#MMMay16 Maker Profile: Crista Jaeckel

We are celebrating Me Made May all month long! Each week Kate Herron, JPK&S sewing and embroidery teacher, will interview one of our sewing teachers about their Me Made May makes. This week we check in with Crista Jaeckel, JP Knit & Stitch kids sewing teacher (Crista is pretty much our most loving and patient sewist so this is a very good fit for her). You can find her on Instagram as cristajaeckel and in the shop most Friday afternoons being extremely patient with our young-er sewers.

See HERE for more info about Me Made May and ways YOU can join in the fun.


How did you start making your own clothes?

My Mom sewed all our clothes when I was a kid. I remember spending HOURS in the fabric store with her and my sisters. She used to take toddler fold-up chairs for us if we drove to a far-away store and her and my Aunt wanted to take their time browsing.

My Mom use to trace patterns from Burda pattern books and that is how I started. I really started understanding sewing techniques and pattern drawing when I enrolled in Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa and studied Costume Design.

What is your personal challenge for Me Made May 2016?

Me Made May is a very exciting challenge. My challenge this year is really to sew more for myself. I have been so inspired by all the lovely sewing projects I have been seeing.


Why is it important to you to make/alter/upcycle your wardrobe?

I grew up in a time where we wore our clothes to bits and then they got passed on to someone who had less than we did. Growing-up in a third world county really opens your eyes to how different the US is and how disposable EVERYTHING has become.

Having a daughter that is coming into her own style has been so interesting to watch. I think it is very important to show her that we don’t all have the standard body the models have and talk to her about where clothes come from and how you can wear and make them your own.

I like making my own clothes because it allows me to be very creative. I can use the fabric that inspires me and I can decide what style (pattern) I would like to sew.

Altering and upcycling has always appealed to me. I am a fan of any thrift store and am always wondering how I can change/marry or recreate a garment.

How do you create time and space to make/alter/upcycle your wardrobe?

I am lucky to have a room in our house where I can sew. Its really a shared creative space but this means that projects and equipment are always at the ready. I do sewing for my daughter as well and also like quilting and sewing gifts and other house projects. Spring and fall seems to be the big sewing season and I am lucky enough to work part-time and can steal little bits of time here or there.

I also crochet and this can be done while indulging in the latest BBC TV series or Masterpiece Mystery.

[Gahhhh – you should see her latest awesome-est crochet project…will post as soon as she lets me – ed.]


What indie patterns or fabrics inspire you the most and why? Do you have a favorite pattern you like to make over and over?

I have made the Wiksten Tova top and Linden Sweatshirt over and over with a few pattern adjustments here and there.

I am really in love with Birch fabric knits. They are so soft and comfy to wear. I have also been a fan on Anna Maria Horner for years and have been in love with Lizzy House Fabric as of late. Really the fabric finds me. I love them all, there are too many to name.


What is the next technique, pattern, or challenge you hope to learn?

I am about to start my first project using Waxed Cotton. I would also like to find the perfect skirt pattern and this fall sew a recycled, felted-sweater jacket with “real” collar!

I would also like to learn how to crochet a sweater, from a pattern

What sewing classes can we find you teaching at the shop?

I teach the kids sewing class on Friday afternoons during the school year.

See Sewing Classes for latest kids crafting class schedule.

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