Meet Jess Abbott (a.k.a. The Sewing Rabbit) — she is a creative genius and one of our favorite DIY contributors. Her blog is filled tutorials, patterns and lots of clever ideas — and her photography is gorgeous too.
When I asked Jess when she learned to sew and when she started her blog, I was amazed and totally inspired to find out that she only started sewing about seven years ago. She’s so talented that I thought for sure she’d say she learned when she was in elementary school. It just goes to show you, it’s never too late to start a new hobby and learn a new skill.
Jess has done a lot of projects for DIYNetwork.com. Recently she showed us how to personalize standard baby onesies. These projects are super easy; some don’t require any sewing skills at all — and they make great gifts.
Here, Jess answers a few more questions about herself and her blog:
When did you learn to sew?
Just over seven years ago. Our first daughter was born and two weeks later, our family moved to Germany! Not knowing anybody there, I decided I needed a hobby … and fast. Enter sewing. I sewed my way through German pattern after German pattern, using a lot of Google translate. It wasn’t long before my hobby became a full-blown obsession.
How did you get started with your blog and website?
It was around this same time my sister suggested I start a blog as a way to share my creations with other sewing-lovers throughout the world. Thanks to her idea and the encouragement of my parents, and my Internet-savvy husband, the blog was born.
I didn’t really get “good,” or perhaps I should say, confident, until about three years into sewing. That is when I started my blog and opened up a small Etsy shop to coincide with my blog launch. I soon discovered sewing custom orders wasn’t for me, but I loved documenting the journey of my sewing experiences. The blog stayed but the Etsy shop closed its doors.
What was the biggest surprise when you started the business?
The biggest surprise is all the friendships I’ve made. Even though we are spread out around the world, sewing bloggers are a tight-knit community of friends. We support one another in our endeavors and encourage each other to reach higher and higher. I have met some of the most lovely women, all who share the same passion for sewing as me. I now have a wide circle of friends who all understand what it is to hoard fabric.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Probably that I “wing it” quite often. I don’t believe in perfect sewing, I believe in gettin’-R-done. Perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I would much rather have fun at my sewing machine then sit there for hours trying to achieve the perfect seam. I am every quilter’s worst nightmare!
Out of all the projects you’ve done over the years, do you have a personal favorite?
I have lots of projects that I never blog about, and they might be my absolute favorite. Like my re-covered furniture. I love getting down and dirty with a hammer and staple gun and spending a day sweating over an old piece of furniture turning it into something beautiful with loved fabric. But those I keep to myself, probably because I am too scared to try to document a DIY for the project. It’s a doozy! But I lovingly sit on them all day long, and I know that these pieces of furniture are a part of me and something I will never part with.
But as for favorite projects of mine you can find online? Definitely the Bustle Backpack. It was one of those projects that you make and immediately LOVE. And not only did I love it, but everyone else seemed to love it too.
My favorite project for the DIY Network is definitely the maxi skirt tutu. Besides being simply sophisticated, I loved taking my girls to our local botanical gardens and photographing them during the rose-blooming season.
Jess recently appeared on an episode of HGTV.com’s Weekday Crafternoon series where she showed us how easy it is to make storage bowls using just felt and a needle and thread. Check it out.
The Creative Genius series on Made + Remade features fabulous DIYers and makers who inspire us. Meet more Creative Geniuses and help us share the spirit of DIY!