Get to Know Sierra
I am a black woman, veterinarian, and sewing enthusiast. I started sewing in late 2017 and had no idea how important my sewing practice would become. These days you can find me making anything my heart desires. Sewing has given me an amazing community filled with genuine connections.
Where are you currently located?After my fifth move in five years, I’m currently living just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
My new normal is a bit less structured than it used to be. My weekdays usually consist of working my day job, cooking something delicious, and doing some sort of creative activity. Prior to March I had an hour commute each way, so I listened to podcasts or audiobooks to pass the time. Since I’m working from home right now I’m trying to replace that time with exploration of new activities. This could be trying a new recipe, tending to my little garden, or spending time in my hammock.
How do you (normally) spend your days?
^ LEFT: Cedar Sweater by@sewnorth, RIGHT: Lou Box Top by@sewdiyblog, Quince Jacket by@seamwork, Glebe Pants by@munaandbroad
What does your creative practice look like these days in light of the pandemic, uprisings against police violence and racial injustice, and the general turbulence that has defined these last few months?My creative practice looks different every single day. I’ve gone through stages of anxious making, gratifying small projects, complete avoidance of making, frustrating sewing fails, and empowered creations. I don’t know how I’ll feel that day, so I allow flexibility in my creative process. When I’m mourning the loss of Black lives I often don’t have enough energy to step into my sewing space, so I focus on rest. Other times I feel drawn to create things to honor the sacrifice of those that came before me in an effort to reconnect with my ancestors and create things they never had the opportunity to create. It’s a complicated relationship but I don’t force my creativity these days.
^Wilder Gown by@fridaypatterncompany + Quince Jacket by@seamwork
What project(s) are you currently working on, or hope to work on in the coming weeks?I am working on making some wardrobe staples as well as some completely impractical garments. I like the contrast of the wearable basics and the loud bold statement pieces. For instance, I need to make some underwear and t shirts to extend my wardrobe. That makes sense because I will wear those all the time. I also want to make some bright swimsuits, animal print shirt dresses, and sheer blouses even though I really don’t need to wear any of those sitting at home. Oh and I’m going to make my first bra!
What do you hope to build, nurture, or transform within yourself as a result of living through these strange and difficult times?I am hoping to find balance between taking care of my individual needs while processing and those of the larger community. There’s work to be done and I can’t do it all. Recognizing that has been powerful for me.
I’m finding joy in the little things – relearning French, watching squirrels play outside, keeping my tomato plant alive, group texts with my siblings, engaging with content from Black creatives, and video chatting with my parents. I’m really savoring the small moments that put a smile on my face and remind me of the kindness, resilience, and love that surrounds me.
What are you finding joy theses days?
^ Pembroke Tunic by@cashmerette
Are there any resources, small businesses, or other creatives out there you’d like to send some virtual love to?My two favorite indie pattern companies: Cashmerette & Muna and Broad. These designers create sewing pattern for larger bodies. I also want to send love to the Stitch Please Podcast. It is the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black Lives Matter. I have really enjoyed perusing Lydia’s Instagram (@styleisstyle) for their effortlessly cool looks. Last but certainly not least is my sister JusRé. She is an artist, art therapist, and small business owner.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Sierra! To follow along with more of Sierra’s creative projects, follow her on Instagram (@sierraburrell) and check out her blog, Seams Like Sierra.
Slabtown Sale Ends Tomorrow!
Through Tuesday, June 30 at midnight PST, save 10% on all Slabtown kits and patterns—plus get the online class for free with the purchase of a Slabtown full maker kit (a $45 value)!