If you recall, during my time as a WAHM, I started a sewing business. Over the last two-ish years, it really blossomed into a pretty satisfying little home-based project. I made a decent amount of income to add to the family coffers, and I had a something that was just mine– a way to express myself creatively, engage my mind in something non-child related, and make a little cash on the side. It was easier to spend money on a $30 bottle of makeup when I could sell a purse to pay for it– I felt like I wasn’t “wasting” my family’s money.
Part of developing my business was building my inventory– not just of finished products but also of raw materials. I loved being able to go into my sewing area and pluck just the right combination of fabrics and finishings, and in a matter of hours have a new creation. Sometimes those creations were for sale, and sometimes they were for a gift. Or for myself. Or for our home. But it was something new and different in my sewing life to be able to use my own inventory, rather than making a special trip to the fabric store.
Last April, I hit the big time when (some of) my home decor stash found a fancy new home:
During this time, I was putting out about 5-6 bags a week, and it was becoming cumbersome to open up all the crates and crannies where these fabrics lived several times every week. Even though this only represented about 1/2 of my fabrics (only the patterned home decor weight), it represented the “money” part of my sewing– the items made from it were the ones that brought in business.
Then, in June, I returned to full time work.
Last night, I dismantled these shelves of fabric.
I haven’t closed Seams Fine. I still make purses, and I am still in at least one brick-and-mortar shop. I still take custom orders. But it’s become really hard to find the time to do this in any sort of large scale. Even when I have the time, I am so, so tired.
Adjusting to “abandoning” my children (I know this is not true, but it’s how it feels sometimes) and my dog continues to be a process. There are constant reminders of how things used to be, some subtle and some blatant. I miss meetings. I don’t know their teachers. I am no longer as involved as I was. Most of the time I can rationalize this with the up-sides: my children are developing more autonomy, I am role modeling a positive image of a working mother, we have moneez for things like $1200 car repairs.
Seeing that fabric every day as I walk into and out of my home has been a constant reminder that I also abandoned a part of me. Even though I will always sew, create, and craft… I don’t have time to create like I did over the past four years. Sewing no longer has that space in my life. So it isn’t practical for it to keep that space in my home.
So, I packed most of it away. In time, I have a service project that I am hoping will use up all but my very favorite or the most popular prints. I will replace that space with a landing strip for my constantly-on-the-go family– which is what used to be there when I worked full time before.
I was sad about it last night. It seemed symbolic, a casting off of a part of the old that I am sad about. Of course I miss the kids, but honestly 2/3 of them are in school all day anyway. The last one goes in a year. Time lost with them is inevitable.
I miss having an idea and just making that idea exist. It’s something very special about being able to sew that I have gotten pretty attached to over the last few years. I just have no idea how to make it all fit.