We’re excited to welcome Amy from Badskirt to our SMS board! Amy picked up sewing in earnest less than a year ago, and now she makes a living with her sewing machine, great fabrics and a lot of creativity. Amy’s style is full of bright colors and bold patterns. She blogs at Badskirt, and runs an online gallery and store too. The shop is temporarily closed while Amy travels abroad from her Australia home (in search of the best new fabrics!), but she’s happy to discuss custom orders any time. Amy’s checking in through her journey as she helps out with Fat Quarter Month (two days away!); she’ll share a great mobile project later in February. Welcome, Amy!

Photo info: Amy’s wearing an apron she made with a Sew Liberated Emmeline pattern with fabric by Amy Schimler.

SMS: How long have you been sewing?
Amy: We bought our first sewing machine 10 months ago. Although my mother had a sewing machine when I was a child, I didn’t take to it. Aside from learning the basic straight stitch when I was young, I’m self-taught and have picked up new skills from forums and blogs like Sew,Mama,Sew!

SMS: What do you enjoy about sewing? What are your favorite things to make?
The thing I enjoy most about sewing is seeking out fabrics. I love working with bright patterns and bold colors. Many of the retro inspired fabrics bring back fond memories of my childhood. I also enjoy the craft community that I’ve found through sewing. It’s nice to have others who inspire and create with me. Because I’m new to sewing, I’m still experimenting with what I make. I sell softies and children’s products at a local market, but I continue try a little bit of everything.

SMS: How do you find time to fit creativity (sewing and any other creative loves) into your life?
In May 2008, I left my job as a film and video game producer. Initially, I planned to take a short sabbatical and then return to the workforce. During my sabbatical, I began sewing and selling a few things online and at local markets. I was fortunate to have a supportive husband and have turned my hobby into a full-time business.

SMS: Do you have a favorite sewing tip or skill that’s made things work better for you?
When I began sewing, I used to obsess over every little detail. If a line was a little crooked, I cringed because I couldn’t sew as well as everything I saw in the blogs. I’ve learned to step back and look at the big picture. The tiny details aren’t as important and most people won’t pick up on the little mistakes. When I’m frustrated, I stop and take a break. The best tip I can offer is make sure you keep sewing fun, don’t beat yourself up over the little things. Every project is full of imperfections, but most people just hide them with good camera angles.


Amy’s Lillian hippo in Mag & Mimi Designs fabric.

SMS: What’s a favorite thing you’ve made lately?
One of my favourite recent projects was a custom order for a hippo softie. I hadn’t made one before and didn’t have a pattern. I cobbled together ideas from other animal patterns and have come up with something I’m quite fond of. I just keep making them!

SMS: Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I’m a 35 year old American living in Sydney, Australia. I moved to Australia in 2003 intending to stay for one year. I was fortunate to find both a beautiful country and a wonderful husband. Along with sewing, I enjoy photography, pinball and dogs. I’m currently developing a new range of products with the hopes of a commercial release in late 2009.