People often asked me how I got started with sewing, and it's an answer that is full of stops and starts! One of the first sewn projects I completed (and actually used!) was a duffle bag made from a kit in middle school home economics. I remember feeling such a sense of pride and accomplishment that I transformed something flat and dimensionless into a functional bag. In high school, I modified hand-me-down jeans by adding colorful patterned fabric into the outside seam, and it became a way to express myself through fashion.
Fast-forward several years, and I ended up in school studying interior design. I learned about design principles and how to objectively and critically view my work so that I could improve. I also learned to use drafting and visualization software, and that new knowledge catapulted me into a different approach with my sewing. With an 80 dollar sewing machine, I discovered that I could sew up bags and purses and sell them in farmers markets on the weekends. Soon classes and work became too demanding to keep up with my sewing, and armed with computer drafting skills from my design courses, I began drafting and illustrating my self-made patterns, printing them at the local copy shop, and offering them for sale online. I don't miss the late night sessions of folding the paper patterns at my coffee table and stuffing them all into plastic bags!
Eventually, I built up my courage and contacted almost every independent sewing shop in the state, and to my surprise - everyone purchased my patterns! That was in 2009, and my methods and aesthetic have evolved, but the story is the same. The fun part for me is to look back and see how much has changed in the last 7 years! I love going through photos every now and again to notice how my styles and methods have changed over time.
I love seeing the unique perspectives people bring to their creative projects, and it's my honor to facilitate and guide that creativity through my sewing patterns and my book. I love to see what you are working on! Tag me on instagram (@jenfoxstudios), use the hashtag #jenfoxstudios, and post your projects on my Facebook page!