Carpet Jacket

I haven’t been sewing for a few weeks now. Well, I’ve tried to sew a couple of t-shirts and just found myself going, “meh….” and not being fulfilled in any way. So I thought to myself, “Now Miss Sunni, you’ve been feeling rather badly about yourself and life lately, so get out of this rut and make that thing that you know will help. A jacket.” Yes, even in my positive self affirmations I can be rather shallow. But it’s times like these when a girl needs a something she can turn to, that she does well, and gives her a spot of delight. Tailoring a jacket is a most welcome and much needed delight at present. So a jacket – just when its about to turn very warm out – it is.


With that, we recently acquired this rather thick cotton tapestry looking fabric in the shop. Has a southwestern inspired motif to it and the coloring was just perfect – for me. One of our regular customers came in just the other day and there we sat, just oogling it. And it was then that it hit me that the jacket I need to make for my shallow heart delight needed to be made from this rather amazing textile.


You know, its an interesting thing to be talking about making a something in a time of, well, need. I’m craving my old creative happy-go-lucky self and she’s been missing-in-action (serious action too) and just needs a bit of a boost that really can only come from within. It really could be anything if it wasn’t sewing too. Painting a picture, writing a piece of music (yes, Mr. AFS, that one’s for you), writing down a really good story, planting a garden, etc. I’ve just been needing something that will make me feel like I’ve got a bit of my old magic back. Ever felt that way before? The ability to create something, from very start to very finish, and then wear it, gives one the most unbelievable sense of worth. And worth is something that I need to focus on feeling, because for reals, I am worth it.

Have you turned to sewing – or some other creative vocation – when you are in distress? Tell me some of your feel goods about sewing, because right now, that’s what I totally need and want to hear. Wish me luck. This jacket is most definitely a true labor of love – for myself.


34 thoughts on “Carpet Jacket

  1. All work and no play makes Sunni a sad girl! You know how to fix it, and you have already begun. That is going to be an absolutely fabulous jacket; I can’t wait to see it. I read the book referenced in Diana’s comment about flow when it first came out in the 1980’s. There is more to the saying, “go with the flow” than people realize. You are lucky that your flow activity is so productive and leaves you with a beautiful product.

  2. I so hear you on this. A few years ago, I found myself in the middle of a major bout of depression and one of the things that I did was make a list of projects to work my way through. I made a list of cake recipes I’d been wanting to try, young adult books I’d been wanting to read, knitting projects I wanted to try just because they seemed interesting. There was no pressure to finish and no deadlines. From the outside, it probably looked like I was procrastinating or avoiding more “important” things, but it turned out to be a really cathartic, really therapeutic way to remind myself of who I was and what I was capable of.

  3. You go girl! Thanks for the honesy and yes, you are worth it. We all are, sometimes we just lose our way for a little while. Sewing for me allows me to be connected to that creative juice inside me. It does make one feel good to create something with our own hands. Can’t wait to see the jacket.

  4. It is funny that I’m reading your post and just ran across this post ( this morning. It talks about creativity and depression. I don’t truly get depressed, but I do get very blue and foggy.

    I hope you work your way out of whatever yours is. This jacket promises to be awesome. Hopefully it will do the trick. I hope you will share the process with us.

    My best,

  5. Sunni girl, all your followers love you to pieces. Cheer up and keep on helping us with our sewing addictions!!! We all depend on your so cute remarks and personality, and don’t forget …sewing smarts too!!!

  6. Hi! I got into sewing for realz when I was going through a depression. I get it, there is no intelectual or business-like occupation that gives the same feeling of accomplishment as manual labor. Bonus: sewing pretty things makes us feel pretty (or generous)!

  7. When I had a miscarriage last year, I took a fortnight off work and sewed every day. What I made wasn’t that great, in fact it was pretty unwearable (but I did save it eventually), but I found the process to be really carthartic. I find sewing absorbing, but not completely so, so it allowed me to come to terms with things and think things through without overthinking or making myself feel worse. It definitely helped the healng process.

    Happy to say (because this comment needs a cheery ending), that I gave birth to a healthy boy 7 weeks ago! Hope you start to eel better soon too.

  8. I’ve followed your blogs for a long time with great admiration for all you have done and your great get up and go. But, here comes a time when you can over extend yourself so indulge yourself with a rest and a little bit of me time. Getting down to creating something beautiful for yourself or to look at is good therapy, but don’t be too hard on yourself if doesn’t come out exactly as you plan. Just accept what emerges.

    In a few weeks time with all the sunshine around you, you will feel better. Wish there was something more that I could do for you!


  9. Sewing is one of the main things keeping me from getting completely bummed out right now. I haven’t been working for the past year (only about 6 months of that time was actually planned) and sewing gives me something to do with my time that makes me feel productive and good about myself. The only problem is that as my unemployment drags on I have to tighten my purse strings more so I’ve gotta make sure I keep to a tight budget for sewing. But I guess most of have to budget for our hobbies anyway.

    Glad your jacket is bringing you a spot of happy, it’s going to be beautiful!

  10. I get depressed/stressed when I HAVEN’T been sewing/creating. And sewing for others on a deadline does NOT count. I like the feel of the material, the ideas of what it could be, a smooth perfect seam, a nice handsewn hem. Working with the fabric is just nice. Oh, and no deadlines! At the moment I am knitting (to recover from a bout of deadline sewing), but there’s a cute dress waiting to be sewn up this weekend. I am hoping to make friends with the serger. We are merely acquaintances at the moment.

  11. Long time lurker first time commenter. I have learned that when you’re in a funk the ONLY thing that actually matters is not engaging in activities that make things worse. I used to gain an illusion of control by eating two days a week: this made things worse! Reward yourself with good feelings for this victory over the human tendency to dig a deeper hole… We all do this In different ways, maybe lashing out at a friend, skipping a social commitment. You are not doing these things and that is worth recognising and celebrating.

    Your brain will chew over things in its own time, a commitment to do something nice for yourself is a great way to spend the meantime. And when it all gets too much, I find irrational comfort in the statement “I can just bear this” (say it out loud – Seriously!) and your new jacket will serve as a reminder to you the next time you feel like things are getting out of control. You can wear it and remind yourself what you’ve come through already, like a fab suit of armour.

    Love that the sewing community has a little mental health support service going here. That’s worth celebrating too 🙂

  12. Sounds familiar!

    I tend to lose the ability to create when “in distress”…I end up tidying?

    When i am back to normal the house is a mess But I don’t care because i am creating?sewing again….Jacket looks very interesting will be keeping an eye out for the reveal. keep smiling..
    bestest wishes daisy j x

  13. Oh yes, sewing has been my savior through and through. When I’ve had a good day, I come home and sew and when I have a bad day, i do the same thing, see. To show you its power, I started sewing when I discovered my mom’s old sewing machine 6 months after she passed away. I think it was her telling me what my destiny would be.

    Sending positive vibes your way.

    Have you checked out Kenneth King’s carpet coat? If not, you must! You can look it up in Threads Magazine.

  14. Yes yes yes! At a time when I feel I’ve lost myself, sewing makes me feel like there is something capable (and worthwhile) about me. And it gives me an activity to pour my heart into, to give all of my attention to (when I have the chance to do it), and becoming lost in something like this is exactly what I need to feel good.

  15. absolutely! we’ve had some rough times over the years, and being able to focus on something other than life’s problems and make something beautiful is so rewarding. hang in there! can’t wait to see the jacket, the fabric looks amazing!

  16. Sewing is my salvation. I NEED to sew, and to create, and to ignore the humdrum of what passes for “life” much of the time. Seek solace in petting your fabrics, dreaming of new design lines, and watching your dreams become reality. Best, Sunni!

  17. I’m really interested to see what this jacket looks like. I love your style and the way you express yourself through fabrics and the clothes you make. Your post raises some interesting ideas about creativity, which others have commented on. Hugh MacKay writes in his book “what Makes us Tick? ” that creativity is a powerful tool for self-expression and an outlet for truly getting to know oneself (I paraphrase). To deny oneself time for creative outlets is to deny oneself of access to one’s soul. I found this to be a very powerful concept, but I am sure I am not alone when I say I have often found clarity (and calmness) about other areas of my life when sitting in my sewing room. I thoroughly recommend this book…..and time sewing!

  18. I can’t wait to see the finished jacket. I love, love, love the fabric. I have to create to ward off the blues. That’s a given for me. I work PT in a fabric store and I sew for customers/friends. I am exposed to beautiful fabrics, wonderful patterns and other creative people all the time. So when life gets in the way and I am unable to create for myself or my family I find myself feeling a bit lost. When I can’t create, sometimes it’s enough to just walk around my house or open closets and say “I made that and that and that.” It helps to remind me that I am creatively productive.

  19. Hang in there, Sunni! Sewing–or anything creative–is definitely one of the most therapeutic activities. It can put one in a meditative state and stimulate the soul. I can’t meditate in the traditional yogic sense (I always end up thinking about Kung Fu Panda–why?), but sewing is a good substitute. I think it’s because sewing combines both sides of the brain, the creative and the technical, and even with a TNT pattern you end up having to solve little problems, which increase the sense of accomplishment. And it also helps us work through other things going on in our lives in an indirect way, giving us just enough mental and emotional space to be more objective about our problems, so we can come to terms with them. And with that GORGEOUS fabric, you’ll have a valuable new piece of pretty to feel good about once you’re done.
    Know that all your Interwebs buddies are cheering for you, Sunni. Clichés like “this too shall pass” become clichés for a reason. And you’ll be stronger for it.

  20. So well expressed, Sunni! I totally agree – and the way I look at is, those of us who sew and can sew well, are in possession of a great gift which needs to be used. It is self-nurturing at its best! That jacket is going to be stunning!

  21. Sunni, thank you for being so real all the time. I often have funks that I end up in, and most of the time, any type of crafting/creating will help pull me through: I might stop sewing and knitting, but I’ll start baking, or tatting, or something like that.

    There are definitely times, though, (the really bad ones) where I’m so in a funk that I can’t/don’t create. Usually, what I do then is the prep work for a new project (cutting, threading bobbins, fusing interfacing, whatever). It’s usually the boring stuff I won’t want to do when I do get to feeling creative again, and it’s sort of an affirmation that I know I’ll get through this; things will get better, they must since I’m getting things ready for the next round. It’s sort of a positive catch-22 I put myself in, where I obviously have faith I’ll get through it, even if I don’t really feel like it, so then I end up feeling like I’ll get through it, ha!

  22. I completely understand what you mean. The last year and half has been a surreal shit-storm for me and sewing a big, “impressive” project (a vintage, tailored coat) was a life-saver. Every time I start to get depressed and angry and frustrated I think about the coat and realize I am capable of good things and I’m not a hopeless fuck-up.
    Hang in there. You’ve got a ton of fans – literally people who admire and respect you and think you have great value – things will get better.

  23. Okay – new reader here. I’m thinking I need three yards of that same fabric for a little jacket, too. I have some blue & white big beads that I’ve been saving for years for a necklace, but I refused to make it up until I had just the right cloth to wear it with. I looked for it on your shop site, but didn’t see it. If you have three yards left, will you please email me at the addy shown and give me the particulars, i.e. fabric content (all cotton?), width, price, etc. Thanks – and please show us the finished product, too.

  24. I have found that putting on great music helps my mood lift dramatically. And singing to it as well. Especially good when doing my sewing. Every person gets ‘the blues’ some times – and music – cheery happy boppy stuff is just the best..think 1950’s rock n roll for seriously happy vibes.

  25. Enjoy the time sewing for yourself. When your time is so heavily invested in a business, even one related to such a great love as that we have for all things sewing, the passion gets buried under the “need to do NOWs”. My soul desperately needs a few days of creating for me rather than for others, and I surely feel the strain when I don’t indulge myself on a fairly regular basis. Don’t let yourself feel any guilt for that – take the time to treat yourself. And your wardrobe, as well as your life, will be the richer for it!

    Oh, and that’s fabulous fabric for your jacket, too!

  26. I can totally relate to this! I’ve had a lot of ugly family drama going on around me this month, and it’s been really stressful, and I’ve found myself sewing more than ever. The only thing that’s problematic is when I have a fail in a situation like this, it’s really devastating! I nearly cried when I realized I had goofed up plaid matching the other night! I’ve also been spending a lot of time in my flower bed in the evenings lately- it’s really soothing to water, weed, and prune while thinking about my day.

  27. Yes, I do creative things during depression/grief. Even if I have to force myself to work on projects while I’m making them, it helps lift my spirits a little when I can look back at the end of a day or week and see the things I’ve accomplished.

  28. I (re)started knitting in the last year of my PhD (also sewed a lot). In fact I was so stressed that plonking myself down in front of Youtube and knitting obsessively was sometimes the only form of relaxation that was actually relaxing.

  29. Love the fabric! I’ve turned to my sewing after many years. I’ve just been made redundant and I didn’t see it coming. I have to say I felt so down about it but thankfully I have a great husband who is supportive and taking up my sewing again has started to make a difference to my confidence. Good luck with your project! Xx

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