When did you first start sewing and how did you learn?
When I was in middle school, I decided I wanted to sew so I could have clothing that was long enough (I was 5’10” at age 12). Mostly, I decided to teach myself, and learn everything the hard way. My mom sewed a lot of my clothes when I was a baby and all of my Halloween costumes growing up so she was a source of inspiration and a go-to for questions. My dad’s mother sewed all of her clothing when she was young (she was 6’ tall in the 1940’s!) and I was lucky enough to sew my first pair of pants with her. She taught me basic pattern alteration skills and to quest for perfection. She tried to teach me patience, but that’s always been a lost cause.
Can you remember the first thing you made?
I remember the first pattern that I drafted - a miniskirt out of pink sweatshirt fleece with white polka dots. I was probably 8 years old at the time? The skirt was essentially two trapezoids sewn together and I remember my mom explaining all the reason that what I was doing wasn't going to work, but I managed to come up with something that I could (barely) wear, so I was happy.
Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?
I love sewing patterns from independent pattern designers and greatly admire the proprietresses of Colette Patterns and Sewaholic Patterns.
What's your sewing room like and how do you organize your stash?
A mess, which is funny because I thrive on organization. However, I always have too many projects going at once so WIPs tend to pile up. I've been living in a small apartment in San Francisco and my sewing room is also my fiance's office, so I haven't had enough room to really get organized like I would like to. Regardless of the clutter, there's lots of bright fabric, handmade artwork on the wall, and a cat in my lap, so it's a happy place.
What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to stitch along to?
I tend to binge watch old TV shows on Netflix while I'm sewing - especially those that I don't need to pay close attention to in order follow. I'll always happily re-watch Alias or Doctor Who and I'm currently in the middle of Murder, She Wrote. If I need full attention on what I'm sewing, I'll have music playing but it's anybody's guess what you'll find me listening to - anything from Katy Perry to The Hold Steady to David Bowie to Atmosphere to The Murder City Devils to the Old 97's to The Streets to Andrew Lloyd Webber - and anything in between!
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
There aren't many crafts that I don't do! While sewing is my biggest obsession, I also am a passionate and proficient knitter. I dabble in quilting and needlework and am always trying new crafty projects.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I just finished my Ph.D. in biochemistry. I am very, very proud of myself for the accomplishment as there were many, many points that I thought about walking away. Although I'm leaving science, there were many skills that I learned in the process that I know will apply to my coming career as a sewing pattern designer! I'd love to have y'all join me for the new journey, so please keep in touch on my blog at SeamstressErin.com