Sewing Superstar

Cynthia Shaffer

Sew along with Cynthia Shaffer

Cynthia Shaffer
Orange, CA
Artist, Author, Photographer

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

My sewing adventure all began at around the age of 6. That Christmas I received my first sewing machine and in no time I was whipping up clothes for my dolls and my pup. At first I learned from my mom ... my mom was a fantastic seamstress. But in no time I was on my own and 'reading' patterns and figuring things out on my own. I think if it wasn't for the illustrations on the pattern instruction sheets I would have been pretty lost!

Can you remember the first thing you made?

The first ‘real’ thing I made and wore was a bold colored striped tunic and shorts. I remember I modeled it at a fashion show at our church for a mother daughter tea. And … YES I still have the tunic packed away in my dresser drawer!

Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?

I realy don't have any one person that I follow. I like a lot of different designers, but not any one comes to mind.

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

My sewing space or studio is a room or spare bedroom that is just off of our dining room. It’s actually very central to almost everything going on in the house. It’s lined with bookshelves and then there is a large white table in the middle that has lots of storage underneath. I have another tabletop that sits on two sawhorses and next to it are my big soft boxes that I use for tabletop photography. All of this is super close to my computer so that I can shoot projects while tethered to my computer and I can see immediately what the photo looks like! This really cuts down on time when working on a blog post or facebook entry. Oh and also … the walls of my studio are turquoise!

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

If I think of it (I usually stitch in silence) I'll put on Pandora and listen to Peter Gabriel or something upbeat.

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

Oh yes! I actually split my time between writing sewing/crafting books and photography. I have actually photographed 30+ craft books for a variety of authors at Sterling/Lark publishing. I also teach beginning photography to crafters and artist. Most of my students have blogs to showcase their work but don't have the photography knowledge to make their work shine.
I also LOVE to knit and teach every Tuesday night to anyone who wants to learn the basic knit and purl stitches.
I do go to the gym everyday and workout with a trainer and gym friends. I train at a boxing gym which is the perfect combonation of cardio, weight liftig and self defense ... I consider this to be my most useful hobby!

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you so much for this opportunity to be featured! I truely appreciate it! Happy Stitching!

Cynthia Shaffer
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Free motion stitching and mixed media

What's your favorite...

TV Show
The Great British Baking Show
Peter Gabriel
New York
All Harry Potter movies
The Red Tent
All color ... I like it ALL!
Fabric Brand
Art Gallery Fabrics
Sewing accessory or Tool
Free Motion, or darning foot