Why Did I Open The Confident Stitch?

Sewing Transforms Us

To me, sewing is transformative for both humans and the Earth. I believe those of us with the time to hyper-consume should slow down and create. Instead of following the newest fast-fashion trend, we should use quality fabrics in just the right colors to make things for ourselves and the people we love.  Although the things we make will be far from perfect, the act of creating heals us and the earth. We feel soothed while we create, and we add less waste to the atmosphere and ever-expanding mountains of garbage.

Being Able to Fit Yourself is Magical

Bonnie Checking Kate's Full-Bust-Adjustment on MCall's 6750
Bonnie Checking Kate’s Full-Bust-Adjustment on MCall’s 6750

When I took my first Palmer/Pletsch fitting class in Oregon, one of my classmates was an engineer who had lost her job after 20 years at a single company. Her body wasn’t “standard,” and she had not been able to find interview-appropriate dresses or skirts. Pati Palmer promised her that she would leave the four-day class with three interview-appropriate dresses or skirts pin-fit in fabric. When Pati put the final pin in one of the dresses, my engineer classmate stood in front of the mirror with her seam allowances flopping around. She burst into tears. The well-fitting dress made her feel confident that she could get a new job after wearing pants and Polo shirts for 20 years. Stories like hers are why I founded The Confident Stitch.

Sewing is a Skill We Rarely Value

Sewing Thick Wool with a Walking Foot

In almost every class I teach, at least one student realizes how much work goes into each garment and quilt. Fast, cheap fashion can only exist in a world where the skills of fabric weaving, pattern drafting, and sewing are no longer valued. But the truth is, making things takes skill. Most Americans don’t know that skilled artisans sew their clothes. Learning to sew helps us appreciate the process and makes us more likely to value each item we wear.

Why Did I Open The Confident Stitch?

I understand that humans and the earth need a lot more healing. But, sewing heals both humans and the Earth a little bit, and for that, I am grateful.

8 thoughts on “Why Did I Open The Confident Stitch?

  1. Diane Gatley says:

    Hi Kate,
    Thank you for posting this thoughtful article. Sewing, creating, and feeling soothed in the process really expresses how it is for me. I appreciate your thought that sewing heals both humans and the Earth a little bit.
    Thank you for opening the Confident Stitch and creating this blog. It is lovely to be connected with like minded sewists!
    PS That is a very attractive boatneck dress you are wearing. What is the pattern?

  2. elizabeth reinhardt says:

    I’m so glad that you opened the Confident Stitch! Great addition to Missoula and a pleasure to visit!

  3. Deborah Freeman Wilkinson says:

    After teaching a full week (Wearable Art Workshop at the Stitchin Post in Sisters, Oregon) which included lots of tissue fitting (thank you Pati Palmer and Helen Bartley ), I enjoyed my leisurely Saturday morning coffee reading your post. You put my week into meaningful and concise words. Thank you! I hope to meet you in person some day. I did meet your lovely daughter when I was teaching at Hello Stitch! I enjoy shopping on-line at The Confident Stitch!

    • kate says:

      Hi Deborah!

      I’m glad to have your name. Mairin enjoyed meeting you and was glad you knew about The Confident Stitch! Hopefully, you can come to Missoula and teach some day!:) Kate

  4. Sherrie Virdell says:

    You are so right, Kate, and this post is thoughtful and inspirational. I sew my own clothes, and I’m pretty good at it. I agree that the uninformed masses believe we sew to save money and that our efforts are of substandard quality, which is not the case for many of us. Even quilts, which are a lot of work and investment in money, are rarely appreciated for the many hours of love put into them. I look forward to your blog posts, keep them coming!

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