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Enchanted By Sewing The Podcast

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ench By Sew-11 Fashion Engineering for Work and Play (Interview)

This month, the Enchanted by Sewing Podcast returns from a London vacation, to it's California Roots
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Following up on last month's podcast, the tour of the V&A Fashion Gallery Miss Firbank's Pink Linen Cuff, and Elsa Schiaparelli's Roses Get Me Dreaming ... two recent Vintage Threads postings in my regular blog

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Please send your thoughts about this month or next month's topic - Dress Forms-in the Post a Comment section,  below :-)

Early on in the show Susan and Laurel talk about Susan's
creation of this wonderful snake skirt using patterns and
techniques from
The Colette Sewing Handbook,
Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress

A denim skirt from the same pattern has also been a mainstay garment in
Susan's wardrobe 

Snakes Alive ! Environmental Consultant by Day
Sewist by night 
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No coyotes or mountain lions slipped through the parking lot (as we'd both hoped they might), but snakes alive, did we have a good time talking late into the night! Come along and listen in.
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Hey! The latest and greatest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!

Two Ways to Listen
i) Listen Right on the Web

i)You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on the following links

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ii) Click on this link to iTunes to download these shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes 
Did I miss any links mentioned in the show? If so, please post here and let me know, or else email me at,  EnchantedBySewing AT gmail
I never would have guessed that this self-described fashion engineer came to fashion sewing fairly recently. It seems Susan S. owes many of her early sewing creations  to The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress

Colette has an extensive pattern line

Susan bought her fun snake skirt fabric (pattern from that Colette book above)  at Satin Moon in San Francisco (Richmond district). 

Britex, just off of Union Square, is another favorite fabric shopping spot for San Francisco Bay Area sewists.

Partial to Colette's patterns, Susan prefers tailored and fit styles  often with, a hint of a retro vibe.

Professional and weekend wear are well integrated in Susan's wardrobe. Business casual is her everyday look and skirts and dresses are important for Susan's girly-girl style, whether at home or work.

In the interview, we touch on... 

• Wardrobing, Sewing With a Plan (SWAP), Susan’s work-home wardrobe is well integrated

 Susan gets her fabric prepped and her creations pressed at Broadway Cleaners, RedwoodCity (San Mateo County, San Francisco Bay Area)

 "Nancy donned a sheath" As well as being an inspiration to professional women since the 1930's, Nancy Drew has always been a woman with a distinctive fashion sense.

 Deadlines and Special Occasion Sewing

 Dedicated Sewing Space and Crafternoons

 Google Sketchup is billed as 3D modeling software

 CA Fashion Styles
      One of both Susan and Laurel's favorite field trips in San Francisco ...Walk from Union Square, down Market Street, out to the Ferry building, for beautiful bay views, and the Farmer’s Market, for people watching and scenery

 CA Work Styles
     Styles vary throughout the Bay Area. Ferry Building commuters in San Francisco have their own sense of style. If you visit the heart of Techie Silicon Valley it's all about tee shirt and jeans. One classic Meetup spot where this look dominates is the Red Rock Café on Castro Street in Mountain View. Venture Capitalists? They've got another look all together.

 Personal Fashion Style - What's the point of it

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Following up on last month's podcast, the tour of the V&A Fashion Gallery Miss Firbank's Pink Linen Cuff

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This book has really helped me to improve my sewing skills. The illustrations and descriptions are spot on!
The New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories Updated Edition with All-New Projects and Simplicity Patterns (Reader's Digest)


  1. Laurel, I found your podcast yesterday and really enjoyed this interview with Susan. I have often thought of making a dress form for myself, but wasn't sure I could find a helper that we wouldn't be reduced to riotous laughter during the process. An additional thought, I'm not sure I want to look at my shape in real form - although it may make that diet happen for sure! But wouldn't it make fitting so much easier

  2. I haven't thought of making a dress form for myself as I haven't sewn for myself for many years. I would like to make one for my son as he is 197 cm tall and I'd like to make him some shirts. As he is studying and lives far away it would be easier to try things on a dress form rather than waiting until he visits.

  3. @JanetL.Thanks for sharing that you liked the Susan interview. She and I sure had fun that night....Also A lot of us have body issues when it comes to dress forms. My teacher told us that people often feel surprisingly better than they thought about this. I know I did. I have a short section in the in-progress version of this 'cast, where I talk about this. So I'm glad to know that's important to keep, as I'm always trying to cut down and simplify the episodes - so much to say!

  4. @Shirley That is such a smart idea about making a shirt form for your son! I'd love to hear about it if you do. You can post or email me - EnchantedBySewing AT gmail

    1. My son just left on Monday for an exchange student year in Japan so I won't be making one soon. We'll have to think about it when he gets back.

    2. Well, it sounds like he has his priorities straight. Let's see... a personal fitting double or an exotic academic adventure. Gee, I wonder which sounds more important :-)

  5. I loved this interview. A crafternoon with the two of you would be a blast!

    1. Ohhhhh you make me want to email Susan right now! I hope you can come too....