My first sewing experiences date from when I was 18. After I graduated from high school in 1996 in Belgium, I flew over to San Antonio in Texas to become an exchange student in Winston Churchill high for one year. Because graduating over there had no extra value for me (when working in Belgium) I deceided to compose my own lesson package. One of those lessons was Home Economics class with one trimester of sewing. I liked it a lot. I made a denim dungarees dress.
After that year I went to college and the sewing disappeared. It took me 14 years to rediscover my passion with the sewing machine. I was pregnant with Stan, my oldest son, and I wanted to make my own birth treats. My mother in law helped me sew it all together. The love for sewing was back. People started asking me how I made those little bags. I got tired of mailing them one by one and a blog seemed a good solution at the time. That was the start of my blogging life.
Since then sewing has changed my life. It has given me satisfaction and self esteem in life. It is such a great feeling creating something, making it your own. Every time I make something, I hang it up in our living room like an art piece and I just look at it (or touch it).
Sewing provides me with an intellectual challenge for example when I adjust or create my own patterns.
Sewing has changed my life socially. Through my blog I met wonderful people, even good friends. I can honestly say that sewing people are nice people.
I can resume that sewing has become a part of my life. I can not see a life without it. It starts to define me.
Sewing is not something that I do. It is what I am!
Lindsy Van Espen
I don’t know if there is only one reason why I love so much sewing. In my personal experience, it was the influence of many factors.
First of all, as many of you, in my family I had really talented knitters and seamstress: I grew up watching my mom having always a project in her hands, she was always creating something; my grandma and my aunt were both seamstress for living, my other grandma was an exquisite knitter.
Second, when I have left my work and became a fist time mom, I felt the need to challenge myself other that taking care of the baby. I was living in New York at the time and sewing blogs were really popular, so I have started reading them and getting passionate about. It was a natural step to start sewing and blogging about it.
So in the last 5 years, sewing has become a constant in my life, a hobby, a life style.
Sewing (and my kids) teaches me to be patient, to learn to wait, to learn to not be afraid to make a mistake and start all over again. I am not surprised that a lot of sewers I know are also moms. Motherhood and sewing have a lot in common. Sometimes one “steals” the time to the other, but together they make the balance.
Growing up I was lucky enough to live between two dressmakers. One made gowns and sometimes our halloween costumes, and another used to set me up with a jar of buttons and needle and thread. And my mom sewed… a lot. She made some of her clothes and lots of ours… and years of halloween costumes. I always loved making things. In high school I would hack together circle skirts and costumes. But I didn’t really get into sewing until my late 20s. I was living in Boston and started taking continuing ed sewing class at the local high school.
Then I started making Halloween costumes for my niece and some other kids. And the costume making is really my favorite thing. When it’s costume time nothing else happens. I would draft my own patterns and just really wing it. My oldest niece is 13 now and I don’t think I’ve missed a halloween yet.
Then when the wee lad was a baby we moved out of Brooklyn, NY. I had more space and more time… I started reading sewing blogs and stumbled onto Kids Clothes Week. Here were a bunch of people making clothes for their kids and I was like WOW! I can do this! I was also excited to have more control over his clothes. I wanted bright, more gender neutral patterns and colors and making them allows me to really customize everything. There is very little ready-to-wear in his wardrobe.
I will admit that some of the first things I made are not holding up to well, but I’m still proud of them. And I’m so grateful for the KCW community and the sewing friends all over the world that cheer me on.
Making stuff really helps me feel sane. I don’t have as much design work as I used to and are not making as many books. Sewing has become my easy outlet.
I don’t blog much, but you can find me on Instagram.