I actually know Burke through her husband, who went to UT and studied music at the same time I did. Later on, her husband was the music minister at my childhood church, where my parents still attend. Small world! Then, when those two (and I) moved away, I learned through Facebook that Burke likes to sew! Whaaaaaat?!
Part of this Liebster Award process is that I answer a set of questions, created by Burke. They're all about sewing.
1. Why did you begin sewing?
Ha! Well, I have a really long torso - over 20 inches from shoulder to the top of my hips. There are literally no RTW dresses with that kind of proportion. I started sewing seriously when I grew weary of pretending my ribcage was my waist.
2. Describe the process you took of learning to sew? Did you have mentors or go it alone?
Ever since I was little I wanted to sew. While my mom was at work I would take pieces of construction paper, sneak up to her sewing machine, and make designs with the needle. I would draw a design with a marker and then try to trace it - all in secret of course! In the end, she showed me how to thread her machine, but I've taught myself slowly through trial and error. Only recently have I been able to wear my makes confidently, nevermind share with the beautiful sewing blog world. Though I've never had a mentor or teacher, my mom would answer my questions if I had them. Additionally, my maternal great-grandmother was a seamstress, so I think it's in my genes. :)
3. Where do you stand on the ethical nature of clothing? Does this argument impact your sewing?
This is such a good question. I'm immensely bothered by much of the retail world. The clothes are cheaply constructed, priced too high (considering the money doesn't go to the people that make them), and I can only imagine the conditions in which they were put together. It makes me very sad.
Like everyone else, I have to balance my conscience with my finances. Right now I have to be selective in matters like these. For now my stance on ethical clothing means that I do my best to not shop retail. I hope one day I can be supportive of what I believe are "companies for good" in all matters on all days rather than just on special occasions when I can financially make it happen.
4. What are your five most treasured sewing tools?
In no particular order: design ruler, good scissors, that big roll of tissue paper, seam ripper (lol), and my new sewing room!!!!!!!!
5. What is the one garment you hope to tackle?
6. Describe your creative process before you complete a garment.
I like to start with a pattern first. I get inspired by the different shapes, silhouettes, and design details. I don't think I have a particularly brilliant process. Only recently have I started keeping a sewing journal, chronicling my projects, changes, and favorite patterns. I've noticed that my absolute favorite garments, like this year's Easter dress, have started from fabric inspiration and proceeded from there.
7. How has sewing changed your views about your body?
Sewing has done a lot for my self-image. I have an hourglass figure, and we all know that what's flaunted today as the perfect body type is one with no hips at all. Years ago I flirted with anorexia during my first true experience with depression, and after weight fluctuations between 20-30 pounds in either direction I'm finally feeling settled. Creating garments in MY colors, in MY silhouettes, with MY special touches has been instrumental in feeling better about myself. So, in a nutshell, sewing has changed my life!
8. If you could meet anyone from the sewing community in person, who would it be and why?
Oh my, my, my. I don't know, actually. I'm going to cop-out and say I'd be stoked to just go to some kind of social gathering with many sewists. My husband would appreciate me talking about sewing with someone other than him, I imagine. ;)
9. Which garment are you most proud of and why?
I am immensely proud of this year's Easter dress. The shape, fit, and combination of textiles really suits me. I have never considered beige suede as a fabric I could wear, but this dress taught me differently! This garment was also the first time I really altered a pattern for fit and it came out exactly as I'd hoped.
10. Other than sewing, what do you enjoy doing for fun?
As a musician for a profession and a hobby, if I'm not sewing I'm playing an instrument, and vice versa! I'm primarily a marimbist and pianist, though I love to sing and at times play other percussion instruments. (Check out my music blog here.) I also love the peaceful act of stretching, in addition to yoga. Reading about Eastern philosophy seems to always calm me down, no matter what I have going on. Just like sewing, yoga has changed my life!
Paying it Forward
I'd like to nominate the lovely Caroline from happily wed, happily fed for a Liebster Award. Newly married and newly expecting, Caroline is witty, smart, and crafty.
So, Caroline (aka cuz) here are my questions:
1. Are you still sewing?
2. What are your current top 3 creative outlets?
3. Do you plan on sewing for the new baby?
4. I've noticed many recipes on your blog. How do you go about creating one?
5. What is your favorite thing about married life?
6. If you could be granted 3 wishes for the world, what would they be?
7. Name 5 things in your kitchen you simply cannot do without.
8. What do you enjoy doing for fun?
9. Even if you aren't sewing much currently, is there a garment that you would like to try to make that you didn't attempt in the past?
I think this Liebster Award thing is pretty neat! I must say, I've already found other blogs to read in the few short days of learning of my nomination. And I'm always stoked to find other people my age who love to sew for fun.