love, simone interview and giveaway!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Kallie. I’m a senior at Belmont University, where I’m majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in fashion merchandising at O’more College of Design. I grew up in New Hampshire and ended up moving to Nashville, Tennessee for school four years ago (at the time I wanted to play the oboe professionally, among other things, but like most students, I changed my mind). I began pursuing fashion when I learned of Belmont's minor exchange program with O'more in Franklin.
I also work as a manager at Belmont's on campus clothing boutique, Feedback Clothing, which was the first store to carry my clothing. I’m pretty busy between school, work, and sewing, but in those gems of free time I love to go and sit at Borders and read fashion magazines while drinking tea, cuddle up in bed and read my favorite blogs, or read books (right now I’m working on The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers).
What led you to start sewing and making your own clothes?
My mother is a seamstress and when I was little she had her own children’s clothing line. I’ve grown up wearing beautifully handcrafted dresses, hats, and accessories, and so a love for unique and handmade things has just been sort of ingrained in me.
I’ve definitely always done fun little sewing projects for myself, but it wasn’t until I took an actual sewing class at O’more a few years ago that I started to sew my own designs. It was definitely a gradual process for me, getting to a point with my sewing skills that I felt was adequate, I suppose, and building up the courage to show others what I was doing. But it’s one of the best leaps I’ve made, I think.
What inspires you most of all?
I am incredibly inspired by beautiful images in fashion magazines like Lula or back issues of Nylon from several years ago. I also love looking at vintage patterns for shapes of collars or interesting details. I’ve found some great ones at flea markets and antique stores up in New Hampshire where I grew up.
One of the other biggest inspirations for me is just walking into a really great fabric store. There is this amazing one in downtown San Francisco called Britex Fabrics. It’s four floors of every kind of fabric, notion, or trim you could possibly imagine, and I could spend hours just poring over it all. An amazing piece of ribbon or a swatch of an interesting print could be the inspiration for a dress or a skirt. Even places like Goodwill or The Salvation Army inspire me if I come across neat old flannel shirts or long wool skirts that can be transformed into something new. I’ve gotten very interested in the whole sustainable fashion thing!
Describe your creative process.. do you have a routine you stick with?
Sometimes I get into these spells of motivation and inspiration where I’ll sew nonstop for a week, making whatever comes to mind. Usually when I begin a project I have a fabric or a specific trim that I want to center the piece around, whether it’s a skirt or a headband, and then I’ll just go from there. I have a little sewing nook in my closet, and I’ll just put on some music and hole up until I’ve finished something. I think that everyone has days where they just aren’t inspired, and so if I’m not feeling it, I won’t force myself to work on something (Doesn’t it seem like there’s a kind of better energy that goes into something that’s made when you’re feeling wonderful about it? Whether it’s writing or painting or sewing?).
Any advice for others looking into sewing?
Practice practice practice! At first, it feels like you’ll never get the hang of it. Sewing straight lines or perfectly rounded curves on a machine feels like an impossible feat at first, but after you do it so many times, it starts to come more easily. Even though I grew up sewing here and there, taking a sewing class helped me so much (especially with different basic techniques and even being able to more with hand sewing).
What are your plans for the future?
I have one more year at Belmont, but I’m really not sure what I’ll do right away after I graduate. Eventually I plan to open a clothing store, but it’s going to take some planning (and much saving of money!). Until then, I’m going to continue to sew and hopefully get involved in different outlets to sell my designs (there are so many fashion markets and shows here in Nashville throughout the year that I can’t wait to be a part of!). School and work tend to take my full attention a lot of the time, so I’m also looking forward to my Christmas Break and next summer, when I’ll be able to concentrate more on what I love to do :)
Kallie is currently using the blue velveteen fabric to make a dress loosely based off this cute peter pan collar dress pattern. And expect headbands and maybe bracelets with the pretty ribbon and vintage feathers!