Interview with Cheryl Hetherington

Cheryl has a preference for natural summer light cottons and often drops by FabricTreasury. So one day, I thought it might be a good idea to see what she makes with all those fabrics. And it turned out be an endearing story. As soon as she receives a package of fabrics from me, she sets about cutting and sewing them into cute tunics and tops for her friends to beat the summer heat in Iowa. Here’s an interview with Cheryl Hetherington of Art of Cheryl Hetherington

Green Tunic

Cheryl Hetherington in her new shirt, that her friend Loretta made fancy with some fine hand work. And oh, she loves this fabric. This is taken in her garden in Iowa City.

What is your earliest memory about sewing or making something with fabrics?
Treadle MachineAt age 12, in the early 1960’s, in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, I began to sew on my mom’s foot treadle machine. Looked a lot like the one in the picture. I first made a pencil skirt from a Simplicity pattern.

What originally gave you the idea about making summer clothes with natural fabrics?And how do you make them?
I have always admired the beautiful flowing, light Indian fabrics that I have seen in my travels, especially in Thailand and Mexico. When my friend said she wanted a tunic that was thin and cool to go over her yoga capris… the search for fabrics began and I discovered FabricTreasury! This time I found a pattern I liked.  Sometimes I use a piece of clothing that I bought during my travels.

How often do you turn to home sewn surprises for your family and friends?
Rarely really, since I have interest in so many kinds of artwork.  Right now, I am really enjoying this meditative sewing time when the beastly heat keeps me inside.

Do you often see something nice in the dress shop and wish if it was in a different material or fabric?
Often yes, and I wear mostly natural fabrics and loose clothing.

Do you stitch from patterns?
Sometimes.

Which are your favorite patterns?
I like Vogue patterns quite a bit.

Do you buy fabrics and stash it away for a future project?
Very often!  We bought many yards of silk fabric in Thailand in 2006, and I just used the last of it this summer.

Which are your most favorite fabrics and what do you see yourself making with them?
Natural fabrics, cotton, linen, silk.   I make lots of blouses!

Yellow Tunic

Cheryl says that these soft cotton fabrics are perfect for hot, humid summer days in Iowa. She has been making tunics for all her dear women friends. They wear them with leggings and a camisole all the time to stay cool and look elegant. Very Easy Vogue Patterns, #V8734

Do you shop online for fabrics? What do you like most about online fabric shops?
Actually, I just started looking online in the last few months.  Though I have sewn most of my life, I have never enjoyed American fabric shops…so online shopping is very appealing, especially since you responded so quickly, clearly and honestly about the fabrics.

What is your next project?
My friends so love the tunics that I am making more and more, probably up to 9 so far.  This week, two of us will go to a local fabric store in Iowa City, Iowa and get some quilting fabrics for tunics.  Though not a wonderful as your fabrics, it will have to do, until the next batch of your light cotton fabrics arrive! 🙂  Hurry please!

Brown Tunic

Cheryl Hetherington writes from Iowa: My friend Nancy is leaving soon to teach in Hong Kong and then tour in China. She wanted a light shirt that packs small and looks beautiful. So here she is in a shirt I made her from the fabric that I got from you. Nice, eh!

About Anne George

I am fascinated by fabrics - the whole story of how plants and other natural products is turned into lustrous yarn and the skill of a hand weaver to turn the yarn into beautiful ethereal fabrics. I also have a fabric shop on Etsy - http://fabrictreasury.etsy.com where I feature hand woven, natural fabrics.
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