribable. There’s been times in my life when I would start to feel lost inside my own mind, trapped almost. And somehow my sewing machine or trusty glue gun have pulled me out of it. It’s amazing how making some frilly hair bows or sewing a apron can lift my spirits:)

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