Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Nicole, but most people call me Nikki or Nik. I grew up in Texas, but have been in NYC for 10 years (no I don't have an accent anymore, unless you count my use of the word "ya'll"). I work at Etsy full-time in the Brooklyn offices, and I love it. I get to help designers and sellers across the globe improve their shops and expand their global reach. Before working at Etsy, I was an editor for many publications including Stitch, Threads, SewStylish, Adorn, Teen People, and Seventeen.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Skirt-A-Day Sewing shows you everything you need to know to create your own skirt designs from scratch. It begins with taking your measurements and works all the way through picking the right fabric, developing your patterns, and then sewing the pieces together. There are 32 different skirt silhouettes covered in the book, along with their sewing instructions, and you can pick and choose which details you'd like to use for your skirts. You can mix and match the techniques to create something totally different or you can follow the instructions to get the look you see in the book.
What was the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration for the book really came from the students I teach at 3rdWard in Brooklyn. I wanted to create a reference on how to create any skirt silhouette you could dream up, but I didn't just want to cover how to draft the pieces. I wanted to be sure and explain how those pieces fit together once you drafted them.
Which is your favourite project?
I think my favorite skirt in the book would have to be the New Wave skirt. It really showcases how with just a simple change to the darts, you can create something completely unique.
What is your craft space like?
I live in Brooklyn, NY, so space is quite limited. Half of my living room is dedicated to sewing and crafting, which probably annoys my guests, but is the only way I can live. I have lived in this apartment for about 7 years, and only recently put up a pegboard above my sewing machines to hang all of my supplies from. It has become such an incredible improvement over the organization I had before, I'm not sure how I went so long without it. I can see all of my marking and cutting tools at a glance, and cleaning up after myself is incredibly quick.
To organize my fabric, I got an Expedit shelving unit from IKEA, and stored it in my hallway away from direct sun light (a lesson I learned the hard way a few years ago). I have all of my fabrics folded around acid-free archival cardboards from the comic-book store, so I can see everything I have quickly. Once I had all of my fabrics organized like this, I discovered many materials I had forgotten about and started to use them up. I also started to purge things that I knew I would never use and hand them off to folks who would use them.
Have you always been creative?
I think so. My mother ran a craft business out of our home when I was a child, and my dad was an archaeologist. Between attending craft shows with Mom and digs with Dad, I really developed an interest in creative pursuits and how things are put together.
When did you first start crafting?
I grew up crafting and painting at the kitchen table with my mom as she created things for craft fairs. Those supplies were always around, so I'm not sure what the first thing was I ever made. However, I do know that the first thing I ever sewed was a little bear, which I still have. I sewed the entire thing by hand, and I will keep him always.
Who are your crafty heroes?
After working in craft publications for so long, I've met too many authors and makers to narrow down favorites. I felt so privileged to work with them on a daily basis while developing articles, as I learned so much from them. I literally learned something new every single day, and I absorbed all of it as best I could. While attending trade shows and witnessing fellow educators in the field explaining what they loved to over-eager ears, I was always in awe of everyone and impressed beyond words. I love the creative community like a family.
Where do you find inspiration?
I go outside! Just by walking around NYC, I find inspiration beyond measure. Whether it's window shopping or people watching, I can always find inspiration for everything from color combinations to new silhouette ideas. I'm also very guilty of going to very expensive department stores in Manhattan and turning garments inside out in the dressing room. I need to see how they're put together like I need oxygen.
What's next for you?
At Etsy, I look forward to helping designers and artisans across the globe expand their reach on a daily basis. As a member of their merchandising and marketing team, I love helping Etsy sellers find their selling voice and develop their shops into success stories.
Creatively, I have more book proposals in the works that will hopefully expand on the ideas started with Skirt-A-Day Sewing. I also have been trying for a while to get a collection of patterns to sell on Etsy, that I hope to get moving soon. I'm also expanding my teaching in the NYC area with more class topics and workshops that I'm really excited about. I adore sharing my love of sewing and construction, and seeing my students create new things pushes me to think outside the box and be a better sewer every week.
Design a skirt for every day of the week! With these 28 irresistible projects, you'll learn all the techniques you need to custom-design and sew fabulous skirts that fit you perfectly. Smith shows you how to draft a pattern for a custom fit and then alter that pattern into one of four basic silhouettes: wrap, straight, flared, and high-waisted. Each skirt can then be easily redesigned into seven distinct and delicious looks -- one for each day of the week. These projects are suitable for sewists at every level, including beginners.