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Topic: Looking for some "friends" to hold my hand and translate, TBI  (Read 1748 times)
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« on: May 15, 2010 07:03:34 PM »

Hello folks! I've been a member of Craftster for awhile, but suffered a debilitating accident in 2008. Among other things, I have a brain injury now. I still enjoy crafting, but my abilities have gone down. One of the features of my brain injury is the loss of knowledge and memories. See, if I have a skill I've had for a long time, like sewing, I don't remember the how-to, but I can do it with my hands. Like...if you told me to machine baste and gave me instructions, I would draw a blank. But faced with a machine, thread, and fabric, I could actually do it because my body remembers the skill, not the memory. I also have a hard time following written and printed instructions. Do you understand? I often don't make sense even though I try hard to get the point across.

I am going to start on a very simple project, sewing a costume. I used to be able to do some pretty awesome things, and it makes me sad that my last pre-accident costume was AMAZING, and now I can't do a darn thing. But right now I need a confidence boost. I would like to know if there are any friendly sewers out there who would be willing to step in and hold my hand as it were, and provide translation if I need it. Maybe I could type in what the instructions say and include a scan, and you could translate it in to a lengthier description? I used to be able to do all sorts of things. And I have 4259082 feet for my machines. What do they do? I don't know anymore. My first post-accident sewing was making curtains. I can't hand sew anymore because I don't remember knots or techniques (because I didn't have that much experience with it and lost the memory).

Your job would be to hold my hand and help me get back to what I've done in the past, even though I have the skills of a newb. It is hard for me, knowing what I used to be able to do, compared to the little I can do now. Its not just sewing, it is everything in my life. But right now I just need your help with sewing.

Reaching out,
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2010 09:35:20 PM »

Hi, Sadie, I'm so sorry for what you're going through.  You can absolutely feel free to post any time you want, and you'll have a whole community of people who will help you out, guiding you through whatever steps you're struggling with, and then we'll all applaud when you're done!  If you have general sewing questions you can post them here, or if you have a specific project, check out the clothing, costume, or purse forums for more specific advice.  You might even get lucky and stumble across someone who's made the pattern you're working on, or one similar.  I really look forward to seeing you around the boards, I know you're going to love our community.

Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

My wist!  http://www.wists.com/aislynn
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2010 09:40:36 PM »

Hi Sadie,
Congratulations on having the courage to reach out to others so you can relearn what you have lost.  The brain is an amazing organ and the more you do, the more likely you are to recover lost abilities.  Not all of what you have lost may come back, but you can recover a lot of what is lost.  I, for one, will be more than willing to respond to your posts when I see them (my participation on Craftster is on again, off again.) 

I hope you still have access to a rehabilitation therapist who can also help you.  Recreational therapy (sewing, for example) is one pathway to recovery.  You are fortunate that you have the body memory, but recovering your sewing skills is more complicated than just putting the words/instruction together with the residual memories that you have.  It may take much pairing and repetion before they reconnect.  Be patient, and keep at it.

« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010 01:06:04 AM »

Oh... what a bummer!  Brains sure are weird things.  I can vaguely imagine what you're going through (but very vaguely) and it must be such an adventure.  I do hope things will come back in time. (((hugs)))
Be welcome and ask anything you need.  The people here are lovely, and if one cannot help, another one will know and give you a hand!
And if you ever feel too tired or frustrated and there is nobody at hand to chat, pop in and talk to us.  Send me a pm if necessary Wink

50 projects for 2011:  15/50
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010 05:14:51 PM »

I wanted to let you know about a site called PatternReview.com because it is more sewing-centric than Craftster. I know there are some very experienced seamstresses/sewers on here, but if you don't get a lot of quick responses you can always try posting at PR. The members over there are very supportive and knowledgeable.

I hope you are progressing every day with positive results, and please know we are all here to help each other explore and learn and enjoy our hobbies.

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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2010 12:41:16 PM »

Can you make new memories? Or do you have to rely on the here and now?

You might also like to be in touch with the Stitcher's Guild Forum.  http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php  There are hundreds of very experienced sewers who would be delighted to provide whatever help you need.  They're a friendly bunch.

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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2010 01:13:19 PM »

Having suffered a brain injury myself, I have a vague notion of what you're going through. I was worried that I wouldn't be capable of remembering what to do at a sewing machine. But, like you said, my body seems to remember the how to, even if my brain has wandered away and is wondering what the body's up to now ...

The best thing I've found to do is to not compare my current items to my previous (i.e. Pre-Accident) items. Before the Accident, I was attempting to make certain that I never ever had a misplaced wrinkle, or a bad seam, or a poor fabric, or a wrong coloured thread. Now that I'm more freed of such limitations (That I'd imposed upon myself) I feel much better about my crafting. (And, I'm less ... annoyed when something goes wrong ... or not right ... whichever.)

Keep your chin up, be sure to forgive yourself for errors, Don't point errors out to other people (they find them just fine without your help; or they don't ... whichever.) Take pride that you can still sew; it hasn't gone away; it's just not as ... right there ... as it used to be.

A.T. Morel
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2010 06:03:43 PM »

Post away!  I am sure we can help you figure things out.
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