This is the introduction to our Sewing Through the Seasons series that will take place over the next month. Every Wednesday, we have a new sewist who will be joining us and sharing more about their sewing adventure.
“How do you do it?”
“How on Earth do you get anything done?”
“I can’t believe you have time to sew let alone run a business!”
I’ve heard all of these and many more comments over the years. The bottom line is that I choose this. I started really focusing on my sewing when I was pregnant with my third child. At first, I was on a hand-me-down machine that desperately needed to be serviced and I thought I was just terrible at it. I had sewn before, but never really with the intent to grow the skill. Now that I desperately wanted to carve out a new identity that was mine, I had this machine that just seemed to laugh at and mock me. I would put the fabric down and the machine would literally chew it up and push it out the side. Sewing through the seasons, in this case, meant to just keep on trucking, even when I wasn’t always happy with the results!
You know the drill. You take the machine to get serviced and they tell you that it’s just not worth the cost. This is where my husband enters the story. He saw me actively pursuing a hobby and wanted to help, so he called my great aunt (who is a seamstress) and asked which machine he should pick out for me as a gift. The moment I sewed my first stitches on the new machine, I was blown away by the fact that it sewed in a straight line! ha! This is the gateway where a hobby morphed into a passion.
Fast forward a few years and double the number of children and here I am, still sewing. I don’t always make time for it as I should, but I know that the act of sewing will help center my brain and calm my nerves. It’s really as essential as exercise for me. A few years ago, some family and friends embraced a movement called praying in color. Through coloring, they found time to really focus on whatever they felt was necessary–whether they viewed it as prayer, meditation, therapy, you name it. I’ve never embraced coloring or bullet journaling, but I view my sewing time the same way. It does something to my brain that just brings me a sense of calm.
So, how do I do it? In pieces, one step at a time. I’ve realized that I’m more likely to be interrupted or asked to do something else if I’m working at my computer than if I’m actively sewing. I also invite my kids to participate as much as possible. I ask them to pick out fabric, sit in my lap, help me tape patterns, and whatever else I can think of in the moment. My sewing space is very public and this has a lot of pros and cons. The pros are that I can steal a minute here and there easily. The cons are that I’m frequently interrupted. All of this is okay with me because it’s just the season I’m in. Sometimes I have to make myself stop what I’m doing and focus on whichever child needs the most attention at a given time for whatever reason. It’s all an ebb and flow, give and take, and finding balance is hard but essential work to maintaining ME.
I often refer to a current stage for my family as a season, hence “Sewing Through the Seasons.” Over the next few weeks, we’ve invited 3 other sewists in our community to share about sewing in their current season of life. We invite you to read along every Thursday and see if anything connects and helps you feel more at home. Got a different point of view? We’d love to hear it! Building a community takes input from as many people as possible and we value you!