Meet The Designer Jennifer Beeman

Jennifer Beeman Meet The Designer Jennifer BeemanJennifer 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.

gift pack  Meet The Designer Jennifer Beeman



 Meet The Designer Jennifer Beeman

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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30 Responses to Meet The Designer Jennifer Beeman

  1. This web site definitely has all of the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  2. Katie says:

    I’m relatively new to garment sewing, so I’m trying to pick achievable but skill-stretching projects. I’m making a shift dress now and have the fabric and pattern ready for an Archer Buttonup after that! I love Jen’s work!

  3. Sheri says:

    My daughter is expecting our first grandchild. I’m beyond excited! She has requested a couple of maternity tops. I am planning on using the Scout pattern as a basis for these new wardrobe pieces. I really enjoy reading Jennifer’s blog and following her creative endeavors. She is fabulous, and she lives in Chicago–and so do I!

  4. Peg says:

    Glad I read this article! This morning I actually used Jen’s instructions to adapt her Scout Tee and made the alterations to the pattern for a full back long sleeved tee. I have become a fan of Grainline’s patterns. I have made three Hemlock tees this winter as well as the tiny pocket tee, a Scout, and three pairs of The Maritime Shorts. I plan on looking for a copy of your magazine!

  5. Cheri Gee says:

    Enjoyed reading this article. It’s nice to know other sewing friends have way too much fabric. I’ve been sewing since 1990s and I have some special fabric I just can’t force myself to cut into. Since my special fun is to make cloth dolls, fabric from eleanor peace bailey is very special. I’ve taken two doll making classes from her and enjoyed every minute. Right now I’m making a pair of sock monkey’s for a friend who is getting married. LOL- I have a sense of humor, and it comes through when I sew. Did agree with your tip to walk away after making a mistake. It does take the edge off and gives time to rethink, not react. Have a wonderful Spring.

  6. Cherie says:

    Great interview! I have a bag in the works and a couple of quilts that I am getting ready to cut.

  7. kim says:

    I can relate to buying too much fabric! I go in with a list and walk out with a fabric ‘for a future project’. Floral prints are a weakness of mine.

  8. Jane C. says:

    I am just finishing a rag quilt for my niece who is getting married. I am putting a scalloped edge on it to up the presentation. Next, to make a dress to wear to the event. I now use cans of tuna to stabilize pattern pieces when possible. Cutting out is my least favorite part as well. This is the first time I have confessed!

  9. Elaine says:

    I too,will just walk away for a few minutes and think ” just what the heck is that instruction saying?”. Great tip! Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Karen says:

    I’ve got 4 pairs of pjs on the go which just need hems and buttons done. I’m also doing a weaving project with my class.

  11. Patricia Hersl says:

    I too sometimes just need to walk away. So totally understand!

  12. Sandi Gasper says:

    Loved the interview! Future plans are to organize my craft room along with sewing some fun gifts. A dress for my granddaughters birthday, a pouf for a friend and photo props for my daughter. Love sewing and crafting!

  13. Lucille Campos says:

    I never win anything hope this time I do

  14. Lucille Campos says:

    I love sewing

  15. Lucille Campos says:

    I also have a lot of fabric. I am hoping I will win.

  16. Peggy A. says:

    I love that Jennifer admits she has trouble buying too much fabric. Don’t we all?

  17. johnny says:

    I want to win this pattern so bad! I really need to sew myself some new dresses!

  18. Marymartha Rose says:

    I love making beautiful clothes. But to get to that point you have to cut it out and its my least favorite thing to do.

  19. Joan says:

    I am working on a Double Wedding Ring Quilt right now. I hope to work on
    lots of quilts in the future! Thanks

  20. kathleen says:

    I just love to sew, doesn’t matter what the project. I do have way too much fabric, but it is hard to resist! I am trying to make my daughters and grandkids so clothes in hopes of using some of my stash! I bought my granddaughter a sewing machine for Christmas. She has gotten the sewing bug!

  21. Lisa Groff says:

    I will be taking a two day class on making/fitting pants. I am looking forward to making pants that fit me correctly. Currently I am sewing infinity scarves made from upcycled clothing and various other projects like skirts and nighties for myself and Seattle Seahawks fleece lounge pants for my son.

  22. Donna Allen says:

    I really love every part of sewing even the cutting out. Lately I have been teaching grandchildren and a young friend to sew and finishing up some long ago started projects.

  23. Gloria Gagliano says:

    My husband and I moved into our “retirement” home (smaller for downsizing). My granddaughter whom I have raised since her birth is moving out this spring (she’s 19). I am sad but convincing myself that I am happy because I plan to use the space for sewing which I have had a break from for the last few years! Excited and sad!!

  24. cindy mcclurr says:

    I still struggle with walking away when I make a mistake. I know I should but … I also love remnants. I can buy fabrics that I can “play” with that normally I could never afford to purchase.

  25. michele Ostendorf says:

    I as a professional sewist , with constant urgent deadlines, find i have had to train myself to step away fir fifteen minutes if I hit a snag and get frustrated. Even in a time crunch, that fine spent taking a breather is essentia interviewl, well spent time.Enjoyed your interview

  26. birdena fleming says:

    My next big project is a baby quilt for a friends sister. Just collecting fabric. Can you believe I have nothing suitable in my stash

  27. Debrah says:

    I also hate cutting patterns out. I’m going to implement Make a mistake, take a break pronto! Thanks for that. :D

  28. Margo says:

    Thanks for a great interview! I have a couple of the Grainline patterns, and I would like to make myself a couple of Archers and a Scout for spring. At some point in the future, I would also like to make myself a wool coat, but maybe not this year. :)

  29. Leanne Lindsay says:

    I agree. My least favorite part is cutting out the project. My second is waiting for the material to wash, dry and ironing to be done before you can even start laying it out to cut.

  30. Rita McCart says:

    Right now I’m trying to finish up a couple of quilts before spring gets here. I have a couple of dresses cut out to finish and found a new pants pattern the I want to make for my granddaughter. I also have a couple baby shower gifts to make and 2 1st birthday gifts. But I have a little time to get it all done.
    I feel the same about mistakes, I walk away for a little while. Make a fresh drink or watch a little tv. Thank you for the great giveaway. :)