Today is the day of Sew Grateful Week where we are prompted to think about what sewing has meant to our lives, the support we have received, and what the sewing community has meant to each of us.
For me, sewing has been a new and exciting creative outlet. It’s also helped me connect with my love of history and fashion, since I sew almost exclusively from vintage patterns. With vintage, you can’t always find some of the pieces you want, or maybe you can find them, but they aren’t in wearable condition or aren’t in your price range. Learning to sew and using vintage patterns gives me a means of building up my vintage wardrobe, but without the cost and time-consuming hunting. Sewing has also meant a tangible connection to the past because women used to sew their own clothes many years ago, and it feels like I’m continuing something that’s bigger than just me. My grandmother sewed (though she stuck mostly to quilting), and now that I’ve learned to sew, I feel very sad that I never wanted to learn when she was still here to teach me. I don’t often think about what my late family members would say/think about choices that I make, but this case is different; I think she would have been proud of me.
The last two aspects of my post dovetail quite nicely: what type of support I have, and what the online sewing community has meant to me as a sewist. In terms of support, most of mine actually comes from the online community. People have been so kind and encouraging, even when I was just starting to blog, and it’s meant a lot to me. I do have some support in meatspace: my husband is usually excited when I’m working on something new (even more so if it’s for him), and some of my family and friends know I sew and always say such nice things about my work. But they only see the end results, and I don’t share much with family and friends with respect to my sewing. Ironically, I’m shy about my accomplishments and hobbies; it was impressed upon me as a child that it was rude to brag about things like that, so I tend to keep quiet about my creative pursuits with people who know me. But online, I feel free to share what I’m working on and get excited, because so many of you are also excited about sewing. I’ve been so impressed by the online sewing community: people are so proud of one another, so positive, so generous, and so kind. It’s sort of the opposite of what many of us think of when we think of online interactions, I think. I don’t comment on most of the blogs that I follow, but even just reading along and reading the comments sections is inspiring. And I can’t say enough about how exciting it is to get email notifications that someone “liked” a post I wrote, or followed this tiny blog, or left a comment. That kind of real-time support from strangers (some of whom are becoming acquaintances, since we comment back and forth!) helps me stay positive and engaged.
So this week, as I try to be mindful of my sewing and all the joy it brings me, I’m especially grateful for the following things: other sewists online, dumb luck, vintage patterns and notions, the support of a few close friends/loves/family, the abilities that I have (which, though not the best, are good enough to help me make nice things!), the people who read this blog and who leave me such wonderful comments, the historical significance that sewing has for me, and the creative opportunities that sewing affords me.
I wish I could express my appreciation for all of you adequately, but I feel like that’s not possible! I’m so happy to be a part of such an amazing group of people who embody so many of the best aspects of human nature and who possess such immense talent and creativity. You all have helped make my life better and more meaningful, and I’m “sew” grateful for that. (Sewing pun FTW!) Thank you for being awesome!