People ask me when I learned how to sew and I really can’t remember. At some point in my childhood, my mom taught me how to use an inherited mint green Singer, but I don’t know exactly when. Mom is extremely skilled in many textile crafts, but sewing just isn’t her thing. She taught me the basics of the machine and left me alone from there.
I operate by developing a project idea and then figuring out which skills I need. When I was younger that meant trips to the library and now, it is a quick internet search. I love how there’s always more to learn and more skills to put in my “toolbox.”
I primarily quilt, which I do for visual satisfaction and the pure fun of it, and my other sewing is mostly needs-based. I’m highly motivated by practicality. In this phase of my life, I own and manage a regular fabric store, Fenceline Fabrics, and a sewing thrift store, A Thrifty Notion. ATN is a labor of love that feeds my desire to use up “trash” fabric and encourage others to do the same. I HATE wasting things that can be useful, so upcycled projects like rag rugs and fabric baskets are always happening.
My daughters are in that ‘tween phase and ready-to-wear fashion often doesn’t come in their size or is truly terrible. Learning about alterations and making key items from scratch for them has expanded my sewing skills tremendously.
Costuming is another passion of mine. Our family makes their own Halloween costumes and it’s been incredibly satisfying to see the shift in my kids from creatively directing me in making their costumes to making most of their costumes themselves.
As time permits, I also enjoy helping our local arts center with theater costumes. The process of taking what’s already available, altering or adding elements and seeing the finished look come together with hair and makeup on stage is so much fun.
My next step may be a foray into the world of sewing leotards and recital costume pieces, as I have a daughter who recently started dance classes. Those dance outfits are expensive and I may need to add sewing-with-stretch-fabrics to my “toolbox.”