Hi friends! Its been a while since I've done any introductions, and as so many of you have joined the sew-along earlier this year, and followed along on IG I thought it was about time to re-introduce myself!

Jenn McMillan, owner of Sew Fine Thread Gloss

Self proclaimed "thread tamer", owner and maker of Sew Fine Thread Gloss. I suppose that's one of the fun things about owning your own small business - you can make up whatever titles seems to fit!

I live, work, and make your lovely little tins just outside Ottawa, Ontario Canada. I'd started making my own thread conditioner long before I launched Sew Fine Thread Gloss after finding used chunks of beeswax in the sewing kits of my grandmother, and hearing about its long use in textile work. And almost 4 years later I still get butterflies when I read all of your social media posts, saying how much you enjoy using it. 

But enough of that stuff, we're here to talk about me today! (oh goodness, modesty has gone out the window!)

I thought I'd share a few random things about myself so you can see more about the person behind the brand. 

1. I have vitiligo, and show it off

Its been just over 10 years since I noticed a pale white dot of skin on my face and hand. Over those 10 years, my skin has slowly transformed itself into the partial splotchy, snow white canvas you see in my images today. As with any other skin affliction, I wasn't always "okay" with what was happening to me. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease which causes my body to "attack" the melanin cells in my skin, causing them to die off; I'm left with stark white where I once had a deep tan. Being caucasian I obviously have it a lot easier than someone with darker skin tones - their contrast being much more visible. It took a few years, but I came to terms with it; knowing there are worse afflictions and diseases out there in the world made me thankful that mine was only skin deep. Similarly to looking for images in the clouds, I've made a game of finding images in my skin (aside from my tattoos!) - I had a fox head on my collarbone/upper chest and a Ninja Turtle looking splotch on my hand! I make it a point to "hand model" my products as I think its important to show our differences and things that make us unique. 

These are my hands back in 2016 - you can see the difference if you look at the header image on the front page of this website - most of the pigment on my hands is now gone. 

2. If I could have taken a different education path...

I'm mildly obsessed with textile history. If I had the opportunity to go back to school and go down a completely different path, it would be towards textile conservation and/or history. I find the origins of weaving and textile creation so fascinating and have read quite a few books on related topics, such as Women's Work: The first 20,000 years and The Golden Thread: How fabric changed history, and my most recent addition that I'm excited to delve into is The Pocket: A hidden history of women's lives. (*Not affiliate links*) Unsure if anyone else finds the history of pockets interesting, but honestly, the inequalities in gendered clothing is ridiculous, and historically embody patriarchal systems and sexist histories. Not to mention pockets being the secret places cunning folk would carry their charms and hexes ;) 

Isn't this embroidered pocket stunning!? And for something that would be worn under layers of petticoats and hidden from sight - its a work of art!

3. I'm horribly shy, but you'd never know it

I intentionally "put myself out there" so to speak. I used to do quite a lot of community theatre before my second daughter was born, as a way to reduce my crippling fear of public speaking. Even now, if I don't have a plan for what I'm going to say, getting up in front of people (be it a small group, or a larger crowd) sets off the anxiety alarms. While the anxiety has never gone away, it has gotten easier over the years, especially when I regularly put myself into these types of situations. Theatre, hosting zoom calls, IG lives, teaching, or presenting at guilds - if you see me nervous laughing, just know I'm trying my best!

Here's a photo of me (center floor) back in 2012 with my local theatre group. 

If you've made it this far thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning a few random facts about me! I find knowing more about the people behind the brand gives a better appreciation for the products. And WOW do I appreciate your love for my thread gloss! 

xo - Jenn

Comments

  • Mary Lynn Sutherland said:

    Thanks for sharing! I love hearing about the people who come up with wonderful products. Sew Fine has made all the difference in my hand sewing ❤️

    October 04, 2021

  • Jennifer said:

    Love this, thanks! My current appliqué quilt is going SO much better thanks to you!!

    I’m also enjoying these books (and teaching bits of related ones to some undergrads this year!). You might also like The Fabric of Civilization & Subversive Stitch, plus Fashionopolis is great for the current era. Happy reading and happy stitching!

    October 04, 2021

  • Kristin Kindred said:

    Hey, thanks for sharing more about yourself. Our autoimmune disorders, our health, plays a huge role in who we are. A kin ship is formed when you meet people and you know what it means to have your health impacting every aspect of your life. You don’t feel so alone and you do to concern yourself with, “do I need to explain this?”.

    Love the product and I have enjoyed learning more about you.

    October 04, 2021

  • Leah Salini said:

    Thanks for the peek into your world. Like everyone who tries and uses your thread gloss, I am HOOKED! I love it, wouldn’t hand-sew without it, and love to introduce sewing friends to Sew Fine! Keep doing what you’re doing!

    October 04, 2021

  • Brenda Lay said:

    Thank you for sharing Jenn. It’s so nice to know a little bit about a person who you spent a summer with. I joined your 100day summer sew along. I had never done appliqué and was spurred on by members of my guild. It’s been so satisfying. First thing I did was buy some thread and your gloss. It’s opened up a whole new world of relaxation.

    October 04, 2021


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