If you are curious about how I learned to sew and how long I have been working at this gloriously old-fashioned craft, then here is that information.
Started sewing at 12 with a machine (as I am currently 40, that means it has been 28 years).
Machines: Janome sewing machine and serger (I would love coverstitch and embroidery machines, but alas I am not willing to pony up the cash for them…yet.)
Fabric stash: Way too large…I can’t fit it all in my shelves! I buy almost all of my fabric at local fabric outlets. I rarely buy at a chain store…well, except for notions. Living in a large metro area has it’s perks!
This is my sewing room. Yes, I know I am very lucky. After sewing in unfinished basements or dining room tables most of my life, this is such a joy.
From time to time I post projects that I have worked on with my own two little hands. It is a rewarding thing, to create. I will go through droughts of creativity, focusing more on my photography and less on my designing. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy, truly.
I started sewing in earnest when I was around 12 years old. My Grandma Jo is a wonderful seamstress, and she was my instructor. She helped fix my mistakes and I spent weekends at her house while we kept our hands busy. Those days spent with my grandmother are etched in the photos in my mind. Wonderful memories.
From her instruction, I learned how to put together garments using patterns. When I got to middle school, I read every book in their library on fashion design. My free time, and sometimes not so free time, I would spend drawing things I wanted to create. I remember once that I saw some designs similar to mine on the racks in stores a season or so after I drew them.
I continued to make much of my nicer clothes through high school. I made a lot of the button-down long sleeved shirts my sister and I needed to wear during rodeos. We didn’t have much money, so that really helped. I also worked in a law office for a few hours after school. I needed to look nice there, but they didn’t really pay me a lot. Certainly not enough to buy clothes if I wanted anything left over. I did much the same thing in college. Making what I needed for working in an office.
After college I went for many years not really sewing much. A few things here and there were made when inspiration hit me. With our current house, I started to make curtains. Then when I got pregnant I sewed some of my maternity clothes, since I could never find pants long enough. After my daughter was born, I got back into it again full throttle after seeing some lovely and highly expensive boutique outfits.
I design most of my daughter’s clothes myself and rarely use a pattern for them. I have a basic bodice block I use and I just change it for whatever design strikes my fancy. I didn’t have any schooling or classes on drafting, so there are bound to be mishaps, but overall I just learned to do it myself through trial and error. I usually use patterns for Kailan’s clothes, but freely modify things to give them a bit of individuality. That is something that is sorely lacking in boy clothes.
As for the age old question of, “When do you have time??”, for me it is usually after the kids go to bed or on weekends. I work full time, so by the time I get home, I have to make dinner, make sure the kids get their homework done and get them in bed. Occassionally, I have to do laundry, too.
I also do a little fabric design with my scribbles. I hand draw the individual pieces of art, scan them and then create a design using Photoshop. I tend to use Spoonflower for printing the fabric. You can see more of my artwork here, and I have a few of my fabric designs for sale here.
Just be prepared…it is spendy.
I hope I can give you inspiration. If you have any questions about anything I make, I will be happy to answer them (stacy at thelandofka dot com). 🙂
Etsy (handmade goods) (Don’t bother to click. It’s empty 99.9% of the time. I don’t have time to sew for other people…you should see the list my daughter has!)