Meet Melissa Mora of Melly Sews
May 22, 2014 in Stitchin Women
“Dream. Learn. Make.” These are smart words to live by and ones that new Baby Lock/Totally Stitchin’ contributor Melissa Mora doesn’t stray from. It’s easy to understand one of the inspirations for this motto when you look into Melissa’s sewing history. Her life revolved around the theater until a new little life took priority.
The birth of Melissa’s son inspired her to make a living with her sewing skills, and she hasn’t looked back. “I realized the sewing patterns I wanted for him weren’t being created, so I started creating and sharing things on my blog, and then people expressed interest in them and it snowballed from there,” Melissa said. She dreamt of new baby clothes, learned the necessary drafting skills, and made the baby clothes of her dreams. Dream. Learn. Make.
Now she’ll be doing the making part on a Baby Lock Elizabeth sewing machine and Imagine serger. Although her first serger was a Baby Lock machine, the Elizabeth and Imagine are both brand new to Melissa. “I am loving the new machines. I’ve been dreaming of a Jet-Air machine ever since I learned about that feature,” she said. “I’m still getting used to having so many features with the Elizabeth, but I’m really growing to like the option to program the needle to stop in the down position. And I love that there are so many presser feet options – I plan to explore more of them!”
Since she decided to venture into blogging and commercial sewing, Melissa has designed patterns for Blank Slate Patterns (about to release its newest patterns) and Pattern Anthology (something new in the works here, too). Her blog, MellySews.com, is also very successful, and she’s hoping to bring the energy from it to the Totally Stitchin’ community. “My blog motto is ‘Dream. Learn. Make.’ I sew because all my life I’d dream up things that I couldn’t find for purchase, so then I’d set about learning what I needed to know to make what I wanted. I want to give others the same freedom.”
Before her latest sewing endeavors, Melissa she spent a lot of time sewing for theater and in the classroom. Melissa was a high school theater teacher and although some of her time was spent teaching students how to design and create costumes, she was in charge of the entire performing arts building so her time was not 100% dedicated to sewing. Her experience teaching plus her over 30 years of sewing experience has carried over to her patterns and tutorials making them easy to follow and understand.
“Even before I really knew about blogs, I would do photo tutorial worksheets or posters for my students so they could sew props/costumes without me standing right next to them… During class I might have students sewing in the sewing room, students building in the shop, and students rehearsing on stage all at the same time. This meant I had to find a way for them to complete their tasks without me directly supervising. And because they were high school students, I learned to be really thorough and explicit in my instructions. That has definitely carried over to writing patterns and blog posts. Years of teacher training, lesson planning and teaching sometimes reluctant high school kids to love sewing have made writing clear tutorials second nature to me.”
Though Melissa does occasionally find her way into community theater productions, most of her time today is dedicated to family and sewing. How does she balance it all? According to Melissa, it’s a bit of a juggling act, but she manages. One trick is organization. “I do tend to be hyper organized; I love lists and calendars and smartphone to-do apps. I work ahead as much as possible and I generally work fast and hard,” she explained.
Does being extremely organized help you prioritize? How do you manage to pursue your dreams? Follow Melissa on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube for constant tips and encouraging words to Dream. Learn. and Make. While you’re clicking around, be sure to check out Melissa’s blog…she’s introducing her new machines!
Welcome to the Baby Lock/Totally Stitchin’ community, Melissa! We’re so happy to have you!