If you’ve been paying close attention on Instagram you may have noticed Kendra popping up in my posts here and there. She came on to help me with a few things back in July one day a week but as of February she’s here on a regular basis helping with all aspects of the business. It’s been great to have someone to bounce ideas off of – especially someone as hardworking, talented, and fun as Kendra. She’ll be helping me out on the blog as well as behind the scenes so I wanted to give you guys a chance to get to know her a little bit with a fun interview before she jumps in and starts posting so without further ado, blog readers, meet Kendra!
Jen: You also went to Columbia for Fashion Design, can you tell us a little bit about your sewing background? How did you get interested in sewing and fashion?
Kendra: I was always a bit of an art kid. When I was young, about 5, I loved to dance and that was a big part of life, maybe partly because I loved the tutus. In high school I wanted to be in every art class I could fit into my schedule. When I was about 15 I had already taken most of the art classes, so in the guidance counselor’s office, my advisor asked me if I had even thought about taking sewing classes. My high school had three levels, I took all three and then did an independent study with the sewing instructor. I had totally fallen in love with sewing and fashion design. I knew by my Junior year of high school I wanted to go to Columbia and study Fashion. I really enjoyed my four years there. The coursework was a good mix of technical skills and experimentation. I really loved my pattern making courses and found that it came pretty naturally to me. My brain just kinda worked that way.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever sewn?
In high school I made a pair of shorts, high waisted shorts weren’t really in style at the time but I wanted them anyways. I was taking sewing, so before I even really knew how to properly draft a pattern I went to the local fabric store and I got a pattern for trousers and went to my sewing class, changed the pattern by extending the waistband up and cutting off the leg. It had this cute little placket and I just wore them so much, I wore out the pockets, I wore out the hem, I mended them so many times. They are in my fix it bag now actually.
The craziest thing you’ve ever sewn?
When I was in college, I made this skirt, where I drafted and sewed up a pencil skirt from muslin and then sewed tulle from the waistband to the hem. Once it was completely covered in tulle, I put it on a dress form and cut the tulle down into the shape I wanted, like I was giving the tulle a haircut! It made a huge mess but was so much fun.
Are there fabrics or fibers you love to work with? Any you hate?
I love bamboo knits, silk organza, and I’m starting to getting really into knitting so Merino wool is definitely a favorite. I hate fabric that doesn’t press well.
Speaking of fabrics, do you have a dream fabric store find?
Did you ever see that cardigan that Creatures of the Wind did for J. Crew? If I could walk into a fabric store and see a bolt of that it would make my year, plus a killer Linden.
I’m big into the handmade wardrobe, obviously, do you have any specific sewing or handmade wardrobe goals for the next year?
Yes! I told myself that this year I was not going to buy any store-bought clothes, besides shoes…I am going to wear what’s in my current wardrobe and when I have the craving to get myself something new, I’m going to make something instead.
Three words that describe your style:
minimal, muted, balanced.
What’s your favorite type of garment to sew?
I love making clothing that fits into my daily life, so I would say I like sewing functional garments. It’s the after effect that always gets me, when you keep reaching for the pieces you’ve made because they go with everything and look great on, that’s the best feeling.
Do you have any fiber hobbies besides sewing? Any you’d love to try?
Oh man, like I said, I’m getting really into knitting as of late. I have known how to knit for a while but never pushed myself to move past knitting in a straight line. I’ve made some hats, a pair of slippers, and I’m trying to pick a color for my very first sweater! I would also love to make a quilt sooner than later. I’ve done some embroidery in the past, I’ve been meaning to get back into that as well.
You’ve been sewing up each pattern over the past few months, do you have a favorite Grainline Studio pattern?
I love the Scout because it’s so cute as is but you can do so much to change it up! The Archer is great too, it’s such a wearable shirt. I’m starting to get hungry for spring so I’m pretty stoked to be making some Alders for warmer weather.
Snacks are big here at Grainline Studio HQ, what are your favorite snacks or bevs?
Can I pick all snacks? I don’t think I’ve ever met a snack I didn’t like. Tacos is the first thing that comes to mind though!
Finally, because it’s the internet, dogs or cats?
Have you seen my dapper little man, Waffles the cat?