March! Already?! Where did the first 2 months go? I’ll tell you that at work I am neck deep in classes and sewing up samples. So it makes sense that I looked down on Jan 3rd and I am only coming up for air on March 8th.
At work right now, I am thinking about themes, serger month, bra-gust, etc., so it made me think about Women’s month. I thought that would be a great topic for my first blog, since I am passionate about Women’s topics in general. I thought that, because it was Women’s month, every sewing blogger and their mother would’ve covered it by now. What I found was that NO-ONE was talking about it, or for that fact, hardly had ever. I did find one. That’s right, one singular article from Threads magazine, back in 2017, covering historical figures of sewing, like Victorian era historical..
How could this be? I follow some very progressive sewing influencers, and nowhere on their social media or websites did they show their enthusiasm, support, or appreciation for a month dedicated to half of the populous, whose history has been that of struggle for recognition for the advancements and contribution to world history and culture and whose patronage makes up the majority of their sales.
Crap, I can feel the soap box growing under my feet. I didn’t sit down to write this kind of blog, really, I promise.
What I really wanted to write about was you, my sewing circle of friends and family:
The women who have brought me up and given me skills to do what I love to do, so I can wear my handmade items with pride.
The women who inspire me to challenge myself creatively, so that I continue to blossom in a craft.
The women whose generosity brings healing with the likes of quilts, pillow cases, and sanitary napkins ( yeah really) to our communities with donations to hospitals, foster care systems and refugee camps around the globe.
The women who are growing home based businesses to bring up families.
The women who are leading large and getting larger sewing businesses.
The women who sew for self care; as a way to slow down from the ever increasing pace of the modern world.
I just wanted you all to know that you are not invisible.
I see you!
Just in case you started wondering at this point, who the heck am I, and why am I writing a blog, here it is:
It all began back in the early 80’s, I was born to a working class family in a small and dusty, citrus farming town, north of San Diego, CA, called Escondido. The Hidden Valley. The house I grew up in was built by my grandfather. My grandparents ran a small upholstery business out of the garage, where my mother learned about sewing and about being an entrepreneur. She passed these skills and passions on to me, but my first sewing memories were making Barbie clothes with fabric scraps and a hand sewing needle. Oh, and the trips to JoAnn’s, which my kids still love to do, but not because they loved walking down the fabric aisles, petting each bolt, like I did.
Those experiences turned into upcycling clothes I thrifted in junior high and high school. I took a sewing class my freshman year, where I learned how to read patterns. I made messenger bags in college for extra cash, and later ran my own (very small and not nearly as successful) upholstery business out of my own garage. Of course, all of these things were happening in succinct time with the rest of my life stuff, sewing in the wee hours before school and work, or while my new babies were sleeping. I sewed in my kitchen at the table or in one apartment we had had a nook in the kitchen that I claimed as my “sewing room” (back before the kids were too big). In the last 6 years things really settled in for me as I began working for a sewing machine retailer. Sewing then became a focal point throughout my entire week. I worked with amazing women from all walks of life that had vast sewing experience and were excited to share their wisdom and creativity with me. I listened, watched, and just spent the first year as a sponge, absorbing it all. I was living my personal version of “How to Make an American Quilt” (as I write this, I am totally making plans to rewatch it this weekend, as it is a PERFECT Women’s Month movie. You couldn't hear it, but I totally squealed with delight).
Fast forward to the beginning of the pandemic. March of 2020. I had just laid off my staff, and then a week later was laid off too (truly a blessing with 3 small kids learning to telecommute to school). I needed self care. I turned to my sewing machine and dove head first into sewing projects, but, rather than doing something for someone else, I made myself a new wardrobe for work. I needed the positive reminder that in the not too distant future (I was really only crossing my fingers at that point) we’d all go back to work and I would love to have something nice to wear. Well, those clothes lead to some radical thinking, what if…. I had my own fabric store? What if… I could teach others what I knew? I began to dream of this fantastic store, and the more I thought about it, the more tangible it all felt! Then, inevitably, I went back to work, and fell into that rhythm again, but never losing the feeling of being so close to a dream. Another fast forward to a year after returning to work. A new job title is created within my company, IN-STORE EDUCATOR. I was intrigued. I thought about it hard, because I would be stepping down from a role as manager that I both liked and was good at. However, the Universe kept tugging at my sleeve, “Remember your dream!”, it called. Yes, yes I did!
Well, here I am! Educator, opening the first phase of my store, and sending love notes to the Universe.
My dream is finally coming true!
But I am curious, dear reader, what is the Universe tugging at you to do?
Until we chat again, keep the love of sewing alive!