I had a chance to interview Julie from Sewitsforyou. Her embroidery is so cute and whimsical. Not only is she a talented embroiderer but also one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.
How did you get into embroidery and how long have you been doing it?
I got into embroidery about 3 1/2 years ago when my husband Dan was put in the hospital to get his appendix out, then was released with his appendix still in..lol, and was so sick for about 8 days. I saw an ad for Sublime Stitching on Craftster and ordered a kit for all the time in the hospital and started stitching. I started to do embroidery because I could concentrate on a book and for some reason it seemed to relax me. Husband did need his appendix out just had a bunch of dumb doctors..lol
Tell me a little bit about yourself
My name is Julie, I live in Tarpon Springs Florida with my hubby Dan and we are expecting our first child ( a boy) in September. I grew up in Florida but have lucky enough to do some traveling with work and wound up back home about 5 years ago. I think one of the best periods of time I ever had creatively was going to art school in San Francisco. I met some amazing people and had a blast.
Tell me about your indie business
At first I was just making gifts for friends and family members. I had a lot of friends that were having babies and money was kind of tight so I thought I could make personalized bibs and blankies for them. We also would be invited to people's houses and I didn't want to go empty handed so I would make a set of cocktail napkins and package them really cute.
"Sew It's For You" started out because I had made some really cute Sublime Stitching sushi napkins for a family friend who did something. ( can't remember what it was..lol) and she said, " you should sell your things." So I started to sell to some of my mom's friends in her neighborhood.
My original stuff was sooooooo bad, it makes me laugh now. I used to make copies of the pictures, pin them onto the fabric and stitch through the paper to make items. What a huge pain.
I think a lot pf people even when they see certain things I have created have a hard time believing that I hand embroider and hand sew all my items. I do not know how to sew on a machine and the machine I can use for a bit of hemming is older than I am. Hand embroidery is really a lost art. The reason I love SS so much is that they have so many different patterns and they are edgy and they make it hip. I do love the vintage patterns as well as using artists work to create something for me to wear. I love Maicen ( she is on flickr) and Mitch O'Connell.
I did my first show in the fall of 2007 and did a couple more through 2007 and 2008. I ran my own show in the spring of 2008 and the fall of 2008 and it was a lot of work but so worth it. I am planning on only doing one amazing show this year www.atomicholidaybazaar.com. I did it last year and it was a HUGE success. This year is going to be better so if you are around Florida come stop by!
I am starting a new etsy shop soon with a friend of mine to sell patterns, it is kind of a very long WIP. We have had about5 or 6 series so far posted in my shop. These are pdf patterns created by the lovely Regina of wedgienet.net. I joined etsy in 2006 but didn't start selling until 2007. The name "Sew It's For You" came from my clever dad, even though I do embroidery and not sewing per se.
Any advice for the masses
Practice and find what mediums you like to work with/on. I used to get so frustrated when I would try to work with a material that just didn't looks good embroidered or was hard to work with. Now when I find something I like I buy a ton of it and keep it in my stash so I can make something when I need to and not have to go look and hope to find it.
Plus one thing I am working on still is to not take things so personally in life and with your work. I used to used to get so upset when I would post items on Craftster and they would get 500 views and two comments. I try to take it all in stride. I know I have many repeat customers locally and with a new baby on the way I can make him oodles of stuff ( until he is old enough to complain) and keep buys for a long time.
Network, I have met so many creative and fantastic crafters and artists through craftster, etsy and flickr. I have gotten to be very close with a girl from Craftster over the years and she is the best swap partner EVER. We have been through so much in each others lives and we have never met! She is the one I am opening the pattern shop with. I fell like I have known her forever and it was just through craftster we became friends. These fabulous people I have met inspire me and often I get ideas for the newest projects from what these artists post on their sites. A friend from flickr sent me 4 hand embroidered burp cloths for the baby just because. How sweet is that? I have never met her either so who ever20has enough girlfriends?
What is your website/blog
What is your favorite piece of yours?
hmm this is a hard question. I think my favorites change all of the time. These are a few of my fav's
Who/What are some inspirations for you
Inspirations Who: Jenny Hart, Kittykill*, Dan, Sewsew-a-GoGo*, Maicen*, Wedgienet.net*, Lilyvanilli*, Kunderwood*, Amanda Panda Pants*, Shag, Keith Haring, Derek Yaniger, Mitch O'Connell, Adrien Lucas of Tuff Betty Bags. *'d people are found on flickr and maybe craftster too.
What inspires me: retro designs, kids, old school stuff ( ie Fraggle Rock, Schoolhouse Rock, 80's music), music, Flight of the Conchords, cool fonts, tattoos, fun!
Thanks again Julie! You are wonderful!