Find Me on It’s Sew Easy

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Have you ever seen yourself on television or in a photo and thought, “That’s me? It doesn’t look like me.” It’s a thought that pops into my head whenever I catch an episode of myself on PBS, or see a YouTube video of me featured online. It’s a very odd feeling to watch yourself teach. I personally am hyper-critical about the words that I use, my Midwestern accent and even my posture.

It’s pretty nerve-wracking to put yourself out there like that. When I film a class or television episode, I’m never nervous about my content. I write outlines, I practice what I’m going to say, and I feel confident when filming. But when it comes to having it posted on the internet for anyone to comment on, I get nervous. I’ve read the comment section on popular sites before, where someone has the choice to remain anonymous, and it’s almost never pretty.

Back in August, I had the opportunity to film two segments about serger stitches with It’s Sew Easy. It was fun, the filming went smoothly, and I was pleased with how it all turned out. My first segment aired a little bit ago, and you can see it on YouTube by clicking here. Each segment focuses on various serger stitches, what they should look like, and where or how you should use them.


I am so incredibly grateful to see the positive comments that have been posted. I don’t believe I have any reason to be given negative ones, but I always find that my chest tightens a bit when I scroll down a page where I’m featured. The story in my head is that someone will find fault in me, as a person, and pick out either a physical feature to make a negative comment on, or decide that they don’t like the information I’ve given and do everything they can to find fault in it. It’s a story that’s never been true for me, but I still have a fear of it, perhaps because I’ve spoken with other sewing bloggers about the very harsh negative emails and comments they have received in the past.

So I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for always being supportive and kind and encouraging. For giving me the confidence to get up and teach and share my knowledge. Your kindness has never gone unnoticed by me, and I hope that I can continue to share and teach for manyΒ many years to come.

If you would like to see my second segment for It’s Sew Easy, it will air on their website starting on February 7th. I hope you check it out!

  • Lynn

    Amy – I really enjoyed your segment on It’s Sew Easy.

    • Thank you, Lynn!

      • Sandy

        Could you give me a good serger machine to buy for a beginner?

        • Hi, Sandy!

          I think that Janome, Bernina and Babylock are my favorite brands of machines. The price point varies between all of these models, so you should be able to find what you’re looking for. Be sure to go to a machine dealer and try out different machines and stitches before you make your choice. Take some of your own fabric swatches too, so you can see how the machine handles the fabrics you like to sew. The salesperson should be able to help you find a machine you’ll feel comfortable with. If you have specific questions about certain machine models after you try them out, let me know!

  • Oh, how cool! I’m really ignorant about anything beyond the basics of serging, so I’m really excited about this! It’s so hard to see yourself in a video! Even though I’ve worked in film & TV for years (behind the camera), I’m insanely self-conscious and can’t stand to be in front of a camera. I did some voiceover for a friend’s animated project and HATED the sound of my voice (and my own Midwestern accent!). I’m so glad to hear that the comments were all nice. πŸ™‚

    • It IS hard to watch yourself on video! I get kind of weird about even seeing myself in my Craftsy videos, so when I have to watch a section of those classes to find something a student is referencing, it feels awkward. I wonder if most people feel this way though, even professional actors.

      I did an informative campus video for $10 in college, which took about 15 minutes to film. Little did I know my face would be popping up all over campus on television screens and haunting me! No, don’t google that either. I don’t want to know if it still exists!

      BTW, speaking of Midwestern accents, there are too many words that I was mispronouncing, and I had no idea until I moved here. Ugh!

  • I’m the same way! I use my phone to record the interviews for Portrait of a Seamstress and Handmade. When I go back to edit/type it up, I think, “That’s not me! I don’t sound like that! And I definitely don’t use the word ‘like’ that many times!”

    • Haha! I used to say “like” aaalll the time. But I stopped once I realized my dad would stand by me when I was on the phone and make a check mark for every “like” I said. It was infuriating, but it did make me think before I spoke, and now I’m much better about it.

      Hearing your own voice when it’s recorded is odd though. I wonder if everyone feels the same way about hearing themselves and thinking, “That’s not what I sound like.”

  • Parker-Crew Sportswear

    Nice job Amy πŸ™‚

  • whitedragonstudios

    Cool! I have your plaid segment dvr’d for when I get to working with my wool plaids. Can’t wait to see this one!

    • That’s awesome! I don’t have a DVR, so I’ve only ever seen half of it. I hope you like the serger lesson on It’s Sew Easy too! πŸ™‚

  • Suzanne Alexander

    I enrolled in and viewed your beginner’s class for Craftsy (was it two? One about machine feet and one about getting comfy with your machine?). I enjoyed them because you seemed really approachable and enthusiastic and like you BELIEVED in me πŸ˜€ Sincere thanks for helping me feel confident enough to start sewing.

    • You mean my Sew Ready: Machine Basics class? I’m so glad you liked it! And- I DO believe in you! I think that everyone can learn to sew. It just takes practice and a willingness to make mistakes and go back and fix them. I hope you’re having a great time learning!

      • Suzanne Alexander

        That was the class! I definitely am having a great time & am about to draft my own bodice sloper, so I was thrilled to see your tank top tutorial (I’m in Georgia and wear tank tops 11/12 months of the year). I would never have moved beyond table runners without a better understanding of presser feet, tension, & needle types. Thank you again!

        • Oh, I’m so glad to hear that! I loooove the tank tops I’ve made from my pattern and wear them all the time. I hope you like them!

  • Estelle Combs

    I am always AMAZED by the meanness of anonymous folks; ESPECIALLY in a learning environment! Although I have been sewing for 50+ years, I am GRATEFUL for the refresher classes and new techniques I have received recently. KUDOS to those of you who share your expertise.

    • Me too! I will never understand the kind of anger I see in online comments. I’m glad that you’re learning a lot online though. There’s so much out there to glean from other people.

  • You have a very different voice than the one in my head πŸ™‚ But somehow everyone sounds English in my head even if I know they are american.
    I recently filmed myself speaking Swedish & I hated watching it, I don’t sound like that inside my head & I know I’m fluent in Swedish & I speak it well, but I’m still so more relaxed & “me” speaking English.
    I thought your segment was very good, keep up the good work! πŸ˜€

    • Isn’t that funny? Sometimes when I see another blogger on video or the phone, and I don’t even realize that I had an expectation of what they would sound like, it’s odd! What did you have to film yourself speaking Swedish for? I’m curious!

      And thank you, Jennie. Means a lot! πŸ™‚

      • I applied for the Swedish version of the Great British Sewing Bee, they wanted an application video. I didn’t get picked though, didn’t think I would, guess I’ve got too much education & sewing experience. But I tried, so at least now I don’t need to wonder “What if?”

        • That’s awesome! Good for you for applying. I’m sorry you didn’t get picked. That would have been so fun to watch, even if I would have been terribly stressed out for you!

  • Amar

    I have a question about when to start sewing and designing clothing. I am 14 years young and i have wanted to start designing for 3 years. I have always had an interest in sketching designs, but i have not actually made them… What is a good machine to start off with and what clothing should i start off with? This is my most recent design, can i please get an opinion? Thank you!

    • Hello, Amar! That’s a very nice dress you’ve drawn! The first thing I would suggest that you do is start small. Even learning to sew a pillow or a simple tote bag would be a great idea, to get you used to a sewing machine. For a beginner machine, I would recommend a Bernina, Pfaff or Janome machine. Make sure that it’s heavy and made of steel inside. Don’t buy a machine filled with plastic parts, even if it means you need to save some more money for a nice machine. Check with family and friends too, to see if anyone has a sewing machine they would be willing to lend or give to you.

      When you feel comfortable enough to begin making clothing, start with a skirt or a dress with simple lines. If you can, take a sewing class at a local fabric or sewing store so that you can learn the basics. You could also take a class online with and learn lots of tips thru the free and paid classes.

      My favorite book for creating fashion illustrations is called 9 Heads, by Nancy Riegelman. It’s a wonderful book for learning to drawn fashion proportions, technical illustrations, and fabric textures. You might check to see if your local library carries it, or see if you can find a used copy of it online.

      Good luck and keep designing!

      • Amar

        Thank you so much Ms. Alan! Thank you for the advice! I really appreciate it!

        • You’re very welcome, Amar! πŸ™‚

  • Meghan Whitney

    I have a question I have a lace dress that was givin to me and they had turned it into a costume and sprayed it black how do I safely remove or lighten that color