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.
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.
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.