We’re celebrating Social Native creators with our new series: The Creator Journey.

Celebrating Women Creators: Sewing Blogger @loveyousew_

We are celebrating Women’s History Month by spotlighting a few of our Social Native creators who are positively influencing their communities by pursuing their passions. From CEOs, mothers, doctors, engineers, and more, our community of female creators is made up of multi-talented and inspiring women. 

sewing blogger creator DIY clothing

Cristy Stuhldreher, better known as @loveyousew_, is a sewing blogger, DIY fashion instructor, and creator of the Love You Sew blog. On Instagram she shares her DIY wardrobe patterns and sewing tutorials with 18,000 invested followers. Her quick how-to videos are a hit with her followers who tune in to watch her restore vintage bags, and relate to her comedic take on the handmade fashion process. Cristy’s authentic perspective and growing influence as a sewing blogger has landed Cristy partnership deals with companies like Alaska Airlines, Deep Eddy Vodka, and FOX. 

Q: What led you to become a Creator?
As crazy as it seems, becoming a Creator was an organic extension of what I was already doing on social media. I was sewing quilts, clothing, and bags and sharing pictures and my process through Instagram. Over time, it led to being recognized by brands and some great collaborations. As I was learning to sew over 10 years ago, I just wanted to share my journey which has led to teaching opportunities and the confidence to start publishing my own DIY bag patterns.

Q: Did you become a Creator because of your fashion entrepreneurship or vice versa? 

I never set out to become a content creator. After having kids, I couldn’t travel the way I used to and resigned from my sales job. I just started posting my sewing and found such a great community of makers that helped me through a tough time while my husband traveled and I was in a new city as a mom. I started off making bags and pouches at local art fairs just to have something for myself and the hard work led to recognition by the brands whose products I was using!

“With the generosity of my followers, we’ve been able to make real global impact which is so incredibly special.”    @loveyousew

Q: Are there any specific gender stereotypes you struggle with and how do you overcome them?

In my prior life, I worked in the male dominated automotive industry (early 2000’s) and had to visit body repair shops on a regular basis. I was objectified, insulted for my gender and many thought they could run over the work I was doing. It was a tough experience, but I learned quickly to take my own credit, stay strong in my convictions, come confident and correct to every meeting, and not to take any lip from men. It was the only way to earn respect at the time and unfortunate that women had to go through SO many extra steps like that.

Q: As a mother to two boys, do you plan to teach your sons or talk to them about women empowerment? 

Since I only have boys, I try to always let my kids know that women are incredibly powerful and that they descend from many great women. It comes down to simple things like using she/her pronouns instead of just he/him in context of jobs and titles, like “the CEO of blah-blah must be a great leader because SHE…”  Along with conversations, I know I also have to walk the walk. I have coached my boys’ sports teams (after watching a lot of YouTube for rules and drills) and I make sure I get out and practice with them too. This helps to reinforce how capable and strong women are. For Halloween, I was even RBG one year and they now know what a bad@ss she was for women. I like to represent and take every opportunity to let my boys know about equality and that women can do anything.  We will no longer fall into what the patriarchy dictates.

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to give to your younger self?

I had a lot of body image issues when I was younger since my “American” body didn’t fit the waif-like figures from SE and East Asian countries back in the 80s. (For reference, I could not buy anything in Asian shops because they were all too small for me…and I’m in US straight sizes!)  I had my mom and aunties telling me how chubby I was, but at the same time telling me to eat everything in front of me because it was insulting, otherwise. I just want to tell young Cristy that she was perfect in every way and she didn’t need everyone’s approval – Her mind, body, and slanted eyes would be admired later in life and that she was always enough. 

I learned all of this being in the garment making space. I had to make peace with my measurements and understand that we ALL have different types of bodies and each one is beautiful. It’s crazy how I was made to think I was fat and wasn’t ever in reality. 

Q: What is your favorite campaign that you have worked on with Social Native and why?

My favorite campaign was for the FOX show, The Cleaning Lady. The premise of the show really resonated with my own life story as an immigrant and what my parents had to do to make a life for me and my siblings. It was a chance to share a little bit more about myself, rather than be a “regular ad.”

sewing blogger fashion creator

Q: Who is the most influential woman in your life?

My sister is absolutely the most influential woman in my life. She is younger than me and I always thought I had to be a good role model and look out for her in life. But at the same time, she has always pushed me to be a better person while always being my cheerleader. She has been there at the absolute lowest points in life and understands me like none other. I love her very, very much.

Q: Where do you find inspiration for creating your DIY garments?

I find so much inspiration right on social media.  I follow luxury to independent clothing designers to see what is trending. I love to see other content creators and home sewing bloggers to see how they are styling themselves.  Fabric manufacturers and fabric stores are great places to see new innovations in fabric technology, especially with recycled fibers and using sustainable practices.  Finally, I follow independent pattern designers so I can purchase their products and base my makes off their drafting and not have to recreate the wheel.

Q: Has there been a moment in your career as a Creator that you felt you made an impact? 

There have been several times where I have auctioned items I have made to benefit various social causes. It  just blows my mind how much people are willing to donate for organizations that mean a lot to me. This includes #StopAsianHate, #BLM, domestic violence shelters, Covid relief in south Asia, to helping displaced animals in Australia. With the generosity of my followers, we’ve been able to make real global impact which is so incredibly special.

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