MD Sewist Spotlight: Kathy Briggs

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 Kathy Briggs.

How long have you been sewing?
My mom had a sewing machine and I remember her sewing and showing me the basics when I was a kid, but she was never a serious seamstress.  I took a sewing class in high school but I didn’t retain much of what I learned.  I’m a choir conductor and about 10 years ago I was working with our school’s theatre teacher on a musical production and I was really amazed at all of the costumes she created.  I had an idea of something I wanted to sew as a gift for my partner, Nate, and asked her if I bought the pattern and material if she could sew it for me.  She told me she could teach me how to sew it myself.  I was thrilled at this offer!   I secretly went out to her house for a couple hours every week and she taught me how to sew.  The garment was a success and the fact that I made it myself meant a lot to Nate.  I was hooked.  That year for Christmas, I asked my parents to buy me a sewing machine and I’ve had the same little machine ever since.  I’m still very much a beginning sewer — I just learned what bias tape was last month and I’ve yet to sew a zipper into anything.  For what I’m sure most would consider basic sewing terms or techniques, I still find myself doing Google and YouTube searches to learn what they are talking about.  But I think that is what I love about it — learning new skills and turning them into something tangible.  As a musician, there isn’t always that tangible aspect.   I’m really enjoying the monthly Modern Domestic Sewing Society.  I’ve already learned quite a bit and I’ve sewn more these past couple months than I have in a long time!
Tell us about a favorite recent sewing project (What did you make? Who was it for? etc.)
I really liked our first project for the October Sewing Society — the spider bags.  I made them for my nephews for Halloween and not long after my sister asked if I could sew her a similar tote that she could use every day.  Her favorite color is green and her coat is a pale pink, so I took those colors into consideration and sewed my own little design on the fabric and it turned out really well.  My project that I am most proud of, however, is our living room curtains for our patio door.  I made them shortly after we moved into our house.  It was a big project, and I was in way over my head, but I learned a lot along the way and they turned out amazingly well.
What is your favorite sewing tip/tool?
My favorite tool would be my rotary cutter.  My word, they make everything easier than using scissors!   My favorite “tip” is be brave.  I don’t know what I’m doing half the time, but eventually I figure it out and that’s how l learn! 
Where do you sew?
I set up a folding table in my office/guest room.  For cutting or measuring bigger projects I spread out on the floor.  We live in a town house, so I don’t have the space for a designated sewing area.  But it works.  I can look out the window and listen to music and work on projects when I have the time.
What sewing project(s) do you plan to tackle next?
I plan to finish the November Sewing Society project — super cute aprons.  I just LOVE all the awesome presser feet and tools and machines at MD.  So, I plan to come in to open sew soon to finish those up.  I also like re-purposing old fabric.  I just turned an old fitted sheet that had a tear in it into 4 “new” pillow cases.  So, I’ll probably look around the house and see what I can come up with for a new project.  I’m also really interested in finding a skirt design that I really like and then making myself a whole bunch of skirts.

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