I’m Janet, a professional seamstress living on the coast of Massachusetts. This blog is inspired by to the ladies of the Facebook group “Pattern Reviews and Resources”, and above all Alison Paradise who introduced me to the group in the first place.
In the FB group, I posted about quick fixes for PDF-file sewing patterns. A few of the responses were critical (of my criticisms), but the majority were positive. And some of the members suggested that I should write a blog! This got me thinking about my background, and why I’m blessed to have so much pattern and sewing knowledge. The plan is to write about sewing techniques, apparel construction, pattern drafting and grading, and pattern reviews. And maybe also about what I’m currently sewing, because I sew every day. Except on vacations: my husband insists that no sewing machines come along when we travel.
My sewing history goes way back to childhood, playing with scraps in my mom’s sewing room, hand-sewing doll clothes. My grandmother helped me machine-sew my first “human” garment, a nightgown for myself, when I was eight. Middle school marked a turning point when I finally attacked zipper installation and set-in sleeves. In high school I made my own clothes and also stitched boho peasant tops and patchwork skirts for a local boutique.
I earned a degree in Art and then one in Fashion Merchandising, worked in New York City in retail management and buying, and then in wholesale sales and merchandising. In my twenties I went back to school, to the Fashion Institute of Technology, where I got a degree in Design and Patternmaking. Next was a career move to product development and then finally to technical production. I was privileged to travel around the globe many times, and visit hundreds of factories in many countries. I learned an enormous amount about couture versus mass-production, about fabric quality and yardage yield, and about costing and stitching-sequence. Above all I’ve learned about fitting, and the art of a well-made pattern.
At 40 I got married, bought a house in the suburbs, had a baby and retired from the apparel industry. Nowadays I sew for my Etsy shop , sew for charity, I do alterations, and I teach sewing. Sometimes I dabble in quilting, pillows, curtains, Christmas stockings…but mostly I sew apparel. And I really do sew every day.
To see what I’m making, follow me on IG: https://www.instagram.com/7pinedesign
To visit my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/7PineDesign