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About Kirsten Longly, Expert Blogger
Kirsten started drawing when she was very little. She credits her Dad as her creativity source. But when it comes to clothing, Kirsten says, “Everything about it sparks my creativity.” Kirsten has a passion and talent for creating original, intricate, one-of-a-kind designs. She’s quite the artist and loves anything from fabric to color to fiber weave and structure. She says, “Buildings inspire me, nature inspires me, stories inspire me. Anything that can be made from fabric really inspires me.”
Kirsten started sewing when she was five (and her Mom gets the credit for that!) however, she didn’t really take to it until she was in college. Kirsten says, “I knew some things when I started school at Basist College but the amount of information I gained from my teachers was amazing and only inspired me to push the limits of designing.” This inspired Kirsten to think about possibilities. “What If? What if I became a mantra?” She worked at a fabric store in Anchorage Alaska and had the opportunity to work with some special ladies of the Three Sisters Fabric Boutique who combined, had over a hundred years experience in sewing, fabric construction, dying, weaving and various other forms of fabric treatment. Unfortunately the store no longer exists. Kirsten says, “I learned as much from them as I did in college, and am forever grateful to these ladies.”
At this time in her life, she had several different kinds of jobs all of which added to her abilities and experience. She’d made costumes for floats, wedding dresses, covers for kayaks, even mattresses for the medical industry and a Portable Morgue unit cover. Odd but true.
Kirsten is a very giving person. She says, “I just like helping people. Doing it in a field I enjoy so immensely is just a bonus!” Kirsten loves to see people get fired up about making their own things. She thinks it’s wonderfully satisfying to see the joy people get out of creating something themselves. When she’s teaching she feels the best part is watching the student who is struggling finally “get” how to make what it is they want. Kirsten shared, “The transition in their eyes when they finally know how to do it as opposed to just watching someone else do it is great.”
Kirsten says she enjoys working at Fabrics.net for “Ummmmm….. the fabric!” She considers herself a fabriholic and thinks she may be a fabric snob. She understands that different fabrics do different things. She loves quality fabric, beautiful fabric, and fine fabric. She thinks, “It’s all great to work with.” Her favorites are some of the more difficult ones to work with like Silk velvet, Dupioni, Silk taffeta. She says, “They each have a personality and have to be treated a certain way in order to get them to do what it is I want them to do.”
Kirsten says, “My mom Is my biggest fan and without my parents support, love and encouragement I wouldn’t be where I am today.” That support encourages her to move forward. Kirsten is venturing into the realm of fabric painting. She met a woman in Alaska who is a self taught fabric painter and thought, she’s a master of the art of painting on silks. Kirsten says, “Her paintings look almost like photographs. I can’t wait to get back in touch with her and have her do some things that I can then turn into clothing.”