@lornadielentheis | Sewing Influencer
How did you learn your craft?
I learned to sew from my mother at a young age, and though I initially learned sewing through quilting, I was quickly drawn to creating garments. Throughout my youth I experimented with clothing design, and in college I worked for the theater’s costume department sewing, altering, and caring for costumes. I learned basic patternmaking from my college’s costume designer, and continued to build my skill set after graduating. Most of my patternmaking skills are self-taught, and in the past year I’ve taught myself basic pattern grading as well as digital pattern drafting. Threads has been an invaluable resource to me over the years and has greatly enhanced my ability to expand my skill set.
What is your favorite project you’ve made?
Two years ago I drafted an elaborate gown from scratch to wear to a formal wedding. It was the most labor intensive project I’d done and I learned so much from it! I made the final piece with silk organza, and to this day I’m so proud of it. Drafting this gown is in part what gave me the confidence to start my small slow fashion business.
How do you handle mistakes or setbacks when working on a project?
It depends on the setback! I usually try to first judge how much frustration I’m feeling. If I’m feeling distraught, I force myself to take some space from it so I can come back to the project with renewed energy. However, if the setback feels more puzzling or confusing than frustrating, I’ll grab another cup of coffee and keep at it. It’s always helpful to remind myself that in the end, it’s just clothes!
What are you currently making?
The personal project I’m working on right now is my first foray into historical costuming—1750s stays. I’ve always been interested in exploring how and what garments were made in different time periods, and am excited to finally have some time to devote to this project. For my business, I’m dreaming up designs for my spring/summer collection and working on sewing up more of my most popular pieces.
If you could have anything in the world to support your craft, what would it be?
The thing that would help me the most in continuing to hone my craft would be a lessening of financial pressure. I know that’s not an exciting answer, but I think it’s one many creatives can relate to. As a full-time maker, I find it really difficult to cobble together enough well-paying projects to get by, and when you’re stressed financially it’s hard to have the space to open yourself up to creativity.