Monday, October 3, 2011

In the beginning...

I started off sewing like anyone else, using the machine incorrectly, hastily with poor results. My mom taught me how to use the machine but not how to construct clothing. She was into upholstery, I was into patchwork, corduroy, and Phish. So, after mastering the mathematics of drawstring skirts and apron tops, I decided to learn the right way.
 My boyfriend and I moved up to Providence so I could attend URI's Master Seamstress Program. This was great for many reasons. One, all the women in my class were already professional dressmakers, seamstresses, and tailors. So not only did I learn so much from the teacher, but from all the students as well. I was the youngest and least experienced and these women held my hand through every lesson. I graduated a year later with a balanced knowledge in pattern making, draping, and tailoring.
Here is the dress form we created from casting and plaster in my draping class:

I took sketching classes and worked my butt off to get into RISD for Apparel Design. Fashion departments in schools like RISD do not care if you are an awesome sewer, they care that you can put your ideas onto paper creatively. I was, and still am, not a good sketcher but I have a healthy imagination and my design skills are solid. 
As soon as I got accepted into RISD I found out I was pregnant! My husband now, boyfriend then at the time, and I moved back home to New York to be close to our families and to start nesting. I started my some of my first designs while pregnant. Here they are!

I had my bambino in March 2007. 
Needless to say, life got pretty damn busy. I would read a lot about pattern making, draping, and design during my downtime but that was about it. I started to design again when the little bugger started sleeping more regularly and I started feeling more like myself. I created seasonal lines for women and had showcases. Here's me with my Spring 2009 collection:

I took designing and dressmaking on full swing after that. Opened Rosie's Handmade Revolution in Bellport, New York in April 2010. 

This first take on owning and running my own business was a HUGE. Rosie's had a dessert and coffee bar, live music on the weekends and workshops on Thursdays. Not to mention designing and stitching up inventory! Phew! This did not work out in more ways than one, but this location's failure was truly a blessing. I moved the shop to Sayville, New York in April 2011.

Although my new space is about 1000 sq/ft smaller than my last, no dessert bar or live music, I have flourished here. I sew in house every day that I am open. The foot traffic is better and I give sewing lessons during business hours. Plus, it is super close to home. With baby #2 on his way, this new spot is perfect and I have never been happier.