Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Empowerment of Sewing

I just finished a really fun surprise project in time for my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving (a surprise for all except my husband, who came up with the wordage - which by the way is only sometimes true :D). It was our first time hosting a Thanksgiving dinner - quite an undertaking. The week before, instead of doing whatever "deep cleaning" is and making multiple shopping trips, I tried to focus my down time on finishing these two aprons. Because sewing calms me, and I was super excited about this project!

Aprons aren't really *hard* to sew if you know your way around a sewing machine. I've made a couple of kid's aprons in the past, and they turned out alright. These are definitely my best attempts so far, and it's definitely because I have several more years of sewing under my belt. Though not to say you can't make a well-made apron with just a little experience, because you can! I make more quilts than anything, so sewing outside of that realm always takes some extra planning.

In my job, we talk a lot about empowerment. While making these aprons, especially during the autopilot moments, I realized (lightbulb moment) that the empowering nature of sewing is what really has kept me going through tough times the last few years. And it will continue to empower me, even when I reach life chapters where I'm doing less sewing. I'm constantly attracted to the idea of solving puzzles, creating unique things, and making custom items for family and friends.

So, with that, I'd like to reflect on and celebrate the many empowering moments in this project.

I can make something with my own two hands.

I can create an adult apron pattern without any help from the internet (though to be fair, this came more from being lazy than anything, and wanting to save paper and ink. I just cut the fabric, measured roughly, and went for it!).

I can create shapes out of fabric and stitch them down to look like almost anything I want.

I can figure out exactly how to flip an apron like a pillowcase. This ensures that all the edges are enclosed and that I don't have to deal with binding or bias tape of any kind. The excitement over achieving a neat look never gets old!

I can top stitch to make the whole thing look flatter and neater. Because I've learned that from other projects.

I can make something that looks better (and is better than) something I would find in a store.

I can make something unique that no one else in the world has or will ever have.

I can surprise my family and make them laugh.

I can sew. And it's awesome.

So, share with us, if you would - what do you find empowering about sewing? Let's celebrate this skill that we have and teach it to others. Because it really is like nothing else!


  1. The aprons are amazing, Jess, and it must have been so much fun to work on and delight your family with them. Sewing is empowering for me because I can create and make something from start to finish on my own!

  2. Excellent use of time before what could have been a stress-filled period of over-preparation for a an event that should be fun!

  3. Such wonderful aprons and a great post. I sewed up until company arrived and in the free time when they all went separate ways. It soothes me to make something. I've missed seeing posts from you. You were in my thoughts this weekend. So good to hear from you.

  4. My grown daughter recently asked me to teach her how to sew/quilt, and it has been a very gratifying experience. She wanted to know how to do what I do so she could continue the family heritage - what an extreme compliment! Guess that's what is empowering for me :)

  5. I love the aprons, Jess! You are so right about sewing being empowering and I love all of the things you listed. I find it empowering because I can see my skills developing over time and that gives me confidence that I can learn pretty much any skill if I'm willing to put the time and effort into it.

  6. As you said, the quality of our hand made quilts is evident. I also enjoy that other people love receiving the quilts. Sewing and quilting are worthwhile skills that I hope never pass into oblivion.


Let's start a conversation! I love comments and I'd be happy to reply to all who have an email address accessible. Thanks for commenting!


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