I came to start sewing in a backward, cart-before-the-horse, sort of way. I decided to return to college in 2009 with the idea I would start my own alternative fashion label – despite knowing very little about sewing. This led me to West Valley College and their fantastic Fashion Design department. There, I developed an interest in patternmaking and fashion history. Nowadays, I use my skills more for costuming than everyday garments, but I’d like to get back to my original dreams of designing and pattern making. -Lindsey
I learned to sew when I was 9 in 4-H. My mother never sewed. She was a rancher and hated fabric stores. So much so, that she wouldn’t even go in! Since fabric stores stressed her out, she would send me into the fabric stores by myself. Amazingly, all the ladies in the shop would grab me my patterns and cut the fabric I asked for. When I was done, they would total up my purchases and I would take out the bill to my mom to get money. She would hand me money through the window for me to go back in and pay! My mom was always supportive of my sewing, she just wouldn’t step foot in a store! -Allison
Here’s how it started for me; I started sewing as a child making my doll’s clothes by hand from scraps of fabric my mother would give me. My passion evolved in junior high with my first sewing class. I was so inspired, I saved my money and got my two younger sisters to take the bus from Felton to the big mall in the big city of Santa Cruz. We went to the Capitola Mall which back in the day was Sears. I bought my first machine a Kenmore and I still have it today. My sisters were happy they helped me that day lug that machine on the bus, down the dirt road, and up the mountainside. Since then, I have made numerous things for them including their wedding dresses. –Tracy
When I was eight, my friend started to learn to quilt. I thought it looked fun and so I joined their quilting and sewing, 4-H group. A lovely lady named Dewey took me under her wing and hosted quilting nights for me and her daughter. I sewed my first dress out of a silky poly and it was terrible. So terrible, that I actually stopped sewing garments until a few years ago when I started to get into the Indie sewing community. Now, about half my wardrobe is handmade. I still quilt but usually save it for special occasions like new babies, or weddings. -Dana
My mother was an avid seamstress back in 1968. As a young girl, most of my clothing was made by my mother. My Barbie, my sister and I, all had matching outfits. I remember in 5th grade, I was sent home from school because my dress was too short…..my Mom used cuss words in response. As a teenager, I was a lot like my Mom, but she didn’t appreciate some of those traits in me. I understood why when I tried to rally my four kids. As my Mom dealt with every challenging moment, my punishment was to sit inside at the sewing machine. Sewing became something I loathed. But then in 1975, I moved into my first apartment. I was broke, had a minimum wage job, and out of necessity I began making clothing, curtains, anything I needed. Slowly, out of that necessity, my passion and love of creativity blossomed. Over the years through raising a family and building a career, sewing and creating always remained in the background, as I, like my Mother, dealt with life’s struggles. My kids now have kids, and after selling my business and heading into retirement, I feel like I am finally back to the young girl with the huge passion for sewing. Working at Hart’s is now part of my sewing journey. It feels incredible to be surrounded by inspiration every day. My co-workers are so talented, our customers bring me new ideas and I spend every moment working to help people along their own sewing journey. I am now sharing my sewing passion with my children, and their children. I feel lucky that I had a Mom, that shared a skill, that brought me to exactly where I am today. Life is good. -Brenda
There are three people who really inspired me to sew. My grandma Mary would pull out her big brown sewing box and I would go through piece by piece looking at all of her thread, snaps, and buttons from the 1940’s. She passed away 5 years ago now, and that big brown box is now my sewing box. This is one of my favorite photos of her. The second person was my mother’s best friend Dorthy. She would lug her machine over to our house to help my mother make my Halloween costumes. My favorite we made was my Hershey kiss costume. She always let me sew on the straight parts. She passed away from ALS when I was 19 and every time I sit down at a machine I think of her. The third person was my best friend’s mother who would bring out a big box of scrap fabric and let us just go for it on her sewing machine. I think that is where I gained my confidence behind the machine. Even though my mother wasn’t big into sewing she did buy me my first sewing machine so she has had a hand in my sewing path as well. All of these strong women have fueled my creative flame and I hope I can pass their knowledge down to my own daughters. -Dani
We look forward to reading all your posts on Instagram! Thanks for joining in on Day 1 of #sewnwithhart!