Our TSM team is full of many inspiring, humble, and talented sewists. February, the month of love, compassion, and friendship, we celebrate our Influencer Spotlight. Amii Jordan Mannings has several years of sewing experience, a great sense of fashion, and is so kind-spirited. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
TSM: When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Amii: I always wanted to be a fashion designer. I would put on fashion shows for my dogs with random clothing from my mom’s closet, including her heels!
TSM: I think that was my dream too. Do you feel that wanting to be a fashion designer started your creativity to begin sewing?
Amii: Absolutely, although I didn’t start sewing until later in life.
TSM: What was your favorite yet craziest outfit that you created?
Amii: The wildest outfit was my mom’s fur coat over a sparkly t-shirt. I used her pantyhose (that I wrapped around my waist and stuffed into her high heels). The funniest part about it all is that we lived in the Philippines at the time, and I was sweating my butt off.
TSM: Oh my! I can picture a younger you dressing up. So, are you from the Philippines?
Amii: Yes ma’am. I was born on Clark Air Force Base. We lived there until I was 10 years old.
TSM: I find this really cool. Were you a military child?
Amii: Yes! I am also a veteran. I served in the Navy.
TSM: Thank you so much for your service. We appreciate your sacrifice.
TSM: Earlier you stated you started sewing later in life, what was the first thing you sewed?
Amii: It was a leotard for my daughter. I started sewing honestly out of necessity. She has a short torso and I was having to have all of her costumes and class leotards altered. That was starting to get too expensive!
TSM: Wow, that is a great way to look at why you started. Out of need to save financially. Not to mention, now she has leotards that fit properly.
TSM: How long have you been sewing?
Amii: I would say about 8 years. Even though it feels like forever ago when I started.
TSM: Eight years is a long time. During your sewing journey, what is or was your favorite technique or tool you used?
Amii: Hands down the burrito method! I love clean finishes and it’s so easy to achieve with the burrito method.
TSM: The burrito roll method is a game changer to avoid bindings and bands. Clean finishes or making things reversible with that method is a game changer.
Amii: Definitely, a game changer. It took me a minute to figure it out, but I think it was the wording in some of the tutorials. As soon as I saw a video, it was game over.
TSM: The visuals help so much. What is your favorite outfit you have sewn?
Amii: Mmm… this is a tough one. I have to say a blazer. I usually don’t gravitate to color, but the blazer made with the Good Vibes print made me feel amazing.
TSM: Is there a new technique or method you want to learn?
Amii: Does bag making count? I really want to learn how.
TSM: Bag making totally counts. I must warn you, making them is addicting and a whole other level of expensive.
Amii: Story of my life!
TSM: It is so worth it and satisfying to see your finished product. Maybe one day soon we will see you on the TSM Pattern Test team.
Amii: Only if it is beginner friendly. Seriously, I’m going to try to make the Opal organizer.
TSM: We can’t wait to see it. I know earlier you said one of your most favorite things you made was the blazer. Now is that your favorite pattern at this current time?
Amii: I think my favorite pattern right now is the Made for Mermaids Scarlett. It’s so flattering. I have made so many versions of it too.
TSM: Scarlett is a great pattern, and you look fabulous in it.
Amii: Thank you.
TSM: Now we are all waiting in here in suspense. What is your favorite TSM print?
Amii: My favorite TSM print is definitely Sandstone Desert. I absolutely adore all the neutral tones in it!
TSM: Sandstone Desert from the Alcohol Inks round is beautiful with its natural and neutral colors. Did you use Liverpool?
Amii: Yes! The texture of Liverpool and the color of Sandstone Desert is perfection.
TSM: What was the name of the pattern you used for the Sandstone print?
Amii: I used the Melissa Sweatshirt from DIBY patterns.
TSM: Your top was a sweatshirt? I would not have guessed that as it was so classy and business attire.
Amii: That is Liverpool for you. It makes any pattern look dressy in my opinion.
TSM: You are such a fun and high energy spirit, what is something unique about you?
Amii: Hmmm… these are hard questions.
Amii: I’m extremely passionate about my hobbies. When I get interested in something, I go all in. For example, I got interested in gardening and I literally researched everything about it. I even went so far to get a Master Gardening Certification from LSU. Now my backyard is a mini farm.
TSM: That is impressive. You answered my next question. Just in case you missed something you wanted to add, I will ask anyway. What are your hobbies and interests?
Amii: Gardening, music, cooking, traveling and anything outdoors especially hiking and foraging. I’m obsessed right now about being sustainable.
TSM: Your gardening and harvest look amazing. Would you say this is your self-care for yourself or do you use other methods to make time for you?
Amii: Thank you! It is definitely self-care. The last couple of years I developed so many health problems. My doctors couldn’t give me definite answers. I decided to change how and what I ate. Gardening gives me the control over what I put into my body, and I am slowly healing myself. It’s a very rewarding thing.
TSM: That is wonderful. Growing your own food and cutting out all the preservatives, chemicals, and pesticides that you may obtain with store bought food. You mentioned you like to travel. Where would you like to go?
Amii: I have recently traveled to Jamaica and would love to plan a trip to Africa.
TSM: Those truly sound like gorgeous places to visit. We cannot wait to hear about them.
TSM: Amii we really want to thank you for taking time out of your busy evening to spend time with us. We appreciate you sharing a little more about yourself. We look forward to seeing more of your beautiful makes and your start to bag making.