First things first. This is NOT your granny’s sewing blog, but is 100% inspired by her!
I decided to start a sewing / crafting blog in honor of my late grandma, Joanne. She was a mother of 5 boys, made meals from scratch, loved crafting and was a heck of a seamstress! A regular June Cleaver! She made a lot of her clothes herself and wore them proudly to church on Sundays. She was a perfectionist, a free spirit, kept a clean house and always had lessons on the best way to get things clean – it takes 6 passes of the vacuum to get all the dirt out of the carpet, or hand washing dishes should be washed in water so hot, your hands can barely stand it. That’s SEW Grandma Jo!
I’m told my parents named me after my Grandma Jo because I was the firstborn girl of all her grandchildren. Little did anyone know that I’d eventually inherit her love of sewing and crafting! I never had the opportunity to learn to sew with her, but for many years after she passed away, I wanted to learn how to sew and had no idea where to turn. Over time, I’ve had great lessons from my mom and Grandma Jo’s sewing books she left behind. I’ve learned from YouTube, Craftsy, Pinterest, and many of the sewing blogs out there. When she passed away, I was given all of her sewing stuff. With that was her Happy Lock serger (still works!) and Montgomery Ward (yes, “Ward’s”!) Computer sewing machine. Probably the *bee’s knees* back then! That machine is completely seized up and is in need of serious repair. One day.
My grandma on my mom’s side was also a seamstress. I spent many hours as a child watching her sew, meeting the next deadline for her many clients. Like Grandma Jo, my lola made apparel for her customers, particularly wedding apparel, ball gowns and fancy evening dresses. She lived a simple life in a one bedroom apartment in Southern California with my lolo, supporting my aunts’ and uncles’ dreams of living the American lifestyle. Her “sewing studio” was a small 2 ft by 3 ft tabletop in a small corner of her dining room. With fabric spread across her four-person dining room table with 6 mismatched chairs, her thread and notions stored in a bookcase behind a curtain, 10+ grandchildren running around while she babysat us and I Love Lucy reruns playing on her 19″ color TV, she made the best of what she had.
My mom is talented as well. She sews, paints, cooks AMAZING Filipino food, can put a pen to paper and make it a colorful masterpiece, decorates her home better than anyone I know, and crochets her own made-up patterns like a boss! She and I love to craft and share our latest projects with each other via random texts. Our home was always filled with things she had made for the house.
All that to say, my name is Jolyn. I’m half-Filipina, half-American, married with children and inspired by the hard work of sewists and crafters in my family. The goal of my blog is to help others find what inspires them to sew!
Welcome to She Helps Me Sew!
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