Welcome to the Creative Mothers series – a fortnightly series of guest blogs for people to reflect on the impact of parenthood on their experience of personal creativity. If you would like to take part with your thoughts, please take a look at the Creative Mothers page and do get in touch.
We can never second-guess what the impact of having a baby will have on any of us in any area of our lives. Today Become Mum shares her journey with creativity against the backdrop of her experience – from a surge in creativity when pregnant through a dip post-birth and finally an emergence into revitalized passions and a new project.
I have only been sewing as a hobby for a couple of years. I started out with a second hand sewing machine that I picked up for free from Freecycle in Canberra. I obtained it specifically for a school I was working with at the time so that I could teach the kids basic sewing. Although I had not sewn anything since high school, I felt confident that I would still be able to sew in a straight line! I really started to get in to sewing more when I was pregnant with my son Master X. I revitalized a lot of my old hobbies at this time like knitting and I even attempted to crochet again, but failed with the curved needle artistry. I then began to sew basic items like no seam reusable cloth liners; cloth wipes, and then moved on to seamed tablecloths and bookcase coverings. Just before the baby arrived I experimented with reusable panty liners.
I stopped sewing after Master X was born, except for more cloth liners, as we required them. I attempted some hemming also, but failed. I felt like my severely sleep deprived head just was not able to cope with the creativity required in sewing. I stopped for about five months. It has only been this past month that I have taken up sewing again from the encouragement of family and friends, and have decided to merge my two creative passions (for the moment, I used to be obsessed with theatre and music at other times) of charity shopping for bargains and sewing into an idea called Sew Functional; upcycle sewing of functional items that are made from recycled functional items.
Charity shopping for fabrics requires a degree of creativity also as it is not always immediately apparent what use I can have for things that I find. I try to use as much of the fabric as I can. For example last week I excitedly purchased two bright young children’s duvet covers for blanket projects. Once I had cut the covers of their borders though I became more excited that I could use the trimmings for toy and dummy fasteners than I was about the plan for the blankets. I ended up churning out some forty dummy and toy clips last week. Yes, when I get into it, I really get stuck into it.
I think that my creativity has taken a new turn since having my son. However I believe that my psychotic episode brought on by postnatal depression has had a huge role to play in this as it changed the way that my brain functioned for a time. I love that I am now able to make things for other people in a functional way, and use saved fabrics from charity stores. I don’t know if I would have had the idea of Sew Functional if it weren’t for having my baby.
Become Mum hosts a fabulous guest blog series called PND Solidarity Stories. If you wish to share your experience of Perinatal Mental Illness in a supportive community please click here for more details.