When did you learn to sew? Who taught you?
I learned to sew as a very young girl. I was instantly addicted. My mom started me out with basic projects, and I would “design” (color, play with scraps, etc.) while she was sewing her own projects. I also learned a lot from my grandmothers and great-grandmothers. They were all avid seamstresses, making everything from suits to curtains to quilts and a variety of other things. Now, I take the occasional online course and have students of my own from time to time.
What is one of your favorite sewing memories?
My earliest memories of hand sewing and needlework are from about age 4. The first time I was allowed to sew on a machine was about a year later. One summer, I stayed for several weeks with my maternal grandparents, and while I was there, I went to the family quilting events. My great grandma and her many sisters and cousins would gather at someone’s house and quilt for a whole day. I remember laying underneath a king size quilt they were working on, watching as they worked so quickly and uniformly. Their stitches were perfect and consistent, to the point that it was hard to tell who had done what. They taught me how to piece blocks and the importance of good pressing.
What has been your favorite project, to date?
Oh, this is definitely a three-way tie. I made my wedding dress back in 2012. I knew what I wanted and that I wouldn’t find it in a store, so I made it. The other is my little sister’s baptismal dresses. There’s something about a beautiful white dress that really tugs at my heart strings.
Where do you get your inspiration?
It sounds cliché, but really—everywhere. Creativity saturates every facet of my life.
What are your sewing superpower and weakness?
My superpower is definitely being able to see how something is put together before it’s done, almost like building a 3D model in my head. It’s very useful for when someone wants to make changes to a pattern (which, when you’re working with Emilee, usually end up being extensive!) My weakness is definitely messiness. I have the tendency to throw my thread, scraps and all that on the floor next to me. Lately, I’ve just been moving the trash can to the spot where I normally throw things. It’s a work in progress.
What’s your favorite part of creating something new?
I love so much about creating. Lately, though, my favorite thing has been spending time with Emilee while we are working on new things. We have so much fun together.
How did this collaboration with Emilee come about?
I got very sick in the Fall of 2014, and quickly found myself unable to work. My husband and I, along with my doctors, thought the situation would be resolved after what was supposed to be an easy surgery. As it often does, life had other plans for me, as despite my best efforts and more than a year later, I still haven’t been able to go back to working full-time. I was using my sewing projects to keep myself busy, and eventually realized that it would be a better use of my time to start working on this business rather than wait around for something that may or may not ever happen. I’ve wanted to do it anyway, and now I don’t really have any excuses not to. Adding Emilee to the mix was a natural progression. She is a perfect compliment to the way I work, and I am so grateful for her!
What are you doing when you’re not sewing or designing?
Probably sleeping—ha ha!
What machines do you use? What’s on your machine wishlist?
Most of my sewing and embroidery is done on a Brother SE-400. I have two vintage machines and a serger as well. Someday, I’d like to invest in a cover-stitch machine and an embroidery machine with a larger hoop area. I also really want a Silhouette.
What’s your best advice to someone new to sewing?
Be kind to yourself! Sewing is a skill. It won’t be perfect the first time, but it gets better the more you practice. Everything you do is practice for the next thing. Don’t be afraid to have wonky stitches or to use your seam ripper. No one is good at sewing in the first 5 minutes and everyone has bad sewing days. Also, share your projects with other people who sew. They’re a very special kind of tribe who know what it’s like to need to create new and beautiful things. Lastly, always watermark your photos. Especially photos of kids.
What’s your sewing pet peeve?
Running out of bobbin thread near the end of the seam. Really. Happens a lot more than it should.
What’s a funny thing most people don’t know about you?
I am allergic to chocolate and people’s reaction when they first hear about it is always hilarious. It’s usually along the lines of “That’s just so tragic!“