If you would like to participate, you have to sew a garment that makes you feel beautiful. What kid of garment that is, is totally up to you! On the other hand we would like to invite you to tell your own story on how sewing has changed your life and/or your body image.
I learned about this listening to my favorite podcast (Love to Sew) and it brought me to tears. First, let’s talk about why I sew and am so passionate about it. In 2014, Mike and I decided to try to get pregnant, we had been married for two years, jobs were good, life was stable. It took a year to get pregnant. We lost the baby at 11 weeks, in March of 2015. It was devastating. As you may or may not know, I knitted for years, I was fast and good and could knit just about anything. I wanted to knit away the pain, but I couldn’t. I had a different type of pain. I had terrible pain in my arm and hand. It would go numb and I lost feeling in my outer two fingers on my right hand. My OB told us to wait a couple of months to try to get pregnant again (my body had to recover from the D&C and all the emotions). My orthopedist suggested we go ahead and do the surgery that summer. He cut open my elbow and cleaned it all up- it still looks like a shark bit my elbow. I was optimistic that I’d be able to knit again. Sadly, it wasn’t in the cards.
After another 8 months we got pregnant again (right before we were about to try some not so fun procedures). Once again, I was incredibly sick (spent the 11 weeks of our first pregnancy in bed, trying to make the room stop spinning). I couldn’t sit up, let alone, knit or do much else. I was so scared to miscarry again, but the little thing stayed in (for 41 weeks).
I wanted to knit, but it hurt so bad still. The hormones when you’re pregnant are insane-o-pants. My doc said it was probably keeping my arm from getting back to knitting form. I was devastated. I always envisioned knitting my child’s baby blanket. But, I couldn’t. The pain was too much. I was able to knit a tiny hat, but that’s the very last thing I knitted. Lincoln Michael was born on August 16, 2016. He wore the little hat home.
My best friend, Tara, had an embroidery shop and a little baby girl that she was sewing for. This is all her fault. (My mom actually taught me to sew when I was very young, just like her mom taught her. My mom is a very accomplished quilter and I’ll tell you all about it on another post). So before Lincoln was born, Tara convinced me to start sewing for him (we didn’t know what we were having, btw). I don’t think she realized she was helping me heal.
After he was born I really dug in more. Tara and I swore we would never sew underwear or really sew for ourselves. That quickly went out the window. Now I’m only sewing my clothes in 2018. I have plans to make my own jeans! I have a fancy Babylock embroidery machine, a Juki coverstitch and my badass Toyota serger got a tune up. I’ve made full custom outfits for myself and Lincoln (and some PJs for Mike). I think about sewing constantly. Cutting and taping patterns is a zen like experience. I listen to sewing podcasts and have curated my Instagram to only sewists and friends. I’m comment on Facebook pages and patterns and help other sewists figure out problems. I read sewing books and blogs and challenge myself. The hum of my sewing machines instantly calm me. I still miss knitting, but it is a fond memory rather than a painful one.
So that brings me to my SMYLY make. I gained a ton of weight while pregnant and then I lost it all and then some. My clothes don’t fit and I don’t really recognize myself in the mirror. It is weird. I work from home and for months I lived in PJs all day, as I was trying to keep Lincoln alive and my full time job. I said to Mike one day, “I don’t feel like a woman or pretty. I just feel like a frumpy mom.” He encouraged me to get dressed every day and shower (haha #momlife). I’m trying to remember to put on a touch of makeup in the mornings to cover my toddler-induced under-eye circles. I want to look put together and that’s really hard when your toddler is yelling for you and your husband has to jet off to work. That’s where this make comes in. I throw on this cardigan and I feel put together. It goes great over leggings and a shirt and is stunning over a dress. It. Has. POCKETS. I can throw my hair in a #mombun and put on this cardigan and I feel human. Sewing this made me feel like me again. Actually, better than me. Super me! I’m a mom, a wife, a maker, a doer, and a lover of cardigans. I’m not a frumpster or a failure. Who knew a cardigan could change your life!
This is the Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardi made in the GREATEST FABRIC OF ALL TIME. This is Oatmeal French Terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics (my fave) . I already have plans to make 3 more, not even sorry about it. The Blackwood cardi really is all it is cracked up to be. It has cult following and I am member. It comes in two lengths with amazing instructions. Perfect for a beginner ready to take that next step.
Here come the awkward self-timer selfies against our fence on a really cold day.