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The Seamstress Tag (Get to Know the Blogger)

Hello, hello! We’re a few posts into this whole blogging business now–I hope you’re enjoying it–and I’m learning I need to plan ahead a little bit better. I promise tutorial posts are coming, but they are not made in a single day (who would have thought?) and I want to keep sharing with all of you! So now that I’ve dished some sewing knowledge in the past couple weeks, I thought it might be nice to share a little bit about myself.

This little questionnaire is called “The Seamstress Tag”, and normally another blogger or seamstress fills one out and then tags you to participate as well! (Do they still do that? I don’t know.) I was not tagged, however, I stumbled across this list on Maddie Made This when I was trying to come up with blog post ideas. I think it’s a great questionnaire, and will really help you guys get to know me a little bit better! So without further ado….

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1) Who are you?

I’m Audrey, the blogging force behind Awfully Aud Designs. I live in Colorado Springs, and I was mostly raised here (military family). I’m 28, and I live with my husband and our 3 furkids, Ainsley, Momo, and Sadie. I have a background in Music Education and I am just a month away from completing my AAS in Multimedia Graphic Design.

2) When & why did you start sewing?

My mom (I introduced you to her in this post) has sewn for my entire life. She made sure to teach the basics to all three of us kids as we were growing up, but I didn’t take an interest in actually doing it for myself as a child and young teen. I liked looking at fabric and helping her pick out patterns, and I liked that she could make my prom dress… but I didn’t want to do it for myself.

That all changed when I got my first job at a local fabric store just after high school. This was not a JoAnn’s type store, this was a been-in-business-50-years type store, and it sold every kind of fabric imaginable. Working there was incredibly inspiring being surrounded by all that fabric and all those makers every single day. I started to have ideas… and I was hit with the realization that Mom wasn’t going to make all of these cool things for me. So I picked out a pattern and some fabric, and figured it out! 10 years later, who knew where that would take me?

3) What is your favorite or proudest make?

I have a lot of little favorites, honestly. There is a scrappy pinwheel quilt that I made for a sewing presentation last year that I really adore, but I’m also proud of the Christmas dress I made 3 or 4 years ago. I’m not a big “favorites” person, I just have a ton of really different things that I enjoy!

Here’s the quilt with one of my furkids. Momo really likes to cuddle up on my quilts (and my pillow!)

4) What is your most disastrous make?

I don’t think I’ve ever had to totally scrap a project, thankfully. I’m good about powering through mistakes after I’ve calmed down. If I had to pick one big disaster, though….

I had this little coin purse I was working on for a presentation. Very basic, hinge clasp type coin purse. It should have been a breeze! It was not. I had to remake it completely (good thing it was only about 3″ wide) after the first one completely failed, and the second one I still had to completely rip apart 3 or 4 times. I finally discovered that the opening of the pattern hadn’t been made wide enough for the clasp to fit down into. What had me struggling for 2 or 3 days took about 5 minutes to fix once I figured it out!

I think this is the one I gave up on. Ripping those little top stitches out was NOT happening.

5) Where is your favorite place to go fabric shopping?

I usually just go to JoAnn’s because it is easy and inexpensive, but I still have a soft spot for the fabric store that I got my start at. If I can’t find exactly what I want anywhere else, I can usually find it there! I don’t like to stop by very often for other reasons, but the selection is fantastic. I also love quilt stores, but those are so dangerous to walk into. “It’s just one fat quarter… oh and look they have they coordinates!” Suddenly I’ve spent $100. Please tell me I’m not the only one!

6) What is your most used pattern?

I can count on one hand the number of patterns that I’ve made more than once. Having been a sewing presenter, I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to make things multiple times! The Professional Tote by Creative Thimble is one of the few that I’ve made a lot of. I used to sell them when I was in college and knew all the tricks for changing it up! I particularly enjoyed changing out some of the exterior fabric for upholstery fabric, to give it a higher quality, sturdier feel.

7) Your most dreaded sewing task is…

I hate cutting. I find it so tedious, and I always have to clear a space on my cutting table to do it and it hurts my wrist…. I could go on. Cutting and pinning pattern pieces are my least favorite by far! That’s why starting new sewing projects is so difficult sometimes.

8) And your favorite sewing task?

The actual sewing part. No matter what kind of pattern I’m working on, actually sitting on front of my machine and putting the pieces together is so much fun. I just love seeing the product start to come together, it’s so exciting! Once I get that excitement going, it’s hard to stop because I just want to see it all finished up.

9) What is your favorite ‘sewing entertainment’?

I usually just have Pandora playing in the background. Lately it’s been Christmas tunes (yep, I’m one of those people). I like music I can sing along with in particular while I’m sewing. If I have to stay up late to get stuff done, I’ll put on a series on Netflix and let it play in the background. For some reason listening to a TV show or movie helps me keep awake a little better.

10) Printed or PDF?

I’ll work with either, depending on the kind of project it is. I don’t like having to print my own templates and pattern pieces, especially for big projects, so I prefer printed clothing patterns. But for quilting and smaller items, PDF is the way to go. Can’t tear or rotary cut through my pattern that way!

11) What sewing machine do you use?

Full disclosure: I have probably 20 sewing machines in my house. I collect vintage sewing machines from brands that aren’t made anymore. I just think they’re so cool! I don’t really sew on any of them though (some of them don’t even work). The ones I actually use are quite a bit newer.

My main machine is a Brother Dream Machine for sewing and embroidery. That baby can handle just about anything I throw at it like a champ, and all of it’s bells and whistles are a dream (the name is very fitting). Then I have a Brother NQ550PRW for everyday sewing and travel use, or just for sewing while the Dream Machine is busy embroidering. That machine is one of the best purchases ever. For a mid-level machine, it does amazing things. My serger is a Pfaff Coverlock 4.0. It’s quirky, but I think all sergers are. And finally I have my grandmother’s 1934 Singer Featherweight 221k. I like to pull it out and use it for fun oon various projects. Recently I sewed all of my #100blocks100days blocks on it, and prior to that I sewed a vintage-style dress on it.

12) Do you have any other hobbies?

A few! I majored in Music the first time around at college, so that’s still a big hobby of mine. I also enjoy video games, but I wish I had more time for them. I like to crochet, too, but carpal tunnel means that I don’t do it very often, which is a shame. I also draw and paint, but again, when I find the time to do it.

So that’s me! This is just a small snapshot into my life and experience as a sewist. Please feel free to ask me more things, or tell me about yourself in the comments!

Until next time,

Audrey

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