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Artifact Upcycle Seamstress Drea Johnson!

April, 6, 2017

Artifact welcomes our newsest team member and Artifact Upcycle seamstress, Drea Johnson.

"In nature, nothing is created and nothing is destroyed, but everything is transformed." - Antoine Laurent Delavosier

 

Artifact is thrilled to welcome the newest member of our Artifact Upcycle team, Drea Johnson.

Drea's passion for apparel runs deep; hand sewing from the age of 5 to gaining a B.S. at Cal Poly Pomona with emphasis in Apparel Production and Fashion Design. Her eye for detail has taken her from tailoring gowns for Michael Costello to producing samples and production runs for various brands in Portland and now as Artifact's in-house seamstress.


Get to know Drea with our fun Q&A below and stop into Artifact Upcycle for a consultation every Tuesday and Saturday from 11-7.

Artifact: How did you begin sewing?

Drea: Honestly, I began sewing after an Episode of "Reading Rainbow" on PBS. They did a segment about making family quilts and I was determined to make my own after the episode. With no knowledge of sewing. I even "tied" the ends off with masking tape.

Artifact: What do you enjoy about sewing?

Drea: I enjoy the humbleness you gain with each garment and fabric you sew. It's a lot like math. Anyone can learn, but it requires gradual amounts of patience, repetition, and memory. It's a series of simple truths and techniques built upon each other to create simple to elaborate pieces. Like arithmetic to calculus.

Artifact: What are some challenges about sewing?

Drea: In sewing you always are going to make mistakes - no matter what. The biggest challenge in sewing is having patience and being able to forgive yourself for mistakes. You must remember to have fun and have pride in whatever your end product is!

Artifact: You have great style! What inspires your style and who are some of your style icons?

Drea: Thank you! My mother was my first style icon. She always said that fashion was about expressing yourself truly. She described it as a feeling when you are struck by someone and wonder "who is she/he?". My mother also turned me onto other style icons like Madonna, Cher, Jacqueline Kennedy and Selena Quintanilla from an early age. It's my friends now that drive me to tap into what childhood (90's) looks that really move me. 

Artifact: What is one of your favorite projects you've worked on?

Drea: The most exciting, and stressful, project I've ever worked on was while kneeling and handsewing lace pieces (for about 3.5 hours) onto a gown for Tina Knowles. I've never felt so much adrenaline!

Artifact: What life lessons have you learned from sewing?

Drea: I've learned so much and I still continue to learn. Patience and planning are extremely crucial for a successful, overall outcome. There is no such thing as perfect, but with enough practice, you can get quite close! However, no matter how long you've done something (sewing), you're not immune to mistakes. Take them in stride and make sure you learn what you did wrong and then grow from it. Don't dwell on what you could have done in a situation, but instead always just give it your best shot. And just remember at the end of the day, you are your toughest critic!

Artifact: What are some fun outlandish projects people can bring you that you'd like to help them with?

Drea: I think the funnest projects come from the items that you see potential in, rather than what they currently are! I love to transform garments and give them a new life to live. I've been doing that since I was a tween! There are so many exciting ways to upcycle clothing! It's as easy as turning a skirt into a top or a top into a skirt. Is your favorite shirt falling apart? Let's turn it's graphic into a patch and add it to a new garment or bag. Take some old [faux] fur and revive your jacket hood or add it as trim on your blouse. I can add any outlandish trim/embellishment onto a garment and turn it into YOUR new favorite piece in your wardrobe!

 


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