Category Archives: inspiration

10 Darn Good Reasons Why I Sew

It’s September, and that means National Sewing Month! Today I am going to tell you a few of the reasons why I sew, and throughout the month you will also get the chance to hear from some of my favorite sewing pals. We are going to celebrate sewing in all forms around here!

Sew Maris and Berninas

I sew because…

1. …I.Must.Make.Things. I believe that all people have a creative drive within them. Some people make paintings. Some people write stories. Some people create beautiful buildings. I make beautiful, handmade, clothes.

2. …I love to pet fabrics. I am a very tactile person. My mom used to tell the story of me as a little girl, visiting a five and dime store (this term shows my age!), and literally being physically incapable of not touching everything I could reach. Much to my proper, rule-bound, mother’s chagrin.

3. …I love the idea of following a tradition that all the women of my family enjoyed. Some were more skilled than others, but my mom, both my grandmothers, and both my aunts were all darn handy with a needle. Tradition!

4. …I like my clothes to look unique. As my mother used to say, I never “meet myself coming and going” in a garment I have made.

5. …others who sew are my tribe. We speak the same language. We have an instant bond. The sewists I have met are among the nicest, most generous, interesting people on earth. I have made loads of friends through ASG, and others through the fantastic online sewing community.

6. …making beautiful things with my own hands makes me feel beautiful. And proud of my accomplishments.

7. … it is fun! Sometimes I giggle, or even chortle when I am sewing. At my craziness, or mistake-making. You just never know what sounds you might hear coming from my sewing studio.

8. … I think it is special to share my homemade-with-loads-of-love creations with my family and friends. Yes, I could buy pajama pants for my family for our annual Christmas Eve present. But purchased pants are not the made-by-Mom-or-Nana PJ pants.

9. …I know that in this one area I am not paying other human beings slave wages so I can buy cheap, disposable clothing. My actions alone are not going to turn the tide of our discount, throw-away fashion culture, but at least I am not furthering it.

10. …it is HARD. I tell my young students that stupid people can’t sew—it’s too hard for them. I am happy that sewing is difficult. I like problem-solving. Figuring things out. Making 2-dimensional patterns and fabrics into 3-dimensional forms. It stretches my brain in all kinds of great ways. If you have a growth-mindset, you know that working through challenging problems is good for you. At any age. So get on it, people. Find something that challenges you and start working it!

What about YOU? What about sewing lights you up?

Happy sewing!




Let’s Talk About Designing Your Garments

So you think you are NOT a fashion designer? Well, if you select patterns, fabrics, and trims to create a unique outfit, you ARE a designer.



If you feel like you have started mastering some of the construction techniques of sewing, but are on shakier ground when it comes to “pulling it all together” into a well-designed garment, please join me on August 28th for another Burda webinar. I will talk about the principles and elements of design, and give you some practical techniques about how you can apply these “rules” to actually creating the look you want.

The title of this webinar is The Do’s and Don’ts of Designing Your Garments, and it will be live August 28th from 8:00-9:00 PDT. If you are interested in the topic but can’t attend, you can still register and will receive a full transcript of the webinar. Almost as much fun as actually being there!

I hope you can join me—this is a fun topic!!

Happy sewing!


A Slice of Seattle Sewists

On Saturday afternoon the lovely Amy of Sew Well hosted a fun meet-and-greet at her house for Seamstress Erin, who recently left the San Francisco sewing and blogging scene and joined us way-cool Seattle-ites. Thanks Amy, for your hospitality, and the chance to meet some new Seattle sewists!

And that got me to thinking……

Seattle Sewing Mavens

…about community. Specifically, about the sewing community.

Do you have a sewing community? Is it exclusively a virtual, online community, or do you meet in person as well? Do you associate only with people of a similar sewing ability? How many people from other countries do you “know” or communicate with? What do you like best about your community? What would make it better?

My first “real” sewing community was the American Sewing Guild, and I am blessed with so many wonderful friends in our Seattle chapter. I have really only been active in the online sewing world the past 3 or 4 years, but I LOVE all my online pals just as much as my ASG sisters. And it is especially cool to chat with sewists in countries other than the U.S. Some things are just the same, and some things are unique to each locale.

Alright, your turn! I’d love to hear about your sewing community. Do tell!

Happy sewing!





10 Great Ways to Sabotage Yourself

I.Love.This. Originally written several years ago by Keri Smith, I think it is a great list of ways we sabotage ourselves as sewing-artists.

How to Feel Miserable as an Artist

1. Constantly compare yourself to other artists.

2. Talk to your family about what you do and expect them to cheer you on.

3. Base the success of your entire career on one project.

4. Stick with what you know.

5. Undervalue your expertise.

6. Let money dictate what you do.

7. Bow to societal pressures.

8. Only do work that your family would love.

9. Do whatever the client/customer/gallery owner/patron/investor/ asks.

10. Set unachievable/overwhelming goals. To be accomplished by tomorrow.

At times, I have done each item on this list. How about you? Any resonate with you? Are you still struggling with any or all of these behaviors?

Happy sewing (and creating!)