08 Mar 2019 Rippin’ Ain’t Easy Winner: Nef
Announcing the 2019 Rippin’ Ain’t Easy Sewing Competition Winner:
You exhibited creativity, craftsmanship and fun!
My Name is Nefertiti and I am a colorholic. My name means “the beautiful one has come.” I grew up in Atlanta Georgia, currently living in Virginia, and I come from a family of 3 brothers and 7 sisters. Yes my mom and dad had 11 children (now 10 #5 transitioned in 2014). We sometimes refer to each other by number and I am number 4! I love fashion, unicorns, rainbows, and Tracee Ellis Ross! I enjoy re-creating designer fashions without spending high-end prices. I currently suffer from #youknowyoudonthaveroomforthisnewfabrictitis but with the help of sewing from my stash projects, I can slowly recover from my illness.
I enjoy lots of sunlight, karaoke, my yoga practice, music, and walks in the park (for real). My Partner in Life and I have been married for 10 years. We have two dogs (Pomeranian and American Cocker spaniel). I like to listen to ALL kinds of music while sewing from Sade to Lil Jon and the Eastside boys (I said I’m from ATL). I’m actually a tomboy at heart and didn’t wear dresses much until my mid 20’s. If I don’t know how to do something, I teach myself. I don’t like talking on the phone (text me) and In the famous words of Erykah Badu, “Keep in mind that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit!”
Were you surprised when you won?
Yes, I was extremely surprised when I won. In my mind I told myself I was okay no matter what the outcome. I feel just having fun and creating was the actual prize/win for me.
Do you listen to music when you sew? If so, what is on your playlist?
Yes, I listen to music when I sew. I also sing very loud. My playlist is all over the place but I mostly listen to Masego, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, and Cardi B.
Have you had formal training?
I have never had formal training. Growing up I helped my mother sew and cut out patterns for her clients but I didn’t take sewing seriously until my late 20’s. At that time I refreshed my sewing memory from childhood and learned new techniques from YouTube. I also traced clothes from my closet to recreate.
What inspires you?
The feeling I get when I make clothes for myself and others inspires me. The reactions of people when they see me wearing my creations also inspires me. Being able to recreate high-end looks at a fraction of the price inspires me.
My unconventional look was inspired by my love for rainbows, unicorns, and my love for the art of hair, specifically, women of color. I completed cosmetology school after high school and never officially worked as a licensed cosmetologist due to my full time job. It’s pretty apparent that I’m not afraid to use that same colorful energy for my hair as well. I also love all things floral and that is how I came up with flowers for the hair dress.
What drew you to join Pretty Girls Sew?
I’ve seen Pretty Girls Sew circulating through the sewing community on Instagram. I was actually having a conversation with my competitor, Seweu, about the flyer to apply for the competition. Pretty Girls Sew seemed like a fun opportunity for me to challenge myself as a designer/creative. That same day I went to the post and applied.
What is your favorite garment/item made thus far?
This is a total shocker but my favorite garment made thus far is my unconventional look.
Do you sketch designs?
I do sketch most of my designs. I’ve tapped more into my artistic side within the past year and sketching my designs helps me to have a clearer vision of my makes.
What’s your passion?
My passion is creating as a whole. I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands. I love painting and all things DIY. Sewing is one way that I love to use my hands and allow my thoughts to reflect from my creations.
What was your favorite challenge during the competition?
My favorite challenge was creating the unconventional look. Although I was braiding for days, I knew it would turn out exactly how I pictured it in my mind.
What was the hardest part of the competition?
The hardest part of the competition for me was creating the collection in the shortest and already busiest month of the year for me. Juggling my personal life, full time job, and customers all while making 3 detailed garments was not easy.
Any advice for future participants?
My advice for future participants is to ENJOY YOURSELF, be creative, sew from your stash if you can, have a schedule and do your best to stick with it, and put just as much effort into your photography as you put into creating.
And without further ado, enjoy the talent of Nef below!