Featured Blogger: The Seasoned Homemaker
Today it is my great pleasure to introduce readers to Leslie, of The Seasoned Homemaker. A Texas native, Leslie is a talented artist with a seemingly bottomless passion for sewing. Her enthusiasm for the rich history and culture of her craft is infectious, and the creations she features on her Etsy store are both original and nostalgic – channeling a sort of fresh take on the classic American spirit. Read on to find out more about what makes Leslie and The Seasoned Homemaker so special, and why we’re excited to share this hidden gem with Be @ Home:
Why did you start sewing? For me, it was instinctive. My mom loves to sew, both of my grandmothers were extremely talented with all types of sewing. When I was very young, I naturally headed to my mom’s sewing scraps and started making doll clothes. At age 12, I received an inexpensive Singer sewing machine for Christmas. After that, I was making almost all of my clothes.
What’s your favorite thing about sewing? So much of sewing is about giving. Sewing gifts for friends and family is about as rewarding as it can get. Second would be teaching others to sew. Creating, sharing, giving…that is what makes sewing so rewarding.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve sewn? Why is it your favorite? I wouldn’t say I have a favorite piece; however I do have a strong connection with sewing aprons. A short while back I began dwelling on the idea that women throughout history have always worn aprons of one kind or another. This universal connection with women inspired me to want to do something that would continue this chain. The more I thought about this, the more I wanted to create something for today’s woman. I wanted to give a woman an apron that would be unique and personal. I didn’t want to stop there, though; I also wanted to make a quality apron that would be something treasured by her children and grandchildren. Perhaps one of my aprons would be passed down with beautiful memories of the woman who wore it.
What’s your next project going to be? I am starting to shift my focus to creating ePatterns. If you have ever tried to understand a printed pattern from one of the “big three” pattern companies, you know they can be mighty confusing. My goal is to create simple digital patterns that have easy-to-follow directions for beginners. In my ePattern directions, I include tons of pictures so the sewer can really understand what they are doing. My current ePattern customers rave about how easy my patterns are to follow. As I move forward, I plan to keep expanding this.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given (with regard to sewing, blogging, or just life in general)? “Do what you love and you will find a way to earn a living.” I love to sew and I am a natural teacher. These two things are central to my blog.
Do you have a sewing icon? Who? I would have to say Martha Pullen, both for her creative style as well as her business model. Martha Pullen took something she was passionate about (heirloom sewing) and made us all want to do it. Martha P. taught us to look back in history for sewing inspiration. When my girls were little, I was reading her magazine and smocking little dresses day and night. Now that I have grandchildren, I am still reading at her magazine for inspiration.
As a business woman, Martha is a pioneer. She built a successful business around her Christian faith and her passion for heirloom sewing. Walk into any church in the South and you will see little girls wearing hand smocked dresses; now that’s passion turned into something practical! I love it!!!!
What do you love most about blogging? The best part about blogging is sharing about sewing and gardening in Austin, TX (where I live). We can all have the same sewing machines and access to the same fabrics, but where you live really colors your perspective. I’m always trying to show this connection in my creations: what I love + where I live = who I am
Do you have any must-have accessories or items for the Fall? Right now, in the dead heat of Summer, I am in love with my Yellow Box flip flops. Since Fall doesn’t start around here until November, I’m sticking with the Yellow Box flip flops until my toes turn blue.
What are/were your favorite and least favorite fashion trends? My favorite era for fashion is the late 50’s/early 60’s because the styles were classic and feminine. Even women with meager means made for themselves fashionable garments and wore them with grace and style.
My least favorite era is the 70’/80’s. Trying to imbue the rise of feminism into women’s fashion translated into just plain ugly. I’m keeping my bra, thank you very much!
What equipment do you use? All of my faithful blog readers can answer this question. I have three precious babies:
#1 My Bernina Activa 240 which is a workhorse extroidinaire. It handles anything I throw at it and never blinks. That needle goes up and down, up and down. It truly is one of the best all-around sewing machines. I will never get rid of it.
#2 My [Turbo-charged, uber-cool] Bernina Artista 640 (which is worth more than my current vehicle). It has tons of stitches, an embroidery unit, and a stitch regulator for quilting and thread painting. With this machine, I am only limited by time and imagination.
But wait, there’s more…I recently replaced my 25 year old serger with a Babylock Evolution. This machine gives everything I make a professional look. It also has some great decorative features.
How often do you work? If you love what you do, it’s never work. So, I guess I can say, “I never have to work again!”