How old were you when you started sewing? Did you have your own sewing machine? What sort of things did you sew? I’m excited to say I have stumbled upon a group of young ladies excited and eager to stitch and now it’s time to get them each a machine. Here’s my story, these four young ladies story and what I’m hoping to achieve.
Good news! We reached our goal!
Thanks to 28 donors and 23 sponsors we exceeded our goal! The goal was $1100 and we raised $1636! Wow. This meant that the extra fees from GoFundMe and shipping for the machines and beginning sewing kits were able to be covered by the campaign. Leaving us with a total of $450. As a group the girls decided in order to sew all together we needed tables, chairs and some community items and we picked them up too. The remaining balance went to gift cards for each of the girls at a local Quilt Shop where I’m teaching them the value of good quality fabric, threads and supporting the local community.
We have started a newsletter – if you want to follow these girls on their journey – sign up just below!
Please read my story, read the story of these four girls and help us reach the goal to get them each their own machine. For every dollar you donate I will give you a gift certificate toward any digital product.
For me sewing was passed along like any other tradition. My dad learned to sew from my his mom. He taught my mom and she taught me to sew. At the young age of 6, I was sewing Barbie doll clothing, up-cycling (before it was cool) and making purses. I recall a red/white gingham Barbie doll skirt gone bad that I turned into a little coin purse for my mom. She carried that little skit/coin purse for years and years. My parents were always very encouraging of my sewing and so much so they supported my desire to go to school for fashion design, which I did.
My first machine
My first sewing machine was an old green Singer inside a cabinet. It sat in my brothers bedroom for some reason and while I sewed he listened to Boy George and George Michael songs. He kept saying, “slow down, I can’t hear my music”. The other thing I remember was my mom warning me, “Sue, if you sew too fast the machine will give you an electric shock”. That was not a threat to slow down, it was a warning!! Yes, that darn machine sure did give me electric shocks! Ouch!
My second machine
The second machine I got when I was 14 years old. I kept this machine until I was around 25 years old and even now I wish I still had it. It was an old brown Singer. It didn’t have much, wasn’t fancy at all but it would sew through anything, ANYTHING!! The coolest thing I remember about it was the bobbin wound inside the bobbin case. No one taught me how to use it, there was no manual, there was no YouTube or Google back then, I just figured it out.
What I sew on now
These days I’m blessed to be a BERNINA Ambassador and sew on a BERNINA 790 Plus. This is hands down the most accurate, smooth and luxurious machine I’ve ever stitched on. As you can see, I came from humble sewing machine beginnings. Each time I sew on my BERNINA 790 Plus, who I call Bianca, I am grateful. Read more about Bianca here.
Next Generation of Sewist
Now onto the next generation of sewist. Long ago I gave up on my daughter Heidi, now 10, on sewing. A few years back she sorta got into it, made a few bags, pin cushions and then just sunk herself into art vs sewing. As a mom I was accepting of this, heck, she has to find her own path and so I always supported her interested.
This past summer she decided she wanted to sew. Begged me to sew. Said she wanted to make her own cosplay outfits and so that is exactly what she did. Check out her two cosplay outfits she wore to Comic Con 2019. She sewed nearly stitch, except for a few tricky sleeves and few tiny details. She was so proud of herself, telling anyone who would listen about her accomplishments.
More new sewist
My boyfriend Joey has two daughters, Abby 16 and Molly 19 and a niece Zoe 15. These young ladies expressed an interest to learn to sew recently and of course I was thrilled and honored to be the one to spread the love of sewing. We decided to make scrunchies! Easy, empowering and lots of basic lessons learned along the way.
It was clear after about 10 minutes they were all hooked. We set up at Joey’s house, Heidi and I brought over my BERNINA 790 Plus sewing machine and my L460 serger. I figured the speed of the serger would help get through some of the long seams. Heidi and I packed up a suitcase of fabric, notions, rotary cutters, elastic, thread, needles and more. Tables were set up and the intro to sewing began.
Sewing is a healthy hobby
Years ago I read about sewing being one of the most mentally healthiest hobbies. Not sure where this statement was made, but I remember thinking it was true. Think about it, sewing starts with pieces of nothing and turns into something amazing. The sense of pride shines through in the finished product and honestly is contagious. Heidi along with the other young ladies felt pride when they finished their projects. So much so that they wanted to go shopping for more fabric. The fabric Heidi and I provided was a great launching pad but to create something with real identity, they needed to choose it themselves. Off to JoAnns Fabric we went. We got 30 different bolts at 1/8 yard each. I apologized in advanced to the fabric cutter. She said she didn’t mind at all especially to see how excited all these girls were.
Shown below is Heidi, 10, Zoe, 15, Abby, 16 and Molly, 19.
How many scrunchies can 4 girls make?
This sounds like a riddle – how many scrunchies can four girls make with a sewing machine and a serger in 4 hours? The answer is over 100! Each girl left with enough scrunchies to wear a new one every day to school and give a bunch away! We snapped some fun outdoor photos of their scrunchies, pride and guess what folks…those smiles are real!! The next question from them was, “Sue, when can we sew again?”.
Now that these ladies are excited I don’t want to lose the momentum. I want them stitching all the time, whenever they want and be creative. A year ago I donated two machines to young ladies who wanted to sew. I paid for the machines to be cleaned and got extra sewing supplies to go along with the machine, it felt good to contribute to the next generation of sewist. I wanted them to be excited and sew whenever they wanted. Though it would have been nice to still have those machines for my four girls, I don’t, and that’s ok. I’m hoping there are other generous friends out there who are willing to contribute.
Calling all machines
In an effort to get these girls machines, the first thing I did was reach out to friends for used machines. Two came forward with used machines, but between shipping and servicing it was just too expensive. It was suggested by a few friends to raise money to get each a new machine. One of those friends came forward and donated $260 toward to purchase of new machines and that got me to thinking we could raise the money and in turn reward the person donating too.
Here is what we need
What I am asking is for is these four girls to get the same chance as other young ladies get when it comes to sewing. Thankfully because of my business, I’m in a position to buy near cost machines along with sewing supplies for these ladies. To help support their love of sewing, I’ve set up a GoFundMe campaign to help get these ladies their own machines.
I’m personally offering a dollar for dollar match of your donation towards a gift certificate to my website! That means if you donate $10 toward their machines, you get a $10 gift certificate towards Sue O’Very Designs digital downloads. You can’t lose!
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