What's sewing got to do with it, you ask?
A lot. Let me go into it a bit more....
n my former life as a fashion designer holding a senior position, I was working at a family-run boutique fashion house.
I was involved in everything from hiring staff, training them and retaining them, retail sales AND the actual job I was hired to do, which was producing FOUR collections every year. You get the picture.
Quite often I had to put in almost 24 / 7 to meet production and sampling deadlines, because I WAS the business; everything was in my head! I ran on pure adrenalin, with a good measure of stress thrown in. Then one day I woke up and couldn’t feel the left side of my body.
Have you all seen “Kill Bill”? When Uma Thurman’s character woke up from a coma and had to WILL her body to work, starting from her little toes? Well, I did something like that.
It was weird, because while I could will my toes to wiggle and see my foot moving, I kinda wasn’t feeling them.
Did I panic? Not really. Thinking back, it was more like a sense of disbelief….. I told myself that I must have slept funny and got some bad case of pins-and-needles or something.
Besides, it was 48 hours from one of my deadlines so I simply HAD to be at work - No matter what. So I did. By the time I got to the doctors a couple of days later, all hell broke loose
and I found myself in a flurry of tests – After another attack, when I sat down somewhere and couldn’t stand up again, things took a serious turn.
This was when they told me that I had MS – Multiple Sclerosis. Except they didn’t found enough hard evidence to prove it, so I didn’t qualify for any treatment. I basically got told that my life was over, but nothing could be done
because I wasn’t sick enough! And then I saw my job got advertised.
No one from work had bothered to tell me – I saw it in the newspapers.... What a way to find out!
What to do with my life? I was 31, with a mortgage, no job, not sick enough for treatment or benefit. My doctor sat me down and said, "Just take this opportunity to do WHATEVER you love
– while you CAN.” So I got sewing.
By this time I had started teaching patchwork, so I simply continued.
What I didn't expect was the support and stories that came from everyone who turned up at my classes - all these women, from all different walks of life and all different background - each one had their own story to share. Be it health, relationship, family or just life in general. Everyone, myself included, were finding solace in sewing.
Our creative space was our safest sanctuary. I've come to learn that many people have overcome serious medical conditions, or have simply made peace with our body and got on with life. I didn't feel so alone any more.
One of my biggest challenges was losing some fine motor skills in my hands. Prior to this, I loved doing needle-turn applique, and was quite well-know for my tiny, even little stitches. Of course, by this time my stitches weren't tiny any more - and certainly weren't even. So I started focusing on designing pieced quilts, and developed some impressive, but surprisingly beginner-friendly quilts!
How many quilts can you make in a life time? I dunno. All I knew was that I made quilts like there was no tomorrow - and in part, that thought was very real.
I just kept sewing and churning out quilt after quilt - rotary cutting and machine piecing made it all possible.
I had sooooo many designs dancing around in my head, I simply had to get them all out... and, at the back of my mind, I wanted to leave as many quilts behind as possible, for people to remember me by........ And strange enough, I got better.
With so many quilts as class samples to go around, my classes filled, and I ended up writing detailed instructions so everyone can take something home. These instructions went on to become my range of quilt patterns... things kind of took off from there.
Did sewing cure me...? Probably not, but I am sure it helped me heal. On so many different levels.
Looking back, getting ill was probably the BEST thing that could have happened to me - it gave me my life back
, so I get to sew for another day, or more. What does sewing mean to YOU?
I'd love to hear your story. Care to share? P.S.
I felt compelled to share my story here with you, because recently a customer called to thank me. She told me that sewing would be part of her rehab to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I cried. Of joy.
Having heard this from another kindred spirit just made me realised there must be many of us out there, who share the passion of sewing, and it means more to us then a task to be completed or skill to be learned.
Let's share the experience..... xoxox
Sew Much Easier is a place created by your fellow sewist, for other sewists just like you.
No matter what age you are, where you live, what kind of hours you keep, and how much (or how little) sewing experience you have, you will find yourself welcome here :-)
My grandmother was the first quilter I knew.
I have just received my new Janome, what fantastic delivery service. I ordered this on Sunday afternoon and now 2 days later it is in my home. I will now spend some time reading all of the instruction book. I will let you know shortly how I am going.
Ian Connelly - Ulladulla, NSW
I just wanted to say thanks for the detailed information you provide about your products. I am new to sewing and it was so helpful to ensure I chose the right batting for my project!
Samantha Trenerry - Christies Beach, SA
Customer service and time taken to reply to questions was impeccable! I cannot thank you enough... ...for your genuine concern and care taken when dealing with each customer :)
Alessia - The Gap, Brisbane, QLD
Hi guys, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for this ruffle foot - I can barely contain my excitement on how amazing it is!! Thank you so much for your wonderfully fast service, and lovely note as well. You are the best :-) Cheers.
Karina Fleming - Kirrawee, New South Wales
Thanks for the great deal on the Janome sewing machine and accessories. All items turned up within 3 days, machine is easy to use and works beautiful, done some patchwork and just love it. Thanks for the easy transaction, would do business with you anytime!
Irene Munro - Port Macquarie, NSW
Thanks heaps.... you have been wonderful to deal with and I will definitely be suggesting you to all my sewing friends :) Will let you know how I go when I get the machine out and stitch all my [dog] jackets together.
Lisa Holdforth - Colac, VIC
Thank you for the wonderful experience I had when I was buying my new machine off you. The service was exceptional beyond all means, would NEVER get that kind of service anywhere else.. ANYONE thinking of buying a machine I HIGHLY recommend Shelley... she is one of a kind. I know I will have many years pleasure of using this machine..
Wendy Horne - Cooroy, QLD
I actually OFFERED to write this testimonial, as I was so thrilled with Shelley's service, speed and professionalism each time I dealt with Sew Much Easier!
It can be daunting buying online, sight unseen, especially when you're thinking of spending a decent amount of money; however, each and every promise and guarantee that Sew Much Easier offers on their site, you can be sure will be honoured - and more...
Shayne Jelavic - Empire Bay NSW
Shelley understands sewers, and how intense we can be; for example, when my Ottlite bulb blew one Sunday afternoon in the middle of a project, she had found me a replacement, undercut all competition on the price, and had it delivered - interstate - within 36 hours!
If only all businesses, online or otherwise, provided this standard of service!
Shayne Jelavic - Empire Bay NSW
Thank you for such an effortless transaction - 'Diana' arrived this morning and is already and waiting for me to start on the tricky bits of my daughter's wedding dress.
This was the main reason for the purchase but when that's finished then I start on my 'mother-of-the-bride' outfit which will be SewMuchEasier now :)
Lynne Howick - Mayfield, TAS
Hi guys, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for this ruffle foot - I can barely contain my excitement on how amazing it is!!
Thank you so much for your wonderfully fast service, and lovely note as well. You are the best :-) Cheers.
Karina Fleming - Kirrawee, New South Wales
Ever since I can remember, I have always been around her old treadle machine and fabrics - and too often got busted for raiding grandma's precious stash box! This led me into a life-long affair with textiles.
I went on to become a fashion and textiles designer and worked in the industry for more than a decade. Sewing - especially patchwork - became my time-out.
Oh, the joy of playing with fabric, textures and colours!
No matter how hectic my life was in the fashion world, I could always find peace and freedom by simply stitching away
just for the love of it. Just for ME
. Can you relate to this?
I know you can.
I provide the tools, materials and tips to make sewing easier and more enjoyable for people like you - who are passionate and have an urge to create via sewing.
While you're at it, you get to enjoy turning ideas and a pile of fabric into beautiful handmade goodies for your loved ones to wear, carry or cuddle!!
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About the Sew Much Easier Team...
The Sew Much Easier team is made up of Shelley & Terry, and we live in inner Melbourne, Australia.
Between us, we have over 10+ years of combined Textiles / Retail / Customer Service and Business / IT experience. Unlike some of the bigger retailers, chains stores and franchiese - either online or at a shopping centre near you - Sew Much Easier is not another faceless company. We are real people and we serve real people - just like you.
By shopping with us, you are supporting an independent, 100% Australian-owned, family-run business. We are also an ABN & GST registered retailer.
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I've sourced some of the most handy tools and equipments to make YOUR sewing adventures easier, faster, and more fun
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Make More Quilts?
Have More Time In The Sun With Your Family or Friends?
Or Go Shop for More Fabrics, Perhaps?
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While I don't know EVERYTHING there is to know about sewing..... I know enough, to get most of us going - even to a point where we can have heaps of fun while producing impressive results!
What I don't know, I can find out for you.... because I'm fortunate enough to have access to a vast amount of inside knowledge and trade secrets from my years in the fashion & textile industry.
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