Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
Hi, I am Bailey! I love to make new things and re-make old things. I sew clothes, reupholster chairs, and make pop-up cards. I go on a walk every single morning in the forest near my house. I have a tiny flock of chickens that my husband and I named after each of our grandmas. I currently work in kids media and love learning new things.
Why do you sew?
I sew because I love learning and being different. There is never a shortage of things to learn while sewing. And I get to make clothes that fit me and look like me that no one else has.
What do you like to listen to when you’re working (and why)?
I like to work quietly most of the time. I have no sense of time passing that way. Sometimes I open the windows so I can hear the birds and whatever else is happening outside.
As a child, what was your first encounter and memory of beauty?
I can’t say I remember my first encounter with beauty as a kid. But I do remember I would stare at hands a lot. The folds around my dad’s knuckles, the lines on my mother’s palm, the ridges in my grandma’s fingernails. And then I would always tell myself to remember how my hands look – right now. I have always loved hands and what they can do.
Where is home and how does it affect what you do?
For the past two years, I have been living in the house my great-grandparents built. There used to be a front porch, but they closed it in when my great grandmother wanted a place of her own to sew. I have my Juki machine in the same window now and do feel a bit of magic coming through the wires. Or maybe it is just an electrical problem, of which there have been many. I love to work in this room thinking about all the dresses she made for my mom and her sisters. We will be moving soon and I will miss the way the wind blows through and how the bugs seem to disregard their indoor boundaries.
Name a book that you’ve recently read which inspired you and why?
All of the books! My main inspiration comes from kid lit. Any of Mac Barnett’s books contain what one needs to know about life. I recently really enjoyed reading Upstream – A Collection of Essays by Mary Oliver. She talks about nature and craft in a way that aligns with my heartbeat.
What was the first thing you ever remember making on your own? Tell us about this memory.
I remember reading my dad’s old boy scout books and attempting to make all the ladders, backpacks, and rope making machines. I can’t say they were always successful, but being inspired by books and using what I have to make something else useful has not changed much.
Who are your muses and inspiration?
My dogs, my husband, my ancestors, the birds, and my garden.
Do you have a community of crafters/ makers around you or do you find you are on your own?
I really love to make things that are just for me, that no one else sees, but it is also fun to share what I learn. Everyone in my family is a maker, so I have no shortage of people around me to have show and tell with.
How important is it to make something with your hands?
Making things with my hands helps me get out of my head and arrive in the world. Projects that soak up a lot of time remind me to be patient. These things offer a flow state portal that I can jump into and forget about tomorrow and yesterday.
What has been the most rewarding sewing project you’ve completed so far and why?
I made a down coat for my dog out of scraps from old jackets. It took me several weeks to slowly chip away at the fit. She loves how it covers her elbows and has extra fluff on the belly. She has been wearing it for 2 winters now! It is rewarding to see the old jackets with a new purpose and that she can enjoy colder hikes in her new gear.
What is more important to you – the process or the final product (ie your garment)?
Sometimes I hit the jackpot and love wearing or using what I make. But often the product doesn’t meet my expectations. However, the process always does. It teaches me and transports me and often I don’t want it to end.
What does success mean to you?
Success is deep peace.
What have you chosen to make out of FS linen and why?
I made the Clyde Work Pant by Elizabeth Suzann Studio. Halfway through I wasn’t sure if the pockets would lay flat, but I should not have doubted. The fabric worked great with this pattern. Everything came together once the waistband got sorted out. I added a quick hand stitch on the pockets with white cotton thread for a fun detail.