why I sew: Holly

Hello again! It’s Holly from Hamster and the Bee, returning for my last post (*sniff) this season. I’ve really enjoyed writing and  sharing and sewing with all of you! Your beautiful projects and encouraging comments have been such an inspiration to me, and I hope that I’ve been able to return the favor just a little bit. Today I’m here to tell you why I sew.

I think the biggest reason that I love to sew is because I love fabric! I have in the past said that fabric is the true love of my life (shh… don’t tell my husband), and I have had to repeatedly remind myself not to touch the clothes of strangers – that’s just creepy.

I’ve been working and playing with yarn and fabric since I was a kid; I made my first dress when I was 12, I took up weaving and knitting in college, and I earned a master’s degree in textile design with a weaving concentration. Working as a designer was great, but the artist in me still had the urge to create something all mine. In an 800 square foot apartment in Brooklyn, NY, busting out my loom was not an option, but dusting off my sewing machine was, and I was quickly hooked. Sewing allows me to experience fabric even as my career evolves, and is possible no matter how small my studio space may be.

15-0224_KCW fabrics_web

 1. some graduate thesis work  2. Gradate upholstery fabric, designed in 2011

Another big reason that I sew is because I love learning. I would consider myself a voracious (though selective) learner. I would have stayed in school forever if I could have afforded it, and become a doctor of weaving. I devoured everything I could about textiles during my time there.

Just because I left school does not mean that that curiosity has left: it’s been diversified. I read blog posts about blogging and about marketing (my current job), I read articles and tutorials about sewing techniques, I read parenting books and cookbooks and books about painting and habit formation (can you tell that I almost never read fiction?). I enjoy sewing because I can continue to investigate and learn, and develop my skills at my own pace, in my home, in whichever direction I want. Right now there seems to be an endless amount of knowledge to be gained and skills to be perfected.

15-0224_KCW work_web

1) a few books in my workspace these days  2) the process of figuring it out

I especially love the marriage of technical and creative. Using all that learnin’ I mentioned above and applying it to my own project totally floats my boat. And when it’s combined with creative choices like color and texture and style and shape, well then I’m in heaven! In all my work, I see a consistent commitment to both the creative and technical. That’s my happy place.

15-0224_KCW details_web

1) charles lining  2) dc pants pocket

Lastly, the reason that I sew for kids, is for the same reason that is probably most consistent among all of us sewers – I want to make something as unique as my child!

I love that one day the bee will have a box of handmade clothes that she can pass down to a little person in her life (or just to paw through and remind her of happy times and of how much her mama loves her), and they will be completely one-of-a-kind.

15-0224_KCW unique_web

1) the bee in her green dress  2) all of the little person clothes sewn in 2014

Again, it’s been a pleasure to be able to spend this winter with you all – thanks so much for having me!

Happy sewing!

This article has 3 comments

  1. Lightning McStitch

    It’s great to see that the “professionals” can still have fun with sewing kids clothing. – for the record I love that grey furnishing fabric and do have a couch that desperately needs recovering… 🙂
    I’m in complete agreement about the technical meeting the artistic, it’s just the best when it works, and it’s nice to see someone else who thrashes it out in pencil first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *