Have you completed all your Christmas sewing and shopping? Perhaps you are all organised with everything all wrapped up and ready to go? Well if you are, you are better organised than I am! LOL Oh well…It wouldn’t be a normal Christmas for me if I weren’t running around making last minute purchases just minutes before closing time and stitching until the wee hours of the morning…..sharing a cold beer with Santa…LOLL…Ok well…maybe not that BUT you get the picure! Anyway….let’s not think about Christmas for a few minutes and see what this weeks fabulous Sewist has to say – Over to you Norma:
When did you start to sew?
I was around ten years old. With my grandma as a seamstress of course I was going to start sewing sooner or later.
Who taught you to sew or are you self-taught?
My grandma gave me scraps to sew. Later on I use to go to fabric stores with her and she’d let me pick some for me, so I started sewing using commercial patterns. My mom also sews and helped a lot. They both had industrial sewing machines and that’s what I used. I made my own clothing as a teenager and while in college. As an adult I learned other techniques from books and magazines.
What sort of things do you like to sew?
Even though I sewed clothing at the beginning (first for me and later on for my daughters too) and through many years, now I prefer and love to sew bags and wallets. There are no fitting problems!
Do you like to use patterns or do you prefer to make it up as you go along?
I mostly use patterns but I like to modify them to fit my needs and have also made some.
Have you made something that is your all-time favourite creation? If so, why?
I use to do cross-stitch and I made a clock face that I bought as a kit from a magazine. It took me a lot of hours and it used 6 different tones of blue. It was challenging but a great final result.
Do you have a favourite fabric type you prefer to work with? Favourite Fabric line or fabric designer?
I love fabric in general, even their smell. I tend to use monochromatic geometric prints and solids. I also like novelty fabrics. I love cotton in different weights.
Any sewing secrets you would like to share?
No secrets here.
What type of machine/s do you have?
I had a Singer and recently I got a Brother. I’m trying to save to buy a Bernina or an industrial machine that will sew through layers (for bags) with no hesitation.
Do you have any sewing goals?
I love to learn new techniques in sewing bags and for now I’m enjoying sewing different models and types. At some point I might make some bags with my own patterns. I’ll still use patterns from designers since I just love all the ones out there.
I have a notebook with a list of bags to make. I write which pattern to use with each fabric I get. I sort of let the fabric tell me which pattern I should use for it. 🙂 Then I cut for a couple of days, like 4 or five bags. Then I start fusing them. And I then sew them one by one. When I’m done sewing everything that’s cut I start all over. Every now and then I get inspired and a bag might “cut in line” and get cut, prepared and sewn completely even if there are others waiting to be sewn. But then I go back to the list.
When do you find time to sew?
I’m trying to grow my bag business so I sew any time almost every day. I feel strange if I don’t get to sew on a given day. I think I even get a bit cranky! 😮
Do you have a dedicated sewing space or room?
Right now I’m sewing from a corner of my dining room. I like to use my long counter space (that divides kitchen and dining room) and dining table to cut. I have my previous clay studio downstairs that I thought of changing to a sewing area. But I’m liking it upstairs, so I can be close to the family while sewing. So I might just stay in the dining room. We really don’t use the dining room to eat any way.
Do you have any other hobbies you like to indulge in?
I use to make cross-stitch and then until recently I was into polymer clay. I visited lots of fairs on the island and also started my etsy shop with polymer clay items. Recently I was going through some life changes and I started sewing bags and got hooked. I really love it and can see myself sewing bags for quite a while.
Anything about you and your family you would like to share?
I’ve been married for 27 years to my wonderful husband. We have two daughters who are 24 and 23. The oldest already left the nest a year ago but thanks to today’s technology we keep in touch every day. We live in Puerto Rico, a beautiful island in the Caribbean, where it is mostly very hot and humid. We have a lot of family in the United States so we visit all the time and might move there eventually. I’m a bit of a math geek. I wanted to study architecture but ended up studying engineering. From that I went to teaching to polymer clay artisan and now I’m sewing bags. But most of all I’m a mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend.
Thanks a lot Christine for inviting me to be part of your blog series. It’s an honor to be featured in your blog!
Thanks for taking part Norma….it’s been fun to get to know you a little better and WOW…from engenieering to making bags! That’s just a teeny little bit different? LOLL! 🙂
You can find out more about Norma here:
Next week we have our final interview for the year….it might also be our final interview for the series…or perhaps I may revert to one interview per fortnight or monthly….I am not sure yet, I will keep you posted! So much to do, so little time! Sound familiar? LOLL Anyway, next weeks interview is with a fabulous Pattern Designer who is going to be giving away all 9 of her PDF bag patterns to one lucky reader….so you won’t want to miss that…YOU BEAUTY – What a Christmas pressie!
How nice to “meet” you, Norma! I enjoyed this interview–I admire the colors and patterns of fabric that you choose for your bags, and I especially liked the tips you shared about cutting several bags at once, then fusing them at once, etc. I think that would really help me to accomplish more than just one bag at a time.
My cousin and her family live in Puerto Rico, too! I’m not sure exactly where…..but somewhere! 🙂 It looks like a beautiful place to live!
Thanks a lot Krista! Didn’t realize I was sharing a tip but I’m glad it helps. You’ll notice the difference.
Great getting to know you, Norma! I love your work! Janelle
So nice to put a smiling face to all the beautiful bags I admire on your blog Norma ! 🙂
I too use to do a lot of Cross stitch ( in my previous life) …before i got obsessed with sewing bags ! LOL
Thanks a lot Janelle.
Thanks for the admiration. So I finally have a face!