In case you missed it, our April sew along is with none other than the fabulous Mimi G of Mimi G Style. Mimi is all over this issue, with tons of helpful information for getting your spring and summer wardrobe plans in gear and a sew along – yes! We’ll be sewing up the wide-legged crop pants from her pattern Simplicity 8093 – the perfect warm-weather pant! For now, learn more about Mimi’s background, her inspiration and her take on the sewing community.
SN: What is your sewing background? I have been sewing since I was twelve years old. My aunt is a seamstress, and as a kid, I spent summers in Puerto Rico where my dad’s side of the family lives. Every morning I would wake up go my aunt’s studio and watch her sew. I was fascinated by how she turned fabric into these beautiful formal gowns, and I was immediately hooked. She would hand me scraps of fabric, and I would sit in the corner of her sewing studio hand stitching Barbie clothes. On my birthday that year my dad noticed I had an interest and bought me my first sewing machine-I think it was a Kenmore. I started to take apart my clothes and copy them onto new fabrics and then sew them back together; I am pretty sure that’s how I taught myself construction. I kept sewing for years after that, but when I started having my babies, that part of my life took over and I stopped sewing for a long time. About six or seven years ago I decided I wanted to start sewing again, so I picked it back up and started focusing on learning techniques. Being a self-taught seamstress is what I think helps me connect with so many aspiring seamsters because I understand what it’s like to want to learn to make something and having to go about it blindly. I wish I had the likes of a Mimi G Style when I was learning. Now I dedicate myself to teaching others to sew in an accessible and relatable way.
SN: What’s your favorite thing about sewing? I would have to say the ability to turna piece of cloth into a beautiful garment. It takes patience and vision, and the creative process of that makes me happy. I sew a lot, but now and then, I will make something and amaze even myself at how great it looks or how it came together, especially if the fabric wasn’t quite right or there were issues along the way, and it comes out more awesome than you had imagined.
SN: What do you love most about the sewing community (online or otherwise)? I have worked hard to create a safe place for my fans and followers to show their craft and make friends, and that is really what this whole platform is for. The sewing community, for the most part, is a loving and accepting group of people. We all have a crazy passion for sewing and buying fabrics, and there is always someone willing to help. I know in my Facebook groups we have an enormous amount of generosity and encouragement. For example, my Simplicity patterns are sometimes hard to get because they sell out so quickly or they take longer to get the UK so the girls in my groups will buy several copies of my patterns and then send them to those who can’t find them yet. The sewing community is like a big party! Every time I show up to speak at a conference it’s like seeing a group of old friends that you’ve never actually met in person. I also love how many people I have inspired to sew who are now designing patterns themselves; that is actually rewarding to see.
SN: Who do you design for? I design for women with real figures and lives. I think I create for myself honestly, and fortunately, there seems to be a lot of me’s out there. I am a mom and business owner, so I design with comfort and style in mind. I love to modify patterns, so I think of ways that I can change even my own patterns to give the consumer more options. I am a curvy girl and a lot of times it’s hard to find clothes and patterns that work for us so I try to keep that in mind as I sketch and design.
SN: What’s next for you? Well, my Simplicity patterns continue to be very popular, so I am so thankful for that. We added Mimi G patterns for tweens in 2016, and this year we are adding Mimi G men’s patterns too. I also started developing my fabric collection which I hope to be able to show soon, and I am close to finishing my first book. In May of 2016, I launched Sew It! Academy which is an online sewing academy that works as a subscription. Sew It! was my way of creating a sewing school that teaches sewing from the very beginning and is affordable for almost anyone. It has done great and has grown considerably, so we are planning to expand the Sew It! Academy this year.
Grab pattern Simplicity 8093 and tune in next week for Mimi’s tips for fabric selection.