Home » Sewing for stress relief – Ideas!

Sewing for stress relief – Ideas!

You know what’s good? Sewing for stress relief. I put this post together to help anyone who is looking for a crafty way to calm their nerves. Read on!

Sewing for stress relief

Sewing for stress relief

These past few weeks have been such an emotional ride for everyone, everywhere. Not only the news headlines, but it’s this time of the season that my dad’s health began to decline nine years ago. I can’t stop thinking about that time period. The only way I can process it all… is to power down, lock myself in the studio and make stuff.

This time around, I cranked up my sewing production.

Here’s the deal: I want this site to be a safe haven for everyone – I want you to come here to seek positivity and solace from stress. However you choose to respond to all that is going on in your life, sometimes it’s good to take a deep breath and collect your thoughts.

That’s where crafting comes in as therapy.  If you don’t want to go it alone, connect with friends and/or family. Sit down, create and just talk to each other. Doodle in a blank book, decorate a coloring book, sew, paint, collage, whatever settles your nerves. Anticipate the needs of your loved ones, release expectation.

I know it works for me, I feel much better these days, stronger, with a clearer focus. I use my creativity to burn off a lot of anxious energy.

That’s all I wanted to share, my mega stress release sew-a-thon!

How do you handle mental struggles, do you use art and craft to work through it as well?



Sewing for stress relief
Fabric collage bag by Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo.


Sewing for stress relief

Sewing can be an incredibly effective way to relieve stress and anxiety, and this is backed by both anecdotal evidence and scientific research. Here are some tips for using sewing as a stress-relief tool, along with relevant facts and figures:

Mindfulness and focus: Sewing requires concentration and attention to detail, which can help divert your mind from stressors and promote a state of mindfulness. This focus on the present moment is akin to meditation, which has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.

Honoring creativity: Engaging in creative activities like sewing can be therapeutic. It offers a means of self-expression and can boost your mood and self-esteem. According to a study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting, another similar textile craft, demonstrating the mood-boosting potential of sewing.

Feeling of accomplishment: Completing a sewing project provides a sense of accomplishment. This achievement can boost your serotonin levels, the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being.

Sewing for stress relief
Fabric collage purse, Crafty Chica.

Sewing for stress relief: More ways it helps!

Repetition is calming: The repetitive motions involved in sewing (such as stitching or threading) can be calming and meditative. This repetitive action can help in reducing heart rate and lowering blood pressure, similar to the relaxation response triggered by repetitive motion activities like knitting, as found in a study by the Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute.

Community: Many people find stress relief in the social aspects of sewing, such as joining a sewing class or an online community. Sharing your projects and experiences with others can foster a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation.

It helps your body, too!: Sewing can improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. While these are more physical benefits, they can also contribute to overall mental health by providing a sense of capability and improvement. NOTE: Make sure to stand up and stretch every 30 minutes when sewing for long stretches of time.

A sense of order: The process of planning and executing a sewing project can give you a sense of control in an otherwise chaotic life. Organizing fabrics, patterns, and sewing tools can be soothing for some people, providing a sense of order and routine.

Customizing your life: Sewing allows for personalization and working at your own pace. Choosing your projects and materials can be a joyful and relaxing experience in itself.


Sewing for stress relief
Fabric collage purse, Crafty Chica.

Maximize the benefits

Choose projects that align with your skill level. Overly challenging projects might lead to frustration, while too simple ones may not be engaging enough. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the process and feel the satisfaction of creation, not to add more stress.

While specific statistics on sewing and stress relief are limited, the broader field of crafting and its mental health benefits is well-documented. F

or instance, a survey by The Craft Yarn Council in America found that 85% of the respondents use crafting, including sewing, to reduce stress.

Additionally, the repetitive action in crafts like sewing has been compared to the relaxation and mindfulness found in meditation and yoga, which are widely recognized for their mental health benefits.

Sewing for stress relief
Fabric collage purse, Crafty Chica.

You don’t have to be an expert

I am a self-taught sewer and am proud. Yes, I have taken classes along the way (lots of YouTube videos!), but I started to sew because my heart yearned for it. That feeling was stronger than my fear. 

Just go for it. 

Easy beginners projects

Starting with simple sewing projects is a great way for beginners to build confidence and develop their skills. Here are some very easy projects that are perfect for first-time, self-taught sewers:


Day of the Dead pillowcase

Fast and easy unpaper towels DIY

fast and easy unpaper towels diy


DIY upcycled flannel shirt w/ a T shirt applique

upcycled flannel shirt
This was a shirt I bought on clearance at Target in the kids section!


Make a Ribbon-Trimmed Skirt

These projects are not only straightforward but also practical, providing a sense of accomplishment upon completion. Remember, the key to learning sewing is patience and practice. Don’t worry about perfection; focus on enjoying the process and learning from each project.

Zipper pouches made by Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo.


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5 thoughts on “Sewing for stress relief – Ideas!”

  1. I just love this message! Thank you, so much for all you do, for everyone, and tonight, just for me. I’m going to spend all day tomorrow, sewing! I feel blessed and happy to have you as an online friend who is so inspirational!

  2. thank you for your encouragement to your fellow crafters and the beautiful projects you shared. the fabrics are wonderful and I must find them

  3. Great message. It is sage advice for us in turmoil in these trying times…and the pouches are wonderful results. Thank you for reaching out to all our hearts.

  4. Hola amiga. Yes, crafting and sewing is my happy place. Is just another world of joy ! Creando te desprende de todo lo mundano y el tiempo se pasa divertido y divino. GRACIAS Kathy porque siempre compartes y motivas.

  5. Crafting, and specifically sewing has helped me keep my sanity over my 76 + years. My heart heard youe message loud and clear. When one of my sons passed away I turned to a new hobby, cloth doll making. I would lose my self for several hours of blessed relief at a time.


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