For our first interview of 2016, I sat down with the employee who oversees our wonderful notions department, ensuring that we can cut out our patterns, pin our pieces together, and sew all the seams! She’s also an active member in our neighborhood and Chair of the Queen Anne Community Council. Please welcome Ellen.
Who are you?
How long have you worked at Nancy’s?
I don’t really remember…I started when my son was in fifth or sixth grade, around 1996.
How long have you been sewing?
Since I joined 4-H when I was 10.
Do you have a special focus?
I’ve sewn for my daughter-in-law and when my mother was alive, I would sew for her. I don’t really sew for other people. I have a friend that once in a while I will sew a gift for her, but nothing too intricate. Lately, I’ve been making scarves for gifts.
I also knit, which my grandmother taught me when I was about 11, but I didn’t really knit until I was a freshman in college. I had a major in history so I had a lot of reading, and it bored me to just sit and read, so I learned to knit and read at the same time. My first knitting project was a Fair Isle Shetland sweater.
What was your first sewing project?
I made my first sewing project in 4-H: a gathered skirt. It won a blue ribbon at the fair.
What is your most recently completed project?
It’s a top, the Hudson pattern from The Sewing Workshop. I made it in sparkly blue and black stripes, for the holidays.
Do you have a most memorable or favorite project?
No, not really. I don’t go out to fancy affairs, so I’ve never made anything with boning; it’s all basically clothing for me, and my style is very “east coast preppy”.
What project is next?
My current big project is a state of Washington block-of-the-month style quilt that I’m making for my son, who now lives in Amsterdam.
What do you love most about Nancy’s?
I love Nancy’s because it’s a local business, everyone who works here is great, I enjoy the owners, and it’s a great way to sew. It’s inspiring. And, I really like the customers; people who sew are nice. I’ve worked here long enough that I know a lot of people who have come in, and I’ve been able to follow their life stories.
Thanks so much, Ellen!
Have any questions for Ellen? Leave them in the comments below!