January 1, 2012
1. How long have you been sewing? How did you get started?I got started in 4-H when I was 9 years old. I sewed a tote bag and scarf. I got an A on it.2. What made you decide to make your first purse?It was cheaper than buying one, and I can make it any size or color that I want. I can make one to match a specific outfit, if I want to.3. When did you decide to make your first purse? It's been about five or six years ago now. 4. How many purses have you made?I don't know. Probably about a dozen. I give them as gifts. My daughter, Michaela, her friends thought her jean purse I made her was cool, so I made some for their birthdays. I make them mostly as gifts, but my favorite ones, I keep.5. Do you use a pattern or come up with your own designs?I do both. I have about three patterns I use, but this one [holds up quilted tote], is just basically a square, so I didn't really need a pattern for it. I do simple patterns though.6. How long does it take you to make a purse?Some of them take only an hour or two, but if it is lined or something a bit more complicated, it might take three hours. So, I'd say one to three hours. That's another reason I enjoy making them — it's a quick project. It's not like making clothing, which takes forever.7. Where do you get your ideas?Most of the purses I make, I see in stores or at craft shows. Sometimes, I see a fabric I like but I wouldn't want to wear it as a piece of clothing, but it would make a great purse.8. About how much does it cost you to make each purse?These two [points to quilted purse and floral purse] cost less than $3 each to make. Mostly, I look at remnants at the fabric store, or I'll buy clothes at the thrift store or on clearance and use that. You can also save scraps from other projects and use it for details or handles or what have you.9. What's the hardest part of the process for you?For me, figuring out the handle — whether I want cloth or something more sturdy — is the most challenging part. I have to decide what kind and how long to make it.10. Do you sew the purses by hand or use a machine?Both. I guess I try to hand sew as much as I can, but some of these were done entirely on my machine.11. What is the process of making a purse?First, I have to decide what I'm going to use it for — where will I be carrying it? What will I carry in it? Then I look at what material I will use, and based on what I'll be using it for, I look at what pattern and style. The patterns come with pretty simplistic instructions. They tell you what piece to sew when. I don't want to say they are self-explanatory because they might not be to someone who has never sewn before, but it's basically cutting out the material, piecing it together and sewing it. 12. What other kinds of sewing do you do?I used to make Michaela's dresses when she was small, but now that she is in high school, that's definitely out. Once in a while, I'll make a skirt. When I used to work, I made blazers and blouses. Blouses are a lot of fun to make, too.13. Do you think you'll ever do anything more with this than gifts — like sell them as a business?No, I don't think I'd ever start a business on my own. I like to make them when I'm in the mood, and when I'm not in the mood, I don't.