Monday 15th July 2019
Hello, I’m Rebecca – founder and creator of ‘Sew-Drops’
I thought it would be a nice idea to take the opportunity to tell all you a little bit about me and my Sewing ‘Origin’ Story.
So…how did it all begin?
Well, originally sewing wasn’t my first love…I was more of the ‘Music/Arts & Crafts’ kind of person, and in many ways, I still am. Today I love Music, Singing, Art & Design and Photography.
But I always have this fond memory of me being 8 years old sat in a classroom with my teacher, Mrs. Gardener, showing us all how to do cross-stitch. Let’s just say it didn’t go well; the lesson was 1 hour long, and it took me 59 of those minutes to even thread the needle properly – I just remember coming out onto the playground in floods of tears telling my Mum that “I was the only one in the class who couldn’t thread a needle”.
It really put me off attempting to sew for a very long time.
Fast forward 4 yrs later when I was about 12 yrs old, I had a couple of ‘simple’ lessons with my Auntie Lillian, who introduced me to an actual Sewing Machine. It was all good fun, but I was always scared of two things: One, the needle (for obvious reasons), and Two, the ‘dreaded’ foot pedal – that’s what I used to call it.
In the end, my fear prevailed, and I decided to leave sewing behind once more.
[I’ll skip a few years, as they mainly consist of GCSEs, A-Levels and College]
Anyway, after leaving College, like many young students, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with myself and I didn’t want to go to University. Yes, I had ambitions – singing namely (I even joined a local choir) but I needed something that was going to give me a job. So, after a lot of thinking I decided to try and become a Teaching Assistant. For 2 years I’d studied and passed both the Level 2 and 3 qualifications. However, it was in March 2017, whilst in the middle of studying, that I was coincidentally re-introduced to the world of sewing.
[Before I go on, I’d just like to make it very clear that for the past few years, my Mum had continuously (on a repeated loop) suggested that I give sewing another chance. And I continuously would tell her otherwise. It’s also important for you to know that my Mum is a keen sew-er too]
So, for a few months my Mum had been attending some 1:1 lessons and was really enjoying them. On one occasion though, Mum wasn’t feeling too good and asked if I would attend her final lesson in her place, and like a good daughter I said yes – sometimes I wonder if that was really true, maybe she planned it all along.
Well, even if it was a ‘plan’ it turns out that as with many other things, Mum was right. I thoroughly enjoyed the 1:1 beginner’s lesson and signed myself up there and then to undertake more sessions.
For the next 4 months, Mum and I would drive every Friday morning up to the studio and spend 2 hours together sewing. It was great to go along with Mum each week; learning new skills, techniques and just having fun. It was nice to just have a little ‘Mother & Daughter’ bonding time. The two of us continued sewing; during which I decided to experiment with different sewing techniques. One of which was applique. I loved having the ability to design and create my own products based on the things I loved e.g. I made some film-based pieces of work (it’s important to know that I am a MASSIVE film-nerd) from films/novels such as ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘The Hobbit’ – along the way, I also found that I had a strong passion for Patchwork & Quilting.
Since 2016, I had been looking for employment as a Teaching Assistant – however on all my applicant interviews, I was always told that I needed ‘more confidence’ and ‘lacked’ experience. I know in life that there will be things that knocked you back, but it just seemed like everything I’d achieved; all my qualifications, years of voluntary service and experience meant absolutely nothing. I also found it really hard for anyone to give me a chance due to my age. I was 19/20 yrs old at the time and that upset me a lot, because there was nothing I could do about it. So, in order to try and start to fix this, I decided to do more voluntary service at a School for Special Needs from Autumn-Winter 2017.
Meanwhile in my spare time, I was performing musical bookings (I specialised in Easy-Listening music), attending choir every Wednesday evening and in between all of that was constantly sewing, sewing, SEWING.
Things were going okay; I’d volunteer at the school for 2 mornings a week and help my Mum and Dad with their Will Writing business run from home for the other 3-4 working days. Things (I thought were going well). But at the beginning of 2018, things went downhill fast.
After the Christmas holidays, unbeknownst to me, I wound up catching an extremely bad case of flu – so bad that…it’s embarrassing to admit it, but here goes… I nearly collapsed in PC World. Wound up having to call an ambulance – it was not a good day. After a few days of bed rest, I was okay, but I believe that it had a lot to do with me feeling stressed and worried about how my current career path was going, and how everything I’d been working towards for the last 3 years was falling flat on its face (plus, the flu bug). In the end, as a family, we decided that I needed a change of direction, pursue a different career path so to speak. Yes, there had been a lot of good moments with Teaching Assistant, but when I looked more in depth over the past 3 years, I felt that the negatives overwhelmingly outweighed the positives. This made me realise that I wanted to be doing something I loved, something that was fun, enjoyable, worthwhile and frankly…Teaching Assistant wasn’t fun anymore.
Come to think about it…it hadn’t been for a very long time.
Which is why I decided that I wanted to do Sewing. Namely, creating my own business.
My First Task: Gain Skill & Knowledge. This was harder than we thought.
Locally there were no Schools or Colleges offering courses on sewing. Honestly, we were shocked. So, that left us with only one option…we turned to the internet. After a few days of relentless searching (mainly on Mum’s part, God bless her) we found an online City and Guilds Patchwork & Quilting Course and luckily, who coincidentally were preparing to enrol new students. Thankfully, I managed to get onto the course.
Within 5 months I’d achieved my Level 2 Patchwork & Quilting and 1 year later I’m currently over halfway through my Level 3 Patchwork & Quilting.
The last year and a half have come and gone in a flash and I feel like I’ve learnt and achieved so much more than I ever did with my Teaching Assistant Courses.
Everything that has happened and everything I have done has made me who I am and led me to where I am today…as the proud owner of ‘Sew-Drops’.
In some ways I believe that it was meant to be. I mean, since the age of 8, Sewing has constantly kept reappearing in my life. Originally, I thought it was a bad omen, something I was supposed to avoid at all costs. But as time passed by something amazing happened…I realised that it was the complete opposite.
It came to me when I was in need; every time I hit a rough patch in life. Maybe it was a sign?
Sewing didn’t just become my hobby…it became my friend.
I’d love to hear your Sewing Stories, SEW please get in touch.
All the best my Sew-Drops!
Until next time,