I’m sure most of you are familiar with Amy Alan. She can be seen on Sew It All TV and her projects have been in Sew News and Sew It All magazines as well as many others. She has done almost all there is to do in sewing. From sewing ‘weird’ projects as a kid, to getting a degree in fashion design, working as a technical designer, alterations expert and a sewing educator. She espouses the all important principles of fit and precision to her students. You can see her knowledge of sewing, the art and science of it, in her thoughtful tutorials and instructions. Please be sure to check out Amy at her website Really Handmade for more on her classes, projects and tutorials.
Please read a few questions we asked Amy about her sewing style, what she likes (and doesn’t like) and then answer the question at the end to be entered to win One Piece Wearables by Sheila Brennan and the 8th Avenue Skirt pattern from the Sewing Workshop.
I’m not a fan of making blind hems on full circle skirts. They turn out beautifully, but all of the slight gathering and pressing is quite annoying!
Who taught you to sew?
My mother would thread a needle for me and knot the end of it, hand me an old pillowcase, and send me on my way after showing me how to make a stitch or two. Other than that, I would have to say that I didn’t really learn how to sew until I took my first apparel course in college.
What is your favorite way to embellish projects?
I love to embellish my projects with contrasting bias tapes and vintage buttons.
Who do you sew for most often?
Myself! For a long time I used all of my sewing time to make things for other people. Baby quilts, custom pieces and class samples were what I worked on a lot of the time. Then, whenever I needed a new shirt or dress, I wouldn’t have time to make anything for myself, so I’d have to buy something off the rack that didn’t fit quite right and wasn’t what I really wanted. I decided to take on less work so I could spend my time sewing for myself instead of shopping for mass-produced garments.
What’s the oldest piece of fabric in your stash?
It’s probably a cotton blend from the 1960s. It’s a crazy wild print, made up of mustard, red and a blue in a paisley design. I can never decide if it’s ugly or cute, but I don’t think I’ll be able to really decide that until I make something out of it.
What’s your best sewing tip?
Learn the difference between ironing, pressing and steaming. A well-pressed garment looks more professional and lays or drapes much better than one that was hastily ironed.
I am currently working on perfecting a knit pattern to serge my own cardigans out of sweater knit.
What’s your favorite project to make?
I have a very easy woven tank top pattern that is a breeze to whip up. It’s a great project to get me back on track when I’m feel unmotivated or uninspired and I need to complete something to feel productive again.
What’s your favorite season to sew for?
Fall! I love bundling up in layers, so dreamy wools and soft jerseys mixed together always make me happy.
When shopping for sewing supplies, I always buy too much yardage. I get scared that I’ll need a bit more and there won’t be any left!
What inspires you to sew?
I am inspired by a lot of online friends. I’ve met many great sewists thru my blog (ReallyHandmade.com), and I enjoy talking to them thru emails and social media about their projects. It always makes me inspired to get into my studio.
What do you do when you get frustrated with a project?
When I get frustrated with a project, I walk away for a few days. I usually find a quick project that I can get done in a few hours time to clear my mind, or I’ll read a book outside. It’s usually when I forget about a project that a great solution for it pops into my mind!
How about you? What is your favorite season to sew for? Are you like Amy and love fall for inspiration.
On October 8, we picked a winner – Kimberlee! Kimberlee was announced as the winner on Facebook. Thanks to everyone who entered and to Amy! We hope you check out here website and see what other great projects she is working on and her future plans.