inspired to sew

I’m honored to kick off Bari J.‘s Inspired to Sew blog tour today. Her new book is a beautiful work filled with her signature style and projects I can’t wait to make (and I think you’ll want to sew them, too). Bari’s asked each blog tour host to share what inspires us to sew. Here’s my story:

My mother and daughter share a dimpled chin, a love of crafting and a huge part of my heart — and credit for inspiring me to sew. They have never met — can never meet — but I like to think my sewing brings them a little closer together.

I remember growing up and thinking my mom could make anything. Time and again she’d prove it by turning piles of fabric into my favorite outfits. I’ve combed through family photos again and again, trying to find ones that showed the skirts, the tees, the dresses, the Halloween costumes she made but it seems my memories are really all I have.

After I became a mom, my mother turned her talents to sewing for her grandsons, happily creating blankets and costumes for the boys who stole her heart. She satisfied her desire for a granddaughter by sewing for my much-younger female cousins, whipping up doll clothes and dresses.

And then she was gone.

Which led to me convincing Honey our family might not be complete after all. And three years later we brought home the sweetest, silliest, most amazing baby girl, who fills our home and our lives with so much joy. How could I not give her the same kind of love my own mother showed me? I bought a new sewing machine and began to sew for the first time in years — and the first time ever that I could not call my mom and have her talk me through a problem.

I’ve sewn countless yards of fabric in the past six years, enough clothes to fill a closet (or three) and even written a book — all inspired by my mother and daughter. I sew with love, the way my mother taught me, and the way I hope to teach my daughter, too.

Are you Inspired to Sew? I hope so — and I hope you’ll comment on this post so you can win your very own copy of Bari’s book. Tell me why you’re inspired to sew between now and noon Thursday, Feb. 3. I’ll draw a winner from the comments and announce it here on the blog and probably over on my Twitter, too. And be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour, too:

Feb 1, Jennifer Paganelli: Sis Boom!

Feb 2, Jona Giammalava: Stop Staring and Start Sewing

Feb 3, Rashida Coleman Hale: I Heart Linen

Feb 4, Sarah Fielke: The Last Piece

Feb 5, Jenny Doh: Crescendoh

Feb 6, Cara Wilson: Cara Quilts

Feb 7, Deborah Moebes: Whipstitch Fabrics

Feb 8, Monica Solorio-Snow: The Happy Zombie

Feb 9, Susanne Woods: Stash Books (giving away a stack of Bari’s Full Bloom fabric!)

P.S. That cool I’m Inspired to Sew blog badge is available on Bari’s blog. Go get one for yourself!

81 thoughts on “Get Inspired

  1. Jansie

    What a sweet story. I am inspired to sew for my little niece. My grandma taught me how to sew, but I have no children of my own, so I am hoping to pass the tradition down to her. 🙂 Love this hop and thanks for the chance to win!

  2. Lori Porten

    I was inspired to sew by my Grandmother, who taught me to quilt, and by my Mom, who used to sew Barbie clothes for my sister and I. I sew a lot of clothes for my little girl and I am currently working on a quilt for my son for his 10th birthday. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Rachel

    I sew for much the same reasons you mentioned. I love to pass on the love of creating that my grandmothers and mom passed on to me. Although I sewed for my nieces and nephews before I had my own children.

  4. Cecilia

    I’m enjoying this blog hop. I am inspired by the love my Mom showed also. I’ve only been quilting since 2008, but my Mom taught me to sew when my two girls were small. She made clothes and barbie doll clothes for me when I was young. She also made my bumper pads and blankets for my three children when they were born. I miss being able to share with her the things that I am doing now with my two young granddaughters. I really enjoyed your site. I live in southwest Georgia and it is nice to be in touch with someone from the area. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. Marci Girl

    I’m always inspired to sew, I have like 10 projects going on at the same time right now, instead of getting inspired, I should get to working! Great giveaway!

  6. Marcia Kosturock

    I was inspired to sew by my mother as well. She was one of the only mothers in the neighborhood who could sew. She would do work for many of he other mothers and sewed costumes along with many of my clothes she altered to fit because they were hand me downs. I also sewed things for my little sister for fun made her toys and such and mom encouraged me to do so. I always continued to love sewing.

  7. Gretchen

    I’m inspired to sew right now because of my wonderful 22 month-old daughter and my other little girl on her way, due in March. I love to make things for them and it is so gratifying to watch my first-born use/wear the things I make. I’d much rather take the time to make something extra personal and with love than go through the hassle at a store trying to find something close to what I had in mind.

  8. Lori Kay

    I’m inspired to sew by the great scrap fabrics I’ve been collecting. I was given more fabric last year than I bought and have lots to play with. The book looks great – thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Colleen

    I am inspired to sew as my college daugther says she is freezing and needs some flannel pjs for up at school! thanks for the chance to win such a great looking book!

  10. SewLindaAnn

    I’m inspired to sew because I have to. It’s a part of me, my creativity and who I am. I love putting things together, handing someone something I made just for them is so personal and fulfilling.

  11. Nanci Byers

    I just started sewing at age 41. It is really cool to be inspired by the clothes I see that aren’t in my size and think I could make that! Thanks for the giveaway.

    Cheers, Nanci

  12. Shannon H

    I’m inspired to sew because I have two girls that adore anything that I make them 🙂 I LOVE the warm fuzzy feelings I have when they get a compliment on their outfits and their response is “Thanks, my MAMA made it!”

  13. Joan Blum

    Your blog post was so beautiful it left me in tears when I read it. My Mom too encouraged me to sew (and bought me my first sewing machine when I was a young wife and mother). I’ve loved sewing and fabric ever since I was a little girl sewing doll clothes. Color, texture, fabric, nature, beauty — all of those things inspire me to sew. I’m just happy and relaxed when I’m in my sewing “zen” as my daughter calls it when I’m sewing. Thanks for sharing your story and for the opportunity to win!

  14. Layne (A Gal Who)

    I have been sewing since I was 9 — over 44 years ago! I am soooo inspired by all of you lovelies who share your talents and creativity on your blogs, in books, fabric designs, etc. I always felt like the odd-ball when I was young because my friends did not sew or craft. Now, I feel like I have a new group of “friends” through all of you! Thank you for sharing and for the opportunity to win this book.

  15. staci

    I don’t know what got me started sewing. I know I keep sewing though because it makes me feel good to surround myself with handmade things. 🙂

  16. MoeWest

    I’ve been sewing since I was about 12 and I’ve always liked it. I started off making clothes for myself, then household stuff when I got my first apartment. Now I still sew for my home, but mostly I like to make quilts. It’s a nice feeling of accomplishment to make these things yourself.

  17. suesue

    Your story was really touching. Every time I sew I think of my mom (whom I lost last year) and her patience in teaching me. I loved sewing my own clothes for years and always wearing something different from anyone else. Then I sewed for my girls and boys and was so happy to do that until they decided they were beyond “homemade” clothes. Now I can sew for my grands and their friends and have rediscovered the fun of choosing fabrics and patterns to make something with love. All the blog love out here further inspires me!! Thanks for it all!

  18. Cate

    I love to sew things that we could buy, but that I know I could do better. So, I’m inspired by giving my family lovely things!

  19. Chookyblue

    I love to hear about why people started sewing……..I did sewing at school and while I enjoyed it then I am so happy now……….school sewing was more clothing………always wished I learnt much more about patterns and drafting them etc………….love stitcheries and quilting and cross stitch now…………and making bags……..

  20. Betsy Pratt

    I am inspired to sew by all of the projects I see out there in blog land. There are so many great designers and sewers sharing their work. I love it!

  21. Christine Gibbons

    My mother taught me to sew when I was 6. She believed that everyone should know how. Not necessarily for pleasure but for the need to know how. She did however love it as I do to. She sewed most of my clothing as well as some for my brothers as well including a complete BOBBY’s (policemans) costume with original english bobbies buttons. It is identical to my uncle’s uniform in England. My kids have worn it as well as my grandchildren now. I love how a needle and thread feel in my hand. I’m very inspired by blogs,magazines and books.

  22. Jan

    Thanks for sharing your story. Like you, I have the memories of my mother and grandmother in every stitch I sew. I would love to get my hands on this book as I have always been a fan a Bari J’s fabrics. Thanks for this opportunity to win!

  23. Jodi

    I realise the competition has already closed but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. My Nan was a very creative woman who taught my mum a few things but died when I was very young. My mum is also an amazingly creative woman who makes the most beautiful and amazing things. Now I have a little daughter of my own and I am learning everything I can from my mum while I have the chance so that I can teach my daughter a love of sewing too. It is such a blessing to stitch with love for the special people in my life and those hand made gifts of love are always so much more precious than anything money could buy.
    Thank you for reminding me how precious it is to have my mum there to teach me.

  24. Syd

    I am inspired to sew by all the beautiful fabrics. I can’t resist adding to my stash. My daughter and I sew together, and have a great time teaching her girls. Thanks for your inspiration!

  25. Ter'e

    My answer to this question is probably silly – but it’s a serious one to me. My mother died when I was 20. MY father died when I was 10. I never met any of the grandparents, so I have no “dear tokens of love” that would have normally been passed down to a child/grandchild. At the age of 62, I find that I long to own and be able to touch things that have been stitched with love. There is something eternally special about holding something that was stitched by a loved ones hands. I do some stitchery and hope and pray my daughters will get to the age that it is endearing to hold moms stitchery. I dream of fabric and colors 24/7. Silly, huh…………

  26. Pingback: Giveaway! Full Bloom fabric bundle

  27. Mary Claire

    Sewing for me is an outlet. It’s a way for me to focus my energy on something positive and not stew about things I don’t need to be stewing about! =) It’s also a way for me to connect with my Mom and my friends as well as make new friends. It doesn’t hurt that I love fabrics, and math (I Know!), and love to be organzied doing things step by step.

  28. Aneta

    Like you – I love to sew for my daughters. I started smocking and heirloom sewing 20 years ago and often felt like I was really sewing for angels – Sewing is a joy for me and I love to share that joy !

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