Jennifer Beeman is our featured contributor this month. Many may know her from her wonderful website and blog Grainline Studio. There you will find informative blog posts, free patterns, tutorials, how-tos and all sorts of great advice and musings on sewing, fashion, pattern making, textiles and more. Plus, be sure to check out and join the Grainline Flickr Group too.
Let’s get on with meeting Jennifer Beeman and learning a bit more about her and what she loves to do (it has something to do with sewing!). Don’t forget to make a comment below to be entered to win a prize.
What is your sewing pet peeve? (a task that you find annoying)
My least favorite part of any project has to be cutting it out. I swear that part usually takes as long as the sewing but it’s way less fun!
What were the early days of learning to sew like? What was it that made you want to continue?
My mom taught me to sew when I was around 12 so it’s hard to remember exactly but I’m sure they were filled with frustrating points for both my mom and I. Actually I think she was probably more frustrated than I was since I was really interested in making things like fabric cheeseburgers and mini-quilts for a doll I’d made out of a wooden spool. What made me want to continue was never being able to find exactly what I was looking for in stores. That and the fact that I just really like making things.
What do you do when you are not sewing?
When I’m not sewing I work as a patternmaker, which is really just prepping for more sewing.
What is your favorite thing to embellish your projects with?
I’m not a big embellisher so maybe topstitching? Ha, I’m so boring!
Who taught you how to sew?
My mom, she’s a pretty amazing sewer.
What’s the oldest piece of fabric in your stash?
I have 3 – 2 meter lengths of fabric I bought in London in 2003, I was always afraid to cut into them and now they’re not really something I would wear anymore. They’re still nice to have as a reminder of the trip though!
Do you have a favorite item or project to make?
I’ve sewn a lot of Archer Button Ups this year, so that may be my current go to. I really love making outerwear though, specifically wool coats. So fun!
Do you find the change of seasons inspires you to sew and do you have a favorite season?
My favorite season is definitely fall, cooler weather makes for layering which means you can wear more handmade garments at once! I do feel less inspired to sew during summer probably because bending over an iron is not appealing when it’s 90+ outside. Fall and Spring are definitely the most inspiring sewing seasons for me though.
When shopping for sewing supplies, I always buy too much _______.
Fabric. You do not want to see how much fabric I have under my pattern table right now. My eyes are infinitely bigger than my stomach when it comes to how many projects I think I can get done and need fabric for.
Are there any sewing techniques you are trying to perfect?
None specifically but I’m always trying to make my sewing faster, more efficient, and more beautiful. I like every garment to be more beautifully sewn than the last.
What future projects/plans are in store for Jennifer Beeman?
I taught my first class this winter and will be teaching a college level pattern grading course this spring semester so more teaching is in the cards for me. Future plans for Grainline Studio include releasing more sewing patterns, more tutorials, more posts, etc.
Any tips you would like to share with the Sew News sewing community?
I’m sure you all know this already but it took me way too long to learn. Make a mistake, take a break. When I make a mistake I just walk away, go sit on the porch or check my email, anything else for about 10 or 15 minutes, then when I come back to the problem, I’m no longer fuming and it seems much easier to handle and fix.
Thanks so much for reading and being a part of the Meet The Designer. Let me know in the comments section below what are your future plans are for sewing and creating. Or just leave me a comment about what you find alike with Jennifer and her creative process.
One lucky person will win a Scissor Buddy, spring-inspired fabric from Monaluna and a Monaluna On the Go dress pattern! And be sure to check out Monaluna’s adorable fabric and pattern selection for inspiration in you sewing endeavors.