I’ve never been super into sewing. To be honest, I was always a little intimidated by it because my Mom, Sandi of Seams Sew Cool, is a REALLY good sewer (check her out!). She runs a crazy successful sewing school in Duluth, MN teaching kids to sew, and she’s the type of person who can just look at something and know how to sew it. She even made my wedding dress!
She was always an encouraging teacher, and though I explored creativity in lots of different ways throughout my childhood, I could never quite catch the sewing bug.
Things started to change though when I went off to design school and started living on my own. I was interning at a fabric showroom, and would take home all the discontinued fabrics that they would otherwise throw out. I ended up with stacks and stacks of 28″ x 28″ fabric pieces, and decided to turn them into pillows for my apartment because, well, they were free (which was a big factor back then). Plus I could design them to be the exact color, shape and size I wanted.
My mom, excited her daughter was finally taking an interest in sewing, set me up with one of her older sewing machines, taught me how to thread the machine (which I still get confused and call her with questions on to this day), and even drove down from Duluth to give me a mini lesson. The first set of pillows were a little choppy (okay a lot choppy) and stuffed with synthetic fiber fill from the craft store (because again it was cheap!), but I loved them. They were totally my style, different from what you could buy in stores, and they cost almost nothing to make. I wish I had a picture of those pillows, but alas you’ll have to paint the picture of the jewel-toned goodness circa 2006 in your mind.
Now I’m not saying I found my life’s passion in sewing and went on to be this master sewer (because that most certainly did not happen), but what I found through sewing was a love for home DIY. Learning to sew was a big jumping off point in understanding how to work with the resources around me and flex my creative muscle to find home decor and design solutions on a budget. And a decade later, I’m now making a living freelance writing and blogging about just that, Home DIY.
That first collection of pillows from college? They’re long gone, but I’m still sewing pillows for our house, only now I’ve actually purchased the fabric (!), they’ve got straighter, reinforced seams and are much fuller and stuffed with feathers.
Don’t let a limited budget stop you from exploring your creativity. Use the resources around you to simply start somewhere…anywhere, because who knows where it will lead to!
How Learning to Sew Changed Everything