Gabrien from Dahlia Handmade has helped out on the blog before. Now she’s back as a board member, helping us plan our biggest and best Handmade Holidays series yet! Enjoy her interview, and check out Dahlia Handmade.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: How long have you been sewing?
Gabrien: I come from a long line of seamstresses. My mom’s grandmother was an avid quilter and my grandmother and great aunt used to make custom slipcovers and complicated draperies as a cottage industry. I first learned to sew in junior high and high school sewing classes. I watched my mom sew things over the years but she was usually too busy to do more than necessary sewing. When I got pregnant with my daughter I really started sewing. I had the urge to make a quilt and some little baby clothes and the urge hasn’t gone away- almost 10 yrs later.

SMS: What do you enjoy about sewing? What are your favorite things to make?
Gabrien: I love the fabric the most but being able to imagine something and see it come to life is really rewarding. My kids have never fit into store bought jeans and pants well (although with the current “skinny jean” style- it’s been better for my daughter) so it’s been nice over the years to be able to take the waistbands in and even add length when they outgrow the legs but not the waist. I love Ottobre patterns especially and have made my son lots of shorts and pants. In addition to children’s clothes, I also make quilts and Waldorf style handmade dolls.

SMS: How do you find time to fit creativity (sewing and any other creative loves) into your life?
Gabrien: Let’s be frank- it’s my priority. I let housework slide.

SMS: Do you have a favorite sewing tip or skill that’s made things work better for you?
Gabrien: I’ve really come to appreciate notches and markings on patterns. It sounds simple but in haste I never transferred markings and always paid for it later. The best thing I ever did was to acquire a serger and learn to use it.

Gabrien’s Scrappy House Quilt

SMS: What’s a favorite thing you’ve made lately? Why?
Gabrien: Well, one of my favorite things is a scrappy house quilt. I love that there is a story behind almost every little scrap of fabric and it’s my favorite quilt to throw over my legs on a chilly evening.

SMS: Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
Gabrien: I am getting up there in my later thirties. I have a husband who is pretty supportive, a daughter who is 9 and sick of wearing patchwork, a son who just turned 6 and still loves my handmade stuff (not patchwork), and a dog who keeps be company. We live in the greater Portland, Oregon area, which is the best place in the world to be a sewing enthusiast, in my opinion. I have what I refer to as my “junior” blog but I find that documenting and writing about my love of sewing is not as fun as the actual sewing, so it suffers from neglect.