I’m going to start sharing more of myself here.
I have months of totally bootstrapped, DIY-clothing-company stories to catch up on, but here’s the tale of my first “production” experience. It involves blood and tears and terrible stitching.
I’ve been sewing the Seamly.co pieces myself (except for the Versalettes – those are manufactured in a super-rad factory in Portland!).
But six months ago, I’d never used an industrial sewing machine.
This spring, I decided it was time to learn.
So with my 27th “birthday money” I enrolled at a vocational college. Every week for the the next two months, I took the bus from Boulder to Denver, an hour each way, for my sewing class in the basement of an old high school. We used a book from the 1940′s, and it was amazing.
Then I joined the Denver Design Incubator to practice sewing on my own. After Jessica created patterns for crops and dresses and leggings, and Larry cut my fabric, I decided “it wouldn’t be that hard” to just sew them up myself.
I was wrong.
Day one. I decided to put the “Seamly.co” labels on. I sewed for five hours, took out nearly every stitch, and cried on the bus ride home that night. I scolded myself for thinking it would be easy, and for getting in too deep (as I always do).
I don’t know why I went back the next day. But I did. And I kept going back, bussing from Boulder to Denver, until things were pretty much complete.
(I suppose since I’d invested so much time, and literally all of my money into this venture, I had very little choice.)
When I sit down at the machine now, I am no faster, but far more patient. I improve slowly. I still take out stitches constantly, because I want things to be just right. I want them to be perfect. I don’t want you, on the other end of Seamly.co, to know how new I am to all of this.
But that’s silly. This is what Seamly.co is.
It’s me: learning, making mistakes, building my patience, going all in.
Someday it won’t be just me, or my story — my vision is so much bigger.
But until then, sewing teaches me to be patient for that day. Keep bootstrapping, keep DIY-ing everything, keep going.