Sunday, November 27, 2016

#bpsewvember Part 1

I thought I would have some fun with the #bpsewvember November "post a photo a day" challenge.  I tried keeping up on Instagram, but I fell off the wagon on day 3, and went splat!  So, instead, I thought I would do a couple of blog posts instead.  I love the prompts in this list, so I really wanted to participate.

1. Hi There! 
My name is Kristin and I've been sewing since I was 12.  When I was little, I used to watch my mom sew on the dining room table.  She officially taught me to sew when I was 12.  I didn't take to it right away, but by the time I was 14 I was totally on board and making funky pants all the time.  In this photo, I was 17, and this was my most common uniform.  Wide leg, cotton, funky printed pants.
I went to Olds College and studied Fashion Production for two years.  I absolutely loved it!  I learned lots of basic and couture sewing skills, drafting, draping, and tailoring.  Two simple yet profound things I learned from college: make friends with your stitch ripper, and make a muslin (test garment)!  
I am an upholsterer/seamstress by trade.  I am a proud third generation upholsterer.  I grew up in my Dad and Grandpa's upholstery shop.  This is me at the front desk.  I was 6 years old.
After college, I worked with Dad and started to learn the trade.  My favourite times where those few years when it was just me and him working out of the garage.
I've had various jobs over the years, but I've got 8 1/2 years of upholstery experience and quite a bit of sewing experience.  I am currently working at a drapery studio, and I'm thrilled to be able to put all my experience to the test.  I get to dabble in upholstery and all kinds of custom sewing, and in addition to heavy duty upholstery and woodworking tools, I get to play with lots of sewing tools like industrial sergers and sewing machines, and a gravity feed steam iron.  I'm totally in my element.  

2. Wackiest Pattern
These were my favourite pants I ever made.  I wore the heck out of them, especially the denim pair.
They were so comfy!  The back pockets are really long, and I used to sneak one-litre bottles of pop into the movies.  I still have both pairs, and I've busted them out for halloween a few times!
These pants represent my funky style more than anything I've ever made.  I wore these LIKE A BOSS.

3. Up Close
I got these labels made a few years ago, and sewing them onto stuff is one of my favourite things.  
It gives me a huge sense of pride and accomplishment, and I get to put my personal stamp on it!  Most of these go on gifts like quilts and jammy pants.  I don't always put them on my own clothes, but when I do, it's something with a bit of structure with a great place to sew the label, like a back facing.

4. Fun
I love sewing.  I'm rather a nerd about it, to be honest.  I always try to find something fun in what I'm doing.  Like this!  Hee hee!

5. On My Table
I finally started my new Jalie hoodie!  I've been planning this since last winter, and after I made one in my old size and it didn't fit, I had to start over.  It's taken me 9 months to get back at it, but I finally did it!  I've got the body and the sleeves together, so it's all downhill from here!

6. Red/Purple
Red and Purple are probably my two least favourite colours, besides brown and beige and anything that looks like puke, LOL. But out of these, I don't mind purple.  I got to make a church quilt with various shades of lilac and purple, and I think it looks pretty cute!

7. Playing Favourites
My favourite thing in my sewing room is my Babylock Evolve 8-thread serger/coverstitcher.  My friend Naomi had one in our first year of college, and I got to see it in action.  During summer break, I bought my own.  It is my favourite thing ever!  If you're ever on the fence about buying the expensive thing, go for it!  It's totally worth it!  This machine has never let me down.

8. Dear Past Me
You are one of the most unique individuals I know.  You've always been good at being yourself.  Never lose that.  You're always happiest and most successful when you are grounded in who you are.  Creativity flows best when you're tapped into that funky essence.  Keep being awesome!
Love, Kristin

9. Me Made Collection
One of my most made patterns is this Vogue 2810 corset.  I made about 3 for myself and at least 5 for others.  The first corset I ever made was the orange one I'm wearing with my wedding dress petticoat.  It was my test.  It was simply one layer of cotton with boning sewn in the seams, and when I zipped it up, it was a revelation!  Corsets are amazing!  It's really awesome and fits everyone great.  

10. Shopping List
What's on my list?  Rotary cutter blades and flannel for jammy pants for Christmas gifts.  I've gotten really good at using what I've got, and I'm happy to say that I don't go to the fabric store as often as I used to.

11. The Vault
My mom taught me some quilting skills when I was 15.  I made this outfit for a sewing contest.  I liked the shirt, but I hated the skirt! (Sorry, Mom!)  But it was an excellent learning experience, and I won first place.
 I liked to wear the shirt with jeans, like this.

12. New Find
I've been quilting for about 6 years now, and this year, I was introduced to Longarm Quilting!  I knew what it was, but I didn't know that I would have an opportunity to do it for myself!  Sparrow Quilt Co. opened up a long arm quilting studio above Quiltessential in St. Albert, and I get to rent time on these beautiful machines!  I absolutely love it, and the quilts turn out so professional!

13. Selfless Sew
I've been sewing for others since I was about 18.  People ask, and you say sure!  Not long ago, I spent about 3 years running my own sewing business 2 days a week, and I made some incredible things!  
I'm forever trying to find a balance between selfish sewing and selfless sewing.  It's still a little tipped to the selfless side, and I'm constantly trying to find a way to tip it back to me.  We function better when we take the time to do something just for ourselves.  I actually prefer to make gifts, as I get to be totally generous and pour my heart and soul into the project.  

14. Yellow/Orange
Orange is my favourite colour.  It's so different and bold and bright, and I love it!  I found this photo from June 2013.  I posted it with this:
"I love it when I'm surrounded by such awesomeness! I got to sew 19 sparkly orange chair seats last Wednesday. Best way to spend an afternoon, in my books! Did I mention I got to topstitch every single one of them? "

15. Memories
Making quilts for our church's charity quilt group takes up at least 30% of my sewing time.  But it is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.  I took over the leadership this year, and I'm loving it so far!  We have a great group of enthusiastic people who are willing to share the workload.  We get together once a month and layer our quilts and tie them with yarn.  I've been doing this for several years, and these are some of my favourite memories.

Stay tuned for Part 2!  15 more fun facts about my sewing life!

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