Recently I was invited to sit down with Cathy Lewis of WHRV’s Hearsay With Cathy Lewis to talk about my work, my new book, Sew Bags: The Practical Guide to Making Purses, Totes, Clutches and More and what it is like teaching kids (and adults!) how to sew. Here is the podcast link for you to listen and join in the conversation.Read More
I teach sewing and design because I believe that everyone possesses some innate creative ability and once you tap into that and discover your passion, it can build confidence that flows into all aspects of life.
These past few weeks, I have had to take a deep dive into my confidence reserve.
As the publication of my book drew near, I knew that it was time to begin to organize a promotional book blog tour. In order for the book to sell, people have to know about it - right? By May, sheer panic set in. Besides the fact that I am terribly introverted and likely would never own a phone, let alone leave the house given the chance, I had to ask complete strangers to read my book and to (PLEASE!) make something from it and share it with the world.Read More
I am so thrilled that my blog tour week is finally here! My new book: Sew Bags: The Practical Guide to Making Purses, Totes, Clutches & More; 13 Skill-Building Projects is written as a guide, complete with patterns and step by step instructions ,to help you create the bag of your dreams. This week, a few gracious sewing friends from across the globe are generously giving us their time and sharing their thoughts and projects from my book. I just can’t wait to see what they have made.
After a lovely introduction from my friends at C&T yesterday, I thought that I would follow up today by sharing my thoughts on creating a bag that suits you as the wearer. A purse is an opportunity to show the world your personal style and the silhouette that best represents you. Which means: any old bag just won’t do. Like it or not, your purse says a lot about you. Are you a mom that has to carry everything for everyone? Are you a just the basics and cut it to the essentials? Are you out for friends with the night and carrying a fun clutch? Besides toting the essentials, a purse is also an accessory-a blank canvases that can project your mood, your favorite trend, or your aesthetic of the moment.
Since everyone is different, there are also adjustments you can make to a sewing pattern that will customize the bag perfectly to your body and individual needs to ensure that your bag is useful as well as beautiful. I’m all about customization and straps and handles are a great way to both customize and accessorize.Read More
The ultimate expression of my obsession with customization, begins with a beautiful, simple everyday bag. Each bag in my book, Sew Bags: The Practical Guide to Making Purses, Totes, Clutches & More was designed with this in mind. The clean lines and thoughtful details invite you, the reader, to be the designer. While you can certainly make a bag exactly as the pattern directs, if you can manage a little extra time, in addition to a small stroke of creativity, the ability to make handbags totally your own could be a serious game changer.
The fun begins when you start to break the design down to the component parts. Fabric, hardware, handles, straps and decorative accessories can be mixed and matched to create a bag that’s uniquely yours.Read More
I love, love, love hearing from all of you that have purchased my book, Sew Bags! Thank you! It makes me so very happy to hear how much you are enjoying it. This has been such a meaningful project for me to work on and I could not have done it without the help and dedication of so many talented individuals such as my publisher, Stash Books, an imprint of C&T, Kelly Burgoyne, an amazing photographer, April Mostek, book designer, editors Liz Aneloski, Debbie Rodgers and Beth Baumgartel, and Acquisitions Editor Roxane Cerda. And of course to all of you!! My readers and students who really make all that I do so meaningful.
As for the book itself, where do I start? When I set out to write the book over two years ago, I had a vision of what it might be like, both the experience of writing and what the final book would be like. While the book is so much better than I had envisioned, the actual writing process was really very difficult for me. It took me much longer to prepare each step and thoughtfully communicate clearly yet concisely what I wanted the reader to learn. (I have trouble with distraction on a good day- this project required a few overnight hotel stays and a level of concentration that I was no longer familiar with.) Teaching has kept me grounded in the beginner’s experience. The projects that they are interested in making, the questions that they ask and the troubles that they encounter along the way. I wanted to be certain that each project and step would build confidence instead of frustration. What a valuable experience this was for me! I know that since writing this book, I have become a better teacher.Read More
My first book review- can you imagine the angst? Thank you Publishers Weekly for your balanced and flattering review.
As a reader of reviews, I do want to know if the book is worth purchasing or not. I buy books to inspire me, to learn from and if it is a how-to, then how to make the project. Understanding the scope of the book and projects helps me to make a choice. I particularly appreciate knowing the level of education and experience that the author of the book has and who the book is intended for. As an author, my perspective is just as curious. Being in the hot-seat, so to speak though, is new territory!Read More