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was about what ifs. I overheard a conversation between two older women about what their lives would have been like if they made different choices. As I sat next to them in a neighborhood cafe, they went back and forth how they might not being living in the same city and they might not have had children. The one woman said she might not be a blonde today if it weren’t for an ex-boyfriend.

At twenty-five-years-old, I don’t have a lot of what ifs to think about, but I have some. What if I didn’t move away? What if I got that tattoo? What if I didn’t transfer schools? What if that guy didn’t dump me? These are some of the lighthearted questions I asked before this one came to mind – what if I hadn’t discovered sewing? “Holy crap,” I thought, “I don’t know.” I believe that I started to become the woman I was meant to be when I moved away from home my freshman year of college, which, coincidentally, coincided with when I discovered sewing. This means that a large chunk of my existence has been dedicated to the hobby. “What would I be if I wasn’t involved in sewing?” I kept thinking. I’m introverted and observant, and I mean that in a good way, so the only thing I could come up with was a psychologist. Any position or career in public speaking would be out of the question because as well as my thoughts come across through words, I suck at expressing them verbally.

After about 10 minutes of thinking about my alternate life, I had worked myself into a tizzy. So much of my life is wrapped around sewing and I worried what would happen if I broke my hand and couldn’t sew. What do I do with myself if that happened? Then I told myself to stop thinking about the what ifs and start focusing on what is – that I’m happy and grateful to be a seamstress.

Do any of you think about what you’re life would be like if you hadn’t found sewing (or another hobby)?



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    If it wasnt sewing – it would be another creative outlet. Dont spend anytime on past ‘what ifs’ just future ones! Have to remind myself to stay somewhere in the present.

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    House Of Pinheiro

    Let me share mine experience. I was a career oriented high achiever my whole life. before sewing, my life was work, work work and I didn’t had a personal life because working in a high pressured environment was what I knew and was great at it, till I had a serious back problem that got me 6 month in agony in bed, many surgeries and treatments later, I learn that you are the same person but all your qualities can be shifted. That’s because at the beginning I lost my word, if I cannot work now, what do I do? During my recovery process I learn to sew and sewing was my personal therapy. I found the high achiever back, got my confidence back but realise I needed to have a better life balance. Do I still love working, yes, but I love my time at home sewing too. Life don’t let you be prepare for it. If I didn’t got my issue, I may never had found time to learn sewing.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Great story Rachel! I’m not happy that you had your back problem, but I’m glad it led you to what you’re passionate about now – sewing πŸ™‚

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    I do sometimes reflect on the “what ifs”. At the beginning of this year I was retrenched from my job. Finding new employment in the niche field I have experience proved to be almost impossible. So I found myself asking another “What if” question: “If not this, then what?” The answer was easy. “I know how to sew!” I am ever grateful to my mother for teaching me how to sew and I am so glad I attended those many evening classes in pattern making and garment construction while I was still working.

    The shock of losing my job was bittersweet – it finally gave me the excuse to pursue my dream of having my own sewing business. With the support of my adoring boyfriend I am working hard to make this dream a reality and in the years to come when I reflect again on the “what ifs”, I know I will not regret this decision.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I’m sorry to hear about your job, but I’m also glad because it led you to something more fulfilling and rewarding.

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    Latrice Smith

    That’s funny, I am introvert and observant as well. When I was young my mom talked me out of being a psychologist.. Tho, I did end up taking a class.
    I think if I did not get into sewing, I would hope that I would be doing more drawings, paintings and digital art.
    My sewing what if is.. What if I actually showed interest in sewing when I was young and let my mom teach me? Would I have gone on to fashion school?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      We would have been great psychologists though!

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    I want to know if you were going for a photo of the awesome wrought iron gates or the naked man sitting at the picnic table in the backyard? giggle

    I don’t dwell on “what ifs.” I am a six year survivor of stage 3 colon cancer. Every day is a gift that I choose to enjoy. πŸ™‚

    Sewing since I was about six years old. My mom’s mother taught me to hand sew. I got my first sewing machine for my 12th birthday. It was a Kenmore. Now I sew for my three beautiful granddaughters!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Wow! I like your attitude. Sickness definitely puts things into perspective. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I quickly reevaluated what was important and what wasn’t.

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    Shanna Farnsworth

    Don’t worry…if you break your hand you would probably keep right on sewing. Have you seen this blogger? http://hayleeatkinson.blogspot.com
    She has one arm. And sews…..quite well. I’ve always admired her work and then when I realized she had one arm I was blown away.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Yes, I know Haylee and she is amazing. She inspires me as well.

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    Natasha Estrada

    So much of how my life turned was based on clicking a mouse button at a certain time. The reality is we can’t know what our lives would have been like. I’m not sure if I make really good decisions or adapt really well to the bad decisions I make but one thing is sure I am decisive.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      That’s a really interesting question – do you make good decisions or do you adapt well to bad ones. I’m going to let that marinate for a couple of days

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    Windsor Grace

    I’ve spend a lot of time dedicated to these thoughts in the past. When I was younger, I made a lot of bad decisions and I wonder who I’d be if I’d done this or that differently. But, while I may have gotten where I am a little easier or not at all, I don’t think I’d change anything. I wish some things here and there hadn’t happened, but I wouldn’t be who I am without those experiences.

    And, I also think of who I’d be if I hadn’t discovered knitting. It’s such a part of who I am. Although, since I moved to New York a couple of months ago, I haven’t had time to knit much.

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    I am not sure what I would do, but I could only assume that I would try and find another creative outlet that would still let me express myself! What ifs can always be interesting to ponder and make you so much more grateful for the things that you have found and the decisions you have made along the way whether they are good or bad.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      That’s an alternative way to look at it – what ifs can help you be greatful for what you have now. I’m a positive person so I like that attitude πŸ™‚

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    I have asked myself the same “what if” question. I am in my early 50’s and have had more decision points in my life by now than you, but there is one in particular I often wonder about and it happens to be related to the fabric business. I learned to sew in my preteens and had always enjoyed the craft. I was particularly enthralled with fabric designs, textures and colors. In my mid-twenties I received an offer to work as a rep in the Schumacher showroom at the Boston Design Center. Just as
    I was about to accept the offer, I received a phone call indicating I had been accepted into a prestigious MBA program in NYC (I had been on their waiting list most of the summer). I packed my bags and moved to NYC to pursue a career in business, but I’ve often wondered how my life would have differed if I had followed the other path!

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    Carlee McTavish

    I’m still a sewing newbie, but for me the question is more of “What if I didn’t find out that I can’t have milk products?” Odd I know, but that led to me reading labels, which led to me researching and slowly becoming an environmentalist, which ultimately led to me reading a book about consumerism and fast fashion and then to sewing! I basically wouldn’t be the same person I am today. Is it odd that I can make the connection from milk to sewing?! Haha

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    So, as far as breaking your hand…I started thinking along these lines when a lady that I work for (who sews high-end handbags) had a serious rotary-cutter injury. Then I talked to my Mom, who had worked in an ER and seen a few rotary cutter injuries there. And I thought about my aunt, who cut off part of a finger. That was the day I quietly picked my Kevlar oyster-shucking gloves (only used once and not stinky!) out of my kitchen drawer and put them into my sewing drawer. Because I worry about these things, too. I hope your hands stay in good health and safety for the rest of your life!
    Just discovered your blog, by the way. It’s awesome. I’m subscribing!

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    Recently I was really, really low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet! I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – 933f

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