MD Sewist Spotlight: Yvonne De Maat

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 Yvonne De Maat.

How long have you been sewing?
I started sewing when I got my first sewing machine at age 15. My grandmother had passed away and my parents bought us three girls a sewing machine (I forget what my brother got, definitely not a sewing machine!). I brought the machine with me when I immigrated to the States, and for a few years had a toy business and sewed Waldorf-type soft dolls. 
I think I used up the machine when I started sewing children’s clothes out of felted sweaters (used up the washer as well, felting all those old sweaters). My maternal grandmother passed away last year, some 30+ years later, and I thought it was time to upgrade to a machine that does more than just straight and zig zag stitches. 
I have taken a few classes this year at Modern Domestic and fell in love all over again with sewing, this time making my own clothes. I realize how many techniques are not part of my vocabulary, and it is satisfying to learn them, AND walk away with a beautiful dress!
Tell us about a favorite recent sewing project.

I made the Amazing Fit dress with Erica this spring, and can’t believe how many tricks I learned!
On our anniversary I wore it, and my man felt very proud to be walking next to me (it is an amazing fit after all!), and I felt very proud to have made it!!!

What is your favorite sewing tip/tool?

Wash your fabric as soon as you come home with it from the store. There’s nothing as frustrating as having the sewing bug and having to wait for your washer and dryer to have to run their cycles. If you iron it as well, you’ll be really pleased to be able to get to your work as well. It also helps to have an organized bag or box for small sewing supplies so you don’t have to look for you measuring tape just when you’re in the zone.

Where do you sew?

Since we remodeled our basement I now have a room for all my crafts. I am a Waldorf Preschool teacher at Heart in Hand Preschool, so there are always projects I’m working on. My challenge is to keep it clean, the temptation is to leave it a mess because I can now close the door on it.

What sewing project(s) do you plan to tackle next?

I’m in the midst of making my first pair of jeans (again with the fabulous Erica at Modern Domestic). Tomorrow’s homework includes designing the jeans pockets, and I have to admit; I’ve never looked at as many behinds as I did today, but I think I did come up with an acceptable design! 

I’m planning on making a new ‘teacher’ wardrobe for spring- summer.
I found this book at Bolt with Japanese inspired clothes which mix and match really well.
I love the simple lines and practicality of these clothes, it’s important for me to be able to move freely when I’m with the children.

2 Responses to “MD Sewist Spotlight: Yvonne De Maat”

  1. Karie

    Yvonne – I am still showing off your jean pocket design! I hope your jeans turned out fabulous. Mine sure did.

  2. Marion

    Yvonne – you’re a gem, and an inspiration to so many people!!!

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