It’s Sewista Stories time again! I got to have a “chat” with another brand ambassador, and now you can get to know Emily Schimelfenyg a bit better too.
When this Wisconsin native is not whipping up some gorgeous RP sews (you may recognise her face from our marketing), Emily is Henry and Lyvia’s mama bear and she teaches high school English.
She’s definitely the cool teacher!
How long have you been sewing?
I’ve been sewing since I was a child. I learned on my mom’s machine and entered a few projects into the local county fair, but I didn’t really get into it as a major hobby until my mom randomly bought me a sewing machine for Christmas one year while I was in college. So, probably 23 years total, but really sewing clothing for about four years.
How did you start?
The first project I remember as a girl was a stretch velvet pencil skirt. I loved it and wore it for Christmas that year. When I started again, I drafted my own woven skirts with pleats and zippers. I started draping once I got a dress form after about a year of really sewing as a hobby.
WHY did you start?
I’m not sure. I watched my mom use sewing as a tool to fix and mend, but not necessarily to create, but I loved being able to take a piece of fabric and make it usable from scratch. I seemed to have a natural ability and figuring out how to create a pattern for a look I was going for.
How did you find Rebecca Page patterns?
After discovering the world of PDF patterns, and then applying to test for a bunch of designers, Rebecca Page was one of the first designers to give me a shot as a total newbie. I tested the Comfy Cowl for me and my son and loved the pattern and the tutorial.
Is sewing just a hobby for you or something you want to be able to do full time?
I’ve gone back and forth with this. I do have an Etsy shop, and I do custom orders mostly for friends and family, but it’s far from full time. I teach high school English during the school year, but I would love to work from home; however, I’m hesitant to turn my most loved hobby into a full time job.
If you had one wish (not necessarily sewing related) what would it be?
That I had all the time I wanted to devote to my various hobbies ?
What’s your super power? Other than turning a piece of material into something awesome?
I teach kids how to read and write ?
What’s the super power you really want?
I’d love to be able to teleport, or move things with my mind.
Tell me a bit about your machine collection.
It’s pretty humble. I sew on a Janome sewing machine and a Brother 1034 serger. I’m saving up for a coverstitch
What other “crafty” things do you do?
I dabble with painting. I also knit and have attempted to crochet. Truth be told, I love woodworking, but just don’t really have to the time to devote to that right now.
What colour is your toothbrush? ?
Can you please share some go-to fail-safe tips for beginner sewistas?
Use Wonder tape for attaching gathers and placing zippers!
Cats or dogs?
Describe our perfect Sunday.
Relaxing, calm, time with family, but also some time for myself–most likely for sewing
If you were stranded on a desert island, which historical figure would you want with you, and why?
Maybe someone like Mark Twain or Ernest Hemingway–explorers who would have a good chance at helping me survive, but we could talk literature while we were stranded as well.
What’s the sound of your favourite colour?
A small babbling brook.
What sewing project are you currently working on?
I’m working on a mashup of three of my favorite patterns.
What is your next planned sew?
I need to make some leggings!
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for?
Completing everyday tasks with a baby on my hip.
What do you wish you knew more about?
The political world–I’d like to be more informed.
Keep up with Emily in the wild, here: