Thankful {for} Sewing

When I originally signed up for the Thankful Sewing Blog Tour, hosted jointly by mahlicadesigns and Sewing with Sarah and Sewing By Ti, I had planned simply to make my dress for the Christmas season and touch briefly on how I’m thankful that I can sew because it means the clothing I wear fits me. And that’s true … I am so thankful that I’m able to make myself unique beautiful garments that are tailor-fitted to my measurements without the boutique or couture price tags … but there’s so much more to it! Last week I drove 22 hours (each way) for vacation and had LOTS of time to think about life and other things since I was the sole adult in the car and my 12-year-old co-pilot had her earbuds in for most of the trip … and all that thinking changed my idea for my Thankful Sewing tour post to be about being Thankful FOR Sewing (I hope the tour hostesses don’t mind).

Still with me? If so, please be cautioned that I’m about to lay my emotions bare and I don’t have a new sewing project to talk about (sorry in advance for the lack of pictures today), so if you’re not interested in feelings feel free to skip to the end and enter the tour giveaway.

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It’s been nearly three and a half years since my first post here at EYMM, which was right after I began working as Kymy’s assistant. My head was in such a different place during the few months before she approached me about this job. I had sewed some things for myself through pattern testing for Kymy and other PDF pattern designers, but mostly I wore sweatpants and ill-fitting old shirts because I was staying home all the time and didn’t see any reason to dress nicely since “nobody’s going to see me anyway.” My youngest boy was just a baby and we’d had a rough winter of him not gaining weight while breastfeeding. I was struggling with guilt and hating my body for more than one reason. Looking back now, I think I had a touch of postpartum depression but in the moment I had no idea. I just didn’t feel good enough to do anything right, so why care how I look.

When Kymy asked if I’d be interested in working for EYMM, I was completely unsure that I could come up with content for blog posts. Of the list of tasks she laid out with the position, blogging was the thing that I felt I might not be able to handle.  Sewing something and taking pictures of myself modeling? And then writing about it and putting it online for anyone to see? It sounded so scary. Who would be interested in what I made or what I had to say? I was really struggling with whether I would be good enough to not get fired after my first blog post.

My best friend visited me that summer and she gave me the push I needed to tell Kymy yes. I’m forever grateful that she did (and that Kymy offered me the position in the first place). I firmly believe that working for EYMM has given me back my sense of self when I was in the midst of losing “me” under the pressures of motherhood. I suddenly had a reason and a push to do something that was all mine and (mostly) not related to my kids. As much as I love them, I needed the reminder that I’m still a person beyond catering to their needs.

Besides all that, the plus size clothing department in most stores is pretty dismal and I had been feeling less than worthy as a person because of it. I had put on nearly 100 pounds in the 10 years since I got married (now it’s been over 13 years!). But, suddenly, I was working for someone who designed patterns for stylish clothing that actually fit my body. I had an option presented to me besides having to choose between (a) trying to squeeze into the colorful and trendy smaller sized clothes or (b) settling for the dark colored boring baggy shirts with which most plus size departments are filled. I quickly became obsessed with replacing everything in my wardrobe with items that not only fit well, but were brightly colored like I like to wear.

Having the ability to sew myself clothes to fit my measurements has helped me so much to see that the number on a size tag is just that … an arbitrary number that companies put on clothes to differentiate smaller from larger. I feel so much better wearing the clothes that I’ve made to fit both my personal style and my body measurements that the “number” no longer negatively affects my confidence. Being “plus sized” doesn’t define who I am anymore, it is merely a small facet of my life.

My confidence has grown ten-fold since I’ve quit pushing my body into ready to wear clothing that didn’t fit me well. And this is despite my having gained a few more pounds since being diagnosed and struggling with hypothyroid disease. I think that it must show outwardly, too, because I feel like I get complimented on my outfits more often now that I feel good about what I’m wearing than I did when I was unsure of myself and hating my body because store-bought clothes weren’t fitting or flattering. The funny thing about it is that now that I love myself more, I care so much less about what others think of my clothing choices.

As my daughters are now reaching that pre-teen age of starting to care more about clothes, I continue to be thankful that I’m able to sew. I plan to pass the skills along to them so that they will always have the ability to make themselves clothing that makes them feel good no matter what life throws at them.

I am forever Thankful {for} Sewing as it has really helped both my confidence and my attitude toward life during the past few years. I’m also grateful that Kymy came into my life with a job offer just when I needed a reason to carve out time to do something for me. The push to sew more and the confidence that came along with my position here at EYMM has been life-changing and I’m so thankful!

Happy Sewing!!  ~  Joelle

 

P.S. The bloggers of the Thankful Sewing Tour each have something special to share all month long to celebrate this month of giving thanks! As an extra special surprise, we’ve also have a couple giveaways during each week of the tour. Share your thanks with Petite Stitchery (who has a new pattern to share with us), Sew by Pattern Pieces (who offered a free pattern each week), and Simply by Ti (who donated shop credit each week)!

Check out the Rafflecopter at the very end of this post to enter the Week 4 giveaway!

Intro to the tour – November 1st:

mahlicadesigns

Sewing with Sarah

Week 1

Nov. 1st: Tenille’s Thread

Nov. 2nd: Candace Ayala

Nov. 3rd: Hazelnut Handmade

Nov. 4th: Musing of a Seamstress

Nov. 5th: Sewing Portfolios

Nov. 6th: mahlicadesigns

Nov. 7th: Seams Sew Lo

Week 2

Nov. 8th: Margarita on the Ross

Nov. 9th: Stitched by Jennie

Nov. 10th: Sewing with D

Nov. 13th: 5 outof 4 Patterns

Nov. 14th: Tales of a Southern Mom

Week 3

Nov. 15th: Hazelnut Handmade

Nov. 16th: Octaves of Color

Nov. 17th: Kainara Stitches

Nov. 18th: Kutti Couture

Nov. 19th: The Petite Sewist

Nov. 20th: My Heart will Sew On

Nov. 21st: Needles to Say

Week 4

Nov. 22nd: Back 40 Life

Nov. 23rd: Lovemade Handmade

Nov. 24th: Sewing by Ti

Nov. 25th: On Wednesdays We Sew

Nov. 26th: Paisley Roots

Nov. 27th: Mermaid Mama Designs

Nov. 28th: Sew Haute Blog

Nov. 29th: Ma Moose Handmade

Nov. 30th: Everything Your Mama Made & More

Giveaway – Sew by Pattern Pieces (one pattern) and Simply by Ti ($20 credit)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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