I am back today with the Sewing by Ti Thankful Sewing Blog Tour. Each day this month some of the most talented women in the sewing blog world are sharing things they are thankful for. I debated for a while what angle I wanted to take on the topic and realized that I already had a draft saved that makes me Thankful.
I feel like every blog has that post. The one post that reveals more about the author’s struggles. The one that keeps building up inside, waiting for the right time to share with the world. It’s time for mine.
One of the most common reasons more and more women are joining the sewing revolution is that we are tired of getting frustrated with retail clothing. It doesn’t fit right. You get upset in the dressing room. Or maybe you even avoid the dressing room. Maybe it fits in the hips. But then the waist is too big. Maybe it fits in the shoulders, but it is too tight in the bust. Scenario after scenario where we come out with bits of self esteem or even self worth drifting into the breeze.
I have had a love/hate reationship with my body over the years. I mean, who hasn’t? I played sports my whole life. I never had to worry about eating right or exercising. Calories came in, calories went out. The end.
College came. The story changed. I played softball for two years, and I ate whatever I wanted. Then, I ended my sports career to focus on getting into physical therapy school, my real dream. My love of food continued. Calories came in, but this time calories didn’t go out. My struggle began. I was never small but muscular and truly “big boned.” I wore size 11 shoes and had been able to palm a basketball since middle school.
I don’t think I realized how much my weight gain affected me deep down. My Dad has been a yo yo dieter his whole life, and I always knew that would be my struggle too. “Some people eat to live,” he would say, “but I live to eat.” Food was/is my outlet. Food is my drug.
I got fed up at one point and decided to train for a half marathon. Then another. I found myself back in my softball body, regaining bits of my confidence as my weight dropped.
My weight loss always starts with me getting ticked off about something. Just fed up. It fuels me. It keeps me motivated…for a while. I feed off of the exercise endorphins until I don’t anymore. The weight of my stress catches back up with me. The pounds pack back on.
My fear was 200 pounds. Six months before I got pregnant with my first son I was in great shape. Then, work got crazy. I ate everything in sight for 4 months. I was 198 the day I found out I was pregnant.
Bed rest came at 34 weeks due to pre term contractions with being on my feet at work. The pounds came on and on over those 6 weeks (for a total of a 46 pound weight gain for the pregnancy). But when you are focused on bringing a baby into the world, you ignore things you know you can work on down the road.
Four months after my son was born, I was still well over 200 pounds. We made one of the best decisions of our life. We packed up everything and moved to Japan for my husband’s job. A two year assignment in a country where I couldn’t speak the language. Acting brave but truly scared to death about not having help with my infant. Once we arrived, I was constantly surrounded by women who were much smaller than me. I could not find clothes that fit me at all. But I tried not to worry about my size. I was so focused on simply surviving.Several months in, I finally found myself again. I crawled out of being simply Mommy. I focused on being Stacey again. A former athlete. A competitive person. A woman with pride in who she was and who she wanted to be again.
It all began when we traveled to New Zealand in August of our first year in Japan. I was mortified. I could barely squeeze into the airline seats. I carry my weight in my hips, and I was embarrassed to be taking up more than my fair share between the seats. That’s all it took. I was on a mission. I lost 30 pounds from August to December. I felt great. I looked great. I was loving living life in one-derland.
And then baby #2 came along. Although I hated it at the time, my Japanese doctor informed me that I should only put on 5 kilos for the whole pregnancy due to being overweight. 11 pounds. 11 pounds!! I thought he had lost his mind. But it made me mindful. It made me not give in to every craving. Now don’t get me wrong, I ate my fair share of Coco Curry House, but I walked every morning until 36-37 weeks.In the end, I put on a super satisfying 21 pounds. Two weeks after giving birth to another beautiful baby boy I was already back to my pre birth weight.
Hauling 2 kids around the Greater Tokyo area was great for staying in shape!
Living in a big city without a car agreed with my body very well. I was ready to tackle the return to the States for good. I wasn’t going to put that weight back on. I had already began tinkering with sewing clothes for myself and for my boys, but I had not become serious about my sewing yet.
I started work 3 weeks into being back all while trying to settle in the boys and look for a house. Pound by pound over the past year and half, I regained almost all of the weight I lost while in Japan. Talk about heartbreaking. I swore to myself it wouldn’t happen.
But this time. I didn’t get angry. I was not mad at myself. Maybe disappointed. But I decided it was time. Time for me again. Time to hit the pavement, get out my Jillian Michaels DVDs, and get out in the yard more with the boys. Anything to get moving again. This time is for me. It’s for the athlete that still lives inside me. It’s for the long haul. I am 23 pounds down today and only 2 pounds away from my weight when we moved back from Japan.
And it’s to buy more fabric to make smaller clothes!!!!I am so thankful that I stumbled across the PDF sewing world and subsequently went down the rabbit hole. Despite my weight gain, sewing has giving me a confidence about my body that I have never experienced before. I have made and worn hot pants, swimsuits and mini dresses…all of which expose my most self-critical parts. And then crazy enough I posted pictures of them all over the internet. These women in the sewing community are beyond supportive of each other, and they motivate me to improve my sewing skills and expand my creativity. Today, I am thankful for finding myself in sewing and becoming comfortable with my ever changing body.
Our Thankful Sewing Bloggers are creating something special to share with you to celebrate this month of Thanksgivings! As an extra special surprise, we also have a couple giveaways during each week of the tour. Share your thanks with Petite Stitchery who has a new pattern to share with us, a free pattern giveaway from Sew by Pattern Pieces, and a chance to win a shop credit each week from Simply by Ti!
Intro to the tour
Nov 1st: Tenille’s Thread
Nov 2nd: Candace Ayala
Nov 3rd: Hazelnut Handmade
Nov 4th: Musing of a Seamstress
Nov 5th: Sewing Portfolios
Monday Nov 6th: mahlicadesigns
Nov 7th: Seams Sew Lo
Nov 8th: Margarita on the Ross
Nov 9th: Stitched by Jennie
Nov 10th: Sewing with D
Monday Nov 13th: 5 outof 4 Patterns
Nov 14th: Tales of a Southern Mom
Nov 15th: Hazelnut Handmade
Nov 16th: Octaves of Color
Nov 17th: Kainara Stitches
Nov 18th: Kutti Couture
Nov 19th: The Petite Sewist
Monday Nov 20th: My Heart will Sew On
Nov 21st: Needles to Say
Nov 22nd: Back 40 Life
Nov 23rd: Lovemade Handmade
Nov 24th: Sewing by Ti
Nov 25th: On Wednesdays We Sew
Nov 26th: Paisley Roots
Monday Nov 27th: Mermaid Mama Designs
Nov 28th: Sew Haute Blog
Nov 29th: Ma Moose Handmade
Nov 30th: Everything Your Mama Made & More
This week’s Giveaway is a Simply by Ti $20 shop credit. Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Until next time…sewing and sipping,
14 thoughts on “Thankful Sewing Blog Tour”
Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. So many of us have found confidence in our bodies through making our own clothes. Good luck on your continued journey!
Thanks, Laurel! It makes me wish all women knew how to make clothes that fit them properly!
Thank you for sharing your journey. I also was a very competitive athlete until partway into college. The adjustment to taking care of my body after I stopped competing was a bear for me too (and also involved weight and body image challenges). I’m glad you have found sewing. Your work is beautiful!
Thank you, Shelby! It is interesting to hear how other women can relate to body struggles.
Thank for such an honest post. I also sew because I want to have clothes that fit me properly, regardless of size. For a long time I thought that there was something wrong with me, even when I was a super-skinny teenager. I’ve learnt so much since I started sewing for myself again after many years, and having clothes that I actually like to wear is so liberating!
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