Linda Lee is the latest addition to our roster of Craftsy sewing instructors. In her new class, Sewing with Silks, she demonstrates and teaches all about, well, sewing with silks. But in this free video, you get to learn more about the teacher herself, including her history, inspiration, and how the teacher has become the student. Check it out below, then head over to Sewing with Silks and receive a 20% discount!
I started to sew when I was really young, probably about three years old. I loved dolls; I made doll clothes. And that led to garment sewing. I’ve always been a garment sewer. I’ve done little projects ever since I started sewing when I was three years old.
I took all the sewing classes that I could in seventh grade, all through junior high and high school; and then in college, as well, from pattern making to construction. And I think that is what launched me into the kind of career that I have now. It was that really early interest in the fine details of sewing, and pattern making, and fashion.
The kinds of details that I like to sew are the challenging ones. I love fine finishes. I love for the inside of my garment to look just as good as the outside, and sometimes and even better, because even raw edges are in now. They’re in style. So I might up some raw edges on the outside of the garment, but then it’s finely finished on the inside of the garment.
I like to make my own clothes because then I know I’m getting beautiful fabrics that are really nice. I know what I’ve paid for them, I know the quality, I can get a good fit, and I can really personalize how I dress. And I don’t just look like anyone coming out of any store.
I think my design background as an interior designer has helped me a lot in my garment sewing. Mostly in the realm of selecting fabrics and using color. When you’re using an interior designer, of course you’re using wall coverings and floor coverings and furnishings and lots of different fabrics. There’s a lot of mixture going on. So when I buy fabric, I buy two and a half yards. Never five. I never make the same thing out of the same fabric more than once. And I like to mix things. I like to use patterns and textures and I like to put some pretty unusual color combinations together. And I think that interior design background has given me the freedom to do that.
Well I love to teach sewing, and I do it all over the country. I go into fabric stores, sewing machine dealership, trade shows, American Sewing Machine Guild conventions. All kinds of venues. But I really like to teach. And there are really two reasons why. I love to see people get better at something. When they come into a class, and they really are afraid of what they’re going to be doing. They’re uncertain. And by the time the class ends, they’re so excited. They cannot wait to go home and try some of the techniques that they’ve learned. They’re so excited about being able to get fit and make their own clothes. But along the way, I’ve probably learned more than they have because I learn from what they need to know. And so I’ve perfected my skills, I think, because I can and have to plan what I have to do, and prepare samples. I’ve honed my skills by being a teacher.
Well I try to sew a little bit everyday. But sometimes I’m just not…I just can’t do it. It’s night, it’s dark, I’m tired. But I have a little rule: I put my toe over the threshold of my sewing room. I at least walk into the room. Sometimes all I can do is wind a bobbin for the next day. Sometimes all I can do is clean off the table to get ready to sew tomorrow. But inevitably, I’ll sit down, wind that bobbin, and think, “you know, I think maybe I can get that first step done of the pattern.” And two hours later, I’ve sewn, I’m not tired anymore. I’m relaxed, and I get my sewing done by accident almost.