I’m a Designer & Maker (among other things)

I began my sewing journey in Junior High “Home Economics” class. Never before had the teacher seen such a disaster. Luckily, I instinctively understood that a sweatshirt (knit fabric!!) was perhaps not the most appropriate introduction to sewing, and I didn’t give up there. My first sewing machine was an old Singer (not yet cool vintage, just old) that I got from my High School Driver’s Ed instructor in exchange for babysitting. I then learned the basics from a Singer sewing book that I checked out of the library for months at a time and proceeded to make some bad patchwork projects to wear on Phish tour in the 90’s.

Fast forward far more than a decade and I found myself with my shiny new PhD moving back to the USA in 2012 after almost a decade abroad and soon followed by my container-shipped collection of fabric, primarily from Africa and the Netherlands (Yep! Enter Vlisco!). What to do with all this fabric? Having never installed a zipper or used interfacing, let alone made a single bag in my life, I logically decided to start making gig bags (protective bags for musical instruments). This led to a successful niche business (DBMM: More Than A Pretty Case) designing and making gig bags (and, later, more general use bags) out of genuine Vlisco Dutch Wax fabrics.

After about 5 years and a lot of fun interaction in bagmaking Facebook groups, I decided to turn my attention to teaching the design and bag/accessory-making techniques I had learned over the years and “DB Maker” was born.

I love combining my love of bag/accessory designing and making with my love of teaching! Rather than simply teaching “cut this, do that”, I really try to teach the “why” as well as the nuts and bolts of “how” so that folks finish a course knowing not just how to make one specific type/size/style of bag, but how to explore different options, whether that be different sizes of the same style or different kinds of straps and handles and why you might want one vs. another. Be ready for your brain as well as your sewing machine to get a workout in my courses!