In 2014 I was lucky enough to be living on a coastal island, working several PT gigs, with plenty of time to sew. I spent hours in my sewing room daydreaming projects, creating beautiful garments, and learning as much as I could about sewing. It was hard to not think about the many projects on my queue. Now I make my living off of not only sewing but other contract work. I knew that monetizing my most important hobby would have an impact, but I wasn’t prepared fully for what was in store.
This past weekend I had a bizarre experience. I went to do a final bridal fitting and was completely disrespected and I feel attacked by not the bride, but the mother of a bridesmaid. This woman videoed me pin-fitting her daughter’s dress, then proceeded to be verbally aggressive and beligerent, questioning my ability to do my job. I won’t elaborate on how stressful this project has already been – between copying the RTW dress, attempting to match the original color, finding fabric in another color only to have JoAnn screw me, drafting the intricate sleeve, writing out the construction steps three times, getting just enough fabric in to make it work, and then finally having to deal with this individual was just too much. I am damn good at what I do and I didn’t take her shit. I’m sure you can imagine how that went down.
Luckily, for that one experience I’ve had a handful of amazing clients this year, and had the honor of creating some beautiful custom dresses, several of which ended up on HGTV (many thanks to Hannah for that one!). Despite the joy of seeing happy clients in what is undoubtedly their best fitting garment, I was shocked when I took a hard look at my personal sewing this year. I’ve only created 12 garments for myself in 2016.
Not one to bemoan, I’ve made an important decision: the rest of this year will be spent on my personal fall/winter wardrobe, refining my online & in-person classes, and finally sitting down to design a small capsule collection to be released Spring 2017. The latter has been on my mind all year, and a few little birds have told me I need to pursue this one in particular.
While I love having a creative job, I also know that I need to save some of that creative magic for myself. All three of my jobs are stressful, and I can’t do them in a vacuum of personal well-being. It’s a hard balance when we choose to pursue that which we find excites us the most – we have to keep some for ourself. So, here’s to refining the process, daring to try something new, and reclaiming sewing as my personal solace.