Hi Jessica! Congratulations on being our May "AGF Maker Monday" feature! Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into sewing?
Hi, I’m very excited to be here! I actually come from a Fine Arts background. I’m a painter who was finding it hard to fit painting into my new life when we first started our family. Those erratic and random length naps were not great for paint drying and bursts of inspiration. I was used to having big blocks of time to work and this new schedule wasn’t working for me. Mothering came first, but I still needed and craved that daily creative outlet, so I started teaching myself to sew at this time. I found it was easy to set down and pick back up without frustration, whenever I had the time, even if just for a few minutes at a time. I was working with my hands and that’s what I needed.
What are you inspired by?
I’m constantly inspired by the world around me. Nature and all its intricacies have always been a huge inspiration to me. The way its ceaseless color, textures, and shapes play together never bores me. I’ve always been drawn to the relationships of color and texture. Instagram has been amazing for pattern inspiration. I love having the ability to see a pattern on many people of all shapes, sizes, and color right at my fingertips. It’s a priceless tool when forming wardrobe plans.
Describe your personal style.
I’d say my personal style is a bit eclectic, playful, low key maximalism. I’m always drawn to garment patterns with clean, simple lines which really let the fabrics shine. My fabric choices are typically very textural with saturated, bold color. I really enjoy monochromatic pairings, when layering. You’ll rarely find any solid colors or neutrals in my closet or stash.
When did you begin creating garments?
I was sewing for several years before turning to garments for myself. I had been running a handmade children’s clothing and accessories business I created. This is where my Instagram name actually came from. When my fifth child arrived, I knew I needed to scale some things back due to family needs and made the hard choice to stop my children’s line. That decision has morphed into making myself the “wardrobe of my dreams,” piece by piece, and then teaching. It’s opened up lots of opportunities for me, and I’ve never ever regretted the change of direction.
You're a mother to five, an artist, instructor, and a maker..how do balance home and creative life?
To me, the two have always been intertwined together. I could not be a good mother if I were not creating. Creativity is a part of who I am so I can feel settled and fulfilled. I’m lucky to have an expressive family of makers, so we are often found working on projects in tandem. Learning to work around the needs of my family, at this stage of our lives, honestly means I probably sleep less than I maybe should. In the end, all of life is a trade-off of finding the best way to live and do the things that fuel and inspire us, this is no different.
What substrates do you usually prefer to sew with?
Oh, I LOVE rayon. It’s a little tricky to cut, but once you’re past that, it’s an absolute dream to wear. It may sound silly, but I feel extra good about myself when wearing rayon, somehow fancier and more elegant. I’m forever drawn to linen. I love the texture and shapes it holds, you can easily print on it, with age it just keeps getting softer and better. I’m also keen to sew garments from quilting cotton. I often choose Art Gallery’s because of the nice weight of the quilting cotton. When paired with an appropriate pattern, they turn out splendid, are easy to care for, and have all the fun prints.
What does "slow living" mean to you?
Slow living to me would be seeing all the good you have in your life day to day. Enjoying the simple thing, while still taking time to dream and putting in the effort to cultivate them. Appreciating the things you might miss if you’re rushing through life - a new flower bud opening, the way shadows dance, your favorite color in nature. I think it’s slowly building a wardrobe because you’ve taken the time to plan and chose what you’ll use and wear most, rather than jumping on every trend or making, just to make.
If you had to wear one outfit forever, it would be...
This is the hardest question. Ahh! It would obviously be a dress.... and a pair of leggings because those two staples can carry me through an entire year of layered dressing. It would be a pretty shade of blue in maybe a botanical or graphic print. I never get bored of blue, it’s my favorite color.
5 things you can't live without.
My family, sunshine, fresh paints, plants...gimme all the plants and pizza!
Where can other makers' find your work?
You can follow along with me on instagram.com/kunklebaby
"Aura Fletchings" print in knit // Maureen Cracknell's Nightfall Collection
"Treasured Kermes" print in rayon // April Rhodes' Heritage Collection
"Lunation Bright" print in knit // Maureen Cracknell's Nightfall Collection
"Floral Universe Turquoise" print in rayon // Maureen Cracknell's Soulful Collection
Indigo Window Crystal print in voile // April Rhodes' Observer Collection
Since we wanted to thank Jessica and she told us that she LOVES "blue tones and rayon," we're sending her 3 yards of "Meadow Dim" print in rayon from Pat Bravo's collection, "Indie Folk!" :)
Next month, we'll be picking another talented maker and announcing them via our blog/social media. For a chance to be featured, keep posting and sharing your beautiful handmade makes with us using the hashtag #AGFMakerMonday or #artgalleryfabrics.
Good luck and keep creating!