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Member in Focus: dixiediy By DianeSev on 2/3/12 9:47 AM

Your PR Name: dixiediy
Your Full Name: Dixie Davis
Member Since: March, 2011
Your Birthday: April 11
Your Blog:

Member In Focus dixiediy models her newly-made Vogue 1247 topPictured at left: Member In Focus dixiediy models her newly-made Vogue 1247 top

How did you learn to sew?
My grandmother taught me hand-sewing basics which I used to sew A-line skirts as a kid. When I got a sewing machine in high school, I made handbags. Later in college, I moved on to clothes. I'm mostly self-taught, which explains why it took me so many years to be "good" at sewing.

What aspect of sewing do you find most challenging?
Keeping up my enthusiasm for a project I've spent so much time on is most challenging. The longer I work on a project, the more likely it will end up in the UFO pile. Once a garment is assembled enough to try on, I just want to be finished. All those hems and button holes and zippers and seam finishes are time-consuming. I've got to keep my eye on the prize!

Which sewing book do you refer to most often?
For basics I tend to look online, but for pants and jeans - [Palmer-Pletsch's] Pants for Real People is like a Bible. I think all of Wendy Mullins' sewing books are great for learning to alter patterns.

What are your sewing goals for this year?
Building a wardrobe of wearable clothes and filling in gaps in my closet. I also want to design more patterns and learn some advanced skills.

What are you sewing right now?
I'm in the middle of Megan Neilson's Darling Ranges dress pattern and refashioning an old 1950's skirt. The 50's fabric has several decorative beads and sequins, but upon closer inspection, they are all severely damaged. So now I'm going back and hand-replacing every sequin. It's crazy, I know, but I've convinced myself that it will be worth it.

Pick your favorite pattern (only one please).
I don't often make the same pattern more than once so I'm choosing based on design. I love Colette's Macaron because it's classically stylish, it flatters so many body shapes, is easy to wear, has pockets(!!!), and you can make it as fancy or as casual as you like.

What you love most about PatternReview?
I love using it as a resource before I dive into a project. I read reviews to see if anyone had problems with sizing or length or fit. If enough people claim that the skirt is too short, I'll know to add a few inches and avoid regret later!

What's the most challenging aspect of writing a sewing blog?
Keeping up with the audience. I love the support I get from readers, many of whom have their own blogs. I want to share the love and leave comments on their blogs too, but with so much sewing, emailing, blogging and dealing with everyday life, I sometimes feel like I neglect that part. Interaction with readers is so important because community is what makes a blog great, especially in a niche topic like sewing. I want readers to feel appreciated! Compared to that, picture-taking and writing about seam finishes and fabric sources is easy.

You offer downloadable patterns on your blog. What is your favorite pattern among these? What inspired you to design your own patterns and to share them with other sewists?
My favorite is probably my Two Piece Tunic, because it epitomizes my feelings of being a "lazy sewer." I like getting to the finished product ASAP. This pattern has no set-in sleeves, only two pattern pieces, no facings, no closures and no shoulder seams, but I still think it is a cute design with the gathers at the angled bust line. At first pattern making was just another challenge. I liked learning ways to manipulate patterns. Eventually I began sharing my own patterns with others to get feedback, in particular with instructions. I'm most surprised to see people adapting the patterns in ways I never would have thought and putting their own design spin on them.

In addition to documenting your adventures in sewing, you have some other fun sections on your blog, like re-styling and crafting (we love the Amoeba Pillowcase, BTW). Where do you get your ideas?
Pinterest is addictive! I like to read magazines and design and craft blogs. Oftentimes inspiration comes from a need to use up a supply that has been cluttering up my craft room! I'm on an endless mission to use up scrap pieces of fabric, for example.

You mention on your blog that you like to support independent pattern companies. How do you find indie pattern companies? Whose designs attract you right now?
The more pattern options the better, I believe. Sometimes the Big 4's styles get tiresome. If I want to encourage creative designs, I should support the few indie companies out there! A Good Wardrobe has a running list of indie designers. I find new companies through blogs, Etsy and browsing PatternReview. Right now, I'm loving Victory Patterns for their fashionable styling and classic, versatile silhouettes. When a company shows chic samples of their patterns, I am way more excited about trying them.

What would PR members be surprised to know about you?
I currently have purple hair. Yep, I took the plunge and dyed my hair for the first time in years and in a crazy color. I figure this year I want to have some fun and step out of my comfort zone. The best part is that it is only temporary, so once I've had my kicks, I can go back to my normal brunette.

Is there anything else that you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I love meeting other people in Austin (and Texas in general) who share my love of sewing. I know you're out there!

Any other hobbies?
I like making handmade cards. I'm a film school grad so I love watching classic movies. I'm also a big architecture history buff. I own a couple vintage cars that my boyfriend works on (free mechanic!), but I get to drive. I love to travel, and I'd probably go anywhere if given the opportunity.

Your profession, where do you live, etc.
I'm a videographer and editor for a website here in lovely Austin, TX. You'll often hear me complain about the weather on my blog because it is always HOT.

Thank you, dixiediy!

Read dixiediy's reviews.

Read dixiediy's review for the garment she's wearing in the picture at the top of this article (Vogue 1247).

4 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
chucklehead said... (2/7/12 4:27 PM) Reply
Checking your blog now. How I love this website!
Knitters Delight said... (2/7/12 2:47 PM) Reply
Fabulous interview. I can't wait to check out your blog!
moonthirty said... (2/4/12 1:06 AM) Reply
I love Dixie's blog, and this article! :)
MissCelie said... (2/3/12 12:10 PM) Reply
What a great interview!

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