It took me a long time to really find sewing. Let’s be honest here. Some of that was marked by my own impatience. Some of that was because I am a creative rule breaker and wanted to do it my way.
Despite these obstacles, the spark to sew was there early on. It’s amazing to see and feel the same passions I felt from a memory long ago.
Just for fun, before I share the story, I have to highlight the connections to what I do today:
- My first sewing memory involves making doll clothes. (It was my only attempt until my own daughter fell in love with dolls.)
- Beautiful fabric (I was smitten by the fabric and still am today)
- Awe and wonder that flat fabric can transform into a beautiful 3 dimensional useful thing.
- Seeing the potential of something and having a spark to create it.
- The frustration and disappointment of a failed sewing project. (My passion today is to demystify and simplify the sewing process so others can feel empowered.)
Through my hands I can create the impossible.
(My first memory of sewing, 8 years old.)
With scraps of fabric and a needle and thread in hand, I sat down with an idea and determination to sew my doll a dress. Oh, the lovely fabric, silky between my fingers. The excitement, the thrill, the possibilities of what that simple piece of fabric could become was endless and amazing.
I had sat by my mom’s side as she sewed my clothes, so I knew it could be done. Needles, thread, scraps of fabric were common and familiar but seeing it in action and doing it yourself are two different experiences.
Undeterred I cut the fabric into an amazing doll dress. Just the process of cutting started to form the fabric into the reality of a mini dress. It was exciting and thrilling and amazing all rolled into one. With excitement and haste I joined the fabric pieces together with simple stitches, in and out, up and down with needle and thread.
The dress wasn’t complete until it was on the doll. This was the culmination, the awaited moment to see that flat piece of fabric turned into a lovely doll dress. The work, the process, the effort, all pointing to this rewarding moment.
Little dolly lost her dress in the act of it being put on. She didn’t have a chance to wear her new gown because it disintegrated and fell to pieces as it was slipped on. My creation lay as a piled of ruined rags, the beautiful creation gone. My loose stitches near the edges of the woven fabric pulled apart and shredded the dress. It was unsalvageable, gone.
Frustration burned in my cheeks. Why? What had gone wrong? The fabric had properties and rules I did not understand or comprehend. What had seemed so amazing now seemed utterly impossible and endlessly frustrating, so I put it down. I put down the needle, the thread, the fabric, and any interest or desire to sew for years.
Sewing was frustrating the first time but this story does have a happy ending. The biggest take away is that I have felt that excitement to sew and then the frustration of a failed project (many times!). I know I’m not the only one because I have heard the same from many of you! When I think about my life experiences and why I am making doll clothes patterns today it is amazing to recognize some of the same thoughts and feelings that push me on today. The awe and wonder is still here today, we truly can create the impossible. At the same time I champion simplicity, in straight forward clear projects. We can do this!