THE SEAMSTRESS TAG

Here is the best way to know me. I hope your guys enjoy this post

I do considered myself as a Sewist: a relatively new term, combining the words "sew" and "artist", to describe someone who creates sewn works of art, which can include clothing or other items made with sewn elements.

1) Who are you?

I am Fashion design student currently working on my MFA from Academy of Art University, and live in the Metro Detroit area. I do have experience working in the industry, as well as retail (accessories and jewelry), and I also worked as an art dealer / manager for an art gallery. I got my BA in Management from Universidad Metropolitana in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Also, I have several seminars related to art appraisal, painting, art history, and I am also certified in industrial sewing by Henry Ford College in Dearborn, MI.

2) When & why did you start sewing?

I started learning sewing in 1998 when I was around 12 years old. I moved to an apartment complex outside the city, where my neighbors were an older retired couple; Don Manuel and Doña Mirella. Don Eduardo was a tailor, and he still had his own tailor / atelier room where he spent the day sewing jackets and suits. I was a super annoying child; never staying in one place. Doña Mirella would sometimes check on me when my mom would have to leave for work or for errands. She started to teach me to sew by hand and eventually, Don Eduardo would teach me to sew on a pedal sewing machine, the Singer Vencedora....

Here is one example of the machine.

3) What is your favorite or proudest make?

My proudest work was this dress. I love it because it was from my own head, and nobody told me to do anything different or any errors. I designed and chose the fabrics myself, which is tweed. This example was made with black muslin.

4) What is your most disastrous make?

Well, it was a jacket where I used hard horse hair, which normally can be used for jackets. The problem is women's jackets are softer tailored than men. Also, there is a difference between women's jackets and blazers: blazers are softer than women's tailored jackets.

5) Where is your favorite place to go fabric shopping?

I love to buy fabrics; no matter where is the store, if they have awesome fabrics, I will be there. Locally, I have a few stores I frequent:

  • Haberman Fabrics: This is one of the best places in my area for fabrics. They bring a lot fabrics from NYC and LA. They are located on Clawson, MI

  • Joann Fabrics: I do like Joann Fabrics for essential items like: muslin, fabrics, pins, thread, pattern and so on.

  • Mood Fabrics : This is an online store and I do love the whole selection of fabrics and notions. www.moodfabrics.com

  • www.fabric.com is another place similar to moodfabrics but is more affordable and they have more notion.

6) What is your most used pattern?

Lately it is the 1940's blouse from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I am currently working on that pattern to make some variations and create a few blouses for me. I want to be comfortable this spring and summer with some classical pieces made by me.

7) Your most dreaded sewing task is…

I think for me sometimes is using the serger on all the pieces. I feel that way, because I have to wait to get the pieces ready, and I want to sew all the pieces immediately. Besides that, I think sewing dog beds with hard canvas or hemp is my other dreaded task. Hemp for some reason gave me allergies.

8) And your favorite sewing task?

I do love making patterns and draping. I think it is the most fun part of the whole design process, but sewing your own design from your own idea is an incredible feeling. For me, sewing any garments that I created from scratch are my favorite. If I have to choose any one piece that I like the most, I will say blouses.

9) What is your favorite ‘sewing entertainment’?

I like many small projects, but I thinkmaking bags is the most entertaining to me; not necessarily because it can be complicated, but because I can wear it immediately and be useful to me. Also, I can do different techniques and apply different notions and accessories. Sometimes, you can go to the department store and mix and match elements from handbags to create the perfect one for yourself at home. It is really fun and you can learn a lot!

10) Printed or PDF?

Here is one of the hardest questions to answer, so I will be extremely direct and objective.

I do like both, because both represent different alternatives for different situations where you as Sewist will see yourself.

Now, in a perfect world, I will always choose the printed pattern. For me, there is nothing better than a pattern perfectly done, with all seam allowances, and evenly matched. That for me takes a lot time off from the process, and then I start the selection process and so on. I always try to get printed blocks because they are the cornerstone for many future garments and designs. Overall, there are less problems at the beginning, which is better for you especially if you are new in the game.

PDF for me is a situational type pattern for where you cannot get it anywhere, the price of the physical pattern is super high, or you are overseas and cannot get a paper pattern shipped there, or the garment is so unique that you cannot get any other similar patterns, or just do not know how to replicate it. Also, one obvious thing with the PDF patterns are that you need a good printer, paper and ink. All these elements can add up quickly in cost. I am in school, and I print a lot! I mean a lot! I do get a box of paper with 8-10 pack of papers (reams) per semester and get a new set of color toner cartridges every semester. So for me, it is around 140-150 dollars per semester in paper and ink only. The printer that I have is the Dell H625 Wireless Color Printer with Scanner Copier & Fax, which has been the best investment in a printer I have ever had.

11) What sewing machine do you use?

I do have several machines. You don't need to have many as me. I do have a post here about my sewing machines which I encourage you to read, because it goes into more depth than this post. Basically, here is the list:

Serger:

12) Do you have any other hobbies?

Beside Sewing, YES! I do love cooking Caribbean and Spanish food. Also I read a lot, draw, and listen to audiobooks .

I did collected coins and paper money in the past. Currently, I want to learn how to fly drones; I feel that it is fun when you see people on YouTube flying drones and you can see the whole world in a different way.