Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sewing Questions/Interview

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Not long ago, I was asked if I'd be willing to be interviewed - in regards to myself as a seamstress or of one who enjoys sewing.  Questions like: how I started, when I started, would I be able to provide sewing advice and recommendations, etc.

I said, Sure!!  This could be fun!!

These questions came from a young gal-friend of our family.  A young lady, named Jessica, by now about 14 years of age or so.  She is one who I used to "watch"; the past couple of Summers.  At the time, she would be too young to stay home, alone (as all her family members were at their jobs), and I wanted/needed someone to hang out with my kiddos... it was 'near' perfect!!!  A win-win, everywhere.  Pretty much, she became (almost!) part of the family.  Jess knows I'm a sewer... although, there is a LOT that even I do not know.

Jess was asked to interview someone who is a Seamstress  - for a project/report for her school, and this is the result of the interview.

1. What kind of sewing machine do you use?  I use a Sears Kenmore.  True Story, about my machine.  It really belongs to my Mother.  She received this sewing machine as an Engagement gift – from my father (many, many years ago!) and has used it for all my growing up years – sewing miles and miles of stitches in handmade clothes.  I’m now 41.   I used it for a long time, myself, for the very same reasons and this machine is still going strong.  Though, perhaps it does need a good service and cleaning.

2. What sewing tool do you use the most and why?  I would say either a good sharp scissors or my seam ripper.  Without either, I would not get very far.

3. When choosing a pattern, what do you look for? Mostly, I would say I look for a pattern that best suits the idea I have in my head.

4. What most interests you about sewing? It is part of my heritage (I guess!) and so it is one of those innate things in me.  I like how relaxing it can be.  And truthfully, there is a WHOLE LOT that I do not know in regards to sewing.

5. As a beginner sewer, what advice do you have for me?  The old adage is true!  “A stitch in time saves nine.”  Slow down and take your time…

6. What kind of material do you use and what do you think is the easiest to work with?  Well, I will work with most any kind(s) of material (I call it fabric).  If you want easy, I would recommend a nice sturdy cotton blend – either a solid or a floral patterned fabric.  Stay away from plaids or stripes

7. How old were you when you started sewing and what is the first machine you ever had?  I can’t remember exactly.  Probably 6th or 7th grade… and we used regular sewing machines. With brand names such as White, Kenmore, Singer, etc.

8. Who was the first person to teach you to sew?  I am sure my Mother would have taught me a few things, here and there – when she had time.  Most of what I learned was from my Home-ec teachers (in school) and/or I taught myself!

9. What is one of the most difficult things about sewing?  For me, it would have to be little Interruptions.  Or, having to put it all away after just getting started on a project.

10. Do you need to use different needles for different kinds of material?  Yes!!  There are recommended different size needles for different fabrics… I try to use an all-purpose as much as possible.

11. Are there different thicknesses in material?  Oh yes!!

12. So you use your machine to sew on buttons or so you sew them by hand, which way is easier?  I have never used my machine to sew on buttons.  I only know about sewing them by hand.  And, there are tips for doing this that will keep buttons on longer, etc.

13.  What kind of fabric do you use most and why?  Currently, and because I have my own bag making business, I mostly will use a lot of upholstery fabric.   I also will use cotton blends, tapestry, faux leather, and homespun fabric.

14. What do you think is the easiest to sew and why?   I am not sure, if you are asking about certain fabric types, but if so, I would say anything that is not lace or silk… is easy to sew.  **A side note about easy sewing is using a good quality thread.  As well, as fully understanding your machine (reading the manual) – and being sure it is threaded properly – as well as having your tension (both top and bottom) adjusted properly.  These sorts of things will matter a lot – to ensure an easy and fun sewing time!

15. Do you sew with only straight lines or zigzag? I sew mostly in straight stitch.  Every now and then, for certain reinforcement, I will use a zigzag stitch.

16. Do you sew smaller pieces of clothing, if so; is it harder or easier than bigger things?  Not necessarily.  I would recommend saving smaller articles (doll clothes, etc.) of clothing for when you’re feeling more experienced or more comfortable.

17. Out of everything you have made so far, what is one thing you are most proud of and why?  I wouldn’t say I’m proud, rather, I would say I am still (simply) amazed that I sewed 8-10 two-piece outfits in a deep purple brocade cloth for a friend’s wedding.  I remember the nerves!  In addition, I remember these being quite challenging because of the rounded tail type jacket and that they featured 6-8 fabric-covered buttons up the front, for closure.  The skirts were long, A-line skirts with a slit up the back.  To this day – I would say “never again!”… I might have been a tad out of my league with that one.  But… that was oh so long ago!  And, my friend is still happily married. :)
One other thing that I am glad I tackled (and, you could say, I am somewhat proud of) was to make several quilts.  Most were gifts… and I have several more quilt ideas I would LOVE to sew together, for my own self and family.

18. Do you sew as a hobby, or do you sell your things?  I do both.  Mostly though, I now sew to fill orders for my (Bags by Bevy) etsy shop.  I never thought, my hobby would turn into a small business… but, it has!  And, that keeps sewing extra fun!!

19. Is it easier to pick out patterns and be able to make them or are some harder than others?  Some patterns can be quite complicated.  Most will indicate a level of easy, moderate or difficult and there are “brands” that are specific for “easy” and a beginner sewer.  So, it will matter as to how comfortable you feel as to what pattern you will choose.

20. Do you have any more advice for me, as a beginner sewer?
Sure!!  I would say – HAVE FUN!!  One of the ways that always inspires me, with sewing projects, is to go into fabric stores and walk around; touching and feeling fabrics, looking for favorite colors and textures.  I guess you could say, I have an artist’s eye!  Maybe, that helps…I don’t know.
Say to yourself – “I bet I could make this” and imagine what it would look like on you as an outfit, as a quilt or pillow or whatever else you are thinking of making!  A good imagination is important and keeps it fun!
Probably one of the key things is to say, to myself is – If I can envision it or see it in my head, first – then I can make it myself or find a pattern that will tell me how to do it.

So, if you're a sewer... How would you have answered some of these questions?  Let's give Jess some more ideas so she can share our enthusiasm.  Shall we?

I do think of this quite often.
My home-ec teachers.  In school.  If it wasn't for those ladies and their patience, wow!! Not just in sewing but in other areas of expertise.

I learned so much from them and I carry it with me today!!  I'm so grateful... for their realm of influence, in my life.  And, if I can do that for someone else - wow!!

To bless and be a blessing!!


  1. How fun !.... I received my first Singer machine at the age of 9. I love to sew and have made several crafty things, but I really used it more for repairing clothing, fixing a hem, or zipper. I had 3 years of Home Economics and loved every class. It saddens me to know that most schools don't offer it as much as they use to. Sewing, cooking, all things homemaking are essential in my daily life and I feel it should be continued as part of the circulum. And Bevy, you make beautiful things... lovely... xo

  2. That is awesome... I've tried learning to sew on my own with a sewing machine and it doesn't go very well, lol. I need more practice than I have time for. ;-) My girls like hand sewing so I encourage them and I'm thankful for You Tube how to's! If you have any suggestions for them I'd love to hear it! Take Care!


  3. I first saw your machine and I was like, "Wow, that's an old machine - I can't believe she doesn't have a more modern one!" And then I read the story behind it - foot in mouth! ;) That is AMAZING!!!!!!
    I didn't realize you sewed so much - you could sure teach me a lot!!!! This was fun to read!! I like to sew and enjoy playing around with it, fun to see what you can make - I agree with the HAVE FUN part! And I too, LOVE walking around and touching everything in the fabric stores!!! I know that if I go in there without a list of what I need, I will often leave with nothing - just because I'm so over whelmed by all that is in there....I want it ALL!!! HAHAHAHA! ;)


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