Hi and welcome to Friday Favorites where we share our favorite YouTube channels and creatives. Virginia Lindsay is a published author of the popular books Sewing To Sell & Pretty Birds and owner at Gingercake Patterns & Design. If you love to sew or just starting out, I hope you find this interview inspiring. My daughter received Virginia's book Sewing To Sell as a gift from her aunt when she expressed interest in sewing. After reading it a few times myself, I knew our sewing readers would love a sneak peek into Virginia's creative process.
Like many of us, Virginia started her sewing career when her children were small and she was spending more time at home while they were napping and playing. Over the years, she has turned her passion for sewing into a full-time business. Her website offers beautiful patterns that are easy to follow and simply lovely. I was thrilled when she said yes to a one on one interview with our magazine.
We know you are extremely busy. Take us through a typical week of creating.
I would say I spend an equal amount of time on my computer as I do sewing. Answering customer emails, adding to my social media, updating my sewing patterns, etc. I try to create as much as possible though too!
How many hours a week do you spend on your business?
During the school year, I spend 20-30 hours a week on my business. But during the summer, only about 10 :). I have 4 kids! I love to spend time with them and that is one of the benefits of running my own business!
Do your kids like to sew? Do they give you ideas of what to create?
My older daughters do like to sew! But now they like to sew when I am out of the room for the most part. I am allowed to help set up but then I'm asked to leave. HA! My oldest loves to decorate her room. She just made a pillow with pom pom trim that turned out so cute! She also has made shorts and skirts for herself. My middle daughter loves to make gifts for people and likes to work on small projects like kindle covers, sunglass cases, and she has made my Lucky Elephant pillow several times.
What is your favorite item to make?
I love making many many things but seeing a fun decorative pillow come together is great. My Lulu Llama is very popular right now and making those cute faces is such a blast!
What does your creative space look like?
About 4 years ago I took out a small loan and had my basement finished as my sewing studio. It was worth every penny! It is large, bright yellow, and decorated with lots of fun fabrics and brightly painted furniture. My favorite space for sure :).
If you could suggest one project to try first from your Sewing To Sell book, what would it be?
I find myself making and using the grocery bag all the time! I also love the lunch bag, easy organizer, and the pin cushion. So many favorites! AND, the follow up to Sewing To Sell is coming out in December! It has 16 more copyright free projects and lots of new and fantastic information. I am so proud of it and think it will really help take small sewing businesses to the next level.
What type of sewing machine do you use?
I use a Janome New Home DC2013. I like a basic machine, especially since I write patterns for beginners and if I can’t do it on my machine, I know they won’t be able to sew it on theirs!
If you had to choose one single tool from your sewing room besides your sewing machine, what would it be?
My seam ripper of course! I use it all the time in spite of years of sewing. If you are trying new things and love to design sewing projects, your seam ripper has to be around all the time! I have about 8 of them :)
What is the kindest comment you have received that stands out right now?
Every few weeks I get an email about my book Sewing to Sell, saying that it is really helping someone to make their dreams come true of running their own sewing business. There is nothing so nice as hearing that your hard work is paying off in helping others! I often feel alone in my studio and to hear that my work is changing lives in even the smallest ways, that is a huge compliment.
What one single tip do you have for readers who are just starting out on selling their items?
I would suggest keeping going. Understanding that this is a marathon and not a sprint is a good way to enter into a handmade business.
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Stay tuned for a closer look inside Virginia's book Sewing To Sell. We will be treating you to a behind the scenes review shortly.