Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thoughts on Sewing

It's been just over a year since I was gifted my first sewing machine by my mom for my 30th birthday. My request to her for a machine elicited both excitement and a bit of confusion - she didn't think I would get the sewing bug for at least another decade or so. Ha! I started out with a basic tote bag class at a local sewing studio and the rest, they say, is history.

To say that I've fallen in love with this new hobby of mine is a wee bit of an understatement. I can't figure out why in the world I didn't jump into the sewing world after college, when I first toyed with the idea. Something about the investment of a sewing machine was too much for me to handle fresh out of college and heading to grad school, so instead I took up cooking - a hobby that has not only served me well, but makes my husband very happy, too. Even though I don't regret the decision, I'm still bummed that it took me 30 years to really learn how to sew.

My mom has a different take. She thinks that I wouldn't have had the same experience that I'm having now because my resources of both time and money are greater than they were 10 years ago, which I have to admit, is a valid point. Not to mention the amazing resource that I have found in the online sewing community. None of my close friends sew, which means that you sewing bloggers have been the people that I have looked to for inspiration, support and a general sense of community. I've learned as much from you folks as I have in my local brick and mortar sewing classes. I've also been inspired to try things that I would have shied away from had I been going at this sewing journey alone.

The thing that has shocked me the most is how much I have learned in the past year. Sure, I still haven't tackled pants or tried to make a jacket, but I've grown so much as a sewist in the past 12 months. Things that seemed daunting last July are now done without a second thought. I've also gotten to a point where I really, really like the clothes I'm making for myself. A few things I've made recently are in heavy rotation in my closet and I'm just as pleased with them as my favorite RTW garments.

While I know that success at hobbies isn't really genetic, it kind of feels like sewing is in my blood. My grandmother was a fabulous sewist and quilter and my mom continued that tradition for many years. I just seem to "get it" when it comes to sewing in general, making difficult or fiddly tasks a bit easier to tackle. I know that my mom is quite happy with my sewing progress and I would like to think that my grandmother would be proud as well.

I'm even more excited about sewing now than I was when I started my first beginner class. There are still so many garments I want to make and techniques I want to try. I'm looking forward to continuing to push outside of my comfort zone and expand my sewing skills even more. I think I'm really just getting started....

18 comments:

Susan said...

You have accomplished a lot in only 12 months. I think I see a jacket and pants in your near future, too! You have the talent for sure.

~Sherry~ said...

I can't believe you've only been sewing for a year! You've made some beautiful things - keep it up!

rosemarie said...

Amber - you have done very very well for a year! Kudos to you and look forward to your future creations. I'm heading out to your neck of the woods for Labor Day weekend. PMd you.

Leslie said...

I like this post. You've done an amazing job your first year!

jlynn said...

what I've learned about sewing since age of 12 (I'm now 62). You are right it is in your blood. You can't not sew. As you age you find that it is such a part of you. What you sew at 12 years old is not what you'll sew at 62. You'll never tire of sewing because you'll always want to try new things and try to get better. I am so happy for you. You have found a hobby that will take you through life - the good times and bad.

Gail said...

Consider yourself lucky that you started at 30. Some younger women (including my own daughters) look down domestic arts. I've sewn on and off since I was 12, but only learned to sew properly when I started looking at blogs and joined a local sewing guild. PS I'm now 51.

Faye Lewis said...

Congrats on your first year! Hope you have many more happy returns of the day!

stitchywitch said...

We're the same age - and I took up sewing at 30 also, wonder if that's a thing? Anyway, I think you are an amazing sewist, and certainly talented. I can't believe you've only been sewing for a year!

Eugenia said...

You have achieved so much and made so many beautiful garments in the last year. You've definitely found a hobby that you have a great talent for!!

Debbie Cook said...

"I think I'm really just getting started...."

I feel the same way and I've been sewing for about 9 years now. There's just SO MUCH to do and learn that it never gets boring.

Silvia said...

You're definitely talented in sewing and how wonderful is it to wear your talent! Although my mom sews I can't say the same about myself that I have it in my blood. So my hats off to you!

Lindsay T said...

Ditto what everyone else said about all you've accomplished. I think we all sew when the time is right. There was a long period when I did no sewing at all (my kids were young). You may end up being the same once you have kids. But then you come back to it and it's just as rewarding.

Karin said...

I am really glad that you have been blogging about it all along the way. I enjoy seeing everything you make and find it inspiring. I can't wait for the journey into trousers :)

Cat said...

Good for you! Your pieces really do look great. Where are you taking your classes at? I've been having a hard time finding a general beginners class in OC.

Winnie said...

I really can't believe that you've only been doing this for a year. I agree with you re: having resources and money to take up the hobby. I've always wanted to be a photographer but getting a camera was definitely not an option 10 years ago, when I scouted for free pizza on campus to avoid having to pay for lunch ;-)

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

I could've written this post word for word - I feel the exact same way as you. Sewing is such a happy obsession that I'm a bit bummed that I didn't discover this passion earlier. But I do agree w/ your Mom that we have better resources now that we're 30 (I'm 30 too!). I also think I have the necessary self-confidence now to rock homemade clothes. I might not have 10 years ago when I was an immature college grad - I have more confidence and self-awareness now. It takes guts to step out in something you're made yourself!

Here's to another year of happy sewing.

wan said...

you know i'm totally in awe of your fantastic sewing skillz! you've accomplished so much in a year. so awesome! you are my sewing hero.

Tasia said...

I think you're just getting started, too! The more you learn, the better you get, and the more successful projects you turn out - it all just leads to more sewing! I agree, it's awesome that there are so many sewing bloggers to learn from and be inspired by! Glad I found your blog and happy sewing! Here's to the next 12 months!