Sewing Superstar

Bobby Pin Bandit

Stitch along with Kristen Valencia aka Bobby Pin Bandit

Bobby Pin Bandit
Tucson, Arizona
Grad Student by day/seamstress, crafter, and embroiderer by night

When did you first start sewing and how did you learn?

I was very young, my grandmother taught me how to sew on her Singer sewing machine from the early 1900's. It was not electric, at the time, so she taught me how to use a two-foot pedal.

Can you remember the first thing you made?

My grandmother (my mom's mom) and I made a red velvet pea coat for my Barbie doll. She taught me how to make a tote bag when I was very young, as well, and I still make them the same way now.

Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?

I have some vintage Betsey Johnson patterns when she designed for Alley Cat in the 1970's. She is still my favorite designer.

What's your sewing room like and how do you organize your stash?

I am in the process of moving at the moment, so it is chaos, but usually, I keep two large desks next to each other, one for cutting fabric and one for the sewing machine. I always use a bookcase to store and display my fabric. I like to keep a clean and organized space.

What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to stitch along to?

The Smiths or Morrissey are my go-to background music, but if I put on a film it's something like Labyrinth, Legend, The Dark Crystal, or Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I have recently taken an interest in screen printing using Mod Podge and embroidery hoops as the screen. I have also tried the freezer paper method, which is quick and fun.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Sewing and embroidery is something I do to keep me centered. When the stress of everyday life and work gets me down, I know I can go home and sit in front of the sewing machine, or with an embroidery hoop, and create something that I put love into with each stitch. I take genuine joy in making something by hand.

Bobby Pin Bandit
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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Law and Order SVU
Bad Religion
Mexico City
The Goonies
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Fabric Brand
Anything from Moda Fabrics
Sewing accessory or Tool
bobbins, seam ripper, and embroidery scissors