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In this episode of the Stitch Please podcast, Lisa welcomes Tiffany Turned, a talented sewist, to share her transformative journey into sewing. Initially skeptical, she discovered her passion through a 30-minute skirt tutorial. With a background in civil engineering, Tiffany approaches sewing with precision and relishes in its step-by-step nature, appreciating the nuances that make a garment special. She champions cost-effective sewing, laying the foundation for her blog and vibrant social media presence where she shares valuable insights and reviews.
Tiffany praises the sense of community in live sewing sessions, crediting the Black Sewing Network for fostering camaraderie. She discusses setting ambitious goals, emphasizing the importance of flexibility in the face of unforeseen circumstances. Tiffany’s digital sketches in Adobe Photoshop serve as a visual guide for her projects, especially in intricate color-blocking. Recognizing the strengths of different platforms, Tiffany adapts her content creation process, emphasizing the visual appeal of sewing on Instagram. Her sewing journey is a testament to analytical thinking, creativity, and an enduring love for the craft, evident in her carefully crafted content and active engagement in live sessions.
This episode showcases how Tiffany’s sewing journey is a tapestry woven with threads of analytical thinking, boundless creativity, adaptability, and an unwavering love for her craft. Her dedication to enriching the sewing community is palpable in her meticulously crafted content and enthusiastic participation in live sewing sessions.
Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory, and American slavery. She is the founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers on Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville, Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.
Tiffany Turner is a passionate sewist who discovered her love for sewing in adulthood. Tiffany always admired the idea of creating her own garments to have the perfect fit and style. In 2014, she finally took the plunge, inspired by a tutorial from Mimi G. Over the past decade, sewing has become her unwavering hobby. Tiffany has a background in civil engineering and her analytical mindset is evident in her meticulous approach to sewing. She enjoys breaking down sewing projects step by step, much like her engineering work. Tiffany encourages others to embrace this creative outlet and is dedicated to sharing tips, tricks, and reviews reflecting her commitment to building a supportive sewing community. Embracing social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, Tiffany continues to inspire fellow sewists while maintaining her love for this fulfilling hobby.
Insights from this episode:
- How Tiffany, a seasoned influencer, leverages her engineering background for a meticulous and analytical approach to sewing, treating patterns as blueprints for her creations.
- Tiffany’s journey started with a desire for custom-made clothing as an adult, overcoming initial challenges with support from her husband. Tiffany’s engineering mindset seamlessly integrates into her projects, relying on templates and structured approaches for planning and organization.
- Employing tools like Adobe Photoshop as a strategy for strategic planning, especially for complex tasks like color-blocking, showcasing the importance of digital sketches.
- Flexibility is key in Tiffany’s approach; she advocates for adapting patterns, emphasizing creativity and liberation in the sewing process.
- How strategically utilizing various platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and her blog, tailoring content to each one’s strengths and target audience can help to further reach.
- Actively participating in sew-alongs with the Black Sewing Network, Tiffany values the sense of community and shared experience these events offer.
- Tiffany encourages listeners to prioritize enjoyment and avoid unnecessary stress, highlighting the importance of finding joy in the process of sewing.
- Sharing knowledge and empowering fellow sewists is a core value for Tiffany, aiming to provide valuable information in her content.
Quotes from the show:
- “I think that’s such a powerful claim in so many ways. The idea that you could look at clothes in a store and say I like this thing about it, but I don’t like that thing about it. Instead of saying, let me see if I can buy another thing that looks like what I want, you said, let me see if I can make it.” – Lisa Woolfork, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “That’s how I think I sort of look at sewing patterns, right? Like you have a pattern and you have this 2D piece of tissue or paper or 2D flat fabric and then you turn it into this three-dimensional object. And so I think that transfers very similarly to me. Like when we look at someone’s outfit and we say, oh my God, that’s so cute and we immediately start like deconstructing it in our heads so we can put it back together for us later. I think my engineering brain is just very attuned to doing that.” – Tiffany Turner, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “I feel like one of the contributions that I appreciate about your work, Tiffany is how you are. Like, it’s like you’re a big cheerleader for sewing and you’re not, yeah, you’re not just gonna say ra ra, I love sewing. You say all that, but then you also equip people for success. and I see that in your channel.” – Lisa Woolfork, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “I really love the way you think about structure and the way you think about planning. I love all of that. I love templates. I love like, OK, these are the three steps I know I have to do every single time, that just makes me, it just gives me a sense of confidence, you know, like I might not be able to get to the exact outcome as I might envision it right now. But I do know if I follow these steps, I’m gonna, it’d be much closer to it.” – Lisa Woolfork, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “A plan is a set of guidelines. A plan is a set of possibilities. A plan is a set of actionable options.” – Lisa Woolfork, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “I tend to see sewing as a laboratory practice something that’s meant to be freeing and in some ways, patterns can absolutely be that.” – Lisa Woolfork, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “You don’t buy a pattern because you and your friends all want to look, exactly the same or exactly like the person on the envelope.” – Lisa Woolfork, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “It’s more of a guideline or a road map. But if I decide to take a detour, so be it.” – Tiffany Turner, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “It can be very solitary because typically it’s you and your machine in your space, whether that’s a whole floor, a loft, or a corner at the dining room table… The Black sewing network makes it like a group activity all of a sudden.” – Tiffany Turner, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- “Most people will say that you regret the things that you didn’t do, not the things that you did… I agree. I feel like if it’s something out there that you want to try and you in any way shape or form have the means to do it, do it. If you want to sew, learn to sew.” – Tiffany Turner, Stitch Please, Episode #208
- Black Sewing Network
- Youtube: TipStitched
- Adobe Photoshop Program
- Microsoft Paint Program
- Youtube: Mimi G Style
- Simplicity: Mimi G
This episode was produced and managed by the Fermata Audio Collective