Elyse is a retired Entertainment Manager living in the Green Valley area of Las Vegas. She spends her time creating and sewing unique and individual purses, purse organizers, and custom t-shirts. Here she answers my top questions for local Las Vegas fashion designers so you can get some insight into other sewer’s habits here in the valley.
1. When did you start sewing?
I started sewing back in 1996 I believe when my son Brandon started doing a sitcom for television called “Step by Step.” Fridays nights were taping with a live audience and so I would make a new suit for myself to wear every Friday.
2. How often do you sew each week?
I pretty much sew 7 days a week. Night time, day time, any time at all. It makes me happy to sew and create something new all the time.
3. Do you prefer hand or machine sewing?
Most definitely machine sewing. I am terrible at doing things by hand. When I was sewing back in the 90’s, my Mom would do the “dirty work” as she called, so machine to me is sooo much better. I also use a serger for clothes.
4. Do you sketch ideas before you create them?
No, unfortunately, I need a pattern to go by. I’m not someone who just comes up with something, and sits down and sketches it out, wish I could though.
5. What is your favorite local fabric/sewing store?
Well all I can say to this is they know my name at my local Hancock Fabric store. I do go to JoAnn’s fabrics as well, and I really love going to downtown Los Angeles shopping for fabric. I feel if you can’t find it there, you can’t find it anywhere. Oh yeah, one more place I find some interesting fabric is the Home Fabric store here in Henderson.
6. Do you prefer store bought patterns, making your own patterns, or no patterns?
I am only comfortable using patterns from the fabric stores, and I have also seen some really cute patterns on different sites, which I will eventually buy.
7. What sewing tool would you recommend to others (include brand/where they could find it)?
Well I don’t know a specific brand, but a sewers best tool I would say, is the good ole’ seam ripper. I always keep that close by.
8. What is your sewing specialty/what is the favorite thing to create?
Back in the days of show biz, I would say very fitted suits with short skirts and lined of course. Sometimes, the buttons cost more than the fabric! These days I would say bags of all shapes and kinds.
9. Do you sell any of your creations? If so where can people shop your line?
Yes as a matter of fact, I do sell my creations. Anyone can see my creations at www.leeseesdesigns.etsy.com at any time.
10. Do you showcase your creations at any local shows?
Since I started making my bags in November of 2010, I have not done any craft shows as of yet, however, I am looking forward to trying them out, soon as I get something to display them nicely with, which I am looking into now.
11. Do you read any sewing books/blogs/magazines? If so what are your favorites?
Not really, no, however I have picked up a book or two a while ago just for ideas. I can’t remember the names of them.
12. What would be your top 3 tips to those who are new to sewing?
1. Start doing something nice and simple so you won’t get discouraged.
2. If you don’t understand something in the directions, read, and re-read till you get it. If you have to come back later and read it again, sometimes when you take a break, it seems a little clearer.
3. Stick with your project, even if it’s frustrating, in the end you will be proud, and can say “I made this!”