Pillowcase Learn to Sew Class

When people find out I sew, the first thing out of their mouths is one of two things.  One response is “I have some pants that need hemming. Can I get you to do that?”  The other response is “I bought a sewing machine because I wanted to learn to sew and it is still in the box.”  Sometimes that second response will vary in that they have taken the machine out of the box but have not proceeded further.  Lately, I’ve been trying to find a profitable outlet for my sewing skills and knowledge.  I’ve been pursuing several different ideas until reading the post, The Commitment Phobic Creative, by Braid Creative & Counsulting.  They advise making a list of “all the things you can or want to do in your creative business“, then “crossing out the ones that you haven’t actually been paid for in 6 months.”  (If you wish to re-live my original drama, see my earlier post.)

So, here we are, weeks later, with list made and items crossed off and some very real soul searching.  And, as bad as I hate to admit it, EUREKA! I may have found the answer.  Fingers-crossed, hold your breath, I may have found a niche that needs me. All of my paying and non-paying interactions with folks concerning sewing have been the above two responses.  So, why not focus on that?  There must be a need, right?

A couple of ladies at church used the two responses I mentioned earlier.  So I set about to come up with a means to teach them to get that machine out of the box and conquer their fear.  I stumbled across All People Quilt’s 1-Million Pillowcase Challenge. I developed a quick little learn-to-sew class around making a pillowcase.  The goals of the class were to get participants sewing on their machine with some confidence and completing a project.  I made up silly little invitations, booked the church fellowship hall and invited six ladies.  Five of them came!  I provided assistance to those that needed their machines set up and provide fabric kits from my stash so there would be no stress if mistakes were made on their own personal fabric.  Five ladies walked out of the hall two hours later with a completed pillowcase.

You would need to ask them, but I believe from their responses after class, they enjoyed themselves.  Many of them have requested more classes.  They unanimously have requested an alterations class.  So I’ve been researching it and writing a lesson plan.  Every time I talk about what I am doing, I gain one or two more interested students.  So, here we gooooooooooo.






A Commitment Phobic Creative?

I’ve always considered myself to be brave, to be able to do what is necessary when the need arises.  According to the Myers-Briggs test, I’m an INTJ.  According to the Enneagram test, I’m a Type 1 – Reformer, leaning heavily toward a Type 6 – Loyalist.  But never have I been labeled as “commitment phobic” until now.  Spoonflower tweeted an article yesterday that intrigued me:

Signs you may be a commitment phobic creative, and what to do about it: from

So I clicked on the bit.ly and browsed a blog post from Braid Creative and found that it hit my situation exactly on the head.  I’m a creative that desperately wants to be a creative entrepreneur but I’ve been stumped.  I’ve been unable to move forward.  Braid Creative nailed it exactly on the head.

1. Yes, I hoard notebooks!  Not only do I have notebooks, my sewing and design skills demand that the notebooks have custom designed fabric covers.  The notebooks were blank but I have made significant strides in the past 5 years to “put pen to paper”. I now carry a notebook with me as often as I can. I write, I design, I sketch and I jot down any thoughts.  In my defense, I am also a tech person, thoroughly mobile and cloud-based, so the paper notebook is a little bit of a burden for me.  I have apps that allow me to do the designing and writing and then store it in the cloud so it is always with me.  Many times, I lack the spare hand to carry the notebook or I have picked up the design notebook instead of the writing notebook.  Using a mobile device is not nearly as obvious as scratching on paper.  There is no eraser “dust” when ideas and lines change and there is no need for ample elbow room or solid surface.  I feel I have conquered this one!

2. “Now, what exactly do you do?”  They might as well have typed my name in this one. This is EXACTLY where I am. Hello, my name is Aleeah and I am a “jane of all trades”.  And I’m trapped there. In an attempt to use Braid Creative‘s advice to move past this, I’ve tried to write down all the things that I can or want to do in my creative business.  It is a LONG list.  I am capable of, and have done so many things personally and professionally.  Then the post advises to “cross out the ones that you haven’t been actually paid for in 6 months.”  I can honestly say that I have not been paid for any of them.  I repaired a sweater for someone and she gave me $5. So now I have a list that consists of nothing but clothing repair.  My paying clothing repair consists of sewing on buttons and correcting Third World garment workers mistakes.  Now what?

I continued through the rest of the symptoms.  In reference to number 3, I’ve spent quite a bit of time and effort and expense over the past year to combine all of my ideas into one persona.  Thus my new Fruit from My Hands blog and brand. As for number 4, I have multiple social media accounts under my new brand, but I have yet to implement them simply because I’m still back at number 2, needing a direction and clear vision for what I should be doing.  I’m a social media coordinator in my day job so I’m prepared and ready for which platform I will focus on and how I will effectively engage my followers and customers.  So consider 3 and 4 conquered.

I would add one more to this list.  I feel that time management also plays a key role.  Developing a creative entrepreneurship does not fall out of the sky.  Neither does it walk up to you on the street nor jump off the computer screen and demand to be served.  Anyone wanting to advance their creative business must commit to setting aside an amount of time on a regular basis to shut out the rest of the world and focus solely on the business.

So I’m still stuck at number 2.  I’m still stuck at trying to find a paying audience for any of my creative skills.  But I really appreciate Braid Creative’s post and they have gained a new follower in this “commitment phobic creative”.