My name is Raven, but you maybe know me as DIY Raven, and my DIY weapons of choice are my Brother 6000i sewing machine + Janome serger!
I keep myself inspired by scrolling through my Instagram for new me-made projects by other lovely makers in the sewing community + lurking on Pinterest, of course!
After a long day of making things I like to eat a nice home-cooked meal and get lost in a good TV series with my boyfriend.
I first started making things when I got tired of staring at the unopened sewing machine box in my closet and decided to squelch my fears and curiosities by finally signing up for a sewing class in my area. I loved every minute of it, and I haven’t stopped since! (This was in 2009.)
My creativity is driven by my travels. Just being in a new place, seeing unusual architecture and fabric designs or being around a different culture than your own can really spark something you had never thought about or realized before.
When I think about starting a new project I look up the project pattern on patternreview.com to see how others projects have turned out and if anyone else had any trouble with the pattern.
If I wasn’t a flight attendant I would love to be an architect. It was both my original career and my first love.
My favorite part of the day is early morning. But I do love sleeping in!
I feel most creative when I start my day really positively - after a solid breakfast and a good workout.
My favorite place to buy supplies is JoAnn Fabrics. Which I understand is completely unoriginal, but they always have amazing deals and sales. I just prefer to buy my fabric in-store than online if I’m able.
My favorite word is: Bliss
My least favorite word is: Monday
After I finish a project I feel so incredibly proud!
I get out of a creative rut by going for a walk to the store if it’s a nice day or taking a nice long bath in the evening.
I most relate to the ladies of the Emerald Sewcial Club 2017 sewing retreat! It’s so incredibly awesome to just kick back, drink adult beverages and sew in pajamas all day with other creative ladies. We all learned so much from one another, and I just recently left this 4-day retreat with ten new sewing friends/sisters from all over the U.S.!
My favorite artists/designers/makers are Anna of Riflepaperco, the rad ladies of Concrete + Steel (I nearly DIED when they collaborated together) and I am so amazed by the talents of Jasika Nicole - she’s an actress, sews all of her own red carpet dresses, knitter AND maker of her own shoes!! She’s my DIY heroine!!
My favorite thing about making is that there are no limitations - you can do absolutely ANYTHING your little heart can dream up!
To me, DIY means taking the time to make one-of-a-kind handmade goodness with a little bit of time, patience, and care
The first thing I made was a tote bag with front pockets
My favorite thing to do on the weekend is hiking on a beautiful day.
I can’t get enough avocados. I could eat them every single day of my life.
Three words that describe me: thoughtful, creative, easily-amused
Three words that describe my work: neat, simple, colorful
Best creative advice I ever received is that sometimes you have to get out of your own way. It wasn’t exactly creative advice, but since I’m such a perfectionist I tend to hinder my own progress at times by being too scared to move forward. I’ve usually conjured the worst and thought of all the things that could go wrong in a project, but it’s important to just go for it because you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. I try to remember this in my daily life too.
If I could live in any other city it would be Toronto in the summer + San Diego in the winter.
The best spots in my city are Stitch Sew Shop in Old Town Alexandria, VA + the yummy Pho restaurant in walking distance from my place in DC.
One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is that most people don’t know that I still play videogames sometimes. We aren’t talking Candy Crush on my smartphone, but games like Destiny or Halo 5 on the Xbox One console. I find this slightly embarrassing while my boyfriend thinks it’s incredibly awesome.
My DIY secret weapon is actually just good ol needle and thread! I used to hate the idea of hand sewing ANYTHING, but it’s actually super helpful. I prefer tailor tacks to other methods of fabric marking, slipstitching does such a beautiful job of concealing seams and using the catchstitch on a hem makes it lie so nicely. Not to mention it’s a nice change up from sitting at the machine all the time.
I’ve made more mistakes than I could ever count. The biggest is probably from an easy McCall’s knit sweatshirt pattern. I made the mistake of sewing while listening too intently to a podcast. Let’s just say that it didn’t look too different from Theo’s infamous Gordon Gartrell shirt. It was completely unwearable, but absolutely hilarious! (this photo is included in the dropbox file)
My next project is probably the Deer and Doe Safran pants - they look adorable!! And since my goal is to make all of my own clothing instead of purchasing them this year, I need a few new pairs of jeans more than you know! Lol.