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On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about building a career as a fashion design expert with my guest, Lesley Ware.

Lesley helps young fashionistas of all stripes discover their personal style and talents through fun and creativity. Her passion for inspiring young people began when she earned her degree in elementary education and continued when she orchestrated a national program for the Girl Scouts. She has previously written two books on style and fashion design for girls, Sew Fab: Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas and My Fab Fashion Style File (Laurence King). Her third book, How to Be a Fashion Designer, was released last month published by DK Books.

Lesley Ware

Lesley teaches at The Parsons School of Design, The Metropolitan Museum, Museum of the City of New York and other arts institutions in New York. Her sewing studio is based in Brooklyn where she is designing a capsule collection based on a recent road trip to Kentucky with her dad.

Lesley interacts with young people every day while teaching sewing at a high school in East New York so I ask her what this age group is thinking about when it comes to sewing and crafts. She has some excellent insights that are applicable to anyone who would like to market to or teach the next generation of sewists.

Lesley Ware

We also talk about how Lesley’s books came to be. Her first book deal is a fascinating story involved both serendipity and preparedness.

Sew Fab by Lesley Ware

Lesley has a unique approach to thinking about the problems presented by fast fashion. She explains how she teaches her students to better understand clothing construction and how she herself shops with an eye toward quality. Lesley is an expert at upcycling and refashioning thrifted finds and describes her fabulous style as “nerdy librarian.”

Watch the trailer for Lesley’s first book.

In the interview we refer to:

And, of course, I ask Lesley to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Lesley recommends:

Keep up with Lesley on Instagram and on her website, The Creative Cookie, and be sure to check out her new book, How to Be a Fashion Designer (my 7-year-old can’t put this book down!).


Camp Stitches

This episode is sponsored by Camp Stitches.

Exclusively for Craft Industry Alliance listeners, you can get 20% OFF your choice of a Camp STITCHES — Destination Vermont workshop. The Camp STITCHES experience is like no other. Spend an enchanting weekend, May 31st thru June 4th at the The ESSEX Resort & Spa exploring lace, Fair Isle, dyeing, knit or crochet garment design and Japanese Boro hand stitching and quilting with our stellar line-up of amazing instructors. Reserve your spot now by visiting www.STITCHES.events/CampVermont and entering the coupon code WSPVERMONT18 at check-out.


You can listen to this episode by clicking on the green arrow below, or subscribe to the Craft Industry Alliance podcast on iTunes or on Stitcher so you never miss an episode. If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it! Thank you so much.

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