I am excited for today’s interview; join me as we “get to know” Nancy’s employee Kristina. She is an important component of our team, who takes care of ordering buttons for the store, has a great eye for arranging fabrics, and is one of the most patient people I’ve ever met.
Who are you?
How long have you worked at Nancy’s?
I guess twelve years? I started about eighteen years ago and left after about nine years to get my cosmetology and esthetician licenses. I returned to work the Sunday shift a couple years ago and have picked up a few additional days as there has been need.
How long have you been sewing?
I started in 7th grade home economics, but I’ve always been around sewers. My grandmother sewed clothes all the time and my mother made dolls.
Do you have a special focus?
No, not really. I manufactured children’s clothing for 18 months about ten years ago. It was a LOT of work for not a lot of money, so I stopped, though I love making clothes for little girls.
These days, I primarily sew bags, pillows, and other small projects. I also make dolls.
I also spin my own yarns and knit them. I’m interested in how things are put together, which is why I started spinning. I took a weaving course in college, which was incredibly inspirational.
What was your first sewing project?
My very first sewing projects were done in school. I made a pair of shorts, followed by an apron. After I learned to sew, I started picking up pieces at thrift stores to alter them. One time, I found a wedding dress at the thrift store and altered it for a Renaissance Faire.
What is your most recently completed project?
[laughs] I have a bunch of half-done projects and fully conceptualized projects! As soon as my kids go back to school, I’ll have more time to sew.
I think the most recently completed garment is the dress I made from one of the Italian shirting cottons for my two-year-old niece. We displayed it at the Sew Expo back in February. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the dress before it was gifted to my niece.
Do you have a most memorable or favorite project?
I think my favorite project is the Willy Wonka costume I made for my daughter when she was about ten. It was modeled after the costume worn by Johnny Depp (Gene Wilder’s performance always terrified her). That costume got a lot of use, too, as my son used it for dress up after my daughter was done with it. Once, when my son was five, he wore it to the barbershop; the barber said he looked like a pimp, in his velvet blazer and top hat. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures!
What project is next?
I’m working on some dolls: some made out of cloth, some will have hands and heads sculpted of clay.
I have some ideas for a few dolls that are inspired by sideshow attractions and oddities. I’ve always been fascinated by anomalies. For example, I want to do a set of conjoined twin babies.
What do you love most about Nancy’s?
It’s like family! And you get to play with fabrics all day, so what’s not to like? It’s great being surrounded by color and texture all day; it’s nice to come to work and just be inspired.
Thanks for sharing your works in progress, Kristina! The construction of your doll is fascinating and I am excited to see it completed!
Have any questions for Kristina? Leave them in the comments below.