So today, a bit more about my new e-book, how I made it, and some well-deserved thanks to those who helped out!
My first idea to make this book revolved around a cartoon sewing machine, and adding real thread to my drawings. I thought it would help explain how all sewing machines are (in a lot of ways) pretty much the same. I hoped that the thread would show up, and look like thread, and add a fun element of style (it did!). But I knew that I needed more detail to explain some things. For months I was stuck, thinking that I needed photographs, and not figuring out how to make them as good as I knew they would need to be. That’s when my husband Bryan (a professional photographer) suggested maybe I didn’t need photos at all. After all, instruction manuals of all kinds are still full of illustrations. Sometimes they are even clearer than photos would be. The more I thought about this, the more I thought he was right. I started drawing, and then I knew he was right. In an illustration, everything that I would like to be in focus is so, and the visual emphasis can be wherever I want it to be.
This has got to be my favorite drawing in the book. To find out what’s going on, you might have to get yourself a copy!
As I drew, I took some snapshots for reference, so I wouldn’t have to keep moving my hands back and forth and get them in the same place again, etc. I also took a couple just to show my process and progress.
Sewing thread onto a drawing of my mom’s treadle sewing machine, using that same machine!
The fact that Bryan suggested doing these drawings points to another really important thing about Hello Sewing Machine, which is that I didn’t make it by myself. In fact, sometimes it seems like I didn’t make it all (despite the weeks of drawing, months of writing and editing, etc.), but more like I stood in the middle and brought together elements from everyone and everything I knew, things which already existed, and they coalesced and became this book. I now understand why authors seem so passionate about their acknowledgements! Mine are in the book, but I’m going to post them publicly here too. Lookout! Thanks below:
Desk reaches maximum level of chaos, near the end of the drawing phase.
First and foremost, thanks to my mom. She made most of my clothes when I was little, and created fabric magic right before my eyes. Not only that, she taught me to sew, too! She gave me access to all kinds of creative tools and supplies from the time I was old enough to hold them. When I grew up, she bought me a sewing machine I couldn’t afford on my own, and I’m still welcome to anything and everything in her sewing room at any time. I absolutely would not have the skills I do now without her in my life.
A close second for thanks is my husband Bryan. Besides the idea to illustrate this book, I also leaned quite heavily on his knowledge during the design and layout phase. Every day I lean on his love and support, and the fact that he believes in me. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life and our many adventures together.
Also many thanks to Van and Charlie Odegaard, for letting me teach sewing to real live students at Odegaard’s Sewing Center! I’ve learned at least as much as I’ve taught. And I would like to thank Jena R. and Michael K. for the music. I listened to a lot of music during this project, and the CDs they gave me were like friends keeping me company. Thanks to Brian S. for a great idea in word processing—it worked! And last but never least, my truly amazing proofreaders: Kelly, Tom, Wendelin, & Lauren.
I’ve been as much humbled as excited by this whole process. Both are great feelings! I hope to continue to share the love here. More soon . . .