AUGUST SPOTLIGHT MEMBER
Give me a good cup of tea, a slice of warm chocolate cake, two cozy recliners in front of a fireplace on a cool evening, and another person who likes to sew. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have a sewing buddy in person. If only there was someone who would sit with me for hours and talk about machines, fabric, scissors, pattern alterations, and all things sewing.
But since I don’t have one in person (yet), I decided to make myself a cup of tea, warm up a few shortbread cookies (no chocolate cake in the house), and cozy up in my loungewear and recliner on this beautiful Saturday, and introduce you to an online sewing buddy.
This is a new feature I’m adding to my Blog. Once a month (or every other month), I plan to highlight one of my Private Email Community Members. I’m so excited about this because it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. The idea is to share the sewing journey of a member, through story and photos.
If you love meeting new sewists and hearing about their sewing journeys, then go grab yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever you like to drink. Don’t forget to bring a snack too. Make yourself cozy and come get acquainted with our sew sister, Darcey.
MEET DARCEY LYNN
Darcey is a 46 year old wife and mother of four children, ranging in age from 5 – 19 years old. She has been sewing (officially) since January, 2020. The sewing machine she uses is from the Singer Millennium Series. She says the Singer Sewing Machine company was headquartered and had a large factory in her hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut for many years. While growing up, everyone she knew had a Singer sewing machine. Therefore, she had no idea other brands existed!
Darcey took her first sewing class in 6th grade home economics in 1985. However, both her mother and maternal grandmother are sewists. Her mother made school clothes for Darcey and her sister. She also made them dance recital and Halloween costumes. Her grandmother sewed drapery and home decor accents for many years and made the nursery decorations for Darcey’s oldest son’s nursery when he was born. She also sewed her junior prom dress!
In 1999, Darcey purchased her machine and took a sewing class. She says the class was disappointing for a variety of reasons and she didn’t sew at all afterwards. Darcey admits that she is officially learning to sew now, as an adult. She has made some small quilts and pillowcase dresses for her girls over the years but never with a true intention to learn the art of sewing. In February of 2020, she enrolled in a sewing class at a local store. Shortly after the first class (where she made yet another pillow), they were all asked to isolate due to Covid-19. It was then that she discovered Anita By Design and the Learn to Sew Series.
The first item Darcey ever made in her 6th grade home economics class was a pillow. It was made out of turquoise and white squares and had a ruffle around the edges.
The first item she made from the Learn To Sew Series with Anita by Design was the circle skirt in Lesson #1.
Darcey shared with me that she made a huge error and put the yoke on upside down on the circle skirt. She decided that fixing the mistake would require too much work, so she started to make a second circle skirt. Darcey says there was always a little nagging feeling that she needed to go back and finish the skirt, so that’s what she did. Taking nearly the entire skirt apart, including removing the zipper, she “fixed” it. Darcey wears her skirt proudly today! Talk about patience and perseverance. The lessons learned through mistakes are priceless. I always say that mistakes are our best teachers.
Darcey believes that she began sewing because it was an assignment from God! At the end of 2019, she was given a dream journal as a gift, and in the journal she had to name one thing that brought her joy. She couldn’t think of a single thing that brought her joy that did not involve her husband or children. That realization almost brought her to tears.
While visiting family in Canada for the New Year, a family member asked, “Darcey, are you still sewing?” She had literally forgotten that she’d ever sewn anything in her life! She felt a sudden inspiration to sew again and knew it was Divine! Her husband had given her money for the holidays that she had just tucked away. She decided that when she got back home she’d use that money to get her machine serviced and find sewing lessons.
Sewing these past 6 months has been a tremendous outlet for Darcey, almost like therapy, as she manages some pretty hard life changes due to Covid-19 and being quarantined. I can certainly understand, Darcey. Sewing has been therapeutic for so many of us in the sewing community during difficult life circumstances.
Darcey’s biggest sewing challenge is not having a live person in front of her to ask questions, in particular, sizing questions since she’s 6’ tall. Everything she sews needs to be lengthened.
When I look at Darcey’s photos, I see someone who’s calm, peaceful and reserved. I asked her to describe her personal style and she responded with, “Conservative, simple and comfortable”. Yes, her personal style definitely comes through in the photos. I would love to have Darcey as my in-person sewing buddy.
Darcey lives in New England where it’s officially summer, so when she’s not sewing, she enjoys being outside with her kids, their fur baby, “Ruby”, and Saturday morning coffee runs with her husband, Ray. Her family recently did a camping staycation 20 minutes from their home that she says was lots of fun.
Darcey was introduced to Anita by Design through a longtime friend and fellow sewist on Instagram, @mikkimadedesigns, who mentioned the YouTube channel. She checked it out and from the first visit knew it was the place for her to learn how to sew.
She says she supports Anita By Design because the Learn to Sew tutorials are simple and easy to follow. Most importantly they are actually teaching her to sew. She says Anita is a natural teacher, has a pleasant voice and keeps things lighthearted. She says it’s like learning to sew from a longtime friend. Darcey also appreciates that when viewers ask questions in the comments, Anita responds and offers support. She says it’s like having your own personal cheerleader helping you through your sewing projects!
Here are a couple of fun facts about Darcey. If she had to abandon earth and could only take one item of clothing, she said she would bring her sneakers because she hates for her feet to be uncomfortable and her sneakers are the best. Hahaha! High five on that one, Darcey. Also, the one thing she can’t live without is her Bible. Yes! A woman after my own heart.
If you are new to sewing, Darcey would like to close this post by giving you a bit of advice. She says, “First, start with Anita’s videos (I did NOT bribe her to say that. I promise.). Next, take your time and be patient. Also, allow yourself to make mistakes. Like anything new, it takes time to master the skills. And most importantly, have fun!” I agree with your words of wisdom, Darcey.
If you are on Instagram and want to follow Darcey’s sewing journey, you will find her @thatssewdarcey.
Thank you so much, Darcey, for being my first Spotlight Member. I appreciate your support and feel blessed to have you in my community. I’m looking forward to your next project and will continue to follow your sewing journey.
Please give Darcey a SHOUT OUT in the comments section below. She is doing a great job and I would love for us to celebrate her.