About Me


September, 2013, in my basement sewing space in Minneapolis. It is just a fond memory now.

Dissatisfied with the clothing choices offered in petite sizes, I began learning to sew as an adult. About 1999 I discovered vintage patterns, which I love for both style and fit. I collect and sew patterns from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, my favorites being tailored jackets and coats.

In October 2010 I took a battery of aptitude tests at the Washington, DC offices of the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation. The results–some predictable, some surprising–had a huge impact on me.  (See my first post.)

One of the many outcomes of this testing, curiously, was a chart I devised.  I was trying to figure out what was stopping me from finishing many ambitious, exciting sewing projects.   In one case I might have been lacking knowledge of a construction or pattern-making technique. In another case it was being unsure whether a proportion or style suited me.  I wanted to determine once and for all just what the knowledge gaps were, and fill them.  And I wanted to design processes that suited my aptitudes, learning style and work style to bring my sewing projects to beautiful completion.

This chart, made from a couple dozen scrawled sticky notes, will be my starting point for planning a beautiful wardrobe, enjoyable sewing projects, and a high-functioning sewing space.

I’m going to test this chart like nobody’s business, to see how I can create a wardrobe that doesn’t just clothe me but serves me. Maybe my process will help you or amuse you. I hope so.

I know it’s hard to read those sticky notes.  Read more about The Chart of Getting Things Sewn in this post.   I’ll make things a lot clearer as I go.

I started this blog sewing and writing from my basement sewing domain in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In  May 2014  I moved down to Columbus, Ohio, just a two-minute walk from my photographer (and sister) Cynthia DeGrand, and in July Jack retired from his teaching job and joined me in our 1958 fixer-upper home.

I have set up my wonderful new sewing room and now am working on building a new sewing community for myself in Ohio.

Wishing you many happy sewing hours,

Paula DeGrand