Sewing So Satisfying
Sadie Dearing on the creative force behind her embroidery business
In an old-world-meets-new-world style, local embroidery artist SADIE DEARING incorporates the fundamental skills of sewing with images influenced by the metaphysical world, transforming self-reflective symbols into intimate pieces of detailed artwork.
Dearing’s embroidery business, SADIE’S STITCHES, is based in Wilmington, but her sewing style first developed while she worked at Vinyl Perk in Chapel Hill. The record-store employee started bringing some sewing projects to the store, and as more friends and customers sneaked peeks of her designs, Dearing began receiving requests – her first custom orders.
“That helped me gain the confidence to sell my own art,” Dearing says. “It was a really creative atmosphere and artistic, and it was there (at Vinyl Perk) that I began sharing my creative self more genuinely.”
Dearing has been an artist all her life, but folks seem to gravitate specifically to her sewing, stitching, and embroidery art.
“I just love sewing,” Dearing says, smiling. “It’s just so satisfying as a sensory experience … It’s really just drawing in a different way.”
Dearing approaches the embroidery hoop just like she would a canvas. By focusing on line work, she considers two dimensions: the negative space of the background and the positive space of the lines.
Dearing’s mother is also an artist, but her aunt taught her how to sew ten years ago. And, as it turns out, one of her great-grandmothers was a professional seamstress.
Other than guidance from her family member, Dearing is self-taught. As an avid reader and self-explorer, formal training is not something she felt she needed. Dearing’s keen sense of observation and curiosity consistently affects her embroidery designs.
Some of those “parts” include the freedom she allows herself by working as a full-time artist.
The greater Wilmington area houses many artists of unique mediums, but, often, selling art full time here offers hefty financial and creative challenges, though paired with the privilege of independence and self-discovery.
“It should be possible for people be successful on their own,” Dearing says. “I know I can find an audience. I think that’s important especially for women, especially for artists. Sometimes, I have to tell myself I’m worthy of what I love to do.”
Dearing admits that she and her husband, Corey, live cheaply since an artist’s salary is often inconsistent.
“This means more to me now more than ever,” she says. “In the past two or three years, I started observing trends, taking notes, and not just having things for sell.”
A significant portion of her sales come from custom orders, which require an entirely different creative process that Sadie Dearing greatly enjoys. So far, her favorite custom piece was a hand-designed tarot cloth.
In the new year, she hopes to expand her business by implementing new marking strategies via her Instagram and website (sadiesstitches.bigcartel.com), where she receives custom orders, while also considering art-based grants and fellowships that allow pursuit of creative projects based on her fascination with astrology, metaphysics, and phenomenology.
To view more of photographer Kevin Kleitches work, go to kevintitusphoto.com
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Take 5 with Sadie Dearing
CAN YOU DESCRIBE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE PIECES OF YOU'VE WORKED ON?
“My all-time favorite embroidery to sew was a tarot cloth for an energy worker that featured lots of very intricate lines and details. It is my most challenging piece to date and was so lovely to sew.”
DO YOU COLLABORATE WITH OTHER LOCAL ARTISTS?
“I do! I have had the pleasure of contributing to a few local collaborations, but I am currently brewing up some magic with my friend Jillian of @TheWombRevolution who specializes in the Healing Arts. When collaborations like this come together, it is effortless and so joyful.”
WHAT'S A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGNS?
“What inspires me most is the diligent process of searching for the silver lining in all moments, the balance of presence and letting go. In the movement between pain and healing, or noticing and questioning, I find the most curious trails to follow.”
WHAT'S THE HARDEST STITCH?
“For me, the hardest stitch is probably one of the most simple: the satin stitch. The satin stitch is often used to fill outlined spaces like leaves. It is really easy to do but very difficult for me to ensure smoothness upon completion, which, as you can imagine by the name, is quite the point.”
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU IN 2019?
“I am really excited about 2019 because after a few years of awkwardly clawing away at online sales and marketing I have finally devised a strategy planned out for the entire year. I have no expectations of it going exactly as written, but I’m really excited to have a more well-defined structure within which I can measure my attempts and growth, and it will allow me to take notes and keep records in a more creative way than comparing columns of sales and expenses. Being an independent artist means I wear all the hats, and I have not previously been very good at nurturing all aspects of this job adequately. Writing out my strategy has made the ‘boring’ parts of the job as fun and creative as making the actual art, which will always be my favorite part every year! So, next is sustainable growth.”