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Home is Where the Sewing Machine is

How do you define home?

Posted in: Creativity & Mindset • October 31, 2016

When the weather turns crisp and weekend plans revolve around a warm blanket and a good book, I can't help but contemplate what home means to me.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of home? Do you think of the town you grew up in? Your mother? The place you currently reside? Home is an abstract subject. What it means to me may not be what it means to you.

I moved away from my home town when I was 17. Though those first years were spent on a college campus or on the couches of friends, it was then that I began to define what home meant to me. I slowly began collaging my life experiences, accumulating bits and pieces that would eventually make up a portrait of my home. Upon graduating college I moved into an apartment with two other sewists, it was there that I started implementing these concepts.

Back then, our resources were limited. I ate on a budget of $10 a week, and our little apartment featured a hodgepodge of hand-me-down furniture. In the little nook where our dining room should have been, sat a white table we had retrieved from the side of the road. This table was constantly piled with patterns, fabric, and the three sewing machines we had among us.

We never gathered around the television, and rarely over drinks like you might imagine of 20-something-year-olds. Instead, we would discuss darts and fiber content while gathered around our wobbly little table.

What I realize now that I didn't realize then, is that my ability to comfortably and freely create directly relates to my ability to feel at home.

It didn't matter that all my pillowcases were mismatched, or that I shared a bathroom with a few people. What mattered was I had creative autonomy and a place to make my ideas become a reality through the power of cutting and stitching.

Since then, I have upgraded my bed linens and live with my soon-to-be-husband in an entirely different part of the country. Still, a sewing corner is a must in every dwelling I have occupied. Whenever I feel lonely, whenever I feel displaced, there is always a quiet corner I can retreat to to remind myself I am at home in this body, with these hands, and everything they are capable of making. I am reminded of a passage from the Mary Oliver poem, "Coming Home":

"And what we see is our life moving like that
along the dark edges of everything,
headlights sweeping the blackness,
believing in a thousand fragile and unprovable things.
Looking out for sorrow,
slowing down for happiness,"

Home is the place where I am free to slow down for happiness. The place I can get completely lost in the project at hand, and let the weight of life's uncertainties drift away. I hope that sewing and learning about the craft allows you the same peace and sense of home.

In this issue we explore the notion of home and invite you to settle in for the season and get stitching. In Sew Like a Pro Brooks Ann Camper walks you through upgrading your sewing space and tools for a professional finish. And in this month's edition of Slow Sewing we chat with Kristine Vejar of A Verb for Keeping Warm.

We are also bringing you two fresh patterns, Monroe and Charlotte. This luxurious pair will bring a touch of glam to your loungewear. Monroe is a pair of lounge pants with a fitted yoke and flattering wide leg fit, and Charlotte is a lounge shirt reminiscent of the 1920s.

So this November, when you are feeling burnt out, retreat to your personal sewing corner—whether that is a dedicated space or your dining room table—pour yourself a beverage, and get stitching. After all, home is where the sewing machine is.


Haley Glenn
Editor and Sewing Maven

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