2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

November 16, 2015

#BLOGLIKECRAZY DAY 16: CONVERSATION WITH A REAL GEORGIA PEACH (RUN GRAB YOUR CUP OF TEA)...

...I recall reading some where that Gayle King earns in excess of $2 million dollars per year.  I would definitely like to get use to living on a salary like that!  In the mean time, while I'm waiting to get my call from one of the major networks, I'll just continue talking with a  group of bloggers who have so generously given of their time to help me with my "BloglikeCrazy" posts for November.

Funny thing about blogging;  you start to feel as though you actually know the people that you watch virtually.  Am I the only person that feels this way???  After all, they let us have peeks into their personal sewing rooms; they allow us to see their stashes - both patterns and fabrics.  And, if we listen/watch closely and are very attentive we might even learn a thing or two via a new bit of advise or new sewing technique. 

Who hasn't heard of the Georgia based Sew Much Talent (SMT) Blog???  Well, just in case you haven't, you're in luck; because today I'll be interviewing its founder, Alethia Hudson, from Augusta, Georgia (A REAL GEORGIA PEACH). So grab your favorite cup of tea (peach would be nice) and get to know Alethia AND SMT just a little bit better...



- How in the world did you come up with the idea for your “Sew Much Talent”blog/forum?

Alethia:  How in the world did I come up with the idea for Sew Much Talent? In 2008, I had the thought to connect with others in my same profession- custom sewing, dressmaking, tailoring, expert alterations, teachers of sewing, etc. It has always been my passion to teach others the skill of sewing. So, I thought if I could connect with others, then we could reach our community to share what we do. That was the whole motive behind SMT. However; it did not grow legs until a few years later. Oddly enough, those legs grew from others parts of the world; from other states, even other countries. Now, this networking platform is all about inspiring, sharing, and teaching within the genre of sewing and crafting.



-How many members are connected to Sew Much Talent?

Alethia:  As we speak, it is right at about 560 members, whom I call "sewing buddies". It's not a large membership, but it's quaint and cozy.



-How many countries are represented in the membership?

Alethia:  Right off the top of my head there are at least 6 countries represented on Sew Much Talent: USA (of course), Australia, Nigeria, Canada, Netherlands, and Vietnam.



-What types of events are trending on Sew Much Talent at this very moment?

Alethia:  Since Sew Much Talent is all about sharing and exposing the Sew Much Talent around the world, the most popular thing going right now on the blog is spotlighting the members and the work they create. They blog about it and I share it, simple as that. Occasionally, I will do a sew-a-long focusing on a particular garment, like blouses/tops, or skirts/pants, etc. I have been known to do giveaways.


-What excites and inspires you in the designs you sew for yourself and others?

Alethia:  What inspires me most in the designs I sew for myself or others is seeing the finished product come to full fruition, and having it come out as planned or better. With my customers, seeing the smiles on their faces when they have received just what they imagined.


-Have you had formal training; or are you self taught?

Alethia:  I have not had formal training. I started sewing at a young age, probably as early as 8 years old. I would take the scraps from my mother's projects (she was a registered nurse sewing for herself, her kids, and sometimes others) and create clothes for my favorite doll-Tiffany. At 9 years old, my mother realized that I had a knack for sewing and was serious; she signed me up for a 2-week Singer sewing class. The only problem is I had to be 10 to be in the class. It was great for me that I was tall for my age and I was able to pass. I still have a picture of me in my very first garment created from that class. From then on, I went through the standard home-ec classes in middle school. After that, I am self taught. I fed off of information from wherever I could get it, books, Saturday morning TV programs (mainly on the public broadcasting system), library books and videos. At that time, Nancy Ziemann had a mail order program where you could rent videos of her segments for two weeks. I studied them and returned them when I was done. However, alterations, the thing I hated the most became my greatest teacher. Simply because I was able to take garments apart, peek inside and see how they were constructed and put them back together again. By doing this, I began to incorporate the techniques that I saw into future garments that I made, thereby increasing my knowledge and skills.


- What has been the most challenging garment you have made?

Alethia:  Even though I specialize in bridal wear and formal wear, the most challenging piece to date is a pair of trouser pants that I was commissioned to make for a client. I could not perfect the fit because of her shape and build. I enlisted the help of a dear sewing buddy, Mrs. Mole to assist me via email and phone since she lived time zones away (smile). They were not my best work at all. Fitting pants is still a work in progress for me.



-What garment to date would you call your “Masterpiece”?

Alethia:  What I would consider as my most recent masterpiece is the Christening gown ensemble that I created from a grandmother's wedding gown. It was the gown, the panties, the booties, a bib, and the headband. It was absolutely beautiful. It was the third one that I had done.
 


-Are you a pattern-a-holic like me?

Alethia:  I am a pattern-a-holic! However, I have been doing pretty good by curbing the urge to just by patterns because they are on sale, and buying the latest trends. I'm looking at patterns and realizing that there really isn't anything new. Many patterns that I already have can be revised to get some of the looks now. So, I plan to just work with what I have for the most part. Periodically, I will still buy a pattern or two.



-If you could only keep a few of your patterns, which would those be?

Alethia:  If I could only choose a few patterns I would choose these four: M5138, which is an OOP (Out of Print) shirt pattern. But, it is a TNT pattern that I have used several times. It is a basic button up shirt that I could dress up or down, with various lengths. I have used this pattern in many ways. The fit is perfect. Also, M6571 which is also an OOP top and pants pattern. I have used the pants pattern many times, as well as the top. It is m quick go to. I love a simple pant. This style works well for me and sews up quickly. Another favorite is M6172. It is a jacket pattern. Although I have only made this once for a friend, I love the style and the ease of how it comes together. A great blazer will work with anything and can be created out various fabrics for any look. Lastly, I would choose the dress pattern B4443. I made this dress for myself to wear on last Easter. It is a simple elegant style, very feminine. It sews up well and the fit is great without many fit alterations. I can use this silhouette to create various styles from it. This pattern has much potential.



-What are your favorite fabric sources?

-Do you shop online for fabrics?

Alethia:  My favorite go-to fabric sources are Joann fabrics, Hancock fabrics, Fabric Mart (on-line), Fabric.com(on-line), and a specialty fabric shop here locally, B & B Cloth Shop. Periodically, I will need to venture out into other resources that I have when I need something different and very formal.



-How did your business originate?

Alethia:  My business, AYH Designs, originated unofficially from high school. I started doing alterations for my class peers while I was in the 11th or 12th grade. At that time, "straight-leg" jeans were in. So, I was the go-to person to make all the full leg jeans straight. The word spread because of the neighborhood kids. They hung out at our house and they knew what I did, so, they spread the word to my peers.



But, I started taking things a little more serious when I married, became pregnant, and left my job at the bank to become a stay-at-home mom. I started sewing for others from home. I did everything from alterations, to prom gowns, wedding gowns, social gowns, church uniforms, cheerleader outfits, etc., even, a little of home decor. I have continued off and on since then. For years now, I have been affectionately called Ms. Alethia by my clients. Out of anything, I would have to say my best tried and true secret is simply to press and sew as you go. It makes the world of difference in your garments.



-What are your favorite social media platforms?

-Do you use these platforms to promote or enhance your business?
Alethia:  My most favorite social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and now Periscope. Mainly on Facebook you see the three aspects of me...my personal page, the business side of me (AYH Designs), and the social side of me (Sew Much Talent). Right now, I am most visible on all social media as Sew Much Talent. Through SMT I get to share all about the activities that I get involved in...my blog, community activities like The Lydia Project organization, our SMT Meet-up sewing group, and my sewing classes. I am working on re-branding the business side of me, then I will make myself even more visible as AYH Designs. Otherwise, I do share the work that I do for my clients on mostly FB and IG, even Twitter.

Be sure to connect with Alethia and SMT via the following media:
Sew Much Talent
FaceBook
Instagram, and
Twitter...  

26 comments:

  1. Great interview, Faye. I really enjoyed Alethia's comments about the Singer classes. My mom had the same dilemma except I was very tiny for my age and was told I couldn't take them due to my age. I could have used Alethia's height! Instead my mom had a potential purchase of their TOL machine and she said she would only buy it if they let me in the class. To this day I am grateful. I sewed my wedding gown on that machine many years later!

    Thanks again for a great review. I've enjoyed Alethia's blog .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bunny! Wow, what an awesome trade off, yaay for mom, she was a quick and smart thinker (smile)!
      I know I'm gonna have an 'ahhh' moment, but please tell me what TOL means . What kinda machine is that?
      Thanks again for your comment!

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    2. I might be wrong Alethia but I think TOL stands for t"op of the line" - but of course that's just a guess.
      Me and Alethia both thank you for your sweet comment Bunny and HURRAY for your Mom!.

      Delete
  2. Faye, you did an awesome job! Thank you for the opportunity, this interview was truly my pleasure! Much success to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much success to the both of us Alethia in our every endeavors! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this - I've always wanted to do an interview!

      Delete
  3. FYI: M6571 Is still available, it is not out of print as I thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, M6571 is cozy in my stash, still unused. It's one of my many "one day" patterns.

      Delete
  4. So cool. Nice to "meet" you Alethia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you two got to meet also!

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    2. Thanks SewCraftyChemist, I'm a fan of yours, I know I follow you on Instagram and Pattern
      Review at least!!!

      Delete
  5. Oh wow... is this is the Alethia who I'm always chatting with on FB and my Blog? It's a pleasure to meet you and going straight to your blog and follow you. Faye - excellent interview and awesome job bringing folks together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Venita. This has been sooooo fun!!!

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    2. Awww, thanks Venita...it's me (smiling)! I read your article as well, and truly nice to meet you as well!!

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  6. Hi Alethia & Faye!
    What a great interview! Alethia we have more in common than I thought besides Mary Kay. Your mom sounds just like mine. She was a nurse as well!! A lot of what you said about your early sewing is similar to my experience.
    I have always truly enjoyed reading your blog Faye, and especially since you've started the daily 'blog like crazy' series! And Alethia, it is always a pleasure to read the latest on SMT. Great job ladies!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We both thank you for looking in Jackie! I do so miss seeing your designs!!!

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    2. Awww Jackie, thanks!!! You have always been a great supporter...THANK YOU!!

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  7. Yay. Nice to meet you all. I haven't started blogging yet, but I have created one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So nice to meet you too Shaneka, please don't let this be your last visit. Come by any time you like! RE starting your blog: Girl get that thing started, I really love blogging!

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    2. Hey Shaneka!!!! You must get to blogging lady, I believe you have a wealth of knowledge to share yourself (smile). Thanks for following me on Periscope and Instagram!!!

      Delete
  8. Another great interview Faye. Thanks for sharing. Oh and I also follow Alethia. Wow! we both have the same name. It's not a common name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alethia! And, I do follow you as well. And, it hasn't been a common name, but I'n finding more people with it. I learned about 5 years ago that I have a first cousin with the same name (smile). Thanks for following!

      Delete
  9. Great interview and an awesome way to know more about Sewing Divas.

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    Replies
    1. Many kudos to Faye for her Blog Like Crazy posts!

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  10. Thanks for giving us an up close introduction to the woman behind such a great sewing forum, SMT. I have always enjoyed meeting other custom clothiers through that forum. Thanks Alethia for doing so much and sharing such a wealth of information to all so graciously.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Andrea!!! It has truly been my pleasure getting to know you!!!

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  11. Also, Faye, I look forward to all your many post for the remainder of the month.

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THANKS FOR LOOKING IN. YOUR COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS APPRECIATED!!!

BOOKS ACQUIRED

  • Pants Sewing Guide
  • Denim Revolution
  • Pants for Real People
  • Jackets for Real Peopls
  • Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring - Palmer & Pletsch - Gifted
  • The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
  • Ribbon Crafts
  • Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers
  • Successful Serging
  • Making Trousers for Men and Women
  • Couture Sewing Techniques
  • Singer - Perfect Plus
  • Cool Couture
  • Couture, The Fine Art of Sewing
  • Singer Sewing Reference Library - Tailoring - GIFTED
  • The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns - Creative Publishing International
  • Fit for Real People
  • DK-The Complete Book of Sewing