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I believe that homemade is well-made. With some time and practice, I think we all can sew beautiful things. And by knowing about and using particular tools, notions, and techniques, we can begin our journey.

I have been sewing most of my adult life and have gone through many periods of growth and change. Although my mother was a professional tailor, I resisted sewing until I graduated from college...and then I discovered how much fun it was. I didn't make much of anything and struggled as I taught myself the basics. In 1995, I bought a house and a new (very old and used) Singer Touch and Sew. My love for sewing really took off.

In 2000, I moved across the country and a few years later, moved again and bought a house. It seems that home ownership kicks me into sewing mode! In 2004, I bought a better machine and watched my skills dramatically improve. I began designing and selling my own line of purses (called Ms. Elaineous) at boutiques and festivals. It was great fun and supplemented my college professor salary; plus it was more enjoyable than summer teaching! Throughout the process, I was repeatedly asked to teach sewing, got bored with making the same thing over and over, and tired of the festival circuit.

My mother in the early 1970s
In 2009, I decided to take my two loves - teaching and sewing - and combine them. I became a Trained Sewing Instructor through the Sewing & Craft Alliance and opened a sewing and fiber arts studio in Corning, NY called Sew You Can. For three years I taught men, women, and kids to sew. Although it was a lot of fun, in 2012 I closed up shop and started this blog.

As for the name, I'm not an "Elaine" and I really don't know many Elaines. But when I began designing purses, I needed a business name and came up with that. She represents my interests: a lot of things. I love the name but when I stopped making and selling purses, I still wanted to use it. And she's my alter-ego, so she won't be going away! 

I'm a technical sewer - I don't sew "projects" - instead, I approach sewing in terms of learning particular skills and techniques. I apply those skills whenever I sew or design a pattern. This is how I tackle designing my patterns: they are several techniques put together in a new way.

You'll find that I'm most active blogging over the summer; I'm a full-time college professor (I teach Communication) so I'm a busy gal during the academic year.
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