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Meet the Author

Hey there, can you introduce yourself?

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Hi! I am Christine Haynes and I’ve been sewing for over 30 years. I currently have my own line of vintage-inspired sewing patterns, I teach sewing in Los Angeles and at conferences, and I have just released my fourth book! It’s all sewing, all the time here at my studio.

Tell us a bit about the book?

Skirts & Dress for First Time Sewers is full of classic shapes, some with a bit of a twist. Inside you will find basics like an a-line skirt, a wrap dress, a slip dress, a gathered maxi skirt, and many more. All the projects have a classic start, but then in my hands they are bound to have a slightly vintage-angle to them. And of course, they are all super straightforward and easy for a new sewer.

What was the inspiration behind it?

The publishers originally contacted me to do a book of this kind, and then from the initial idea of skirts & dresses, I was able to include things I felt were most interesting for a new sewer. It is important for projects to be interesting enough to get a new sewer to try the project, but easy enough to ensure success and minimal frustration.

Which is your favourite project?

For sure my favorite is the shift dress, which I wear all the time. See, it’s not just for new sewers! Experienced sewers like an easy project now and again too! I also love the wrap dress, as it’s a 1970’s inspired woven wrap dress, and I have a love of that era.

What is your craft space like?

I work out of my apartment in Los Angeles, which fortunately is large enough to accommodate a studio for my sewing and a desk area for my writing. My space is full of sunshine and is extremely quiet for being located in the center of a big city. It’s very peaceful and serene.

Have you always been creative?

Yes! I grew up in a small town in the Midwest that was full of artists and galleries, so I took oil painting lessons and ballet classes at a young age. From there I knew I’d go into the arts but I wasn’t sure where it would all sort itself out. I received my BFA in studio art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus on film, video, and new media. I am still a huge film nerd and a lot of my inspiration comes from old cinema. I also spent a lot of time in school shooting photography and working in the darkroom, and working with ceramics as well.

When did you first start crafting?

I’ve been crafting as long as I can remember, but I started sewing with a machine when I was around 10 years old. I do remember my first real project being a long white cotton skirt, which I quickly realized was wildly impractical and abandoned when it came time to hem. I didn’t return to sewing until I was around 18 when I left home and started working at a local sewing shop. I bought my first serger that year and everything was changed forever.

Who are your crafty heroes?

I think the indie pattern scene owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns for being the first of this wave of independent sewing patterns. I always figured I’d try to sign with one of the big pattern companies, but when she made doing it on your own seem possible, I knew that was the path for me. Sarai is a lovely friend and gave me a lot of valuable advice when I was jumping into patterns. She is a crafty hero for sure.

Where do you find inspiration?

I think about a lot of things- first, the season is considered; then I think about what I’d like to wear; and I consider what’s missing in the pattern scene. I don’t ever want to be redundant, but I also want to do what feels right for me. I love watching people on the street, and I also get loads of inspiration from vintage things like patterns, books, films, and the like.

What's next for you?

I have another book coming out right now called How to Speak Fluent Sewing, which I’m super excited about as well. I also recently released my newest pattern, the Marianne Dress, and will have another one out this spring. Coming up this spring I am teaching at Camp Stitchalot in Michigan, and in the fall I’m teaching my popular Emery Dress at Camp Workroom Social in New York. All pretty wonderful opportunities!

Publisher's Description

How many times have you looked at a skirt or dress and thought that it would be perfect if it were only a bit longer, or had sleeves, or was a different fabric? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just make those perfect pieces ourselves? For many, the appeal of sewing their own clothes is huge, but many novice sewers soon learn that finding very simple clothing projects can be next to impossible. This book will change all that. With clear instructions, step-by-step illustrations, and very simple sewing patterns to download, Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers is a must-have resource of clothing projects for the new sewer. Inside, readers will find:

  • Overviews of each project cover key characteristics, best fabrics, and styling tips
  • QR codes provide complete project patterns for quick and easy download
  • Simple adaptations for each project offer a variety of looks with a minimum of fuss
  • Design and embellishment techniques that help make pieces truly one of a kind
    More than 300 full-color images provide inspiration and advice for a range of stylish classics, from maxi and pencil skirts to shift and wrap dresses, all bearing the same difficulty rating…SUPER SIMPLE!
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