How did you first get into sewing?
I come from a family of makers. My grandmothers were both gifted artists, my father was always building something (both at home and at work… he is an aerospace engineer) and my uber-stylish mother made all her incredibly fashionable clothes.
How would you describe your personal style?
Day to day, I have a “soup and sweatpants” style, but I like to think my sewing style is open and experimental. I’m not afraid to try anything. I’ve created things that are elegant, modern, playful, cozy, utilitarian and edgy.
Which is your favourite sewing tool and why?
Early in the pandemic, my sewing machine was overworked from sewing masks for healthcare and frontline workers. I asked the repair shop if they had a simple, reliable machine I could purchase to get me back to making masks. They recommended an old, industrial Juki with a green formica table top. I had never used an industrial machine before, but I love the beast and all her might.
What are the best (and worst) bits of sewing?
Sewing is like meditation to me. I don’t think about anything else. I am relaxed and I feel refreshed after sitting down to sew for a while. I never have a bad day sewing!
What’s your proudest sewing moment?
Every time my teenagers choose to wear something I made for them, I am a proud and happy momma!
Do you have a favourite fabric you often choose?
I love working with wool. It has structure and just the right amount of give to mold around curves and create beautiful shapes. Not to mention it is decadent, so garments always feel special when I make them of wool.
I also enjoy chopping up sheets and shower curtains. The prints are often bold and are especially suited to TAL patterns. Here are some things made from sheets and TAL patterns:
Which fabric shop/s do you usually buy from, online and/or Brick & Mortar?
I discovered an arts and crafts thrift store in my neighbourhood about a year ago and it is a little bit of heaven. Local designers, manufacturers and television productions donate their fabrics to this charity shop. I can buy the most beautiful, unique fabrics for just a few dollars per yard. It’s the reason I’m able to sew as much as I do.
What would you want to say to someone who’s trying to get started in sewing?
It’s like Lao Tzu’s proverb “a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”… a sewing journey starts with a stitch. Be brave enough to fail. You can’t succeed if you don’t start. So just try. Just start. Chop up some old sheets and go for it!. (I often recommend the TAL free pyjamas!)
What is you next project?
I recently purchased a used industrial 5-thread overlock machine. I successfully threaded it once, but not since then… so my goal is to learn to use it.
What do you do when you’re not sewing?
When I’m not sewing, I’m thinking about sewing! But I do that while I am teaching Emergency Medicine at a local college, driving my children to and fro, watching the wild animals on my security cameras, studying random things or volunteering with the local fire department.
Thank you for making and sharing Lisa!
I live in sunny Southern California in an area defined as “Wildland Urban Interface”, so I am lucky enough to have wildlife like bears and bobcats pass through my property. The bears especially like to swim in the pool.
FAVOURITE TAL PATTERN
The very first TAL pattern I made was the Hoodie Dress. I was drawn to it because it is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It was also my first digital pattern and my first garment after a 25 year hiatus from sewing clothes. With it’s brilliant instructions and the way the pieces fit together like a satisfying puzzle, I was hooked! It is my favourite TAL pattern because it reintroduced me to garment sewing; and that has evolved into a wonderfully immersive hobby.