Wanna Be Startin' Some Sewing

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Every expert in their field has something in common.  They all have a beginning, they all needed to start somewhere.  Sometimes we forget that to really become good at something we have to start it.  And starting something new often comes with successes, but it comes with a lot of downs.  At some point we can look back on it with fondness and humor.  We decided our admin team needed to share with you some of our stories.

Stephanie 

When did you first start sewing/learn to sew? - 
I learned to sew at 8 years old from my maternal grandmother. She is a lifelong sewer and still wears mostly handmade to this day! 

Who was really inspirational to you learning to sew? -

My grandmother, of course, because she taught me and put it in my head that it was a normal thing to do. My daughter is also a big part because if it weren't for me wanting to make a Boppy pillow cover while I was pregnant with her, I would have never discovered the whole world of Facebook sewing groups with pdf patterns and fabric!

What was the worst mistake you ever made sewing? -
I was trying to "fix" a zipper on a tent. I should have not, and just bought a new tent Haha but I thought, "How hard could this be?" Hard! The answer is very hard! And I ended up breaking not only an entire pack of needles, but my whole sewing machine and ended up having to throw the whole machine away!

What techniques still scare you? -
Me and zippers aren't really friends, but we're polite to one another at this point. We're cordial. I would honestly have to say maybe hand sewing? Hand sewing makes me feel like I'm not even a real seamstress! Shirring is another technique that I shy away from. I'm also terrified of the rolled hem on my serger and cannot gather on my serger to save my life. Ok, maybe to save my life I could figure it out, but luckily I'm not in that situation! haha I also have had a coverstitch for maybe 3-4 years now and still have no idea how to use it. I tried once...once was all I needed to completely terrify me! But hey, at least it's out of the box! I really do want to practice more with it and really learn how to use it though.

Alyssa 

When did you first start sewing/learn to sew? -
I started learning to sew by learning how to quilt.  I was fortunate enough to have my kids grandma take the time to help me learn how to quilt and in turn get the basics of sewing.

Who was really inspirational to you learning to sew? -
I had some really rock star women surrounding me who already knew how to sew, and who decided to learn how to sew later in life.

What was the worst mistake you ever made sewing? -
I decided that after I had a few projects under my belt, making a dress with gathers and a zipper in it was exactly what I needed to try.  I'd like to say the zipper was my downfall, but that would mean I even got to the zipper portion.  Every single time I tried to pull my threads to help the gathers, the thread would snap.  So I took them all out, started again.  So then I tried doing 2 rows of gathering stitches to hopefully help, but then those snapped.  And I took all of those out, started again. I tried to do those gather's over and over, crying, throwing it across the room, putting it down, picking it back up and finally getting those gathers in.  Kidding, I didn't get those gathers in.  I put that project down and didn't try to complete it for over a year.  A YEAR.  One day it peeked out from my sewing table, and it inspired me to try again, and over a year later I finally finished that dress.  It was rough, and it was by far the worst thing I've made, but it meant so much to me.

What techniques still scare you? -
I have never been a fan of elastic.  I really REALLY get nervous when I have to do elastic.  

Sonia 

When did you first get into/learn to sew? -
I started sewing because I wanted a very specific raglan that I couldn’t find anywhere. One thing let to the other and I ended up in the wonderful world of sewing pdf patterns! 

Who was really inspirational to you learning to sew?-
The Facebook sewing community has been a huge inspiration and motivation to me. Before I found it I never imagined something like this existed! So many talented sewist!

What was the worst mistake you ever made sewing?-
It would probably be the time I forgot to mirror the back pieces of a gorgeous dress! I didn’t have enough fabric to remake it and that was a big bummer.

What techniques still scare you?-
I can’t say it’s a technique, but sewing a swimsuit is definitely something that I still shy away from.

Heidi 

When did you first get into/learn to sew? -
My first experience with sewing was in 4-H when I was 10. I made woven tank top and shorts set. But, I didn't really get the "sewing bug" until my mid 30's when I started sewing cloth diapers for my youngest son. After that, there was no stopping me.

Who was really inspirational to you learning to sew?-
My mother was constantly creating and loved to sew. She passed away when I was a little girl, before she was able to pass on many of her gifts. However, my yonger sister Brenda and I, carry her creative gene. Brenda has always been my creative confidant and a source of inspiration. We bounce ideas off one another, support each other's creative pursuits, and laugh at each other's mistakes. She's my closest friend and she encourages me everyday.

What was the worst mistake you ever made sewing?-
Once while filming a sew along I was so focused on teaching and filming that I made two left legs to a pair of pants!

What techniques still scare you?-
Honestly, sewing with wovens really intimidates me. I tend to break a lot of rules and knit fabrics are more forgiving in regard to fit. With wovens I feel like you have to play by the rules.

Barbie 

When did you first get into/learn to sew?-
I first got into sewing in 2016 I was pregnant with my 3rd baby. I decided that I wanted to make matching outfits for all three kids once the baby was born. My husband bought me a machine for my birthday and we got me some other necessary items to begin my new “hobby”. I did use some YouTube videos to gain a better understanding of basic sewing but for the most part I am self taught and just figured it all out as I went.

Who was really inspirational to you learning to sew?-
For me I think my husband and kids gave me all my inspiration and drive to not only learn to sew but create new pieces to our wardrobes. In the beginning it was a little costly but overall it was going to help us save money by me making the kids clothes instead of buying every season. 

What was the worst mistake you ever made sewing?-
The worst (and most embarrassing) mistake that I have made sewing was from when I first started. I was making leggings for the kids and I did not realize you had to “mirror” the pattern while cutting. I read that part in the instructions but didn’t really give it thought and after sewing my first pair and realizing why the crotch seams didn’t line up I quickly realized you have to flip the pattern piece over! That is something I still laugh at myself and I’ll never forget to do now.

What techniques still scare you?
I think I’d have to say sewing a v-neck. I have made some great ones but getting that perfect v shape makes me over think it and I can’t leave well enough alone.

Chey

When did you first get into/learn to sew?-
My mom taught me when I was a kid. I think I was 11 or 12. I started with quilting and man, that takes a lot of patience.

Who was really inspirational to you learning to sew?-
My mom always encouraged me. She makes beautiful quilts and I always wanted to get good enough to make the kinds of quilts she did. But then I got into sewing knits and brought her over to the dark side with me! Now she sews garments too, but she still miles ahead of me (jeans, bras, all that complicated stuff!).

What was the worst mistake you ever made sewing?-
Usually it's silly mistakes like sewing wrong sides together or putting on a hood inside out.

What techniques still scare you?-
Jeans! All that thick fabric, hammering seams... mistakes are hard to hide and really noticeable on those.

 

 

Tara

When did you first get into/learn to sew?-
I first showed an interest in sewing as a little kid probably 5-6 years old, I used to constantly play in my grandmother’s sewing room. I did not learn to do anything until HS HomeEc class but I wasn’t super interested in pursuing it still at that point. It was not until after I had my b/g twins that I became interested again and that was due to stores not really selling matching outfits for different sex twins. I wanted them to match and still do it occasionally to this day, they’re 8 now!

Who was really inspirational to you learning to sew?-
My grandmother (Nanny) was inspirational to me, growing up I was super close to her and as I said she used to sew. She was born in the depression era in Manhattan and during that time most women were trained to be seamstresses so she was professionally trained.

What was the worst mistake you ever made sewing?-
Worst mistake? Hmmm maybe clipping into a seam allowance too far and putting a hole in my project. Way back before I learned about the little thread clippers I did that a few times.

What techniques still scare you?-
I don’t know if I’m scared of anything as much as intimidated. I’m intimidated by tons of ruffles and gathering. Thankfully we don’t have an immediate need for poofy couture or pageant dresses but I’ve made a few holiday & special occasion dresses that almost had me to the point of tears or near forfeit.

Cynthia 

When did you first get into/learn to sew?-

I am self taught and really immersed myself in sewing in 2017 while treating some chronic health concerns. Sewing is my solace and therapy everyday!

Who was really inspirational to you learning to sew?- 
There’s so many! I just felt so welcome in our community! People of all skill levels making the most beautiful things- they encouraged me that I could too! I can’t thank them all enough for cheering me on!

What was the worst mistake you ever made sewing?- 
I once sewed a hood on backwards and also managed to attach the front opening of the hood to the body instead of the bottom! It was solid black on black and a very long date with my seam ripper!

What techniques still scare you?- 
Zippers! I have no idea why but I hold my breath every time I sew one!

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