Sharon Madsen has the distinction of being the Sew It All contributor that has been in the most issues. You can find her fun projects in every issue of Sew It All except for Volumes 1 and 2. To say we love Sharon’s fashionable take on sewing is an understatement.
I was excited to ‘talk’ with Sharon and see what makes her so crazy about sewing. Read on for more fun stuff on Sharon and be sure to answer the question to be entered into Sew News Oct/Nov issue Meet The Designer prize pack. Don’t forget to take a sneak peek at all are fun goodies that are coming in the next issue of Sew News, hitting newsstands December 18th!
~ Let’s have Sharon take it away ~
Where do you live/from? Are your surroundings inspiring?
Born and raised (mostly) in Minnesota – or MinneSNOWta as some of my friends who live in warmer climates like to say (with an evil laugh). Yes, it’s true we do get a lot of snow. But it’s not true that we talk like the characters in Fargo, ‘don’t cha know’.
Can you give us a little background on how/why you got started sewing and creating. You betcha! (ha,ha) I come from a family where artistic pursuits were always encouraged—painting, drawing, music, dance, poetry— you name it and someone in my family had the talent. At age 8, my soon-to-be aunt spent a day teaching me to sew, everything from a visit to the fabric store to going home with a finished dress. I was hooked! Since no one else in my family sewed, I ended up teaching myself (with many hilarious mistakes along the way). By my early teens I was sewing most of my family’s wardrobe and started a business selling doll clothing. Over the years I also received a bit of criticism from those who learned to sew “by the rules” as I haven’t always done things “the right way”. But I learned to shake it off as I only sew for the enjoyment it brings to me. The time I spend sewing has ebbed and flowed over the years but not my love for the artistic pursuit.
Is there an area of crafting, sewing etc that you would like to explore more?
There is so much more I would like to learn that I don’t even know how to pick one. Of course finding the time is always the challenging part.
How has technology improved your creating life/work efforts? Is there some area of technology that you’ve had to adapt to, or maybe don’t care for.
Technology forced me to become better at my craft partially because I didn’t want to embarrass myself when I began posting my sewing projects on my blog back in 2006! Technology has also made it much easier to learn new techniques, to find inspiration and to connect with others who share the same passion. I have sewing friends all over the world that I have yet to meet in real life due to technology.
What is your conception process for a design or project? Do you sketch it out, go straight to the machine, take a photo etc.
I sketch. I have a stack of notebooks filled with ideas, some have come to fruition, others not yet. I keep a notebook with me at all times because I never know when inspiration may strike—the shape of a cloud, a detail on someone’s outfit, the color combination of the junk mail pile—an idea can pop into my head anywhere. I even keep a notebook near my bed because sometimes ideas appear in my dreams.
What other creative endeavors do you engage in?
Does making up excuses to not exercise count as a creative endeavor?
What has been your (to date) greatest/proudest achievement in the creative world? Being a guest on Sew It All
What would be a dream project, commission or book project for you?
Like many others who sew, I have an idea for a book that I’d like to pitch… the idea is not fully hatched but of course it is related to sewing.
Answer – If I won the lottery….
Tithe to my church, share with my family, pay off the bills, quit my job, volunteer at an animal shelter and buy myself a top of the line sewing machine!
What do you do when you are not at your sewing machine?
During the day I work as a communications manager for a small city. I also teach a few Zumba and REFIT dance fitness classes. Other things I enjoy include baking, reading, hiking, and spending time with family, including my two spoiled dogs.
Any tips you’d like to share with the Sew News readers on sewing, creating or inspiration?
Sew things that make you happy. Don’t obsess over sewing “mistakes”, it happens to us all and it’s just part of the learning process. Seek out people and resources to help you learn (you know, like Sew News!). Give yourself permission to stop working on projects that aren’t going as planned and to celebrate the ones that do.
Be sure to follow Sharon at one or all of these social media avenues for more of her take on sewing and creating.