Meet the Maker: Kimberly Parrett Coffin
by Kollabora Follow

posted 4 years ago

My name is Kimberly Coffin but you maybe know me as Sweet Red Poppy, and my DIY weapons of choice are a sewing machine, seam ripper and a whole lot of fabric.

When I am looking for inspiration I go shopping. I’m all about the way a garment feels in my hands. I love finding inspiration online, but I find that seeing something in person, being able to feel the texture of the garment and see the drape of the fabric is so much more inspiring. If I absolutely can’t get out of the house, (I have three kids ages three and under) I browse through Pinterest and fashion magazines.

After a long day of making things I like to binge on Netflix. My husband and I just finished watching all 6 seasons of Downton Abbey and now we are in a show hole.

I got started making when I was a young girl. My mother introduced me to sewing. She is an amazing seamstress and has always been wonderfully supportive of my innate desire to create. I was always very interested in crafty things growing up but I didn’t take a special interest in sewing until I was in college. Once I took my first class I was hopelessly hooked. I took every class I could get into and I’ve been sewing ever since.

The one thing that drives my creativity is my unquenchable thirst to gain more knowledge. I love learning new techniques and finding new finishing techniques. I’m continually on the search to gain more knowledge and to learn something new.

When I think about starting a new project I feel so excited! I imagine I’m not the only one who gets completely enthralled by the idea of a new project. Sometimes I have to drop everything I’m doing and go directly to the fabric store once inspiration strikes.

If I wasn’t a stay at home mom I would love to be a marriage and family therapist. That’s actually what I studied in college, but for right now I’m enjoying being a stay at home mom to my three little ones.

The first thing I do when I wake up is to check my Instagram feed from my sewing account. I love seeing sewing inspiration when I wake up in the morning. It’s my daily dose of inspiration.

My favorite place to buy supplies is any brick and mortar fabric or craft store. I’m such a hands-on type of person that I really struggle buying fabric online, plus I so love to support local businesses. I find I really have to touch and feel everything before I can buy it.

The movie/book that can cheer me out of any bad mood is: Gone with The Wind. I’m a total sucker for a classic movie/book. I could go on and on about all of my favorites.

Making makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. Becoming a stay at home mother was a hard transition for me. I struggled to find “who” I was once I no longer had work or school to keep me busy and give me a persona. Sewing reinvigorated my spirits and gave me a feeling of accomplishment after a hard day’s worth of thankless work.

I get out of a creative rut by cleaning my sewing room. It never ceases to amaze me all the inspiration that lies behind the double doors to my sewing room. All that’s required is that I do a little digging. Somehow, I always manage to find some stashed away, beautiful cut of fabric that’s begging to be sewn. Now just remind me of that sentiment the next time I feel like purchasing fabric yet again.

I most relate to stay at home mothers who sew. I love meeting other mothers who are also makers and spend their days caring for their children and their evenings busily sewing away on their machines.

My favorite thing about making is the rush of excitement that comes when I slip on my newly sewn outfit. I’ve never been much of a thrill seeker, but I inevitably get a rush every time I finish a sewing project.

To me, DIY is a manifestation of my personal style. It’s the way I can most accurately portray my preferences for fabrics, colors and styles.

The first thing I made was a pink and black plaid wool boucle skirt when I was 10 with the help of my mother. It had the most adorable kick pleat in the back. I still remember feeling like a million bucks while wearing that skirt!

The most influential person in my life is my adoring husband. I don’t know where I would be without him! He is my confidant, my cheerleader and he believes I’m capable of anything I set my mind to. Having him behind me gives me courage and the belief that no obstacle is insurmountable.

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is to go out on a date with my husband. I look forward to date night all week long! It’s always refreshing to put on a nice outfit, do my hair and makeup and get out of the house after a long week with my littles.  

I can’t get enough PDF Patterns. I’m ashamed to even look at how many PDF Patterns I currently have stored on my Dropbox. I’m a total sucker for a good sale and lately, I seem to buy faster than I sew.

Three words that describe me: loyal, serious and loving. (this is according to my husband)

Three words that describe my work: colorful, unique and stylish.

Best creative advice I ever received is to be true to yourself. Don’t create to please other people, do what makes you happy!

I never leave the house without my diaper bag. I have a three-year-old daughter, two-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter. I don’t go anywhere without diapers and lots and lots of snacks. Because someone’s got to keep the little people happy! Glamorous, right?

The best spots in my city is In N Out. I have a serious burger obsession and because I have a bunch of food allergies and this is one of the few places I can actually eat without getting sick. If you aren’t lucky enough to have lived in California and experienced the goodness of a protein style, mustard fried burger then you are missing out!

One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is I can pick things up with my feet. My husband finds it slightly disturbing, but it sure comes in handy when I’m nine months pregnant and bending over is the last thing I feel like doing and considering that I’ve been nine months pregnant three times in the last four years, it’s shaping up to be a pretty valuable skill.

My DIY secret weapon is HEM TAPE!!! How did I sew for so many years without hem tape? Ever since I made this miracle discovery I have enjoyed sewing so much more. If you haven’t already tried the wonder that is hem tape then you must immediately run to JoAnn’s and pick some up.

The biggest DIY mistake I ever made was trying to make a fur vest for my daughter. That was nearly three years ago. I’ve since avoided fur, but I’m working up the courage to try again.

My next project is a pair Ginger Jeans. I’m currently working on my muslin and I’m so excited to cut into my real fabric!

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