Every other week, we profile one of our customers to find out a little bit about their sewing life. This week the MD Sewist Spotlight is on Jennifer Hale.
How long have you been sewing?
I began sewing when I was 12 years old, so about 27 years give or take a few years off here and there. My family had just moved to Cary, NC as a new step family. My step-dad’s sister invited me over to her house to make a shirt. I had never sewn before and was intimidated. We went to the fabric store and she found the perfect pattern and we made it out of a striped knit that I would love to find now. We machine sewed the shirt with a boat neck collar and gathered shoulders. It was perfect for the mid 80’s! I loved it so much I wore it for my school picture in the sixth grade. I’m so happy to have the picture of my first project and of my little girl hair because soon after this photo I got my first perm and my hair chopped into a mullet!
Tell us about a favorite recent sewing project.
My favorite sewing project is also my current project. I am currently in the Minoru Jacket class being taught by Erica. I am making it for myself and selected a waterproof canvas outer material. I ran into challenges with the lining. I was debating function over fashion and with Erica’s gentle guidance I chose fashion. Erica was right, as usual! I have never made a fully lined garment and this project has presented many challenges that I think require classroom instruction but I feel that afterward I am going to be ready for more challenging projects.
What is your favorite sewing tip/tool?
Since coming to Modern Domestic I learned about using Swedish tracing paper. I resisted at first but now I don’t do a project without it. I use a large ziploc bag to hold onto the pattern, original patterns and then the patterns created from the tracing paper. I am more likely to reuse a pattern if it’s all organized.
Where do you sew?
I sew in a guestroom in my house. It’s an odd little room that never gets warm enough in the winter and has a pretty small window but it’s my first sewing room. I always feel really special to have a room all to myself and I surround myself with things that inspire me and make me smile. My pugs usually come in and curl up on the dog bed when I’m working on a project and I put on an old episode of Sex and the City in the background.
What sewing project(s) do you plan to tackle next?
Since I am enjoying the Minoru jacket so much I looked into the pattern maker Sewaholic. I loved her patterns and purchased the Renfrew top pattern. I am going to make the 3/4 sleeve top with the cowl neck. It can be made on the serger and can be completed in under an hour. We’ll see! I do plan to sign up for the jeans class in the future. I have heard great things about it and can’t wait to come up with my own original pocket pattern!