Meet a Member: Kate’s Story

Editor’s Note: With so many talented and vibrant members of the National Sewing Circle community, we thought it was high time to turn the tables and let you do the talking! In this new feature, you can share your sewing story and project photos with your fellow members. Read on!

Wedding DressMy name is Kate McFarren and I realized that I loved to sew in Home Economics back in the 7th grade. I fell in love with that class and have been sewing ever since! My mom had sewed when my sister and I were younger and I think that is when I initially started to take an interest in sewing. Having matching Christmas dresses, homemade Halloween costumes, and personalized things were very special to me.

My very first project was a square pillow with ruffles around the edge. I think I made 10 of them because that was all I knew how to make, so everyone in my family got one! The sense of accomplishing something made from nothing was amazing to me and I wanted to learn and know more. Some of my many projects now include: baby quilts, curtains, bed skirts, pillow covers, Halloween costumes, pajama pants, alterations, and my most favorite, my wedding dress.

kate oilcloth wallet - croppedSince finding National Sewing Circle, it has broadened my horizon even more and I have been able to branch out to personalized projects like book bags, zipper pouches, and wallets. I have received so many helpful tips and techniques from the site, like how to sew enclosed seams and how to adjust my sewing machine to sew on different types of fabrics.

Make this project: How to Make an Oilcloth Wallet

Zippered Pouch I like how the videos are broken down step-by-step and give you all of the materials that you are going to need, dimensions, how to pin everything, what types of fabric to use, etc.

Make this project: How to Sew a Zippered Pouch

School BagThe projects that I made were for friends and family. Some of the projects were for birthday gifts and some were for teacher friends that were going back to school who needed a bag for all of their back-to-school items. I have always been artistic and I wanted to get them something different and unique but also something that they would really use. The projects I have learned to make also allow me to bring out my creativity and customize them for each individual.

Make this project: Sewing Projects: Padded Book Bag

Bag and Matching PouchI am able to add my own unique touches to the projects by adding simple accents such as buttons, ribbon, flowers, iron on appliqués, and so on. I am also able to choose from a variety of different threads, fabrics, and sizes. The videos have given me a strong foundation on the basics when it comes to bags and pouches, allowing me endless possibilities!

Chevron BagSince making the few bags and pouches for my family and close friends, I have had many requests from their friends for similar items! The fact that they are lined with fusible fleece make them great for holding heavier or multiple items such as iPads, school books, even laptops.

My next project is going to include the oilcloth clutch and placemats for the upcoming holidays, and I can’t wait to get started on them!

Thanks again to Kate for sharing with us! Want to be considered for a Meet a Member feature? Send us an email with your story and photos to

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One Response to “Meet a Member: Kate’s Story”

  1. Lilly

    I am looking to buy a heavy duty seeing machine. Nothing fancy, no embroidery...just straight sewing.... Fabrics like denim. Any suggestions??????