Hi! I’m Rachel and I have a recently-rediscovered passion for sewing.
Sarai on Coletterie recently posted her three biggest reasons for sewing and posed the question to her readers – you can check out that post here.
I’ve always been interested in oral history and traditions, I’m always the blog reader who clicks on About Me and looks for more if I can find it. This post really got me thinking about why I sew and my journey so far, and today I wanted to take some time to let you all in on some of my sewing story.
Before we begin, I should let you know I open my mouth when concentrating and sleeping, To clarify I’m definitely concentrating here:
My sewing story begins at secondary school where we were tasked with making a pair of tie-dye pyjamas. We were a class of twenty with only six machines between us and as a bunch of surly 14 year olds, me and my friends were more interested in talking boys and drinking Dr Pepper than muscling our way to one of the always reserved machines.
As the term went on we came up with new and more inventive ways to avoid sewing, I took eight hour long sessions to cut out my very basic pattern (I’m still not keen on pattern cutting – some things never change!).
Two weeks until the end of term and confronted with a certain fail I threw myself into sewing, begging my mum to help me and answer that eternal question – how on earth do you thread that bobbin thingy?
In a fortnight I learnt everything I needed to know for making those pyjamas with my weary and clearly astonished teacher admitting they were actually pretty well made. Something strange happened that day and as I thought back as to how I’d transformed some uninspiring plain fabric into a pair of pyjamas I had to admit that sewing might not be so bad all after all.
You might think that this was the start of something special but instead I dropped sewing for two years until by chance I discovered the joys of Textile Art. I have spoken before about my enjoyment at using textiles as medium for artistic expression. It was through Textile Art that I really discovered my love of sewing, Selvedge and the holy grail of a Bernina sewing machine!
Leaving my home city of Birmingham for university and upping sticks four years later for London, my sewing life was on pause and my basic Janome machine sat gathering dust, brought out only to knock up the odd curtain or home furnishing.
After two years of working I began to feel a little lost, as a creative person working in non-creative industry I needed an outlet for personal expression and struggled to find direction. I found myself thinking back to the days of spending hours sketching and sewing and began to dabble. I immersed myself in sewing blogs and purchased my first pattern, working hard to make my very first dress. When complete I felt that rush of pride of actually creating something myself all over again. Eager to continue my passion I purchased a new pattern and rushed to take my sewing machine down from its perch at the top of the wardrobe and then catastrophe! I dropped it! My passion on hold all over again.
A year later my boyfriend bought me the best birthday present I could have hoped for – a new machine! Ever since I have thrown myself into sewing, determined to keep pushing myself further and further. I have found in dressmaking a real outlet for my creativity, I find myself rushing home from work and over to the sewing machine ready to pick up my latest project. So far I have made two dresses and skirt and discovered what it is to really own something that fits! Pretty amazing.
This is only the start of my sewing story and I hope to share much more with you all in the coming months. For the record I haven’t drunk Dr Pepper for well over ten years now, not since my friend dared me to drink a whole bottle in one go. It didn’t end well.
I’d love to hear your sewing stories, how did you discover your passion for sewing?