Introducing Christel, the original Wollyonline Team Member

5:30:00 PM

If you would like to join the Wollyonline team please send me an email. You can find my email address on this page: Christel Contact. As a Team Member you will be asked to answer a questionnaire.  This is something that I never did myself so I will go first.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Yes, I can. I'm Christel Dekker 46 years old. My Husband and I split our time between The Hague Holland and Houston Texas. We first went to The Hague in 2016 and after 20 years in the US it's a bit of an adjustment. Not so much a culture shock because I'm originally Dutch so that part was easy but dear oh dear the weather! I now have umbrellas everywhere!

How old were you when you started sewing?
I was 8 years old. When I was 7, I noticed something in a kitchen cabinet. It was a strange thing that I had never seen before, so I asked my mom: "What is that?"
My Mom: "That is a sewing machine."
Me: "What does it do?"
My Mom: "It makes clothes."
Me: "Can I use it?"
My Mom: "When you are 8."

My gift for my eight birthday was the use of that old Victoria sewing machine. Turns out I was born in a family where every woman can sew. I have a famous designer cousin Monique van Heist, she inherited 99% of the family talent but the rest of us are having a blast with that last 1%! The fun thing is that this skill is passed on by the men in the family. I have inherited it from my Dad. Who of course never sews... ever... but if he wanted to, he could : 0

What started your sewing career?
Dire need of Barbie doll clothes. I had a huge Barbie doll house that my dad made for me and all my dolls only had these strange gala type dresses, those did not work in the house, they needed pants, T-shirts and normal things like that.

What was the first thing you made?
Yes, that would be pants for my Barbie dolls.

What are your favorite things to sew?
Ha funny, anything toy related, dolls clothes are No. 1 of course!

What would you love to never ever sew again?
CURTAINS & CUSHIONS!! My mom made me sew curtains and cushions enough to last me 2 lifetimes.

Who is/are the main recipient(s) of your sewn items?
My charities, Salvation Army is where most my creations go these days.

What is something that you always wanted to make but haven’t yet?
I would love to make a play-mat with little animals. I'm obsessed with farms. I have made play-mats and animals but have never put them together.

What was your biggest sewing project to date?
All downstairs curtains for my parents' house. Never ever again!

What was the most important sewing project to date?
My wedding dress. It has to be said that my aunt Leontine, the best seamstress in the family, did all the work. When she was younger she worked in a very upscale (wedding) dressmakers shop in Den Bosch. She is incredibly talented and I looked great on my wedding day in a dress made with Chiffon layers (shudder to think about having to sew that) and Brussels lace.

What was the last thing you finished?
A Cat Doll. You can see it on my personal blog. These are SOOO much fun to make!

Were you happy with the result?
Yep, it's a cute little thing.

What was the last thing you had to throw out because it failed desperately?
Oh my,  I just ruined a fox doll, just horrible! I made a huge mistake, must have been asleep or something.

Could it have been saved?
Probably but some times you just have to admit defeat and it's now sitting in the grey container outside until it's picked up tomorrow. Sorry fox.

What was your first sewing machine?
A Singer that my Dad and I purchased on my 12th birthday. It was such a big event for me. I remember that we went shopping in Den Bosch and went to a real sewing machine store. I could not comprehend that it was really going to happen. It was a grand birthday : )

What machines(s) do you use these days?
A great many, you can see the list on on my blogs and then are a few duplicates I did not mention and some that I left out altogether. It's quite an insane list now that I'm looking at it.

Which one is your favorite?
For sewing the Brother Quattro 3. There is a reason I have so many Brother machines! They stitch beautifully and never fail. For serging I prefer the Bernette 335. This serger was given to me by an older lady who had a ton of trouble with it. She said that I could have it. I told her that maybe I could fix it and asked if she wanted it back after I did? She was so sick of it, she was fine with me keeping the machine even if I got it working. Well, I played around a little and found a faulty part around the back, it was bad engineering, my Dad fixed it and it's been a trusted workhorse ever since.

What other crafts do you do?
Tons of paper crafts. It's lovely to do paper crafts with friends where I prefer to sew alone. I used to play tennis but my whole body is done, no more, shoulder ripped apart... it was fun while it lasted but that part of me is done.

Christel Dekker

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