Pati Palmer McCall's interview on nancy zieman's blog

Pati Palmer returns as a guest on Sewing With Nancy with the second episode of Jackets for Real People. What a pleasure it was for me to learn from Pati! Now, you too can learn from the best of the best. Just click and watch!

Spending time with Pati to plan and record the 2-part series was a pleasure. Warm, charming, and forthcoming are the terms that best describe her. I thought that asking her a few questions would be a way for you to get to know her too. Enjoy my chat with Pati!

Q: What’s your favorite sewing tip—one that you always make sure to teach in a class or lecture?

A: When sewing ANY fashion pattern, fit first by trying on the tissue, making adjustments, then trying it on again until it fits like you want it to.
Pati Palmer McCall's interview on nancy zieman's blog

Q: When teaching a jacket class, what is a common aha moment for the students?

A: Placing the tissue back on each piece before you fuse. This assures that the piece hasn’t moved. If a piece is skewed and you fuse, it will be permanently skewed. We demonstrated this in part 1 of the two-part series.


Q: What’s your greatest tip of advice that you’d give to “wanna-be” jacket stitchers?

A: Go for it!! No matter how the jacket turns out, all of your other sewing will improve because of what you learn making a jacket.


Q: What has changed the most in the sewing industry since you began your business?

A:  Oh my. That is a long time!! There were no fusible interfacings until about 1968, and they were not that great until the 90s. There was no computerized anything in the sewing world. There were more brick and mortar fabric stores. But, there was also no other easy way to buy fabric like we have today with online stores.


Q: What has stayed the same?

A: Well, not my body! But the need to fit a pattern still exists regardless of your body’s shape.


Q: What’s the most money you’ve personally spent at one time in a fabric store?

A: Well, I was shopping in a Swiss Fabric Store with The Business of Teaching Sewing author Marcy Miller, and I bought 3 yards of a swiss cotton print (beautiful) and about 6 yards of an Ultra Fine Wool. I had no idea how much I paid until I got my credit card bill when I was home. I had spent $1200.  I am still looking for the perfect use for those fabrics—20 years later!


Q: What has been a pleasant surprise that you’ve experienced while teaching sewing?

A: That I learn from my students. You never stop learning when you teach or when you sew. I tell my daughter Melissa Watson that if you want to learn to sew, SEW!


Q: If you hadn’t chosen this career, what would your ideal job be?

A: The foundation of my career started in high school when I earned the honor of being state debate champion for Montana. Researching, writing, and speaking were the transferred skills. Not sewing, which I taught myself with a little help from 4-H.  If I had accepted the scholarship to Berkeley instead of Oregon State, I would have possibly become an attorney—for sewers? Well, there are four skills!
Pati Palmer - red jacket

Q: What’s your favorite time of the day to sew?

A: All day in large chunks is the most fun. No longer at night.  Or, little morning chunks if days are not available. 

Watch Nancy and Pati on PBS, online, or iPad!

There are so many ways to watch Sewing With Nancy: watch from a DVDPBS stationonline, or on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. Have you downloaded the app?

Sewing With Nancy app

The Book and DVD

Jackets for Real People is the basis for the 2-part series that Pati and I presented on Sewing With Nancy. I know after watching the series, you’ll be inspired to sew a jacket. I was!

Jackets for Real People by Pati Palmer

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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