Seems like when you are in a room with a group of seamstresses, conversation will usually turn to a few standard of topics. Current sewing project(s) followed by what kind of machine(s) you use, then size of stash and the vow not to buy any more until you have sewn up what you have and, of course, how one started sewing and why.
First of all, I'm working constantly on Etsy Shop items and right now I'm altering a wedding gown.
Secondly, own a Brother CS600i, a new machine for me. I own a Brother 1034D serger, another new purchase for me this year. I love them both!
I don’t have a stash to speak of. Really. That’s not a denial. It’s the truth. I had a stash that I kept in this huge barrel. It was frustrating to rummage through and I really didn’t LOVE any of the fabrics I had stashed. So, one day I just bagged it all up and sent it to charity. Oh, the relief! No guilt for having spent too much money on stuff that just sat there. It was freeing. I could then move forward with a new start. I now do not buy anything in the way of fabrics or patterns until the need/desire/time arises. Lately, of course, I've done lots of Etsy sewing, but I still try to keep my stash to a minimum and use up what I purchase. I keep only enough scrap fabric that can be constructed in a useful article and/or can be used for some kind of sample I’m making, and then I get rid of those scraps. I don’t regret that way of doing things. It brings peace to my creation process. No voices of the fabric in the barrel calling to me and reminding me about its neglect. I am more productive, too.
Lastly, I started sewing at about age 11-12. My interest had been perked when I was younger. I always was begging my mom to let me get into her embroidery box and work on something. She never let me until rheumatoid arthritis took away the joy of that past time for her. She then, regretfully, gave up on it and turned it over to me. I was in heaven. I studied the little books and worked on scraps until I mastered, or at least could do fair enough, the stitches. I saved and bought the floss in the colors I wanted and went to work. I guess I was about 9-10 at this time. I credit this to opening my eyes to a creative process that would continue to live within me even today – the desire to create something out of nothing. I turned my interest to clothing. I wanted to sew. I pestered my mom to let me learn. She could not sew and could not teach me herself. My older sister, however, had learned and was very, very good at it, but she lived in another state. Sigh. I just did not want to wait until I was old enough to go into junior high and take sewing there. I wanted it NOW. That’s another thing about me, I’m not too patient. No too great a quality for a seamstress but I can blame it on my youth (I would like to think I am much more patient in my 50+ years than I was then). So, my sister, who is very creative and wanted to be helpful, sent me her Viking sewing machine and a how-to-sew book. Then, she sent patterns and fabric for my birthday. I was in heaven!!! I spent every spare minute pouring over this book, exploring the sewing machine and working out the basics of sewing all by myself. By the time I was old enough to take official sewing classes, I knew everything they were teaching and decided not to waste my time, arrogant as that was.
I spent my teenage years in the early 70s making almost all my clothes and even sewed for my mom on occasion. I then went to college with a degree in clothing and textiles in mind. I never did finish the degree, but I did learn exactly what I did not know about sewing, fabric and patterns. I quickly learned that I had much to learn. Humbled, I set out learning how to do it right. I loved sewing. I loved pattern drafting. I learned textiles and their many, many varieties. But what to do with such an education? I wasn’t into marketing. I couldn’t draw and design seems to much of a mind stretch for me at that time. So, I decided to work for a spell and “decide.” I found work at a local fabric store in charge of notions and eventually night manager. I worked there for 2 years and sunk most of my hard-earned money in the above-stated fabric stash but reality crept its way into my life, and I knew that I needed insurance and more than minimum wage work. I went to work at a bank. From there, I met a wonderful young man, married him (made my own wedding dress) and got about the business of home and family. I eventually had 4 little boys and 2 little girls all under the age of 11. I sewed underwear, t-shirts, shorts, pajamas, and, eventually, lacy, matching dresses for my 2 girls. I toyed with the idea, in fact actually did, sew wedding gowns and formals for clients. I made a few of those and found I was giving my time away and making perhaps only $3.00 and hour. Brides are WAY too difficult to work with anyway. I even toyed with the idea of going back to school and finishing my Bachelor’s degree. In the meantime, my girls decided homemade was not “cool,” my boys out grew the little pull on shorts and t-shirts and I had gained way too much weight to really enjoy sewing for myself. I pretty much gave up on sewing altogether only sewing an occasional quilt or wedding gown pretty much for free. Sewing was just not fun any more. So, I turned my attention 360 degrees away from sewing and trained in medical transcription starting my stay-at-home career in that line. That has worked well for the past 7 years but I’m burned out. I want to do something else. In the process of thinking “now what?” I have gone back to my roots – sewing. I have toyed for a while teaching sewing but never really felt the desire it would take to really go that direction until recently. At present, I have an organized sewing lesson course (hours of blood, sweat and tears went into that) and have had many sucessful students, children as well as adults.
I have also had a dream to sell on Etsy. I have designed a few items that have been, or soon will be, listed in my Etsy shop. I'm really just starting out but have had enough in sales to encourage me to keep going. It's a slow process and I have a lot ot learn about such things but I'm really enjoying it.
And now I've entered blog land. I've done a family blog for a couple of years now but seems I have the desire to reach out beyond the friends and family and share/learn from other with like-minded interests and goals. So, welcome. Enjoy my blog and its progression. I am looking forward to making new friends in the venture.
So, there it is. My story, my stash, my machines and my latest project. I would LOVE to have you post your story also. Really. I want to know about anyone who takes the time to read all of this. Share with me. Bring me your story, pictures, tips, techniques or whatever you want. This is your formal invitation. I look forward to hearing from you all.