Get to Know Rachel

Okay, you asked the questions, here are the answers!  If you don't know, I've worked for Jen since September of last year and have been so blessed to get to know her!  Beyond her wonderful patterns, she is an amazing woman that is kind, thoughful, smart, considerate, and all around terrific!  I am blessed to call her a friend.  I started out helping promote Tie Dye Diva through social media avenues and I continue to do this, but also much more.  I am active in pattern testing and blogging as well.  Jen and I also bounce ideas off each other constantly!

Outside of Tie Dye DIva I am a wife to my amazing, supportive, and loving husband, and homescholing mom to three wonderful kiddos.  I have two boys 5 and 3 and my Sweet Pea daughter is 22 months.  My children mean the word to me!  

Who taught you to sew? My mom taught me to sew much in the same manner as she taught me to cook.  "Here is the sewing machine.  Press the pedal to make it go.  Make sure to keep your fingers away from the needle.  Let me know if you have questions!"  To this day she occasionally corrects my techniques, and I remind her that she forgot to teach me that part!

What is your favorite TDD pattern? That's a tough one!  I think my favorite pattern is always the last one that I've made.  I love beautiful classic dresses like La Tulipe.  The Butterfly Baby Top is a big favorite too.  It's perfect for every day wear and fun for mixing fabrics and colors.

How old were you when you started to sew? I don't remember a time in my childhood that sewing wasn't a constant presence.  My mom learned to sew from her Mother and sewed quite a lot when I was young.  She is now an avid quilter.   That said, I'm not exactly sure when I started sewing myself.  Perhaps around seven but definitely by nine.  

What was the first garment you made?  I'm not sure this was the very first, but it is the first that I remember.  I received an American Girl Doll for Christmas and began sewing a wardrobe for her.  Sewing doll clothes was definitely my first love in sewing and something I still enjoy! 

I recently made a doll Fair and Square for my Sweet Pea.  If you haven't tried Jen's doll patterns, you really must!  They fit wonderfully and are so easy!

 Do you do any other crafts?  Sewing is my main craft right now, but I have done several others over the years.  I enjoy crocheting both with thread and yarn.  I have dabbled in scrapbooking in years gone by, but not recently.  I know how to knit but prefer to crochet.  Since Sweet Pea was born I have also dabbled in fabric flowers for headbands to adorn the head of my bald baby! The only other hobby have spent any time on in recently is Zentangle. I find it quite relaxing.

Do you suffer withdrawal if you have a day without sewing?  I'm not sure that one day causes withdrawals, but a couple probably does.  Sewing is relaxing for me and I love it!

What part of sewing do you enjoy most and which part least? I love slipping finished items on my mannequin, or on Sweet Pea, and admiring the finished product.  I'm sure several of you will be with me on this one, my least favorite part of sewing is un-sewing!  I hate ripping out stitches.

Where do you get your ideas for your patterns?  I find inspiration lots of places, but rely on Jen's fabulous pattern designs for the building blocks of everything.  I look at ready made clothes and identify which of Jen's patterns fits and how to modify them.  I also look at classic and vintage items in consignment shops and take note of the details.  Pleats, collars, sleeves, etc.  Jen can attest that I snap pictures and send them to her from time to time!

How did you and Jen meet? Well, we've never actually met in person, though I hope we are able to one day!  The first Tie Dye Diva pattern I purchased and made was the Fair and Square dress.  I absolutely loved it and loved Jen's clear instructions and professional techniques. The fit was perfect, I was in love!  As a result of discovering Tie Dye Diva PDF patterns I became active in some of the other generic sewing groups on Facebook.  In one of those groups Jen posted an application for a Social Media Coordinator to help promote TDD through social media avenues.  I applied because I knew her patterns were fabulous and I could wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone.  And the rest I guess is history!  Jen and I now talk on a dally basis.  

My Firstborn
February 2008
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?  I kept it very simple, my one desire was always to be a mom.

Homebirth or hospital birth? Cloth diapers or disposable?  I delivered all three of my children in different hospitals and had a wonderful experience at each one.   I have exclusively used disposable diapers with each of my kiddos.  When the first two were born our laundry facilities were coin operated so I did not even consider cloth diapers.  When expecting Sweet Pea I considered switching to cloth diapers but for various reasons decided to stick with what I knew and have used disposable diapers with her as well.  

Hi Rachel, to me you look like you have the fairy tale marriage. Can you tell us what secrets make it last? I have to start by saying that I don't thing there is any such thing as a true fairy tale marriage.  Fairy tales by nature always end on the high and perfect note.  Ours is a real marriage, it has it's ups and has it's downs as well.   That said, I have been blessed with a wonderful, loving, and supportive husband.  I honestly can say that I think he is the better half.  Someone once told me that a successful marriage is easy, simply love the other person more than yourself.  It sounds so simple, and yet it doesn't come easily at all!  There are a couple keys that I think are vitally important.  First is communication.  You must talk to each other.  Don't assume that either of you can read minds.  The second key is forgiveness.  We are humans, we mess up, we disappoint each other, we speak too quickly or harshly.  Talk about the disappointments, the expectations, and the wants.  Then forgive.  Holding a grudge will only lead to bitterness and callousness.  

April 2006
April 2014

What gets up your nose..... sometimes, with kids and hubby?  Clutter!  I can not stand clutter.  Toys on the floor, a cluttered coffee table, dirty dishes.....  If my house is disorderly, my temper gets short.  But sometimes I have high and unrealistic standards too.  I have to remind myself I am not the only one living in our house.  

Did you go to college? If so where? Yes, I went to Greenville College, a small, Christian liberal arts college in Southern Illinois.  I majored in Elementary Education

Have you been in the military? Personally no, but my dad was active duty Air Force throughout my childhood.

What kind of work outside the home have you done? Before and during college I worked in retail.  After graduating from college I taught first grade in a small private school.  I have also done a good bit of tutoring and substitute teaching.

Travels? Growing up in the Air Force I traveled a lot!  I have moved every two to three years most of my live.  I have lived in South Carolina, Michigan (twice), Arizona (twice), Washington State (twice), California, and Illinois.  I have also lived in Iceland and Germany.  I've traveled some aside from frequent moves, but not as much as I'd like.  I've visited most areas of the United States except for the New England area.  I've been to both Canada and Mexico also.  While living in Germany we traveled much of the surrounding European area.  Though I was quite  young I remember a good bit of it!  Paul and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, and I am anxiously awaiting a Caribbean cruise later this summer.

What is something that not many people know about your life?  Just one?  I was born in Iceland.  I was homeschooled.  I started attending college early as part of my 'high school' and graduated with my Bachelors degree at 19.

What was your 1st job? My first unofficial job was most definitely babysitting.  My first real job was as an office assistant at the community college I attended.

3 essentials for living my life are? Coffee, wine, and chocolate. Or I could also say patience, love, and communication.

The thing I fear most is? I fear any harm coming to my children, and I fear letting my family down.


The place you would like to go most? I would love to travel Europe, but I also hope to visit Iceland one day.  I lived both places when I was quite young and have always wanted to go back as an adult.

One person you admire is? My mom.  She was the rock of my childhood and is an amazing woman.  We are wonderfully close now and I aspire to be as great a mom as she has always been.

The hardest thing you have had to do? Last year my Grandma had a stroke and was not expected to pull through.  I literally threw some things in a suitcase for myself and the kids and headed to the airport.  My husband drove while I looked for a flight.  The flight was then delayed and I sat in the airport with three kiddos and no pre planned entertainment for four hours.  There was then delay upon delay on the way including sitting on the runway for hours with a potty training toddler!  It was a terrible wait when I really wanted to get to my grandma's bedside quickly!  Thankfully she pulled through and is now doing well!

What keeps you awake at night? Crying children?  Really, for the most part we are past that! Unless it's a disturbance from my kids I sleep quite well!

What is your favorite meal to cook? Hmm, I'm not sure.  I enjoy cooking when I have the time to do it un-rushed.  One of my favorites to eat (that I have had to give up....) and also make is my mom's lasagna recipe.  Delicious!

What are your 3 best strengths? Hmm, I've never been good at this question so I asked Jen.  She answered this question for me, and they may or may not be my greatest strengths but she says they keep TDD moving along: attention to detail, perseverance and a positive attitude, always!

5 years from now I will be......?  35....!  Okay, seriously, I can't say what the future holds.  I may still be living in our yellow house in the Pacific Northwest; I may not.  I may be homeschooling all the children at that point; or maybe we will decide there is a better option for our family.  I really can't say.  I will be a mom and wife and I sure hope to still be working closely with Jen and Tie Dye Diva!

I wish I had....? I wish I'd had the opportunity to know my aunt, my mom's sister.  She passed away from cancer as a teen.  I always wished I'd had the chance to know her personally.

I wish I hadn't....? Now that I am a parent, I wish I hadn't been such a strong-willed child.  I know I caused my parents heartache because of my stubbornness.  At the same time I am grateful that my parents worked diligently to teach me and I have (sometimes) learned to use those traits for the best!

If you were a movie actress what character would you like play? I am terrible at movies!  I enjoy watching them but cannot for the life of me remember movie characters or titles!  If I were an actress though, I would like to play one of two roles.  Either an historic woman from a time period I wish I could experience personally, perhaps England in the 1600's. Or a woman very different from myself; an adventurous, daring, life saving kind of woman.

Best day of your life, excluding wedding and birth of children?  This is a hard one, but I think I have to pick the day my husband graduated from seminary.  It was a long term goal of his and had been central in our lives the entire time I had know him.  He worked so hard and it was an amazing accomplishment.  I was (and am) so proud of him and loved celebrating the achievement with him!

Seminary graduation
May 2009
So there you have it, everything you ever wanted to know about me!  If you have any follow up questions I'll do my best to answer them in the comments!