The annual Renaissance Faire was soon to be held locally and I decided that I’d like to attend decked out in costume just for the fun of it.  That’s when I discovered Simplicity patterns designed by Andrea Schewe and I fell in love with almost every pattern of hers that I laid eyes on! I can’t even choose a favorite I like so many of them.  What’s more is they are easier to sew than they may appear. 

I was going thru my personal stash of patterns and although I was not seeking a costume pattern, one of Ms. Schewe’s patterns caught my eye and I pulled it out just to look at it again.  As I was admiring her work, I thought to myself, I’d like to know more about Andrea Schewe and discovered her website; Andrea Schewe Design.   Long story short, I contacted Ms. Schewe and to my glad surprise, she responded to my inquiry well within twenty-four hours.  The lady is not only diversely talented, she is warm, friendly, and humble; what many sum up as a “people person.”

Ms. Schewe helped to put costume design into form for the home sewers.  However, her talent goes well beyond.  Her children’s and craft patterns express imagination, creativity and artistry combined with a dose of practicality.  How rare is that?  And, if that isn’t intriguing enough for you, she studied voice at the Manhattan School of Music and has performed in various operas and theater, receiving a favorable review in the Washington Post

I had the honor and opportunity to converse with Ms. Schewe and learn more about her.  She grew up in the San Francisco Bay area.  She later moved to New York City to attend school and now resides on the eastern seaboard.  Ms. Schewe works from her home studio and is retained by Simplicity patterns.  However, she still performs and participates in local theater utilizing her talents and energies.  She is also an active participant in local seminars and events sharing her knowledge and skills in theater, costume and sewing.

Goose MotherWhat inspired your interest in sewing and how did you learn to sew?

Andrea ScheweI come from a family of seamstresses.  Sewing is something that was always fun for me.  I was doing my best to make Barbie clothes and my own costumes from the time I was ten years old. My mother’s mother worked as a stitcher, and then a designer for about eight years in the garment industry until she married.  My first sewing machine was the treadle machine that my grandmother made all her family’s clothes on, which I still own and treasure today.

Goose MotherHow did you become involved in music and theater?

Andrea Schewe:  My mother always loved the theater, acting and making costumes in the local community theaters. My parents divorced when I was in high school.  Over time, my mother became the costume designer and teacher at the junior college in our area.  All the while, I made most of my own clothes and helped her costume.  During this period of time, my mother enrolled herself in a two-year, intensive apparel design course.  Every night I would go over her class work and projects absorbing and learning what I could.

When I moved to New York to attend music school, I totally supported myself (paying my tuition and living expenses) by working in the professional costume shops between classes.  I tell people I got good at what I was getting paid to do.  As I left for New York my mother told me, “if you can sew, you won’t starve.”  Well, I haven’t starved.

Actually, the interest in music comes from both my parents.  My mother met my father in college while they were both studying music.  She was studying voice and he played trumpet. My father eventually became a jazz pianist and high school music teacher.  I have three sisters and we all share musical talents.  

Andrea Schewe (second from left) in a costume she and her mother made. In attendance are her sisters and a friend. This photo was taken before a scheduled performance at The Cannery in San Francisco, California.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Andrea performing on stage in a costume she designed herself.  The bustle for that costume was later incorporated into Simplicity pattern 5457  

 To Be Continued ………………..

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