Hey guys! I’m so excited to share with you a very brief look into my “Sew Story”. I’m hoping that I can encourage someone to stay on their personal journey and path to success no matter what your passion may be.
I’ve always had a creative and artistic ability since a very young age. I would paint, draw, sculpt, you name it I did it! Oh, and don’t dare touch my coloring book! Yes, I was that kid! My mom would always tell stories of how I would cut up my ruffle socks and make tube dresses for my Barbie dolls!
Art was a way of life for me. It was my outlet for self-expression. I was always the “Shy, quiet girl” in school, but having a gift for art was what gave me my voice.
It wasn’t until I applied to and got accepted to the High School of Art & Design in NYC, that I started to really think I could have a career in Art. My Mom, family, and friends were all very supportive and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I enrolled in the Fashion Illustration program and fell in love with it immediately!! I would trek every day from Brooklyn to Manhattan with my book bag and portfolio, that was almost bigger than me in hand. Being surrounded by other students who were like me, was very encouraging and made me feel connected to my creativity more than I had ever felt before. During that time, the program didn’t offer actual sewing lessons. My art major was only focused on the Human Form and Fashion Illustration. I wanted to learn more about garment construction and ultimately, I was determined to learn how to sew by any means necessary!
My first sewing machine was given to me when I was 17years old by a close friend of the family. Her mom was a seamstress and had this sewing machine that she no longer used. I read the manual front to back! This was way before the time of blogging and YouTube! The first garment I ever made was a linen pantsuit. It was a little ambitious, but I can remember it like it was yesterday! I made the patterns from preexisting garments! I had never used paper patterns before! I basically taught myself how to sew from looking at the inside of other garments. It actually was wearable! After that, I was obsessed. I made clothing for school fashion shows, for friends, and family.
During my senior year of High School, I was part of a program that allowed students to take college courses. I was very lucky to be able to take sewing classes at FIT.
Once I graduated from High School, everything seemed to come to an abrupt stop.
I had challenges just as any other young adult trying to figure out what you to do and become in life. There were times when I doubted myself, my talent, my abilities all because it was seen as a “Hobby” and not a real profession. I did struggles with career decisions and put my sewing and art behind for a few years.
As I sat behind the desk of my administrative job of 3 years, it was as if an alarm went off inside of me. It was loud and very clear and what I realized was natural talent and ability will always be with you. Mine became dormant, but my urge to create wasn’t going away. At that very moment, I decided to go back to school to get a degree in Fashion Design. It was the best decision that I ever made. I was able to then work professionally in the Fashion industry in both production and in design. I actually had a successful career doing what I loved. I also made great lasting relationships with other professional creatives who have continued to support me.
As I continued to work on perfecting my craft, I became more in tune with developing my own brand and wanted to branch out on my own. With social media and such a huge sewing community I was able to create a very extensive list of clients whom I personally designed and created bespoke garments for. I have my website ShavonneCruz.com and IG: @shavonne_cruz where you can find lots of great sewing inspiration, sewing tips and “How-to” tutorials. I’m also an official blogger for Mood Designer Fabrics Sewciety Blog. In the near future, I have plans to develop my own line of sewing patterns a long with offering video tutorials and Fashion Illustration lessons.
I feel as if my creativity and love of sewing grows and grows each year. There are so many great ways to connect with others that share your passion so keep creating! I hope to continue to inspire others to keep doing what they love. You definitely inspire me!