Member since 11/28/01
Date: 8/4/10 1:47 PM
Member in Focus: JessieBear
PR Name: JessieBear
Full Name: Jessica Hammer
Member Since: November 2007
Birthday: March 27
Blog: I love to read others' sewing blogs, but I'd rather be sewing when I get home at the end of the day.
How did you learn to sew?
My mom started teaching me when I was 6 or 7. I made a lot of costumes in high school for plays and went on to study costume design in college, where I also worked in the costume shop. I'm now a "recovering" costume designer who would much rather just design and sew for herself. Neat tidbit: My PR name comes from an old family nickname based on a children's book about a little bear that likes to dress up ("Jesse Bear, what will you wear? What will you wear in the morning?"). I was obsessed with clothes from an early age...
What aspect of sewing do you find most challenging?
Hmmm... I'd say getting professional-looking results. It didn't matter as much when I was making costumes, but now I mostly make clothes for myself that people can see up close. It's the small details that really make a difference between "loving hands at home" and "Oh my gosh, where did you get that!?"
Which sewing book do you refer to most often?
Usually Betzina's Power Sewing, but I'll be using Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket as soon as I get into some of my projects for fall (see my sewing goals for the year).
What are your sewing goals for this year?
- Finish the projects I start. I have a couple of dresses that are unfinished at the moment, but they will be done by the end of summer (hopefully...).
- Focus on the quality of my garments. Use good fabrics, focus on fit, make muslins, and don't be afraid to re-do work that isn't great.
- Expand my comfort zone by learning to work with more challenging fabrics (knits, slinky stuff) and more challenging techniques (tailored jackets, here I come!).
- Enter at least 2 contests on Pattern Review. I've already completed the Mini Wardrobe and I think I'm going to enter the LBD contest in the fall.
- Do more pattern reviews. It's a really helpful process to look back on the work and evaluate what I liked, didn't like, would have done differently. It's hard to get in the habit of actually photographing my clothing after it's done and then taking the time to reflect on it - but it's really helped me learn!
What are you sewing right now?
I'm trying to clone a pair of vintage Navy pants that my husband loves (Wouldn't the Selfish Seamstress be ashamed of me?). It's an interesting exercise in patternmaking because there is no side seam on the pant leg - the front and back of the leg is cut as one. It kind-of limits your options as far as where you can make fitting changes.
Pick your favorite pattern (only one please)?
Ooh, this is hard. I haven't actually ever made any pattern more that once (except for dance company costumes-aak!), so I don't have a TNT pattern of anything. One pattern that I've loved since I saw it (and hope to make this fall when the weather cools off and I can bear to wear something other than tank tops and loose skirts) is Burda 01-2009-114. This jacket is so beautiful! Double-breasted with stylish curves and really interesting details. But we'll see how it actually turns out...
What you love most about PatternReview?
I love being able to see how many variations are possible with one pattern - it's very creatively inspiring. It always amazes me how much variety there is between different reviews. I also love how helpful people are on the boards. It's great to know that I can come there any time I have a question about how to do something, how to work with a fabric, a certain pattern, or whatever it is I'm not sure about.
Any other hobbies?
I love reading - it's a totally escapist pleasure for me, so mostly fiction. I also have a growing obsession with Bollywood films - I just love the amount of imagination and attention to visual detail that goes into these gorgeous films, plus you can just tell how much fun people have making these movies. My husband is a dancer, so I also love almost any kind of couples dancing - ballroom, swing, tango, Latin, etc.
Your profession, where do you live, etc.
I live in Chicago, where I work for the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, a small neighborhood on the north side filled with lovely, unique locally-owned businesses (you can check it out at www.andersonville.org). I love that every day is different because I do so many different things - marketing, website, member services, PR, email marketing, event planning. It keeps me on my toes!
Member since 7/1/08
Date: 8/4/10 6:10 PM
Nice to see you focused on here on PR. I know the books you speak of because my daughter had them when she was younger! I look forward to your reviews as they are informative and you focus on classic items.
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown
Member since 9/3/07
Date: 8/4/10 9:03 PM
Just wanted to say "Bravo" to a lovely young woman with a great sense of style. Enjoyed browsing your photo gallery. When a lady is out she needs to be "done up" as my 92 year old Mother says. I agree, your reviews are very informative. Keep up the great work!
Member since 8/28/08
Date: 8/19/10 2:59 AM
Congratulations for being focused.
Your clothes are nicely made.
That's Gl = for Gloria, not G. I.
Member since 1/28/06
Date: 8/19/10 7:18 AM
I enjoyed reading your bio, and congratulations..
Also, thanks Jesse, for starting the [Chicago in 2011] thread..We all hope it's a happening!!!! See you there.
Since the mind is essentially a wet computer, our task is to figure out how we can best program it.
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