I was in elementary school when my mother taught me to sew. The first big project I made completely on my own–a dress– was hard, definitely, but I am nothing if not dogged and focused when I put my mind to something. The pattern had the option of using two coordinating fabrics which I decided to attempt. I made the whole thing scrap pieces from my mother’s ample collection.
I worked for hours and hours on that dress, even adding buttons up the straight skirt. I was so proud of myself, but what I remember most is how proud my mom was. That was the beginning of a lifelong love of sewing.
Fast-forward thirty-something years. I still sew, but my five kids, my former career as a teacher, and my current career as a full-time writer have zapped my free time. Sewing isn’t something I can do everyday or even every week. It’s one of those luxuries I fit in every chance I get.
So what is a fabric-aholic, craft-lover, creative writer girl to do if she can’t actually sew as much as she’d like?
Create a cozy mystery series that revolves around sewing, of course!
Pleating for Mercy, the debut book in A Magical Dressmaking mystery series, features fashion designer Harlow Cassidy, a descendent of Butch Cassidy. She’s all I need to get my sewing fix. I get to research fabrics, fashion, style, and accessories. I get to write about sewing machines, technique, and notions. And I get to peruse bridal magazines, books on Victorian fashions, and anything else that strikes my sewing fancy. It may not be the same as sitting down at my Pfaff and creating a color-blocked dress or a quilted tote, but it works.
Thank you, Mom!