Sew, Fail, Repeat. The Dad Sews Journey (Part 1)


Dad Sews

Well, I’ve always wanted to learn to sew. This year I turn 40, and I’m starting to get embarrassed asking my mother to hem my jeans. This is a skill I should have in my tool belt.  Especially now that I have four kids. There are socks to darn, holes to fix, etc. Knowing how to sew is a money saver, and I NEED to save money.

Let’s Get To Know Dad Sews

Blogged by our resident Blogger, Donna of Charms Couture Boutique

 

Dad Sews Blog

Donna of Charms Couture Boutique

 

Sewing. As a society, when that word is heard, we tend to think of women hunched over needle concentrating on mending a garment. Or we think of the 1950s housewife making her husband a new pair of trousers and christening gowns for her young children. Do you see the trend? The stereotype? That’s right. HER. SHE.

Why is it that we tend to leave MEN out? Men sew too. In fact, back in the 50s, in order to get pants done, or a work suit, communities had TAILORS! And tailors were MEN. Where and when did the conversion change?!

MEN CAN MAKE PRETTY THINGS TOO!

Sew (see what I did there? Yes I know, I’m a lame), why is this important? Why am I even writing about this? Simple. DadSews.

Huh? DadSews? Yes. A Man that Sews. A Sewing Man. A Man that is a Dad that Sews…DADSEWS!

Over the past months, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Christian Lee; the Dad behind DadSews.com.

This guy has really set the tone for all Fathers starting out on their sewing journey!

For anyone who has ever started out on a new hobby, or has attempted to learn ANYTHING new, then you probably know and recognize the faces of failures. The grunted look when you’re concentrating so hard that the slightest sound or question from your S/O or child makes you want to scream; “LEAVE ME ALONE! I ALMOST HAD IT!” The tearful face of finishing a lovely row of stitches just to find out the backside is all wonky and you must find your new best friend: The Seam Ripper. The late night sewing and swear sessions that make you want to throw everything against the wall. WE know these faces, these feelings…and Christian knows them too.

I’ll admit, when I got back into sewing after 10+ years, I joined a ton- and I mean a TON- of sewing groups on Facebook. It was disheartening. I saw all these great projects and even at times people would post, “I’ve never sewn before and didn’t use a pattern… and what they made was essentially a full length rhinestone ball gown! WHAT?! Yea, how do you NOT want to give up after seeing posts like that?

Sewing can be an extremely fulfilling undertaking; as well as a morose self-loathing of questioning our own sanity and skill. Christian understands this process; the endless loop of creating, wondering, failure, and success.

Juggling this often chaotic loop with the everyday aspects of family life can be treacherous. We lose time we’ve committed to our families or to our projects; we need to manage sewing projects against soccer games, dresses against dances, accessories and toys against family game nights. Where is the line?

In asking Christian how he manages his business and family commitments, he explained that every year, he takes a month long break. His kids are involved in his projects which help keeps him energized! He publishes about one DadSews video a week on Tuesdays, he highlights another Sewist on Thursdays on the Live or Spotlight video and his filming is scheduled AROUND HIS FAMILY TIME.

Christian didn’t start out sewing or wanting to sew. His previous career? He was a travelling stand up comic! Which actually works pretty well with sewing! You really need a sense of humor to overcome some of the stresses that come with the territory.

Another stressor? Sewing for people who want couture custom pieces for dollar store prices. In the handmade world that is a big struggle. You want and may need the business but cannot take on the amount of work the potential customer seeks for the price they want to pay. How do we nicely say no but leave the door open to the future?

Christian’s advice? “I just tell the truth, “it doesn’t fit my brand”, or “I don’t have the time to devote to it”, “or “it’s a conflict of interest.” Usually one of those is accurate and understood by reasonable people. Plus, there’s always a block/ignore button. I’m teaching people to sew as I learn as well, so I don’t run into that problem, but I think in the beginning people should charge somewhere between what they’re worth, and what they’re willing to take. Once you’re positive you have the skills, request the bills. ALL of them.”

That’s right ladies and gents! Get paid fairly for what you do!

Sewing. As a society, when that word is heard, we tend to think of women hunched over needle concentrating on mending a garment. Or we think of the 1950s housewife making her husband a new pair of trousers and christening gowns for her young children. Do you see the trend? The stereotype? That’s right. HER. SHE.

Why is it that we tend to leave MEN out? Men sew too. In fact, back in the 50s, in order to get pants done, or a work suit, communities had TAILORS! And tailors were MEN. Where and when did the conversion change?!

MEN CAN MAKE PRETTY THINGS TOO!

Sew (see what I did there? Yes I know, I’m  lame), why is this important? Why am I even writing about this? Simple. DadSews.

Huh? DadSews? Yes. A Man that Sews. A Sewing Man. A Man that is a Dad that Sews…DADSEWS!

Over the past months, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Christian Lee; the Dad behind DadSews.com.

This guy has really set the tone for all Fathers starting out on their sewing journey!

For anyone who has ever started out on a new hobby, or has attempted to learn ANYTHING new, then you probably know and recognize the faces of failures. The grunted look when you’re concentrating so hard that the slightest sound or question from your S/O or child makes you want to scream; “LEAVE ME ALONE! I ALMOST HAD IT!” The tearful face of finishing a lovely row of stitches just to find out the backside is all wonky and you must find your new best friend: The Seam Ripper. The late night sewing and swear sessions that make you want to throw everything against the wall. WE know these faces, these feelings…and Christian knows them too.

I’ll admit, when I got back into sewing after 10+ years, I joined a ton- and I mean a TON- of sewing groups on Facebook. It was disheartening. I saw all these great projects and even at times people would post, “I’ve never sewn before and didn’t use a pattern… and what they made was essentially a full length rhinestone ball gown! WHAT?! Yea, how do you NOT want to give up after seeing posts like that?

Sewing can be an extremely fulfilling undertaking; as well as a morose self-loathing of questioning our own sanity and skill. Christian understands this process; the endless loop of creating, wondering, failure, and success.

Juggling this often chaotic loop with the everyday aspects of family life can be treacherous. We lose time we’ve committed to our families or to our projects; we need to manage sewing projects against soccer games, dresses against dances, accessories and toys against family game nights. Where is the line?

In asking Christian how he manages his business and family commitments, he explained that every year, he takes a month long break. His kids are involved in his projects which help keeps him energized! He publishes about one DadSews video a week on Tuesdays, he highlights another Sewist on Thursdays on the Live or Spotlight video and his filming is scheduled AROUND HIS FAMILY TIME.

Christian didn’t start out sewing or wanting to sew. His previous career? He was a travelling stand up comic! Which actually works pretty well with sewing! You really need a sense of humor to overcome some of the stresses that come with the territory.

Another stressor? Sewing for people who want couture custom pieces for dollar store prices. In the handmade world that is a big struggle. You want and may need the business but cannot take on the amount of work the potential customer seeks for the price they want to pay. How do we nicely say no but leave the door open to the future?

Christian’s advice?

I just tell the truth, “it doesn’t fit my brand”,

or

“I don’t have the time to devote to it”, or “it’s a conflict of interest.”

Usually one of those is accurate and understood by reasonable people. Plus, there’s always a block/ignore button. I’m teaching people to sew as I learn as well, so I don’t run into that problem, but I think in the beginning people should charge somewhere between what they’re worth, and what they’re willing to take. Once you’re positive you have the skills, request the bills. ALL of them.”

That’s right ladies and gents! Get paid fairly for what you do!

Part 2 …coming soon…


Gypsy Spoonful