Tuesday, February 21, 2012

IPCA member -- Kathleen Cheetham

As we do the countdown -- the IPCA designers are still replying to some of my earlier questions.

Remember -- they're burning the candle from both ends -- getting ready for the 2012 Sew Expo! This year -- they're bringing their Midnight Magic design challenge to Sew Expo! You can pick up a Passport at any IPCA member booth (#135, 215, 406, 429, 523, 628, 637 and 835) and vote for your favorites.

Please attend their FREE FASHION SHOW -- SUNDAY -- AT 12:30 pm -- on the Expo Runway.

Here's a picture from last year's Coats & Clark Pro-Am Sewing Exhibition. Kathleen Cheetham, from Petite Plus Patterns, with her sewing "rookie" back stage before the show. THANKS, Kathleen, for playing our sewing game and being such a wonderful mentor.

Kathleen is always one of the first speakers to sign up for our Charity Event...and that makes our job SO MUCH EASIER!!

(Rita asked the questions in red -- Kathleen's response is in black..)

When did you start sewing?

Like many sewers of my age, I began sewing at my mother's knee - doll clothes of course, but my mother insisted I learn early to take care of my clothes -mending and sewing on buttons. She didn't have much patience with my sense of design though!

How long have you been coming to Expo?
My first year as a vendor was 2002, but I was an avid follower years before that.

How does sewing improve your life?
I can't imagine a life without sewing. It's a need I have to work with fabric and make something beautiful.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
Well I have many favorite parts - good thing too, because as a small business owner, there are many hats to wear. One of my most fulfilling jobs is the creation of instructions for guide sheets and classes. I really enjoy working out and documenting the best way for a sewer to approach fitting and constructing a garment.

What’s the BEST thing you ever sewed? For yourself?
There are a few pieces that stand out in my memory and they all seem to mark milestones. The first was a yellow linen sleeveless shift that I made at 15. Those were the days when we accessorized with matching pumps, purse and even gloves!

When I asked Kathleen to send a few pictures -- she sent this and said, "here's who's waiting for me to come home."
And -- THIS IS THE CABIN where Kathleen does her sewing when she's home!!

Something you made for somebody else?
In college, my costume "Salmon in Ocean Coat" reached the finals for a contest sponsored by Air France. The outfit was made up of a sleek nylon-lycra cat suit under a draped coat of shot silk. The coat's "waves" shimmered pink and blue like the sea at sunset. Very artsy and it was a thrill to create the "impractical" with some very beautiful fabrics.

What are you teaching at this year’s Expo?
This year, unfortunately, a health issue is keeping me at home and I will not be at Expo. Pendleton Woolen Mills has kindly agreed to host the Midnight Magic contest garments made from Petite Plus Patterns. Pendleton Woolen Mills booth is located at #406, 408, 410. I encourage everyone to stop in at Pendleton's booth, pick up a passport and vote for their favourite outfit.

Biography - Kathleen Cheetham
Kathleen Cheetham is an author, designer and pattern maker. She produces Petite Plus Patterns® and offers classes on fitting, design and sewing. In recent years Kathleen has added costume and puppet making to her design repertoire.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions, Kathleen. And I AM GREEN WITH ENVY about your actual "sewing cabin". wow. We'll miss you this year -- and look forward to having you back at the show in 2013!!

For more information about Kathleen's wonderful patterns -- please visit her website -- Petite Plus Patterns.

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