Starting in September, I am taking a four week basic sewing course to finally really get to learn this incredible art form, which I hate to see getting lost in the world. Now that Project Runway is back on the air, the desire is stronger than ever to learn how to make my own clothes! I can’t tell you how many hundreds of times I have put something down in my favorite stores because I’m convinced that with just a little know-how, I could make it myself for a quarter of the price. Within a few months, I hope to be on track to do this for real!
So with sewing firmly on the brain and a little inspiration needed, I recently reached out to an expert, Heather Valentine of The Sewing Loft. Heather was kindly introduced to us by Nikki McGonical of Nikki, in Stitches. Heather is the real-deal: an FIT graduate who has spent more than two decades working for top women’s and children’s apparel designers. She’s a member of the American Sewing Guild and Sewing for America. In other words, she’s a bona fide expert on the craft.
What I particularly love about Heather is her mission to always use recycled and reclaimed materials in her projects – why spend hundreds of dollars on fabric when you can make something beautiful out of something old? And lest you think it can’t be done – browse Heather’s Etsy store here and try to restrain yourself from buying every last item for the little ones in your life. I love her whimsical, playful aesthetic.
I asked Heather why she crafts. I think you, too, will love hearing the peace she derives from her art! She says:
“I craft for peace of mind; I craft for creative outlet; I craft to keep my sense of balance.
Crafting has always been a part of my life, like the common thread through my childhood, young adult stage and now happily ever after. There is just something about saying the words…’I made this’ with a sense of pride that gets me every time. You know that feeling you get deep down inside when someone asks where you purchased something they admire? For me, it is like finding that golden ticket. While working in the manufacturing world, there was no greater sense of achievement then seeing someone wearing an item I worked on walk down the street. I would always turn to the person whom I was with and say…’Look, I made that!’ Just seeing the finished product in use makes me smile.
So for me, I craft because it is in my blood. From grandmother to mother, mother to daughter, this wonderful gift of the lost art of sewing has been passed down through the generations of my family. It is a skilled blessing that I hope to continue with my girls.”
Isn’t that great? Totally agree that the teaching of sewing to a younger generation is getting lost – but hopefully more people like myself are able to bring it back and teach others.
You can keep up with Heather via her Facebook fan page as well! Find that here. Happy reading