The spotted bags are sewn carefully over four hours and is one aspect of this trucker’s life. They’re made from cowhide that Zoe Marie Sutton buys on Etsy and EBay. Looking at them you would think they were manufactured at a high-end department store.
In fact, Sutton stitched them at home on the weekends. That’s because Sutton, a professional cattle hauler and regional driver for Butler Trucking, gets home time most every weekend.
Threading the Needle
When Sutton started sewing just one year ago, she found she had a natural gift for the pastime. Sutton has had a CDL trucking job since 1999. Given her familiarity with cattle, crafting items from cowhide seemed like a perfect fit for her.
In the last year, Sutton has sewn aprons, potholders, pillowcases and dresses from all kinds of fabrics, but it’s her cowhide pouches that are most popular with her audience.
“I do a lot with fabric, but I really like cowhides,” Sutton says. “As someone who hauls cattle for a living, I enjoy all the different patterns they come in. I think they’re quite pretty. Plus, cowhides are very sturdy.”
Sutton contemplated what use she could have for pieces of cowhide she had purchased online.
She decided to make pouches from them. Her idea was a hit. Sutton sells her merchandise through her Facebook page. Her cowhide pouches run between $55 and $100, depending on their size. Sutton prices her goods based on comparative items she sees online.
She came to sewing quite arbitrarily, simply by deciding she needed a new hobby. “My cousin was sewing a lot and posting pictures on Facebook, so I thought it would be fun to do,” Sutton says. “I started piddling around.”
“Piddling around” by now has flourished into a full-fledged talent for Sutton. What’s more, sewing allowed her to tap into her creative side, something she had not done in ages.
“I’ve always really enjoyed art and being creative,” says Sutton, whose mother also sewed. “As a kid I would draw and take pictures. And then, as I got older I lost some of my creativity. I enjoyed sewing to give me something to do besides work. It offered a creative outlet. Sewing filled that need.”
Sutton enjoys losing herself in the quiet that sewing provides.
She threads her needle, lets her thoughts wander and savors a respite from the daily grind.
“I love that I’m making something from nothing,” Sutton says. “When I sew, the item is always inside out. When it’s time for it to be done, you turn it right side out, and that’s fun. All of a sudden, you have this item you didn’t have before. It’s rewarding.”
Truck drivers are full of surprising talents. So, what’s yours?
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