Joanna Essentials was born in need of a creative outlet, after closing the doors to my handmade business of four years. I lovingly made girls and infant clothing in the basement of my home. I would sew into the wee hours of the night or any time of day that was allowed, at the same time managing all the responsibilities of being a stay at home mom and the needs of a growing family. Those were challenging years with little ones at my feet, I loved having my own small shop and poured everything into it. It was hard to say goodbye as I felt I was loosing a part of myself , something I worked so hard for. I enjoyed the creative process of making and selling sweet pinafores and baby rompers, using my daughter as my muse. I am forever grateful for that time and experience. I learned an immense amount about entrepreneurship, how to sew, and passion driven success. All the sewing skills and aspirations I have today, wouldn’t be here without all the hustle, joy and tears of my handmade business Little Lorraine Company.
I never intended to stop sewing, as my love for sewing is endless. I continued to sew clothing for my daughter and soon made time to start sewing for myself, something I had been anticipating far too long. I began by experimenting with vintage patterns and fabrics I already owned and went straight to work! My first dress was soon complete and I quickly moved on to the next project. It was such a liberating experience! I was instantly in love with self sewing ( not selfish - because it’s not selfish to sew for you!) just for me, unapologetically. Uninspired with my ill fitting wardrobe, I was ready to ditch the poly tees and too tight skinny jeans that no longer fit my curvy shape. I was determined to create pieces that suited my style and give life back into my closet!
One year later, I am building a handmade wardrobe that embodies the woman I am today. I have less desire to shop for clothing, browse department stores for the latest trends, or feel guilty about purchases made out of my budget. I feel confidant knowing that I can sew a beautiful garment, made with attention to detail and sustainable choice fabrics with my own two hands. It’s incredibly empowering to say “ Thank you, I made my clothes.” When a stranger offers a complement on your outfit.
One of my biggest sewing challenges has been to find my own personal style. The marriage between fabrics and patterns, what looks best on my body, and what fabrics I like against my skin. Its quite the exploration process! It can be exciting and daunting at the same time! This area improves with practice and soon making confidant choices becomes easier. It becomes almost like an art form when we get into our flow of sewing, or our own personal therapy. To trace, cut, sew, and create followed by a tangible product made with our own two hands. Something magical about the process.
I am also grateful to connect with such a wonderful community of sewists , who inspire and encourage me each day. I am beyond thrilled to be able to share not only a photo of my memades with you, but actually express how they make me feel and the creative process behind them. I hope you can take away something valuable each time you visit, and feel inspired to create your own wardrobe that brings you happiness. You can usually find me at my PNW home sewing or dreaming about it, with my two boys, one daughter, two kitties and my one loving husband.