Meet the Designer Dawn Anderson Schons & a Giveaway!

Dawn Anderson 500 Meet the Designer Dawn Anderson Schons & a Giveaway!Dawn Anderson Schons is a frequent contributor to Sew News and we’re all so lucky for it! She has a MFA in Costume Design and has a passion for fashion history and traditional tailoring technqiues. She runs sewing workshops and classes and has a line of wonderful patterns. Please read our Meet The Designer post today to learn more about Dawn and her work.

What is your sewing pet peeve? Any tasks that you find annoying?  Alterations can be tough but not much rattles me, it’s just a matter of how long it will take to fix the problem.

What were your early days of learning to sew like? What was it that made you want to continue? I started sewing when I was four years old. My first projects were “embroideries” sewn with crewel wool yarn and a very large round end needle. My Mom sewed everything and she gave me her yarn scraps from her needle point projects and fabric scraps from her bridal alterations business. I made clothes and hats for my dolls when I was in Elementary school and made clothes for myself in Junior High. In High School I made costumes for Drama productions and I designed and sewed dance costumes for my Ballet School. I made three prom gowns my senior year, one for myself and two for friends who wanted custom designs. I went on to major in Costume Design in college. Sewing is in my blood, it is a part of me. No matter how much other work I do during the day, I never feel like I accomplished anything unless it was in my sewing room.

What do you do when you are not sewing? I think about sewing! Ha! I chase my three small children around the house, cook, and clean, and allow myself at least an hour a day to sew, sketch, and dream about the perfect wardrobe.

What is your favorite thing to embellish your projects with? Beads. I love to sew with prints and a few beads highlight the centers of flowers or add interest to the dominant motif in a geometric print.

Who taught you how to sew? My Mom in my younger years and then some great professors in undergrad, grad school, and my exchange program in England.

What’s the oldest piece of fabric in your stash? Do you keep your fabric stash in control or are you less disciplined in your fabric collection. My oldest pieces of fabric are remnants of early 1960s metallic brocades that I found in a thrift store years ago. My fabric stash is fairly organized. I have lots of big storage bins labeled by fabric type, cotton print, wool boucle, silk, etc. I have two big shelves of fabric bolts which are less organized.

Do you have a favorite item or project to make? I like to sew clothing. I sew shirts and jackets for my husband, costumes and dresses for my daughter, pants for my boys, and tailored jackets, pants, and skirts for myself. I love sewing silk blouses too; they are so expensive to buy ready to wear!

Do you find the change of seasons inspires you to sew and do you have a favorite season? The change of season is always exciting for me. Everything seems new and fresh. I look forward to making skirts and sundresses in the spring. Fall is my favorite though. I love tailored jackets, plaid, wool, and hats.

When shopping for sewing supplies is there something you always buy too much of. Patterns! I can’t resist the pattern sales at the local fabric stores and I usually buy at least 5 or more at a time. I have several boxes of patterns organized my garment type.

Are there any sewing techniques you are trying to perfect? Hand tailoring details. I love bound buttonholes and tailored pockets. I have been designing new shapes for welts and incorporating pockets into seams and darts in a new way. I made a green wool crepe jacket inspired by nature with tear drop shaped welt pockets sewn into a curved seam and bound buttonholes in the shape of leaves. I wanted to have some fun with my tailoring skills.

What future projects/plans are in store for you? I just finished my custom pants sloper (after fitting and altering three muslins) and I can’t wait to make a pair of menswear plaid pants for fall. I have 5 lengths of fabric just waiting to be cut out for my perfect fitting semi-straight leg pants.

Any tips you would like to share with the Sew News sewing community? Press your seams really well as you are sewing and your finished garment will look polished.

Thanks so much to Dawn Anderson Schons! I really love her work and can’t wait to see those plaid pants!  If you would like to learn more about Dawn please visit her website at

So, for all our Sew News readers what do you buy way to much of when you go to the fabric store? Answer below and you’ll be entered to win the gift pack below. One winner will be announced next Friday, June 20th.

SEWP 1406 26093 Meet the Designer Dawn Anderson Schons & a Giveaway!I would also like to announce the winners of the Hot Patterns  Flickr Contest and that is Michelle of mfarmer and Life is Sew Sew Good. Both winners have been sent an email.

The winners of the SIA magazine contest (held June 12) are: Lydia, Gertrude and ME Pendelton. Please check your email and you will be notified as to how to get your prize!

 Meet the Designer Dawn Anderson Schons & a Giveaway!

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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38 Responses to Meet the Designer Dawn Anderson Schons & a Giveaway!

  1. cynthia greenwald says:

    I buy too much trim. It’s just so addictive and I find some awesome trim at thrift stores and auctions. Even if I don’t use it, it inspires my creativity.

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  3. Evelyn says:

    Fabrics — particularly batiks for sure!

  4. Jayne says:

    I, too, purchase too many patterns. I love a good sale on Vogue patterns.

  5. Karen Poole says:

    I it’s a toss up between patters and fabric! I love to buy patterns for the newest outfits or craft type item. As for fabric, well you can never have too much. If I see some I really like, I will buy several yards of it and several or all of the color ways in that line!

  6. Amy says:

    At fabric stores, I’m with the guest being interviewed and also buy too many patterns – they all have so much potential! I have a really cool Ikea cabinet that houses (almost) all of them nicely. Even if I don’t make the entire item – I can use how they did a certain detail.

    I also buy fabric, but I’m not sure you can ever really have too much of that! ;-)

  7. Gill says:

    Fabric – I can’t resist, especially if it’s a bargain!!

  8. Sarah says:

    Well, I usually don’t go to the fabric store, as I don’t have a budget for “fun” fabric at the moment, but when I do go to buy something I need, it’s the little notions that get me — the packs of needles, the thimbles, the marking pens — those little things that aren’t very expensive, but tend to add up. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. auschick says:

    I buy too much fabric in general – especially from the $2.97 p/yard table at the local fabric store by my house!!

  10. Julie says:

    Fabric of course:)

  11. Pam S says:

    I buy way to0 many trims and embellishments. My granddaughter loves clothes with fun embellishments and I also make dolls and the dolls love do-dads too. But even though I have more embellishments than I will use in my life, I’m teaching my granddaughter to sew, so maybe they will get used! Thanks for the fun giveaway. This book looks awesome!

  12. allison pogany says:

    I’m always buying loud, crazy prints and then find I have nothing to go with them! I just can’t seem to stay away from the bright colors.

  13. kim says:

    I love buying patterns, for my ‘when I have the time’ collection. I also buy way to much fabric. I see, love, and buy it for future projects.

  14. Ilene Miller says:

    Fabric for sure!

  15. Audrey Palacio says:

    It’s almost a tie but fabric wins.

  16. Andrea M says:

    I buy fabric even if I don’t have a actual project in mind, just because I think it’s cute!

  17. Angela Crompton says:

    Fleece! Lots of it. And it gets stuffed to make toys!

  18. Rebecca says:

    I love colors that jump out and grab me and the new turquoise and aqua marine prints do that to me.

  19. Monica says:

    Fabric O:)

  20. kell says:

    I buy too much Christmas material & thread.

  21. Marion Bruce says:

    Fabric, patterns, anything connected to sewing! I have a stash that grows, recedes, grows again1 I have been sewing since I was mid twenties, now late sixties! I gave three friends three quarters of my stash after I had my second heart attach four years ago! result was three years of no energy or stamina. But I found my urge to sew still strong so bought more, sewed some when I had the energy. Now I have stamina to sew somewhere between one to three hrs. depending on the day! I am pleased because sewing has been many years of pleasure. I love sewing and it satisfies something in my soul nothing else has ever done! My stash is almost as large as ever and yesterday bought some material and patterns at a thrift store! Will probably die at my sewing machine!

  22. Mary Mac says:

    I love to buy buttons, just because. I have every color and size.

  23. Fabric is my downfall

  24. Connie Storms says:


  25. Connie Storms says:


  26. Cheryl Derrick says:

    When I go to a fabric store I buy too much fabric, too many patterns, and usually too many skeins of yarn and sewing and needlework magazines, and usually that’s all in one trip.

  27. Kathy Hutchins says:

    Have a closet full of fabrics and two big drawers full of patterns from all the different companies. Keep them in order by brand and pattern # just like in the stores. I only purchase patterns when I find them on sale. My husband freaked out one day when he saw a price on one for $16.95 until he saw the receipt where I had purchased it for $1.99.

  28. Katherine Stubbs says:

    I buy all my materials and lace and ribbons and more from Estate sales and yard sales. I usually use them to cover chairs, make quilts and whatever I can find to increase my sewing knowledge. I’m always looking for more ideals to make new things.

  29. Sue tagg says:

    I love buying fancy laces and beautiful ribbons to make gifts and add embellishments to my grandchildren’s clothes.

  30. JaneC says:

    I definitely have self-control issues with fabric and with patterns! I’m finicky as heck about fabric, but when I find what I like and it’s reasonable, I buy it. Batiks are my current vice. And, then, there are patterns…I have more than I will ever use. But I just downloaded two more! (And then I find I have duplicates…!)

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  32. Book looks very interesting

  33. Peggy A. says:

    It’s definitely a tie between patterns and fabric. One can never have enough!

  34. Veta Hall says:

    I am like a child in a candy store, everything attracts me!

  35. Cherie says:

    Fabric, of course! :-) I love fabric.

  36. RinchenLB says:

    I am constantly buying sewing machine needles. I need to inventorize what I already have on hand!

  37. Sue Abram says:

    I buy more fabric than needed – ie: if something calls for one metre I buy two. If I need two zippers, I buy three. That and gadgets!! I love gadgets.

  38. Claudia says:

    I’m new to sewing, so I have been buying lots of fabric at thrift store and big chain retail stores and I still feel I need so much more fabric ;)