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.
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 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:
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
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.
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.
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 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