Welcome to our October 2023 installment of Meet the Maker series. This month we'd love you to meet our maker - Kimberly Seegmiller! Kimberly is a talented sewist whose amazing hand embroidery always blows the team away. We asked Kimberly all about her time sewing which you can read below! You can follow more of her work on Instagram @Seegmiller_sews.
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
My husband and I have six kids: two girls and four boys. We also have two cats and five chickens. I currently get to stay home with my children during the day and take care of them as well as our home and yard. In my free time, I love to sew, embroider, garden, and play games with my family!
How did you learn to sew and when?
I grew up watching my Mom and Grandma sew. My Grandma spent hours piecing intricate quilt tops together and then hand quilting beautiful designs in them. My mother (out of necessity) would also spend a lot of her evenings sewing clothes and dresses for me and my 10 siblings. We somehow would get handmade matching pajamas to open each Christmas Eve as long as I can remember. I wanted to learn, so my Mom began to teach me to sew pillows and skirts when I was about 10. After learning how to read and follow a pattern. I had a desire to learn more, so I was soon doing more projects and would ask my Mom for help when I needed it. I was so proud that I was able to make and wear two formal dresses to high school dances when I was 16.
What's your favourite type of fabric to work with?
I love to work with apparel fabrics such as lawn, linen, chambray, batiste, and apparel cottons. I love the way these fabrics drape and gather and they usually don’t require as much ironing after laundering. I used to be scared of knits, but they have also recently made it to my favorite list of fabrics to sew with.
What's your favourite Peony make to date?
This is a hard choice for me. I loved the challenge of my reversible Cinderella Verbena. I also love the Elsa dress I made for my girl for her Halloween costume this year. But I think my favorite Peony dress might be my Winterberry Myrtle that I embroidered on the beaches of Hawaii. I have such fond memories of sitting on the sandy beach, embroidering it while listening to the waves. I then got to sew it up into a gorgeous Myrtle which I absolutely loved. My girl has outgrown it now, but I keep it in the closet for all the sentimental memories.
What are your sewing goals for this year?
I think that I have a sewing room goal rather than a sewing goal this year. My bedroom doubles as my sewing room, and recently the sewing portion is taking over too much of my room. So one of my sewing goals this year is to organize my sewing supplies and pare down my fabric stash to fabrics I will actually use. I also have a goal to clean up better in between projects so that I feel less stressed trying not to knock things off my little sewing desk while sewing.
What sewing tip have you learned along the way that you use all the time and why?
I like to try and enclose the waist seam whenever possible. I will usually attach the skirt to the main bodice and hand sew the lining down afterward. I love that it looks so polished on the inside and my girls and I love how it feels.
What is your biggest sewing achievement or challenge to date? Tell us about it!
I’ve made a lot of cool things over the years, but I’m most proud that I have been able to instill a love of sewing into my 15 year old daughter. She is learning from me and has already made a few dresses and skirts using her own sewing machine that she saved up for and purchased. She even made herself a dress to wear on the first day of school this year because she couldn’t find anything she thought was cute. I’m excited that she might be able to help me with part of her Halloween costume this year.
What advice would you give to someone learning to sew?
The best way you can learn something is to try it. Practice on scraps and inexpensive fabric. A few years ago, I didn’t feel very confident sewing with knits. By jumping in and trying it (and making some mistakes and learning more along the way), I am now so much more confident with knits. Sew alongs are also such a fun way to try new things as well.
Thanks for reading this article!