“Never Stop Sewing. Never Stop Growing.” You can find that on the top of 5 out of 4’s facebook page as well as their website. Every time I see it, it makes me smile because sewing has been woven into the fabric of my life as long as I can remember. Welcome to Sewing Through the Seasons Part 3.
When I was a little girl, I have sweet memories of my beloved grandmother sitting at her old treadle sewing machine, which she converted to electric once it became widely available in rural Nebraska. When I got a little older, I joined 4-H and started learning to sew myself. If I remember correctly, my first project was a cotton skirt. Eventually, I took home economics in high school although I can’t remember a single thing I sewed. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t all that interested in sewing back then and I’m sure it showed in my results! It was something my friends and I all did but I don’t remember most of us being all that passionate about it!
Fast forward down the road a few years.
The military took us away from rural Nebraska and our families. My husband and I had two children and not a lot of money. Sewing became part of my life again because it helped our paycheck to stretch a bit further. I sewed Halloween costumes, clothing for my children and pajamas but still didn’t sew a lot for my husband or myself.
We settled in Kansas.
I went to college and finished my education degree and began teaching for the public school system where we lived then eventually went back for my Master’s degree and started coordinating an early childhood program for the same school system. Those were the busy years with my husband and I both working full time and two kids in school and many activities. I could barely find time to catch my breath and sewing took a backseat although I always seemed to have good intentions. I am in awe at many of our 5 out of 4 sewists who find time to create amazing things while working full-time jobs and raising children.
Eventually, our children finished college, met their spouses and moved out. They had children of their own which gave me four grand babies to sew for.
Sewing now became a priority again as I looked ahead to retirement.
I started out learning how to quilt and sew bags, then became interested in machine embroidery. I joined every sewing page I could find on Facebook and watched YouTube videos to learn new techniques. My neighbor is an accomplished seamstress with a degree in textiles and I picked her brain routinely.
I began to rekindle my interest in garment sewing and purchased a few patterns. I loved 5 out of 4 patterns but hadn’t worked much with knit fabrics before. There were a lot of flops before I began sewing things I was proud to wear somewhere. I learned to reframe my perfectionist tendencies. In the past, I would get very frustrated with myself when I made a mistake. As time past I began to offer myself some grace now when it happened. By reminding myself that I had just created a fabulous learning opportunity for myself, I was able to get out the seam ripper, move on and rarely make the same mistake again. Funny how I used to tell my students that very thing but it never stuck with me until I applied it to my sewing life. Now I find it transferring to life in general and it has made me a much more resilient person than I was in the past.
My husband and I are both now fully retired.
We travel, spend time with grandchildren, and I go to the gym and spend lots of time in my sewing room. My life is rich in so many ways but sewing is the thing that gives it shape and structure. It presents me with new challenges, deadlines and reasons to get up in the morning.
I think that sewists sew for many different reasons that are all valid. For most of us, those reasons may change as one moves through life. In spite of the reason, sewing offers opportunities to grow that reach far beyond the confines of a sewing room. Being committed to sewing through the seasons gives the ability to truly “Never Stop Sewing. Never Stop Growing.”
Roxie is a retired educator who lives in Wichita, KS with her husband. She loves to spend time with her 4 grandchildren, traveling, and sewing. You can find her sewing through the seasons HERE.
We hope you enjoyed our Sewing Through the Seasons series. Let us know how you sew through your own seasons!