Maker Monday: Meet Craftsy Sewing Instructor Angela Wolf!
Angela Wolf is a highly successful sewing expert and fashion designer with her own ready-to-wear line. Now, she’s also an instructor at Craftsy.com, teaching the online sewing class, Tailoring Ready to Wear. We had a chance to sit down with Angela and ask her about how she got her start, what she loves about teaching, and what her view is on the future of sewing. Watch the video below, then explore her fantastic class and receive 25% off!
I’m Angela Wolf and I’m a Craftsy instructor, I’m a fashion designer, and a couture sewing expert. This is my studio, I call it “Creative Heaven” because everywhere you go, there’s something fun.
You know, my mom sewed for us. Actually she sewed a lot for us girls. There’s five of us kids, and I’m the oldest of five. When I watched her, I loved it. She taught me how to make a little scarf when I was really young. And then I continued on. I was able to take a home ec class. I just loved creating something different that I could find anyplace else, even at a young age.
I would sew and just experiment. But I always loved designing. My first real cool garment was in high school. I think I was a freshman. I stole some red fabric out of my mother’s house, out of her stash. I laid on it and had my sisters take chalk from the sidewalk. They drew around me, and it looked like a crime scene. I cut it out and sewed it together (about 18 times to get the perfect fit). I even had little, cute triangles in the back with bows. I wore it out, my friends loved it. Of course I lied and told them I bought it in a store. But, you know, I just loved it and I did that all through high school, and then I went to college for business. But I still had my mannequin and my sewing machine. They traveled from dorm room to apartment, all the way to the end. And I still had a love for fashion.
I worked out of a condo when I got out of college. It was a two-bedroom condo. The entire place was work. I did live there, so I even covered my bed because I needed a cutting table. Then I moved to a house, and I worked out of the house. When I moved to the new house, I thought, you know, I need to separate my personal life from work. So, I opened a small studio. And I think my biggest eye-opener was going to a sewing expo.
I entered a “passion-for-fashion” challenge there, which is kind of like a mini Project Runway. And I realized, hey, there’s a lot of people who love to sew. So the following year, I taught a couple classes just to see how it would go. And I loved it! I would share things with them that I thought maybe everyone knew.
But I kind of make my own rules when I’m sewing. Like, I would read the book, and it would say “do it this way.” And I would say, “you know, I think this way would be better.” I kind of have an engineering side of me, so I kind of look at things differently. And I would share some of these things with some of the women who sew, and they’d say, “what a great idea!” And I thought, well maybe I do know what I’m doing! So it just kept evolving, and it gave me confidence in what I was doing, first of all. And I just loved to share. I just launched a pattern collection, and I taught a jean class with my jean pattern. And in two days, I had emails from them, showing me their new jeans. That’s really cool to know that I taught them how to do that, how to fit the jeans. And then they’re sharing, and now they’re going to share. And being a mentor to, if it’s young people, or if it’s people who sew, it’s so important. And you always get it back.
I’m here to help others. I love that. I love helping others however it is. I’m going to still continue to design because it’s my life. I wake up in the night, dreaming, sketching. I don’t know if that’s abnormal, but it works! I love being creative, but I love giving back. And I feel like I’ve done 15 to 17 years of what I’d call boot camp. And now I want to share what I’ve learned. So, if it’s teaching, great. I want to continue to do my ready-to-wear line, and continue to design. But, I want to give back. And right now I have a lot of younger girls that are in high school who come here to just hang out. I call them my little interns. And I want to watch what happens to them. I want to show them what I’ve learned, help them to maybe not make mistakes. Or, if they do, I’ll be there to catch them. I just want to share.
I think with the kids today who are learning to sew, there’s a drive to sew. It’s a drive like I’ve never seen. I don’t know if it’s brought on by the TV shows, the Project Runway, the fashion, they love that. They love creating. The other thing is restyling. I watch so many of these young kids, they’ll go to the second-hand shops, buy clothes, tear them apart, remake them. They’re fearless!
The future is bright. Sewing is never going to stop. It’s only going to get better.