Stitching up better health

Christeen Jacobs of Sew and Sew Sewing School.

By Taylah Eastwell

Combining her flair for self-crafted creations with a passion for brightening people’s darkest days has resulted in a rewarding business venture for Christeen Jacobs.

After establishing a successful made-to-measure bridal and evening wear business in Sydney, she has since opened a second business that is helping clients feels better, one wearable achievement at a time.

And Christeen sees the improvements in her clients’ mental health through their work at Sew and Sew Sewing School as her biggest accomplishment.

Over 15 years of teaching sewing in her Narre Warren North studio, Christeen noticed that many of the women who attended were suffering from depression and mental illnesses.

It was this that led her to branch out into the online world, creating an online beginners sewing course so her clients could continue to reap the benefits of sewing without having to leave the house on days where their mental health was suffering.

“When they would call, I would say jump on your sewing machine and they would call me at the end of the day to thank me, saying it’s what they really needed,” Christeen said.

Craft is known to provide benefits to mental health including relaxation, stress relief, a sense of achievement, reduced anxiety, increased happiness and self-confidence. Textile crafts also increase the ability of crafters to live positively with conditions of chronic fatigue, depression and other long term mental health problems.

The mental health benefits of Christeen’s online course speak for themselves, with many of her clients now running successful craft businesses of their own through her encouragement.

“I’ve got women who have started cushion businesses, children’s wear and one who suffers terribly with mental health and now makes coats and vests out of old blankets,” she said.

The online course is tailored for those wanting to learn to sew at home without any pressure, with clients having up to six months to complete it, and has a an online discussion group so participants can encourage each other and share photos of what they have made.

“I’m so passionate about the mental health course, I feel like this is what I was put on this earth to do. I’ve seen the benefits. When they get involved with sewing, they clear their mind of all their worries and it gives their brain time to heal,” Christeen said.

Anyone wanting to get in touch with Sew and Sew Sewing School can do so by contacting 0412 332 689.