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Influencer Spotlight, September: Teresa Bellnoski

TSM: Teresa thank you so much for joining us today. We are so excited to get to spend some time with you. You are such a fantastic influencer and we thoroughly enjoy seeing your sews.

Teresa: Thank you so much for choosing me to talk to this month.

TSM: Tell me a little bit more about yourself?

Teresa: I enjoy sewing, working, and sleeping.

TSM: What do you do for work?

Teresa: I do negotiations and contracting. I really like contracting.

TSM: What type of contracting do you do?

Teresa: So, I do procurements with all the big railroads. I basically write and negotiate terms and conditions.

TSM: This is really awesome. You are such an amazing and empowering person. Have you ever rode on a train?

Teresa: Yes, I enjoy passenger trains. The trains I work with are the ones that have boxcars, flatbeds, and tankers.

TSM: You are a boss!

TSM: Earlier you said you love to sew and sleep, what is unique about you that someone may not know?

Teresa: I am introverted. I can totally be social but usually in a smaller group. When it comes to a bigger group I just sit back and listen. I enjoy going to work and socializing with my friends and co-workers but when I get home I am fine just chilling with my daughter.

TSM: There is nothing wrong with decompressing and having time to breath. This is totally understandable. You get to choose to be the best version of you.

TSM: Who do you sew for more?

Teresa: I sew mostly for myself. I started sewing for my daughter prodminently and then I sewed a little for myself here and there. It didn’t fit well. Then when I discovered The Styled Magnolia, I think really started sewing for myself so I could apply to be a part of the Guest Influncer Team.

TSM: So, you started sewing for your daughter, then switched gears because you wanted to be on the guest team? That is awesome.

Teresa: I fell in love with a print; I think it was the statement stripes and a floral round. I wanted to be on the team so bad. I sewed my first sports bra and I used that for my photo application. That was the first time I took photos of myself with my camera propped up on the backyard table. I used books and the view finder to make sure I captured it. I didn’t make it the first round. That was okay though.

TSM: Obviously you applied again. Did that make you sew even more?

Teresa: Yes, I had to apply again. Missing that chance didn’t stop me. I started sewing even more as it was a goal of mine. It made me try harder for sure. I was determined.

TSM: It just took off for you and you couldn’t be happier. We are so happy to have you as a part of the team.

Teresa: That instant gratification you get for finishing an item is awesome.

TSM: What really started your sewing journey?

Teresa: I always started tinkering a little bit. I have had a sewing machine for a long time. All I could do is hem a few pair of pants. For the longest time I did not know patterns existed. Then one day I decided to do some research and found patterns were a real thing. I think at this time I only sewed one zipper and it was not pretty at all.

Then what really got me to sew was when my daughter was about 18 months old. There was a really cute kids boutique store we ran into. They had a higher end boutique store and there were so many beautiful, ruffly, frilly skirts and dresses. I ended up buying two outfits and they were 50% off and I still spent $100 in total. I came home and thought I could make this. The funny thing is I had this pattern book about kids' boutique clothes probably 10 years before I even had my daughter. I decided to go through that and see what I could make. The instructions were nothing like the PDF patterns we have today. Especially for a new sewist. I made some really bad outfits now that I look back at it.

TSM: So, you decided to keep at it though, right?

Teresa: Yes. I found this pattern company on Facebook called Violette Field Threads pattern group. That was when I did a deep dived. I sewed everyday and bought all the patterns.

TSM: You really liked the boutique style clothes! You had a vision of how you wanted your little one to dress and that is awesome. You loved the boutique look but not boutique prices.

TSM: What is your favorite TSM print?

Teresa: I love every Pick-A-Print print in there.

TSM: Well, you can choose whichever print you want.

Teresa: I have so many favorite ones. How can I choose. I will have to choose Sweet Pink Blossom at the moment. LOL! I feel I get a new favorite one each round.

TSM: The shades of pink in that print are so you. Choosing a favorite print is hard.

TSM: Now that we have the favorite print covered, what is your current favorite pattern to sew. The one you were the most.

Teresa: My all time favorite pattern? Hmm…it is hard to define. My favorite current sew is the Laconia skirt from Styla Patterns.

TSM: What is your all-time favorite pattern?

Teresa: I love wearing the Pattern for Pirates Hepburn. That is my top work dress for sure. It is a fast sew and fits very well.

TSM: Your work dresses are so pretty. A wonderful pattern for all seasons.

TSM: We all have our favorites in the sewing room, what would be your favorite notion, or tool?

Teresa: I don’t really have a favorite tool, but I like the idea of a favorite thought. I have a saying that I tell myself when sewing. So, you know I just started sewing bags and when I am not sure if something is going to work out, I tell myself “Breathe Teresa, it is going to be okay. Just do it, don’t even think about it. Don’t think about it, just do it.”

TSM: So, you try not to over think it?

Teresa: I just keep sewing. If I am sewing the zipper I just don’t’ over think it. Then afterwards I sit back and think, whoa, I am not sure how this worked out but it is done.

TSM: You have come a long way from not wanting to start making bags. The ones you have made this far are so pretty.

Teresa: Yes, I have to make a check list that I can check off. I was intimidated and did not want to make a mistake. I would move slow and methodical.

TSM: When cutting out bag material you need a system. Have you changed how you do it now?

Teresa: Yes, I do. I will try and cut my one fabric first. Then move to the next one. That way I was not cutting just one piece (main, lining, and interfacing/stabilizer). It takes too long to refold it between cuts.

TSM: How can we support you in your sewing ventures?

Teresa: The community is the best. I love the community so much. I use it for my mental health. I think the one thing I just love with our influencer team is if I ever need to talk to someone, they are a message away. We are always there for each other.

While at work, I am always talking about my sewing friends. The feedback we get back is almost instantaneous. It is the first time I really had a strong group of women behind me and with me. When I found this community, it is so empowering.

TSM: The sewing community is like a family. We stick together. We are glad that you are here, and you inspire us.

TSM: Originally you didn’t want to sew bags and you took the dive into another hobby. What is something you want to sew or look forward to sewing in the future?

Teresa: I actually have a Linnea cut out and has been for a couple months now. Deep down I want to make a backpack for my daughter. I just do not know when I will be motivated to do it.

TSM: A school backpack?

Teresa: I want to make it out of waterproof canvas.

TSM: The waterproof canvas base would be a great choice. A school backpack is something that would work with that fabric base easily.

Teresa: One day I will get that done.

TSM: Teresa, I want to thank you so much for being here today. You have shared so many fun and interesting facts about yourself. We look forward to supporting you in your endeavors moving forward, as well as, seeing your upcoming strike. Again, thank you for being you!

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