I have often been asked about tangible ways to remember and honor loved ones who have died. One way is to have a keepsake or memory item created from your loved one’s clothing. Not only can these items bring comfort but they can become family heirlooms. We are fortunate to have a very special person right here in southern Maryland who creates these beautiful and meaningful keepsakes. I recently interviewed Amy Beebe from Sew Bella Keepsake Creations. Here’s a bit about her story~
What is Sew Bella?
Sew Bella Keepsake Creations is mainly a business for making upcycled and repurposed clothing or baby blankets into stuffed animals, pillows, or quilts. The animals are my most popular request. I started it because a friend asked me to make her a teddy bear from her favorite sleeper that her daughter wore. The next one I made was a dolphin from a baby’s angel gown, as she had passed away in the hospital. The baby’s mother was so incredibly grateful that I wanted to offer the service to others.
How long have you been in business?
Only a year but I have been sewing for about 15 years. I learned out of necessity when I was in the Navy, as there are no seamstress or tailoring services in the middle of the ocean.
What is most rewarding about what you do?
Most definitely the joy that I hear from my clients when they have received their finished products. I know that I am making a Mommy happy because her baby’s onesies are no longer stuck in a box somewhere or filling someone else’s empty arms. If I can relieve even a sliver of grief from someone makes it completely worthwhile.
Tell me about the most memorable project you’ve worked on.
I am currently working on 6 animals that were made from shirts belonging to my client’s husband who passed away. The animals are for her grandchildren.
What has been the most difficult project you’ve worked on?
I recently specially made 2 animals in memory of a friend’s nano-preemie babies who became angels soon after birth. I filled them with weighted beads to match their birth weights (only 1lb 2oz and 1lb 15oz). While they were not from the baby’s clothes, they are one of a kind. This project has by far been the most difficult as I am a mother myself and I can only imagine the heartbreak that losing a child must be. I can only hope these animals can help fill a little bit of a the void.
What would you like to work on but haven’t been presented with the opportunity yet?
I would love to create a shirt quilt someday! I know how to do it, I just have not had the order come through yet.
What do you want people to know about the work that you do?
I would like people to know that I take the utmost care and consideration when making the animals. I try to utilize all the important pieces and parts to make each one unique and beautiful.
How do you think your memorial items help those who are grieving?
I don’t know for sure but I can only hope that they can help with one’s grief.
Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you?
I am a mom and a veteran, married to a career military man. We are Maryland transplants but love the area! I am also a photographer and a perpetual student. I love to learn new things, especially ones that I can use my hands to create. Also if there is an animal that you don’t see, then I will try to find a pattern.
What’s the best way for people to contact you?
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or through my etsy page www.etsy.com/shop/sewbellakeepsakes