Tools of the Trade: Sewing {Casey Brown}

Contributor post by: Shauna Alterio

Casey Brown


Elegant Musing

SA: When did you begin sewing?

: I started sewing when I was about 6, so if memory serves me right, it was probably a simple needle and thread! It's amazing what such basic tools can create--even the most humble of tools can be highly useful if you have a bit of imagination and know-how.

SA: What do you make with your sewing machine(s)?

: I dabble with a lot of my sewing, but mainly garments are what piques my interest the most. I only really sew for myself, but enjoy making pieces from vintage or vintage-inspired patterns and tinkering with my own designs. Right now I just finished a silk print 1940s dress from a reproduction pattern and a 30s apron (from an original pattern in my collection--one of my favs!) to replace an worn-out one I made as a teenager. I love using my tools to try out a new technique or make things easier with a tried and true job (such as my favorite loop turner--indispensable!)

SA: What machine(s) are you currently using? What are the brands you love and the features you can't live without?

: Cherished tools are: my sewing machines and serger, vintage Dritz bound buttonhole tool, magnetic pincushion (a favorite and must-have since I constantly drop pins), loop turner, pair of Gingher fabric shears and Fiskars pinking shears, pattern weights (just large washers from the hardware store), and my stash of vintage Singer sewing machine attachments--just to name a very few! Does a sketchbook count as a sewing tool? I know I consider it essential to what I do; without it I'd be lost! I tend to scribble down ideas, measurements, notes on construction and work out pattern piece shapes (when I draft my own patterns) in there.

SA: What's tools are on your wish list?
: Top on my list is a professional-style dress form (like what designers and fashion school students use!). I have an adjustable one, but it's got a red cover and dials doesn't make it super-useful for draping (though it can be done) or taking photographs of finished pieces. But I think that is still a bit down the road for me. I'd also love a gravity-fed steam iron; mine is a pretty standard iron from a big-box store and does the job, but a really good professional-grade iron would make my life (and sewing!) so much easier.

SA: Tell us about someone else working with similar tools that inspires you.

: Too many to list! Right now I'm really loving Sarah's blog, vintage bobbin and her sewing projects. She has a similar aesthetic and sews on a shoestring budget, which I can totally relate to! Sarah manages to whip up some amazing garments in between going to college, which I find pretty impressive. A perennial favorite is the amazing and super-knowledgeable Gertie of Blog for Better Sewing. I want to be her when I grow up!

photo: vintage bobbin
photo: blog for better sewing

Shauna Alterio is a designer and one half of Something's Hiding in Here. Together with her partner Stephen, she can be found dabbling with all sorts of tools and techniques from letterpress printing to sewing. The duo added haberdashers to their list of titles this year when they created FORAGE, a line of bow ties made from vintage fabrics in limited editions.

blog: somethingshidinginhere

shop: FORAGE.bigcartel

Jan Halvarson


Janelle Haskin said...

What a lovely interview! I'm in love with all the bows!


shauna said...

thanks casey! i've loved your vintage style forever and it was so nice to get to know a bit more about your sewing tools and your inspiration. xoxo

Pinecone Camp said...

Such a great interview and post! I'm only just learning how to sew, so this was pretty inspiring. I want that little blue dress ;)

Ashley Anna Brown said...

I'm loving this new series so much!! Keep 'em coming!

Casey said...

This totally made my day!!! Thank you again, Shauna, for interviewing me--it was an honor! :)