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Where are you from and where do you live? What do you do other than sewing?
I am from the east coast of the United States — Virginia, specifically. I moved to the West Coast almost ten years ago and now reside in San Francisco. I love it out here, but Virginia will always hold a special place in my heart.


A young ahearta

If we were to come to your town, where would you take us?
There’s so much to do in San Francisco. Most of my sight seeing has been done on foot at a run. My favorite run through the city covers about 20 miles round trip. The run starts in Golden Gate Park in front of the Conservatory of Flowers. It winds through the park, past museums and buffalo and an old windmill. Just past the windmill it hits the beach. Sand and surf abound. Then, it climbs up past the Cliff House. Next, is my favorite part: Lands End Trail. This trail runs along a cliff over the ocean. On a misty morning, it’s absolutely magical. It truly feels like the end of the world. It’s hard to believe you’re only moments away from a bustling city. This trail also provides the first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, possibly the most notable landmark in the city. After the trail, the run passes through a neighborhood of gigantic, unobtainable houses before entering the Presidio, an old army post. Finally, the run crosses the Golden Gate Bridge for a quick stop in Marin to look back at the city. If you weren’t up for strapping on your running shoes, I’d likely show you bits and pieces of the run by car anyway. It really is absolutely fabulous.

Tell us about your sewing journey.
I inherited a vintage Singer sewing machine from my grandmother many years ago. I didn’t have room for it in my apartment, so I stored it in the basement of my apartment complex. When I moved into a bigger apartment, I couldn’t find it in the basement. The stool that went to its table was there, but the machine and the machine’s table were gone. Even though I had never used it, I missed it dearly. My parents bought me a new machine for a subsequent Christmas, and I haven’t looked back since.


The Circle Skirt Remake

During my first year of sewing, I sewed every now and then, but only lightly. I hadn’t yet discovered the online sewing community. Once I was introduced to sewing blogs and BurdaStyle, my sewing really picked up. It was such a boon to my creativity to find others to sew with, even if only virtually.

I think the main reasons I sew are for the creativity and the community. It’s wonderful to be able to take a beautiful fabric and transform it into a flattering garment. Science may also afford me an outlet for my creativity, but it moves much more slowly and isn’t quite so colorful. The online sewing community is incredibly inspiring and wonderfully nice. I am still very new to sewing, but I’ve learned so much more this past year of sewing with the online community than I did in my previous year of sewing with only pattern instructions and library books.

I am proud of all that I have accomplished with my sewing to date, but I think my greatest sewing achievements are still to come.

Do you have a style icon who inspires your sewing projects? Where do you go to get inspired?
I don’t really have a style icon. I’m still figuring a lot of that out right now. Also, I don’t like picking favorites, but for the sake of this interview, I’ll admit that I have a crush on Zooey Deschanel’s style. To me, she embodies feminine in a practical, I-could-actually-pull-that-off way.

For inspiration I often go to Pinterest. It’s like a constantly shifting mood board. I also love being inspired by other home sewers. Sewing blogs have been revolutionary for me.

What’s your sewing secret weapon?
I don’t think I have a sewing secret weapon yet; no tried-and-true technique or tool that takes my sewing to the next level. Since I’m still just a beginner, I take my time with all of my sewing projects, practicing the mantra of slow sewing. I measure twice so that I only cut once. Still, sometimes I still find that I should have measured three times! I rip out a seam rather than making do with something less than stellar. I use my iron often. I finish all of my seams since I want to make pieces that I can enjoy for a long time.


Burberry Trench Coat

I do have a fondness for nice fabrics, and think they make a world of difference in how much I love a finished project. Since I’m new to sewing, I don’t have a stash. I buy fabrics for specific projects and really cherish every inch, even saving the tiny scraps to pack into stuffed children’s toys. I hope that by limiting my waste and striving to make lifetime pieces, I’m being a conscientious seamstress.

What’s your sewing experience like?
I sew mostly in the evenings, after I’ve finished my work for the day and eaten dinner with my husband. We live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment, so my sewing machine resides on a filing cabinet in the corner of the area that would probably be considered the dining room. Fortunately, this little area also has an ironing board built into the wall, and enough space on the floor for laying out fabrics to cut, so it’s really all the space I need. I don’t tend to listen to music while I sew. Instead, my husband and I have conversations amidst the cutting and pinning and stitching and ironing since he’s often at the dining room table doing work. It’s quite nice.

What is your dream sewing project?
Oh my. I’m not sure I have one right now. My next sewing project, perhaps? Right now I really just want to be creative and develop my sewing skills. My goals for the year include building a versatile, handmade wardrobe that includes pants. I also want to make my mom a French-style jacket and matching dress. I think it’ll be a fun challenge. I already have the fabric and patterns, now all I need is to find time to fit my mom. It’s hard right now because we’re currently 3,000 miles away from each other.

How long have you been a member of BurdaStyle, and what keeps you coming back?
I’ve been a member of BurdaStyle since March 5, 2011. My username, ahearta, was a carryover from Etsy and Twitter. It’s also now my go-to username for the many online sewing communities that I’ve found this past year. Since there are so many Amy’s out there, I have half a mind to start commenting on blog posts as ahearta as well, but for now I’m still just Amy out there and ahearta here.


Paint Me a Maxi Dress

I love that BurdaStyle brings together people passionate about sewing from all around the world. Each person gets their fifteen minutes of fame while their most recent project is at the top of the project page. Budding pattern-makers can share their newest designs. I visit the main page a few times a week to see what projects and patterns are highlighted, and I scan through the projects as often as I can, though these days that’s not as often as I’d like.

What is the most frustrating thing about sewing for you? What is the most rewarding?
The most frustrating thing about sewing for me is being a novice. There’s so much I don’t know and so many techniques to master. Researching the right way to do this or that takes time. With a full time job and lots of responsibilities, though, my time is really limited.

The most rewarding thing about sewing is the creativity. It’s amazing to see clothes take shape from a beautiful piece of fabric. It feels great to put something on that fits really well and that was made by my own hands. It’s also fun to watch people’s faces light up when they realize I made what I’m wearing.


Armani Wool Jacket

Discover ahearta’s top ten favorite member projects!

29 Comments

  • Dsc_0306_large

    Feb 18, 2012, 11.46 PMby jojomac

    You’re making beautiful things that fill you with pride, who cares if you don’t know absolutely everything, yet? You have nothing but time! Enjoy~ :-)

    1 Reply
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      Feb 19, 2012, 01.40 AMby ahearta

      Thanks! Yes, if not knowing enough is my biggest complaint, then there’s really nothing to complain about. Happy sewing!

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    Feb 16, 2012, 01.37 AMby patti-r

    Congratulations on being featured!!

    1 Reply
    • 5453090784_5a98f34607_m_large

      Feb 19, 2012, 01.39 AMby ahearta

      Thanks!

  • Ooobop_thatched_house_large

    Feb 15, 2012, 11.38 PMby janene

    Congratulations on being featured, Amy! Well deserved. I love your Armani jacket… in fact I love all your makes and I agree with your frustrations of being a novice. But believe me, when you come to teach someone else, if ever you do, you will be so surprised at what you have learned and how far you have come! The online sewing community is indeed a wonderful thing. I’m not sure I would have come so far without it!

    1 Reply
    • 5453090784_5a98f34607_m_large

      Feb 19, 2012, 01.39 AMby ahearta

      I would love to teach one day. Sewing seems like a wonderful thing to pass along to others. Maybe I’ll see if my friends will let me give them lessons even now?!

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    Feb 14, 2012, 11.54 PMby missmissjane

    Loved your feature. You are on the right track with your technique of measuring twice, finishing seams etc. Most importantly your choice of garment that matches your level of sewing and your personal style. Your finished pieces look professional. Congratulations

    1 Reply
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      Feb 19, 2012, 01.37 AMby ahearta

      Thanks! Yes, I hope I’m picking up good habits early on. I only wish I had more time for real classes. Thankfully the online community is so knowledgeable and helpful. I’ve been spurred on in my own learning thanks to everyone here!

  • Img_2196_large

    Feb 14, 2012, 10.04 PMby Rosemarysclothes

    This was really nice to read, because you have almost the same story as mine.

    1 Reply
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      Feb 19, 2012, 01.36 AMby ahearta

      I’m glad to hear that. It’s also such a great feeling to know you’re not alone in your experiences. Happy sewing!

  • Cali_large

    Feb 14, 2012, 07.42 PMby threadsquare

    Congratulations, Amy!!! Your sense of quality and style are spot on… definitely a conscientious sewist if I ever saw one :) Your run sounds gorgeous, and makes me want to return to SF to see everything I missed, like the cliff trail. I know your mom’s outfit is going to be grand.

    2 Replies
    • Cali_large

      Feb 14, 2012, 07.46 PMby threadsquare

      Omigosh! Just took a peek at your slide show. I’m so flattered, you silly thing :)

    • 5453090784_5a98f34607_m_large

      Feb 19, 2012, 01.35 AMby ahearta

      Yes, I just love that plaid shirt of yours. One of these days I’ll have my own!

  • Mee1_large

    Feb 14, 2012, 04.24 PMby fashionfreek

    Your stuff is awesome and beautiful. Well done on being the featured member.:-D

    1 Reply
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      Feb 19, 2012, 01.35 AMby ahearta

      Thanks!

  • _mg_9130_large

    Feb 14, 2012, 03.40 PMby wildcatspow

    Yay, Amy! I’m so glad you were featured! Your projects are always so lovely, unique, and professional— truly inspiring!

    1 Reply
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      Feb 19, 2012, 01.35 AMby ahearta

      Thanks! It’s been fun being a part of the sewing community this year. You are a big part of that!

  • Missing

    Feb 14, 2012, 03.27 PMby Petitemess

    I agree with everything you say about sewing. I can’t believe you are a begginer seeing all those beautiful garments you’ve done, specially the jacket and the circle skirt. Congratulations on being featured!

    1 Reply
    • 5453090784_5a98f34607_m_large

      Feb 19, 2012, 01.34 AMby ahearta

      Thanks! Yes, it’s been a great year. I do think I still count as a beginner, but I hope by now I’m an advanced beginner. Time and experience really do seem to be key in being a great sewist… I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

  • Enlarged_hilarity-copy_edited_large

    Feb 14, 2012, 01.52 PMby Testosterone

    Great style choices, they flatter you and speak well of your sewing. You’re ahead of the curve, as Zooey D. is the “It girl” for our times (but not everyone knows that yet).

    1 Reply
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      Feb 19, 2012, 01.32 AMby ahearta

      Thanks! And, Zooey D. really is a secret source of style. I’m glad you agree!

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    Feb 14, 2012, 12.06 PMby dottty

    Wow you have made some lovely things with your limited time and space, you inspire me jj:)x

    1 Reply
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      Feb 19, 2012, 01.31 AMby ahearta

      Thanks! It’s been a great year of sewing. I look forward to what the future holds!

  • Burda_user_pic_large

    Feb 14, 2012, 05.33 AMby AGoodWardrobe

    Amy, congratulations on the feature! I’d love to sew my mom something one of these days. Like you, I live far away from my mother but hopefully one day soon. Love your projects – they really reflect the energy that you put into them. I look forward to seeing your future makes.

    1 Reply
    • 5453090784_5a98f34607_m_large

      Feb 19, 2012, 01.30 AMby ahearta

      We missed you today! I hope you feel better soon!

  • Jcbg_large

    Feb 14, 2012, 01.36 AMby jeanclaudecourt

    Love the trench coat pics!

    1 Reply
    • 5453090784_5a98f34607_m_large

      Feb 19, 2012, 01.29 AMby ahearta

      Thanks!

    • This is a question
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