Sewing Mends The Soul…

I’ve always stared longingly at sewing machines, even going so far as the 4H Club back in the days of my girlhood, but I’ve never been successful in actually sewing anything that someone could wear without some serious skill in maneuvering (think Cirque du Soleil) and a very healthy dose of self-esteem.

We all have our limitations.

I then tried knitting, to which my patient and dear friend Karen can attest, and made an afghan that became a crooked scarf for our bearded dragon. Moving on…

Here’s the thing, I never give up. I figure, I come from a long line of English women who could knit and crochet with the best of them; for crying out loud, my Great Grandfather from Austria was nearly seven feet tall and a military gentleman, yet he was known for his extraordinary embroidery skills (I know). So what’s the problem here?

Fast forward a few years. While Erin and I were spending a few days together getting the shop up and running, I reminded her of the time that I insisted upon sewing my own skirts –roughly ten years ago. At the time, I had purchased the fabric and brought it to her with high expectations of looking fabulous for work that week. I’m an idealist.

Erin can sew. Really sew. When I arrived that day she was just finishing a mosaic of some sort and was wearing a dress she had made. Annoying.

Her task was to teach me and I would participate in finally making my own clothes–and then check that one off the old bucket list. After an hour or so, after I demonstrated impressive skill in running crooked hems and not being able to operate a sewing machine because they are obviously all faulty, she made me a few that I still wear to this day.

Why am I sharing all of this? Is it a story of failure that I learned to accept? If you know me, you know that isn’t the case. I’ve learned that all of these muffled experiences would eventually lead to something down the road…the problem is that I don’t ever know what that is exactly and patience is a virtue I seriously lack.

Here are two things I love: writing and creativity. I already write things, and I already create things (note: the shop), and one might argue that writing is, in fact, creating; however, I wanted our shop–our brand–to involve some element of inspiration for women that somehow involved writing. The blog satisfies that, but the blog is not a product that is tangible for me, it is more a means of expression–conceptual. So, I settled on the idea of a journal. Perfect.

Time to get to work! After many trials, tribulations and tubes of acrylic paint, I decided that the art-cover approach was not what I was looking for. And so a few weeks went by and I sat on it. I read  and researched, as I do, and I finally found a fantastic art store near a local art school in the city where I work. I then began to teach myself how to make my own journals.

Guess what? It turns out that this involves SEWING if you are truly going to do it yourself. And guess who can sew a darn fine journal? That’s right, my friends. It is downright therapeutic, in fact–after a few needle stabs and learning curves. Who would have thought that it was PAPER I was meant to sew all along?

journal6 journal5 journal4 journal3 journal2 sew journal1

Every piece put together by hand, right down to the cover sections and hand-selected inside and cover paper that I will share with you in a later post. It hasn’t arrived yet, but it supports a cooperative of women from Nepal and makes me happy. It’s also beautiful. While I’m waiting, I’m sewing the inserts–six signatures of lovely cream artist paper, hand-cut and selected by me. No sewing machines involved.

This journal was my learning journal as I followed instructions and really took my time. Now I can sit and stitch with ease,  and everyone in the house is safe and happy this winter… because there will be no more ugly sweaters, scarves or similar atrocities. Just books. There will always be books.

XOX,

Carrie

Coming soon to an etsy shop near you.



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