When working on my first pattern, I did not realize how big a decision it will be to name my patterns. Of course, I wanted to like the names, but should I name them after something meaningful to me? I contemplated using the names of my favourite house plants or streets in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where I grew up. But that would end up with a bunch of patterns named something like “Monstera”, “Proletarskaya,” or “Krasnyi Partizan”. The last two means “proletarian” and “red partisan”. Sure, these names bring memories up and mean something to me, but… who would want to wear a dress or something named that?… I am exaggerating with the Russian names, of course. There are lovely street names that sound beautiful in Russian, but they just do not translate well into pattern names.
After thinking for a few days, my father-in-law suggested naming my patterns after the women who inspire me. I thought it was a great idea, so I settled on it. There are so many badass women throughout history who have incredible stories. Stories that are not commonly known or shared. I thought it would be a neat idea to learn more about their lives and get inspired by these strong females. My first pattern is named after Bessie Coleman. She was the first African and Native American woman pilot. Bessie wanted to be a pilot, but she was not accepted into aviation schools in the USA because she was both African American and a woman. At the time in France, women could become pilots, so Bessie started taking French classes at night because her application to flight schools needed to be written in French. She was accepted and received a pilot’s license on June 15, 1921, from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. She was known for performing flying tricks and dreamed of owning her own plane and flight school. Sadly her career and life ended early in a tragic plane crash, but her life and determination continue to inspire.
I find Bessie’s story very moving. She had a dream, and all the barriers and societal standards did not stop her from pursuing it. She wanted to be something women were not allowed to become; she persevered and found a way to
make it happen. Her determination and her hard work to pursue her dream inspire me in my everyday life. I don’t face the same roadblocks as she did, and my dreams are not as impressive as Bessie’s, but I still deal with fears and challenges when it comes to following my ambitions daily. I love reading about women like Bessie and what they went through to get to where they were/are. Their courage and dedication are what push me to believe in myself a little bit
You can read more about Bessie Coleman here.