We are excited to bring you the first installment of our new blog series—Meet the Maker. Each month we’ll be asking a different maker a bit about themselves and their love of creating!
To kick things off, let’s meet Melizza! A local sewist, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her a bit over the past couple of years at various sewing and baking events, and we are envious of her many talents. We should also mention she’s a member of the coolest cookbook book club (you’re jealous too, right?!). Aside from that, she is the sweetest person, a fantastic sugar artist, and a valued member of the sewing community. Let’s get to know her a bit more!
Tell us a bit about yourself! (Including all the amazing places you’ve lived!)
My name is Melizza, and up until 5 years ago, I moved around a lot. I’ve been shaped by all the places I’ve been fortunate to live in. Bushwick, Brooklyn was home for me until I moved away to go to college. I moved South to attend a women’s university: Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. I studied creative writing and history, and I absolutely adored college life, making amazing lifelong friends.
From there I moved to London for graduate school, eventually to Austin, Texas for a change of scenery, back to London as a newlywed, and back stateside (San Mateo, CA) when we were ready to start our family. After 2 years in California, we realized buying a home there would be almost impossible. After a visit to the PNW, I suggested we move to Seattle, where my husband’s work had an office. He was able to transfer there and we’ve been in Seattle ever since.
Most recently, I worked in the home, sewing clothes for fun and raising our two kids (sometimes fun) when I realized I really enjoyed making cakes. So I started a business and that’s where I am now: home baking cakes. And sewing. I love to sew. And still raising the kids. I love those kids.
What is your definition of being a maker? What specific crafts does that include for you?
To me a maker creates art and I love creating art through sewing and cake designing.
How did you get started making?
Having moved from sunny Texas, I was living in London and suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder badly. I decided learning to sew would help me get outside of my head for bits at a time. I got into garment sewing after attending an awesome sewing meetup on Goldhawk Road, hosted by Karen Ball (@didyoumakethat). Everyone was gleefully showing off their garments and I was so amazed that they’d made it themselves! It was my first time fabric shopping and putting myself out there. I got to meet such lovely sewing friends that, thanks to Instagram, I’ve managed to stay connected with, like @dibsandthemachine and @stitchodyssey. The sewing community in London was so vibrant and inspiring. It reminds me a lot of the community here in Seattle.
What is your favorite part about being creative? Most challenging?
I love getting lost in the moment, just me with some background music, making what I love. I absolutely find fitting so much fun. I love how much problem solving can be involved. And it’s rare that I’ve encountered a pattern that I give up on.
Lately, sewing isn’t happening as much as I’d like. I’ve been baking a lot and find the jump from one medium to the other not as fluid as I’d like.
Describe your process. How do you start on a new project?
I often look through my stash and find what calls to me and match it with something that I’ve been wanting to make. Lately I’ve been making mostly stylish and comfortable clothes: drapey elasticated pants in muted tones and boxy tops, for instance.
What are your favorite sources for inspiration?
How do your sewing and baking skills overlap?
When it comes to baking, I absolutely love letting textiles, flowers, and ceramics influence my cake design. I get to reproduce colors, movement, and textures on a cake! Such a blast.
What tip, trick or skill did you learn that transformed sewing for you? And/or, is there something specific you want/need to learn?
Using an edge stitch sewing foot for topstitching really helped kick my sewing finishing up a notch. As did using Winder Tape. I use it to keep hems, patch pockets and collar stands in place when I sew them. A glue stick would help just as well!
I very much would love to make something tailored. Just the idea of taking my time to muslin, hand stitch, and make a fitted garment…it would be a dream. I have everything I need to make a blazer (I got this amazing floral jacquard from [Style Maker] that desperately needs to be used!). I just need to block out the time to do it.
I also have some amazing denim that needs to be made into some fun jeans.
What make are you most proud of and why?
A couple of years ago I attempted to make Papercut Patterns’ Kobe dress and failed. After 6 or so (I am sew determined) failed muslins I put it in timeout for a year. After the needed distance I was able to see the fitting fix it needed. Finally. I’ve made two versions since.
You just celebrated a milestone birthday, any specific goals for what’s next for you personally and/or for your business?
Presently I am working on sewing up the best and beautiful fabrics in my stash first. They deserve it. Business-wise, I am working on opening an online shop in hopes it will allow people to order more quickly. Customized cakes aren’t going anywhere, just wanting to add a quicker cake purchasing option.
A Few Quick Questions!
- Favorite Fabric to Sew With = Linen and Liberty Tana Lawn
- Favorite TNT Pattern = Grainline Studio Penny Raglan
- Your Essential Tool/Notion = Seam ripper. I use it often 🙂
- Must-Have Sewing Snack = Coffee!
- Current or Next Sewing Project = Muna and Board’s #waikerieshirt
Last but not least…where can people reach/follow you and see what you are up to?
Thanks for joining us! If you have a suggestion for next month’s “Meet the Maker” spotlight, leave a comment below or drop us a note HERE!