We are less than two weeks from the arrival of this talented lady here at AGOS, so I thought I'd give you all a glimpse into the workings of Lauren Taylor. For those of you familiar with her very popular blog, this may be old ground, but for those of you new to Lauren I am offering a glimpse of what the upcoming retreat with her will entail....
Lauren Taylor, also known as LLADYBIRD, is a self-taught sewing force-of-nature. Blogging intensively for over five years, Lauren is a prolific Maker. She even gets questions about how she can make as much as she does.... A lesson to us all that when you put your mind to something it is amazing what you can achieve! Lauren is based in Nashville, home of other such Making luminaries as Anna Maria Horner and Craft South, Alexia Abegg (Green Bee Patterns and Cotton + Steel), Devon Iott (regular contributor at Colette Patterns), Karen Templer (Fringe Association), Elizabeth Suzann, Ann Shayne (Mason Dixon Knitting) and much more. Doesn't that line-up make you want to check out Nashville? Surrounded by such creativity, Lauren is a fixture in the world of garment sewing. Her blog is an endless parade of delicious clothes, lovingly explained, and recorded, for our reading, drooling, and general admiring pleasure. In person she is even more delightful, being a sprite of sewing enabling, and the best cheerleader you ever wanted for your sewing practice. This weekend we do is unique in that it all revolves around you and your sewing desires and needs. I am thrilled to be hosting her, again, here at AGOS this month. You bring any project you want to work on and Lauren will help you sort it all out. There is still room in the retreat if you want to make an impulsive move and register for a long weekend of productive creating and making! And a ton of fun......! See if you don't find yourself smiling after reading the below!
These are some of Lauren's most recent makes.... Cool, huh?
AGOS: How did you come to start sewing/quilting? Did someone teach you?
LT: My mom has sewed for as long as I can remember - she made all sorts of things, from Easter dresses to stuffed animals to home decor stuff like curtains and pillows. I had my own little sewing basket and I'd (hand sew) alongside her. I am almost entirely self-taught - despite having a mother who sewed, her method of "teaching" me was more along the lines of, "There's the instruction book. Follow the numbers on the machine to thread it. You can figure it out." A little frustrating at the time, but it definitely taught me how to problem solve on my own - as well as to be fearless with new techniques!
AGOS: Do you remember your early makes? Can you tell me about one?
LT: Well, once I started sewing with patterns (around age 20), I got reeeeally into New Look 6557. I have made that pattern dozens and dozens of times, improving on each version as I figured out how patterns worked (my first version did not have any gathering under the bust. It was completely flat. My boobs did not fit into it and I couldn't understand why haha). Most of my dresses are long gone, but I still have my favorite one. I made it using an old Laura Ashley bed skirt, with the ruffled border print around the hem of the skirt and hot pink colorblocking and piping scattered throughout. Oh, and hot pink and red tulle attached to the lining (I should add - which I was trimming it with my brand-new Ginghers, my then-kitten-now-cat got in my way and I nearly lopped off her tail. She had a bald spot for months). You can actually see this majestic beauty over on Craftster, when I posted it back in 2008. MAN how blogging has changed!
AGOS: Do you have any favorite tools?
LT: My very favorite tool is the humble seam gauge. I think it's useful for almost every thing - I have several scattered around my sewing room. I also love my bamboo point turner and sleeve board, both which make pressing so much easier.
AGOS: Do you have a favorite time of day to make?
LT: I love sewing in the morning! The early sunlight really inspires and energizes me, and it's really awesome to kick the day off with some creativity.
AGOS: Can you describe your making space? What parts of it do you love? What parts of it frustrate you?
LT: I am lucky enough to have a full, dedicated sewing space (http://lladybird.com/2015/07/29/time-for-a-sewing-room-tour/)! It's a strange open room in a basement, so there are nooks at either end that are perfect for my sewing machines and cutting table. I have plenty of room for fabric storage, notions storage, a pressing area, and even a desk. It's a great space and I love the color and set up! The only thing I don't love is the one thing that I can't change - the fact that it's in a basement. It's cooler than I would prefer, and I always want more windows!
AGOS: Do you practice more than one Craft? What others do you do? And why?
LT: I do! I knit - it's a wonderfully portable hobby that is great for traveling :) I also dabble in watercolor painting and sketching. I love learning new skills and am always looking for new ways to expand my craft repertoire.
AGOS: Why do you teach?
LT: Because I love sewing and I want everyone else to love it as much as I do :D
AGOS: Why do you sew?
LT: I love all forms of art, and sewing is such a beautifully practical one. You get all the benefits of making something beautiful with your hands, but then it's also actually useful (you can WEAR it!). I find the problem-solving aspect very therapeutic, and I love having the ability to improve on my art/craft with each new project. I think it's important to always seek out new ways to continually learn and increase your knowledge, and surround yourself with things that you find beautiful and that make you happy. Sewing does all this for me.
Now go read some of her blog posts...! And come join us to sew!