Oh, no! August got away from us and we didn’t get our “Meet the Maker” post up before the end of the month. We are so sorry about that, but there is some good news…we get to meet two new makers this month. Seems fitting for National Sewing Month!
To kick off September, we are delighted to introduce you to Leanne. As garment sewers and quilters ourselves, we so enjoy watching her sewing adventures over on Instagram and can’t wait to see what she creates next. Say hi to Leanne!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! I’m Leanne, a 30 something sewist from New Orleans, LA but currently living in Phoenix, AZ with my husband and two cats. I’ve been sewing for almost 4 years and quilting for a little over 1 year.
What is your definition of being a maker? What specific crafts does that include for you?
I think a maker is simply anyone who makes something. For me, that includes garment sewing, quilting, cross-stitch, and knitting…I’m sure if you give me a few months, I’ll have more to add to that list.
When did you learn to sew? How has your sewing evolved since then?
I learned to sew in February of 2017. My best friend who had been sewing for a while came to visit me and I was determined to get her to teach me basics. Fast forward a few years, and A LOT of YouTube and I would say I’m an adventurous intermediate sewist now. I have gone from being scared to sew anything to now only being scared of swimsuits, undergarments, and jeans, haha!
Describe your process. How do you start on a new project?
I like to save sewing inspiration to my Instagram and my Pinterest boards. The sewing community is so inspiring, and I am daily adding patterns or fabrics that I see other sewists use to my list of things I want to create with. I’m also heavily influenced when a designer drops a new pattern, if I like it it usually jumps up to the top of my sewing list!
You sew with an amazing mixture of knits and wovens! Which is your favorite? Why?
This answer could change weekly. But right now…don’t tell my knit fabric, but I think wovens might be my favorite. I used to be such a lazy/impatient sewist. I wanted to make a garment in the quickest way I possibly could and all the finishing steps would just annoy me. Weirdly enough, quilting has forced me to slow down with my sewing and made a much more patient sewist, so I like sewing with wovens now because I find the topstitching and other finishing steps genuinely enjoyable. Plus…I don’t think linen will ever be topped as my favorite fabric to sew.
What make are you most proud of and why?
The make I’m currently the proudest of is my Sofia Top I made for Victory Patterns. It was my first time being a “model” for a pattern designer, and it was my first time shirring…anything.
I had put all of this pressure on myself that the garment needed to look worthy of being marketed for the pattern and there was a point when I didn’t think I could get it to work. I had a mini-meltdown, but halfway through my muslin version, I found myself more confident in the process. I love how the shirt looks, and whenever I see it I’m proud of myself all over again. And as a bonus, I’m not scared of shirring anymore!
How would you describe your style? And, what are your favorite sources for inspiration?
Until a couple of years ago I didn’t even know I had a “style”. I find myself always gravitating towards neutral colored fabrics and looser fitting silhouettes. I spent the first 29 years of my life being too scared to wear shirts that didn’t go past my stomach, so in the last few years I’ve also been really embracing wearing crop tops or t-shirt length tops with my high waisted bottoms.
Sewing has been really liberating when it comes to my style. I used to wear clothes to hide, but now I wear clothes that make me smile and that I feel good wearing. For inspiration, I am constantly looking at hashtags on Instagram and getting style inspiration from fellow sewists in our community. I like to save outfits that inspire me to my saved section on Instagram, or to my Pinterest and then I try to create something that fits me and my style from that inspiration.
What is your biggest dream project to tackle or sewing goal to try?
I think it would be really cool to master sewing a pair of jeans. Not just sewing them, but getting a good fit on them, that’s probably my biggest dream project. All of the adjustments for pants are so scary to me, and I feel like I’ll be a lot more knowledgeable in sewing when I’ve tackled jeans.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your sewing and making?
When the pandemic first started, I couldn’t make myself sew. I already was in a slump from post holiday burnout, so I didn’t sew anything from January-May 2020. When I started finding a routine in all the isolation craziness the itch to sew started coming back again, very slowly at first.
Do you have any tips or advice for someone that is new to sewing or rediscovering it after a long time away?
Anything you could possibly have trouble with when it comes to sewing can be found on YouTube! I learned 95% of my sewing skills by myself with the help of YouTube. Also, at the end of the day it’s just fabric. There is more and sewing does have a learning curve. For the most part, everything you make will be better than the last thing you made. Have faith in yourself, because I truly believe anyone with a desire to sew can master it.
A Few Quick Questions!
- Favorite Fabric to Sew With = Linen, linen…LINEN!
- Favorite TNT Pattern = Using the Avery Leggings from Helen’s Closet to make bike shorts!
- Your Essential Tool/Notion = I recently got an Oliso Mini Iron and it’s great to use when pressing seams open or folding binding in half. An insane amount of heat and no more wrist pain from lifting my huge iron! Also a glue stick, it’s my savior for stripe matching!
- Must-Have Sewing Snack = Oof, pretzels? For a while my go to sewing snack was caramel m&ms…so good.
- Current or Next Sewing Project = I’m currently playing around with the True Bias Ogden Cami, trying to get the fit right because all of the hacks Kelli shared in August have me itching to sew one up.
Last but not least…where can people reach/follow you and see what you are up to?
A huge thank you to Leanne for sharing a bit more about herself with all of us. You might see her pop up here again later this month during a certain biannual Style Tour…hint, hint! Fall is coming!