hi, I'm maggie

{like the rod stewart song}

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i'm a quirky millennial living in the bay area who loves dark beer, exposed brick, and creative endeavors, in particular sewing for my four nieces: nora, etta, maya, and neela.

i started love aunt maggie as a way to share my projects in a means other than texting pictures to my mom and sisters. over time it's evolved to include gardening, crafting, home projects, and the planning of our nuptials. when i'm not sewing i have a full time gig at a bay area company

love,

aunt maggie

 

frequently asked questions

how did you learn to sew?

making a skirt with nora on my mom’s old singer slant-o-matic.

making a skirt with nora on my mom’s old singer slant-o-matic.

when i was in elementary school my mom and i made a quilt for my american girl dolls. 

in high school i received my first sewing machine as a gift from my parents and used it to make fleece pj pants and skirts that were (in hindsight) far too short.

shortly after moving to cambridge massachusetts in 2012 i wandered into an amazing local fabric store with a great selection of fabrics and awesome independent sewing patterns. on a whim i bought some fabric, a pattern from the best sewing pattern company of all time, and made my first dresses for the girls. from that day on i was hooked.

in the coming weeks and months i discovered the world of sewing blogs, forums, and flickr groups. it's been through these online resources, sewing from amazing independent patterns, and a lot of trial and error over the past seven years that I’ve learned how to sew.


at my wedding in 2017, from left to right: neela, sammie, maya, myself, abby, etta, and nora

at my wedding in 2017, from left to right: neela, sammie, maya, myself, abby, etta, and nora

how many nieces do you have?

four. i'm the youngest of three girls and each of my sisters has two daughters.

my oldest sister abby has nora who is eleven and margaret (named after yours truly, but we call her etta) who is nine. they live in the awesome city of portland, oregon. 

my middle sister sammie has maya who is seven and neela who is four. they live in my hometown of ann arbor, michigan.


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are boys even allowed to be born in your family?

i don't think so. 

however my middle sister sammie is an ob-gyn and says that isn't possible medically speaking, but what does she know?


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where does the name 'love aunt maggie' come from?

credit for the name goes to david and patricia kempner for naming me margaret (after my late grandmother), but i've gone by maggie my entire life. since i mostly sew for my nieces, i tag all my creations with it.

the logo is something i developed in microsoft word a few years ago. i had it made into a stamp and use it (along with alphabet stamps and fabric ink) for all my labels. more on my stamp and labels here.


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what kind of sewing machine do you use?

i learned to sew on my mom's singer slant-o-matic from the 60s. in high school my parents gave me a singer 5838 (purchased from ann arbor sewing center in ann arbor, michigan) that i used for twelve wonderful years. in 2013 i traded my beloved singer in for a janome 4120qdc, at singer sew & vac in cambridge, massachusets. 

while i love, love, love this machine you definitely do not have to spend a lot of money to get a quality machine. more on my favorite tools here.


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do you sew anything other than clothes for your nieces?

yep!

i sew gifts for other people's children, myself (mostly dresses and skirts), my husband (shirts and some s of tailoring of store bought stuff), my family (a cosmetic bag for my sister, a bed for my parents dog, an apron, etc.), and things for the home (pillows, curtains, etc.). 

however at the end of the day i get the most joy out of sewing for kids, especially little girls, and particularly little girls who are related to me.


i want to start sewing, do you any advice?

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yes i do.

sew for kids, pets, or other low stakes end users

when you first start you're going to make mistakes (i sure did). however no one is going to notice (or care) if the stitching on the pillow you made the family dog is wonky or the purple and orange polka dots on the toddler's outfit are crooked. 

get indie patterns that have actual instructions. 

the traditional pattern companies (simplicity, mccalls, butterick, vogue) are rooted in the idea that everyone had home economics in school and already knows how to to sew, so they have minimal instructions.

however newer indie, or independent patterns, know this isn’t the case, and have actual instructions that teach you the fundamental techniques. know it's pretty obvious i love oliver + s patterns, but there are a ton of great independent pattern companies out more on my personal favorites here

when in doubt, google it.

when it comes to sewing the internet is a beautiful place. there are countless blogs and forums dedicated to help. chances are someone has had the exact same issue before and has written a post on how to solve it.

shop at (preferably small) brick & motor fabric stores. 

in my experience the staff and customers of these stores are always down to give advice and provide guidance. my favorites are listed out here

woven cotton fabrics are your best friends. 

i stand my ground that unless a child is participating in a royal wedding then there is no reason why their attire needs to be anything other than cotton. it's easy to sew with, predictable, and most importantly can be washed with ease. woven fabrics are also much easier to sew with than knits, so i recommend starting with them.