Today I was named one of the 2019 20 On The Rise by Honeybook and The Rising Tide Society.
A few weeks ago, they sent over a questionnaire asking me about various parts of my business. One of the questions they asked was about which core value of theirs I related to most. I chose "We Love What We Do" and proceeded to pen what I have called my "Love Letter to Sewing." As I have had time to reflect on the letter and on my experience over the past year as a full time artist, I became more and more grateful for sewing.
I learned to sew on a machine when I was 6 and watched the VHS tape on repeat until I understood every little part of machine. At this time I was already dabbling with hand sewing but the speed and accuracy of the sewing machine opened up so many more possibilities. My favorite stuffed cat soon became the owner of a custom jean jacket complete with his name embroidered on the back. As I started doing plays and musicals at church and with school groups, my American Girl Doll, Kirsten, always received a miniature version of whatever costume I was wearing for that particular performance. This is a skill that has grown with me over the course of my life. As a short person, I am a whiz at hemming pants. As someone married to a tall person, I have learned to let out pants hems as well.
All that to say, here is my "Love Letter to Sewing" that I shared with Honeybook and The Rising Tide Society.
Sewing is Magic
Sewing is magic. Every single stitch changes the substrate. It can build large, strong forms. It can be delicate and tiny. Sewing is my favorite thing to do. I fell in love with it long ago and am falling more in love with it all the time. I love everything involved in sewing. I love the fibers and learning about the different materials. I love sheep and their gentle demeanor and their fluffy fleece. I love how it can be used to embellish a jacket just as easily as you can repair and extend the life of a pair of pants. It is easy to learn and there are infinite possibilities.
Sewing connects generations. When my grandmother died last year, I inherited many of her sewing supplies including an unfinished embroidery project that I now will finish in her stead. Stitches are a language all their own. They can be long, loping, and graceful. They can be short, feisty, and punctuate a piece with color. They can be entirely utilitarian or solely decorative. Through sewing, I create things that beg to be touched, felt, and held. People ooo and ahh over the soft texture and they always have a moment of revelation when they realize each piece is comprised of tiny stitches. Sewing is such a practical skill with so much potential and impractical applications. There is nothing quite like it in my life and I am so grateful that every single day I get to wake up and sewing is my job.