FAQs

Who takes your blog pictures? All pictures taken of me are taken by my husband.  All other pics are taken by me.

How did you get your blog to take off the way that it did? Any tips/advice for a beginner?
I really don’t know if there is a magic formula, but I would say make sure you post frequent original content in your own voice.  Also engaging with social media, and invest in a decent dslr camera.

How did you start blogging? I started my blog January 2012, five months after my mom passed away of cancer after only being diagnosed two months prior.   After her passing it was clear to me how short life was and it was even shorter when you lived life doing things you were not in love with.  I was incredibly sad and heartbroken and wanted a way to honor the creative and resourceful woman she was and thank her for passing that creativity on to me.   

What is your educational and career background? I have a Bachelor degree in business from University of Nebraska and a Master’s degree in Marketing from George Washington University.  I spent over 15 years in sales obtaining every position from sales rep through General Manager.  As cliche as it sounds, my best job so far has been mom to the most amazing little girl.   


I see you have no problem purging your closet :)…What piece(s), that you’ve made, have you kept the longest? Which piece(s) will you never give up? Because I make so many clothes, I feel compelled to sale them or give them away to friends and family to make room for new.  I’m a bit less inclined to get rid of my coats and jackets mainly because they take longer to make and I’m a coat fanatic.

How long have you been sewing? Since May 2012

How did you start sewing? Sewing isn’t something I’ve always had the desire to do, I’ve always been creative but sewing wasn’t on the radar.  I made a skirt that turned out pretty good and went full steam ahead at that point.


Did you take professional sewing/design classes? Since I started sewing, I’ve taken a local draping class, and a serger class online at craftsy.com.

Would you consider doing some videos of your pattern alterations? I plan to incorporate videos into my blog platform in 2015.

 Do you do muslins? Only if working with leather


 Do you have any pointers for choosing fabrics, solid colors and printed? 
I purchase 90% of my fabric online so understanding fabric for me and how it responds to my body is very important and that can only happen the more you work with fabric.  ex: I know if I want to make a medium weight wool fitted structured dress, the fabric I select should be 95% wool and 5% Lycra.  Moodfabrics.com is fantastic for displaying fabric content.  A great fabric resource book is More Fabric Savvy.  I’m more inclined to grab solid colors but when choosing a print, I’m first drawn to the color of the print then the scale which is normally a large scale print.  This process works for me and very rarely leads to me being dissatisfied with a purchase. 

What technique, fabric, type of clothing have you found the most challenging? Leather is most challenging to work with.  Because I don’t have a leather specific machine, it’s time consuming and requires a great deal of precision.  I plan to venture into sewing for my husband soon which I anticipate will be most challenging for me.

Is it cheaper to make your own clothes than it is to buy?
Based on the quality of the fabric I use to make my clothes vs buying them there is no comparison.  It’s substantially more cost effective to make your own clothes.  

What tips do you have for complete beginners and what types of practice techniques helped you the most? Sew using a basting stitch until you understand seam allowances and proper fitting.  Practice practice practice! start with a very basic pattern and add design lines to make it your own.



What kind of serger do you use?  I use a Singer Pro Finish but if I simply need to clean-up seams my Janome has a edge serge option. 


Where do you find inspiration for your projects? and the process you take to bring it into reality? I absolutely love style.com and pinterest, I can spend hours on this site browsing designers and pinning.  Once I decide on what I plan to make, I find a pattern similar to the look that will enable me to make pattern alterations.


How do you get such a perfect fit? The key to a great fit starts with great fabric and knowing how fabric responds to your body.  Secondly not depending on pattern instructions to dictate fit.  It’s impossible for a pattern to accommodate all body types so using a pattern as a base only is important. 
Turning the garment inside out and pinning to your frame will ensure a great fit.  It’s a time consuming process but worth it to achieve a proper, custom fit. 

What is a good sewing machine for an absolute beginner? There are tons of machines out there, so for beginners ranging in prices.  I would select a machine with features that make sewing more seamless ie:
-Automatic needle threader
-Programmable button hole maker
-Walking presser foot
-Feels smooth when operated

A cost effective machine that would be great for a beginner is the Brother SQ0185

What are your key sewing tools, the things you must have? I find the following tools most useful:

Rotary cutter
Yard stick
Tape measure
Sewing gauge
Pins
Great pair of scissors
Thread clipper
Seam ripper
Tracing paper
Tracing wheel
Cutting mat
Liner pen

I am in the DMV area as well and it seems most people shop at G Street for fabric. Are there any other local places you like to purchase fabric? Sarah’s fabric in Takoma Park is a relatively small place with a pretty good selection.  The quality and pricing for lining’s, zippers and other notions are very good as well.

Do you plan on creating a line in the future? That’s up in the air

Can you post information on sewing for “newbies”? How easy is it to teach yourself to sew
I find sewing is the same with most things you want to perfect, you have to practice.  Taking classes, watching online videos and reading sewing books will also help tremendously.  

Nikki, when are you starting a youtube channel, where you consistently post vids. Stylish and grown vloggers, especially of color are far and few in between, so when can we expect you on the yt?
I will be posting youtube videos more consistently starting in a few months.

I’m impressed with your ability not to stash fabric. How do you do it? 
My stash isn’t excessive as most simply because I hate clutter! I only shop for fabric once a month and I make on average five looks a month which keeps my stash at a minimum.
How do you manage sewing, looking fab and everything else you do with being a wife and new mom
I have to give credit to my husband who is so incredibly supportive and helpful.  He is a very hands-on dad which free’s me up to continue to do things I love.
What inspired your passion for fashion. How did you become so flawless in the execution of your garments? Can you please go on project runway and blow the competition away. You are amazing.
I’ve always enjoyed fashion, not sure where it came from it’s just been a part of me.  I believe my attention to detail and slight perfectionism helps with sewing and my need to get it right.  Project runway is great for those who dream about a career in fashion design, I’m not there yet 🙂
I’m new to sewing, do you prewash all your fabrics before beginning a project?
I never pre-wash and have never had an issue when not pre-washing.

Will you ever do a “meet and greet” session or a workshop?
I would love to do a meet and greet and am currently in talks with a couple other sewing bloggers to plan something for later this year.

Do I need a mannequin with my size measurement (if so, do you know of a website that I can make a purchase from)?
For draping and pattern design you definitely need a dress form but simply sewing using patterns, it’s not necessary.  I would stay away from the dress forms you get at Joann’s or places like that and instead look for a more quality dress form.  I purchased mine from Craigslist and purchased a dress form system for an exact fit. 

When do I get to see more of the cute pumpkin?
I normally post IG pics of her and will do a mommy post here and there but all my upcoming baby DIY’s will be on my other blog www.minijadore.com which will be all about baby 🙂

Can you create a category search option for some of your tutorials?
My blog will be redesigned soon with a tutorial feature.
Do you teach sewing classes? 
Due to having a new baby sewing classes have been placed on hold until later this summer.


Could you recommend any books? 
 Sew everything workshop
The sewing book- free download
Vogue Butterick Step by Step guide to sewing techniques


Do you have a large stash of fabric and patterns? Also, do you have a designated sewing studio and will you ever share your sewing space with your readers? 
I keep a pretty minimal fabric stash as well as a very small stash of patterns compared to most people that sew as often as I do.  I’m a big fan of utilizing the same pattern over and over to obtain different looks so it allows me to keep my pattern stash at a minimum.  I recently changed my sewing room.  Here is the before and after.

What craftsy classes do you think helped you the most with your advanced sewing?
I’ve only taken a serger class on craftsy.com which was great but I can’t speak for their other courses.

What you are doing to stay so fit and athletic, especially, how you managed this during your pregnancy Here is my workout routine.  During my pregnancy I eliminated any ab work but maintained a modified version of this workout up until the day before I gave birth.  I also didn’t take my pregnancy as a freebie to eat everything in site. I didn’t deprive myself but did eat what I wanted in moderation.  I also eat lots of lean meat and fish.  I stopped eating red meat and pork 7 years ago and noticed everything change.  I no longer suffer from stomach issues or deal with water retention, it truly changed my fitness life.  

Could you give us the deets on your home gym? I’d love to know your thoughts on setup, equipment/brand recommendations and any maintenance or special considerations. and also do you take (or have tried) any supplements for pre or post workout? 
    I don’t think it’s necessary to go out and buy a bunch of equipment to start a workout routine.  There are tons of exercises available using your own body weight.  If you do plan to purchase equipment, I can only give advice on what I currently use which works for me.  I haven’t taken any pre or post workout supplements since the baby, but will update this when that changes.
Any tips for new mothers trying to balance fitness and baby care? 
It’s really important to take time for yourself, even if it’s for 20 minutes a day.  If you stop taking care of yourself, it negatively effects our babies.  We need to feel confident about things we have control over.

How do you get your hair so shiny? I don’t comb my hair everyday, I tend to use my fingers as opposed to combs and brushes.  I try not to add any unnecessary stress because I have the type of hair that sheds like crazy.  I wash my hair every two to three weeks with ORS olive oil shampoo as well as use a hair steamer and Organic Root Stimulator deep conditioner.  I don’t use oil with the exception of two days prior to washing, I use lots of coconut oil.  I air dry and flat iron once every two to three weeks.  I don’t go to a hair salon and I cut my own ends every few weeks.  I also relax my hair twice a year.
 What beauty products do you use on your skin (face/body)? Do you have a routine?
I’m a product and facial tool junkie and give myself facials every few weeks ranging from Avocado facials to mayo facials.  I was that strange kid at six years old that would spend my last dollar on a peel off mask.  After having my baby my skin was insanely dry and the only thing that has helped has been Arbonne Smoothing Facial Cleanser and Arbonne Advanced Extra Moisture Restorative Day Creme which is my product of the moment.  I wash and moisturize my skin using my Clarisonic brush twice a day and exfoliate every week using olive oil and raw brown sugar.  I never miss applying sunscreen all year round and use Murad facial serum every morning.  Prior to applying makeup I use Murad Oil Control Mattifier which is a must have for flawless makeup application. I’m in the process of creating a beauty e-book with great DIY skincare tips and facial recipes.  

What red lipstick do you use? I use several and alternate them all.  Sephora cream lipstick in Always Red,   Stila stay all day lipstick in Beso, Stila stay all day vinyl lip gloss in Brick Red  and Cover Girl lip perfection in Hot