As many of you may know, today (March 8th) is International Women’s Day. This day is variously celebrated in many countries around the world, though some places have other dates / celebrations instead. I am particularly impressed that many countries have today as an official holiday, and in a few places, it’s a holiday for women only!
We decided to mark today by sharing some of the women who inspire us to sew. We would love to hear about such women in your lives – whether they sew themselves, are historical figures, are famous fashionistas or simply a woman in your life who cheers you on – they are super important and deserve a shout out!
Becky Jo – Elizabeth Hartman
I took a class in 2012, or maybe 2013, with Elizabeth. It was the first time I met someone in the sewing world in-person that was irreverent, a bit snarky, and willing to break the rules from the old guard. She was really open about how she figured out quilt pattern making and how to work a design backwards from concept to pattern…although that wasn’t even the class I was taking! I am a BIG fan of hacking and rule breaking, and after many years of sewing, it was Elizabeth that made the switch flip in my brain that allowed me to quit following directions.
Ebi – Tahanee (her friend’s mom)
When I was new to sewing, I mentioned how I’d been having trouble with basic sewing and creating aesthetic designs. Tahanee graciously showed me a bobbin winding hack, but more than that she showed me the gorgeous items she’d sewn on her innocuous-looking mechanical machine. She explained how she conceived and constructed each beautiful piece. And she celebrated my fledgling projects with interest and advice. For such a talented and intelligent artist to share her knowledge with me was amazing, but that she never made me feel like a clumsy amateur (even though I was) was a level of grace and humility I aspire to reach. Happy International Women’s Day, Tahanee!
Gillian – Mimi G
I chose Mimi G because of her generosity and honesty in podcasting about how to grow a business, her inspiring pep talks, and her leadership in inclusion in the sewing community. She has consistently looked for gaps in the sew market (learning how to sew, publications featuring BIPOC, stylish modern menswear, etc.) and filled those gaps with creativity, passion and determination. She inspires me in many ways! You can find her Business SHET podcast here and more of her projects here.
Chloe (me!) – Jill Griffin (aka my “Sewing Mom”)
I met Jill through a sewing class in her quilting shop in Hobart. She taught me just so much – not only technically, but instilling in me the patience to do things right rather than quickly. I didn’t have people in my family who regularly sewed, so Jill become my “sewing mom”. I made the first garment I ever sewed with her and did my first ever FBA under her watchful eye. I moved away from Hobart about 5 years ago and miss her counsel and advice almost every week! Happy International Women’s Day Jill!
The above are just a small selection of the women that inspire us as sewists. The discussion as we tried to work out who we might choose was pretty wide-ranging and full of amazing women – some who sew, some who we find inspire us to sew.
Who inspires you to sew? Let us know in the comments below – we can’t wait to see you who you pick! Happy International Women’s Day everyone!
Chloe is a Sewcialists Editor, who lives and sews in Australia. She blogs at deadlycraft.blogspot.com and can be found on Instagram here.
Definitely my mum. Watching her make clothes for herself and for me was what inspired me to have a go at making a dress for my doll. She taught me so much, and 50 years after that doll’s dress I still occasionally turn up on a visit clutching something which I can’t get to fit correctly, and ask her for advice!
That’s so awesome! My mum made stuff when we were very little but it wasn’t a thread between us like that. She sounds great 😍