April 26, 2016


...so is she; according to Proverbs 23:7 - no questions asked - she is Sew Blessed!  Terri's blog title, Virginia's Sew Blessed Daughter, proclaims this mantra; it shows up in all of the marvelous garments produced in her sewing lab as well as in all other areas of her life.  She analytical (a high school math teacher), and creative (an expert in her sewing skills) all at the same time.  I've watched Terri sew from Virginia's fabric stash for a very long time.  Over the years I've learned a lot about a daughter that truly loved her Mother, and the skill that Virginia insisted that she acquire and taught her.  If you read Terri's blog regularly you are sure to see some of Virginia's stash being transformed into gorgeous apparel collections that rival RTW any day of the week!  Makes one wonder, "just how big is Virginia's stash"??? 

Spring has Sprung, (well, in some areas of the country), so what are some of the “MUST HAVE” items on your sewing list for Spring?
TERRI:  Spring has sprung even though it snowed this past weekend, the first weekend in April.  For me, sewing for Spring should include chiffon, rayon, challis, rayon challis, gauze, rayon gauze...anything light, airy and flowy that will easily transition into summer.

How did you get started sewing – any formal training along the way?
TERRI:  My mother, Virginia, who passed away a couple of years ago, was self-taught.  Every chance she got she was in her sewing room and my younger sister and I were right in there with her.  She insisted that I take sewing in junior high and high school.  She wanted me to have "formal" training.  The interesting thing is, I learned more from her than I ever learned in school.  She's how I got started and the public school system was the only formal training that I've had.
What are your favorite garments or items to sew?
 TERRI:  Dresses are my favorite items to sew and wear.  Here I've included a collection of some of the Shirt Dresses I've sewn to date.

Do you have any fashion rules that your follow?
TERRI:  I rely on my personal style more than anything else.  I wear and sew what I like.  Every now and then I will scan through a magazine (I did this recently and will soon be copying a dress that I saw in an H&M ad) and want to copy something because it's aligned to my style.  I've learned over the years that if something is not currently a trend...give it time - it will be.  fashion, much like history, repeats.  While I don't really believe in fashion rules, if I had to come up with one, it would be...wear and sew what you like.

What is your most favorite thing about sewing?, and your least?
TERRI:  My most favorite thing about sewing is the actual wearing of the final garment.  It's an expression of my vision, creativity and work that has come to life.  There's something satisfying and gratifying about wearing a garment that I've created espeially if I was stretched somehow during the process.  I know...that doesn't say much about the actual process of sewing but it's what I look forward to the whole time.  My least favorite thing would be the finishing details i.e. hand sewing, buttons, buttonholes, hems, etc.  They always take longer than I anticipate.  

What do you like best about your sewing space/room?
TERRI:  I refer to my sewing space as the "sewing lab".  I'm experimenting, learning, discovering, sewing, making mistakes, experiencing frustration, defeat, victory (and the list continues)...all in that space.  For (too many) years I sewed in a small...okay, tiny area in our basement.  It was dreadful.  Needless to say, I didn't produce much.  Last year, during Spring Break, I decided to relocate everything to the larger area that you see here thus the sewing lab was born.  The plan was to "remodel" the space right away however I am enjoying this space as is...and so is the the rest of the family.  It's on the way to the laundry room and it's large enough that others can join me and not be in my way.  In terms of  the remodel, doing it myself would take time away from sewing and hiring someone to do it would take money away from sewing.  Enough said.  At the other end of the space is a closet that I would like to eventually relocate and extend the sewing space.

What are your top (5) pieces of sewing equipment (things you would hate to do without) – besides your machines, and tell us why?
TERRI:  JUST FIVE?  Okay that's a tough one.  Here it goes...
1.  MEASURING TOOLS - Virginia always emphasized the importance of accuracy and precision and she passed that along to me.  I couldn't do it with these...

2.  FABRIC TURNING SYSTEM - Anything used to turn fabric.  These tools are easy to use and result in a professional appearance in the final garment.

3.  PINKING SHEARS - I'm finding that I like the finish that "pinking" provides in some garments.  I remember a time when they were all Virginia used.  She taught me how to use them.  Of course with the purchase of a serger the need for them became less and less and eventually non-existent.  After all, sergers provide a nice, quick finish.  Pinking is an art form.  It takes time and skill.  I've messed up a seam allowance or two reacquainting myself with them but am slowly gaining a greater appreciation for them.

4.  BIAS TAPE MAKERS - these are a newly "would hate to do without" tools but oh my goodness, they are the stuff!  I inherited these from Virginia (as with most of the tools in the lab and all the ones shown here).  I am mad that it took me so long to begin using them.  You can easily and professionally create your own bias binding, using your own fabric...they're fabulous.

 5.  DRESS FORM - last but definitely not least is my dress form.  As you can see, it's pretty generic but provides a great second "body" in the sewing space when I need it.  I'm sure that I'll get another one at some point.

What garment(s) to date would you call your masterpiece(s)?
TERRI:  It's (they've) not been created yet.  I know a "masterpiece" is not perfect, however perfection is what comes to mind when I hear the term.  There's always room for improvement in the garments I make even when I improve upon a method or skill.  That being said, I have sewn garments that have stretched my patience, knowledge, skill and ability.  The two that come to mind are both coats.  The first is a Burberry inspired lace trench on which I drafted a back flounce.  The original design was all green but I put my spin on it using black contrasting lace.
The second is a Burda (Talea) coat for which I used several different fabrics and textures.  A cocktail if you will:-).  I used a houndstooth wool blend fabric along with two types of faux fur and reused leather.  I decided to add toggles for an added touch.  For both coats I applied basic tailoring techniques.  S T R E T C H!!!

If you could only have five (5) patterns, which five would that be and why?
TERRI:  Just five?  They'd all be dress patterns...a shirtdress, a fitted dress, a vintage dress, a wrap dress.
and a maxi dress.  These are five that I plan to make in the near future. 
Can you share a couple of your best sewing tips?
TERRI:  Be original, take risks and have fun!

To learn more about Terri, visit her at:


  1. I just lover her style. Terri, is so awesome!

    1. I'm in agreement Candice!

  2. Faye, another awesome interview.

    1. Thank you Alethia, and thank you so much for reading!

  3. I love everything Terri makes - thanks for the great feature.

    1. Yes Lori I love Terri's makes too. She's been on quite a roll with her spring sewing this year.

  4. Replies
    1. I couldn't wait to hear your sewing story Terri. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Just love Miss Terri's style and enjoyed this interview so much as I had only just recently started following her.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Catherine.

  6. Great interview and enjoy Terri's style & her love of sewing.

    1. Thank you Sheila and I concur!

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  8. Thanks for the great interview, Faye. Now I know I really need to follow Terri.

  9. Another great interview! It was great to learn more about Terri and to see her sewing area.

  10. Love Terri's style and the fact that she would wear dresses for the rest of forever. lol I would love that too!

  11. Faye, I am so enjoying your freatured sewists. Please keep up the good work and keep them coming. I'm going to really commit myself to posting more regularly to my blog just for a chance to be featured by you someday. LOL. Thank you.

    1. I am so very glad that you are really enjoying the interview segments Tracey! I know that blogging takes a lot of time and work, but it is so rewarding. I'll look forward to seeing more and more of your designs.

  12. Wow, awesome interview Faye and TerrI! I love your sewing space it's absolutely adorable and very function (not to mention that awesome fabric stash!) thanks for sharing with us all, you are one very talented young lady!

    1. Big thank you for reading Myra!!!

  13. I love Terry!!!! Great interview!!!!

    1. Thank you very much Carol!

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  15. Thank you for introducing me to Terry. Love her style!




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