September is National Sewing Month! To celebrate, our member spotlight is on Judy Howard, a professional seamstress and avid cosplayer. She also leads up our sewing area at the Roswell Firelabs Makerspace and teaches classes for both new and experienced sewers. Judy began sewing twenty years ago in 2000 after she made her own costume to go to Anime Weekend Atlanta as Ryo from Ronin Warriors. For that first creation, she painted a shirt to wear with jeans, but that small taste ignited an appetite for crafting clothing and costumes of all kinds.
Using her mother’s Husqvarna Viking II sewing machine, Judy taught herself the basics of sewing. In 2001, she became friends with a group that came to call themselves the ‘Scooby Gang.’ They would get together every week, sewing and helping one another to get better and better at crafting elaborate garments and costumes. Over the years, Judy crafted dozens of cosplays, each one presenting its own challenges and new techniques to learn and try.
Professionally, Judy has also worked on a wide variety of projects - everything from making drapes and curtains for model homes to fabric-based art pieces for the Porsche dealership on Mansell Rd. Recently, she has been sewing unique fandom face masks during the pandemic. Her ultimate goal is to join a costuming department in the entertainment industry, working on theatrical productions or movies.
For those trying to learn sewing, Judy quite enthusiastically points toward YouTube. It isn’t a resource she had when she first started out and can be a huge help in learning all sorts of techniques. She encourages new sewers to take their machine out of its box, read the directions, and just start sewing. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Professions who have been sewing for thirty or forty years will need to rip out their stitches and redo projects. So, what are you going to make?
Have you heard? The Roswell Firelabs Makerspace is starting to host (limited) classes again! To see what we have on the books, visit our class calendar. Make sure you never miss an update by joining us on Slack or following us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.