Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m a mother of two who lives in San Francisco and grew up here in the Bay Area. When I’m not sewing, I work as a nutritionist and cooking class instructor at the VA. I also started a SF bay area sewists IG account recently where I share classes, reviews, and meetups/events going on in the Bay Area and organize meetups for folks to come out and socialize.
Why do you sew?
Sewing is my self-care. Before I went back to school for nutrition, I worked in a kitchen making desserts all day. I loved that at the end of the day I could see the tangible result of my labor. Sewing garments meets that need for me now, and allows me time by myself to recharge. Plus, it’s connected me with such a great community of folks that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both on IG and off.
What do you like to listen to when you’re working (and why)?
Early in the morning, I listen to the “What a Day” daily news podcast, but otherwise I’m usually listening to a playlist of Vampire Weekend or Stars, or older songs that spark nostalgia for me that I can just enjoy in the background.
As a child, what was your first encounter and memory of beauty?
Hmm this is a hard one for me. One thing I remember was my collection of paper dolls, and how much I loved being able to put the dolls in so many elaborate outfits. My favorite was the Princess Diana doll which had some of her iconic outfits including her wedding dress.
Where is home and how does it affect what you do?
We are in a small two bedroom condo in San Francisco. I am so lucky to live in such a diverse city and in a neighborhood where I can walk to just about anything. There are some fantastic fabric stores nearby and so much inspiration just outside my door. The trade-off, of course, is space. I don’t have a dedicated sewing room, or even a fixed corner. I store my sewing equipment in a spot in our pantry and pull it out into the kitchen when I’m ready to sew.
Name a book that you’ve recently read which inspired you and why?
I am mostly a reader of fiction, when I have the time for reading. But the nonfiction book “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” has helped me better examine my own peaks and troughs in terms of personal rhythm. I had been trying to carve out time to sew at night after the kids had gone to bed, but most of the time I’m so exhausted I just can’t bring myself to pull everything out. This book made me realize that I’m much better off waking up earlier (I tend to be a morning person anyway) and sewing before everyone else in the house is awake. It’s quiet and I tend to get much more accomplished than if I try to plug along at night when I’m tired.
What was the first thing you ever remember making on your own? Tell us about this memory.
I loved to draw as a kid, I was constantly drawing and creating comic books and “newspapers” for my family. I took a sewing class in elementary school, and although I don’t remember a lot about it, I do remember I made the most *hideous* mint green polka-dot “MC Hammer” pants with lace trim around the leg openings. They obviously did not stand the test of time but I definitely have never forgotten them!
Who are your muses and inspiration?
This is so hard because I want to just say everyone on Instagram I follow because it’s true! I wouldn’t be sewing if it weren’t for @wellfibre as I found her and Lily’s makes so inspiring it made me want to learn how to sew. I really love @maeandbjorn and @meg____makes ‘s aesthetics and @shannydoots, @salina_wears, @melissaanderson, and @yokeandbore have all been my slow fashion style icons since before I was sewing.
Do you have a community of crafters/ makers around you or do you find you are on your own?
I have definitely found my community through instagram, and I am so lucky. In fact, I wanted to both pay that forward and help connect more folks in the Bay Area that sew or are interested in sewing, so I started up @sfbaysewcialclub on Instagram at the beginning of this year. It’s meant to be both an aggregate of sewing classes and information on fabric stores, sewing studios, and meetups around our area, but I’ve also been organizing and hosting meetups so us sewists can hang out with one another offline. The response has been so great, and folks have been so supportive and helpful so far.
How important is it to make something with your hands?
SO important! As I mentioned above, it’s so beneficial to me to look at something tangible that I have to show for my time and effort. Sewing gets me in a zone that I can’t really access anymore otherwise, and I love it dearly.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is the state of being where I feel I can sit back and relax and really appreciate my accomplishments. I think as a full time working mom and a parent that seems to always take on more labor than she can totally handle, I’m told by folks that I look like I have it all together and I definitely do not *feel* that way most of the time. So on the rare occasions when I feel internally the way folks tell me I project myself externally, that feels like success to me.
What have you chosen to make out of FS linen and why?
I’ve tried to make 2020 the year I push myself a bit out of my comfort zone. In terms of sewing, that’s meant trying new-to-me patterns and techniques that would have felt out of reach a year ago. To that end, I decided to make my first quilted jacket out of this luscious FS DUSTY LOTUS linen. It truly is so soft and the color is just gorgeous, so I wanted to honor how precious it seemed by doing something that felt really special and that I had to put some extra time and effort into (including quite a bit of hand sewing to finish the details.) I’m really happy with the results and wearing it is like a warm soft hug.