Coping with the Pandemic – Angela Wolf

Being home for the past few months has been a huge lifestyle change; going from traveling every other week for events to working out of my studio and staying home. Ironically, I have come to cherish this time. Not traveling has allowed so much more time, time to write music and play the piano again (although I really wish I had the thing tuned before the quarantine). I gave a try at cooking, but I think I will leave that to Winn for now!

Thanks to today’s technology, I was able to continue working, hosting daily live Facebook and YouTube shows and virtual classes to stay connected with friends and fans. Although the reason for the quarantine is a tragedy, the time I was able to spend with my husband, enjoying coffee in the morning, dinner at home, and walks in the evening will be forever cherished.

If you can’t wait to read the individual stories, you can view SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #79 by CLICKING HERE.

Design Stars – Angela Wolf

Design Stars

From left to right: Scott Wernet, Frieda Anderson, Angela Wolf, Reen Wilcoxson, Rita Farro, Cheryl Sleboda, Ebony Love, Rhonda Pierce, Rolando Bohlemann, Pete Janss

From left to right: Scott Wernet, Frieda Anderson, Angela Wolf, Reen Wilcoxson, Rita Farro, Cheryl Sleboda, Ebony Love, Rhonda Pierce, Rolando Bohlemann, Pete Janss

Early this year, we had visitors from the Industrial Division of SCHMETZ Germany. To help SCHMETZ executives better understand the consumer market, many activities were arranged. Yes, we had traditional meetings and visited retail shops, but we also toured Modern Quilt Studio with Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr and ended the week with a star studded designer showcase with five designers from the Chicago area. Each designer presented their special niche in the marketplace. The result was aptly described by SCHMETZ as “astonishing!” The day was laced with energy, talent, savvy and a passion for creativity. These five business women demonstrated grit, talent, creativity and strategic work. With hard work, that never goes out of style, they make awesome contributions to the sewing industry that we love. Meet, or re-meet, because several ladies have already been featured in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW: Cheryl Sleboda, Ebony Love, Reen Wilcoxson, Frieda Anderson and Angela Wolf. Five shining stars that make sewing even more fun!

Angela Wolf

Angela Wolf was featured in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #29. With her sparkling personality, and reputation for creativity and hard work — she has become one of the brightest lights in the constellation of “stars” in the sewing industry. The anchor of the PBS series It’s Sew Easy, hosts a popular weekly Facebook Live show “Behind-the-Scenes,” and online instructor with over 140,000 students. She is a fashion and pattern designer, founder of ABO Apparel and Angela Wolf Pattern Collection, author of the book How To Start a Home Based Fashion Business, spokesperson, brand ambassador, blogger, and consultant.

Angela started sewing at a young age and continued to design women’s apparel all thru college. With an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for fashion and sewing, she launched and ran a successful custom apparel and alteration business for over 18 years. In 2008, Angela was a contestant in the “Passion For Fashion” contest at the American Sewing Expo (ASE) in Novi, Michigan. Similar to Project Runway, the contestants were issued a challenge and given a budget to shop for fabric on the show floor. They sewed their garments in an arena, while show attendees watched. Angela thrived in the competitive environment of sewing-as-entertainment.

The year after she won the Passion for Fashion contest, Angela mounted an exhibit of her garments for the ASE … and she became aware of something called the “home sewing industry.” Angela’s phone started ringing and the opportunities just kept coming. The home sewing industry welcomed Angela and her skills with open arms. At this point, Angela says her focus is on teaching and inspiring sewers and fashion designers of all ages; offering easy to follow patterns, online classes, and virtual classes for dealers, stores, and organizations. Angela has an active social media presence with free tutorials on her YouTube channel and Facebook Live Shows, particularly the popular show Behind the Scenes that airs every Wednesday at 1:30PM EST attracting thousands of viewers and fans.

Angela’s travel schedule is packed with dealer events, the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, Quilt Festival, and taping new seasons of the PBS series It’s Sew Easy. You can find Angela’s activities or contact her at

Angela Wolf – What is Her “Go-To” Needle?

Angela Wolf's "Go-To" Needle

Angela’s  “Go To” Needle:  Denim/Jean 90/14 Needle

Denim needles are THE BEST not only for sewing designer jeans, but topstitching, sewing and embroidery on leather, suede, and vinyl.  

Topstitching tip:  Sometimes it is difficult to find coordinating color topstitching thread. Instead, Angela will use 2 or 3 threads of standard poly thread, run through the Denim/Jean needle 90/14.  Change the stitch length to 4.0 and the topstitch looks very professional, as if you are using a thicker thread. 


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Angela Wolf – Fashion Designer and Founder of ABO Apparel and Angela Wolf Pattern Collection

Angela Wolf - Taping TV Show with One of Her New Patterns

Angela Wolf, anchor of the PBS series It’s Sew Easy and host of Craftsy’s new sewing channel on YouTube, is a fashion designer and founder of ABO Apparel and Angela Wolf Pattern Collection. She wrote the book, How to Start a Home-Based Fashion Business.  She is also a spokesperson, blogger, and has contributed to both Threads and SewStylish magazines.  Angela enjoys sharing her passion for fashion sewing and was voted 2012 Teacher of the Year by the American Sewing Expo.

Angela Wolf Book, How to Start a Home-Based Fashion Design BusinessThe oldest of 5 children, Angela’s mom always had a craft going:  needle point, rug kits, paper crafts, cake decorating — there was a big variety.  But sewing was Angela’s favorite.  She made her first outfit (skirt and vest) at summer camp when she was 11.  Even though she was the biggest tom-boy ever, she chose to make a skirt and vest.

Angela recalls, “I was obsessed with fashion sewing and design.  When I was a sophomore in high school, I snuck some vibrant red fabric out of my mother’s stash.  I lay on the fabric and my sisters drew around me with chalk.  The result looked more like a crime scene than a fashion pattern.  But I used their chalk markings to sew and fit the cutest dress.  I wish I’d kept it!
I always loved math (which really comes in handy), so I started college with an engineering degree in mind.  Instead, I graduated with a business degree as that seemed more applicable for entrepreneurship.  During college, my old Singer machine went with me from dorm room to dorm room to apartment, and I designed clothes for myself and others. My sewing machine died two weeks before graduation.  As a gift, my family gave me a brand new sewing machine and serger.  Their idea was to satisfy my ‘hobby’.  Little did they know those machines would launch my career.  I could hardly wait to do what I knew I was meant to do . . . Fashion Design.“

After graduating, Angela moved to Saint Joseph, Michigan and studied everything she could about Fashion Design:  Couture sewing, fitting, flat pattern making, draping, and designing for various body shapes.   She designed a collection with 16 garments and invited all the women she knew to an informal fashion show at a local restaurant (offering free wine). That night was the launch of her custom apparel business, ABO Apparel.

Angela Wolf designs jeans to dresses appropriate for wedding bells.

Angela designs jeans to dresses appropriate for wedding bells.

Many of her clients wanted her to alter their ready-to-wear garments to fit like the custom clothing she designed for them.  Although Angela felt that asking a fashion designer to alter clothes was like asking Picasso to paint your bathroom, she took on alterations because it paid well.  Also, she felt every woman, no matter her size, deserved well-fitting garments.  She soon realized the bonus to doing alterations on designer garments (Chanel, Armani, Escada, etc.) was that she could learn from the masters.  As she pulled them apart, she could clearly see how these fine garments were interfaced, underlined, understitched, staystitched, and so much more.

In 2008, Angela entered the Passion for Fashion design contest at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan.  The contest was similar to an episode of Project Runway, except it was live and on the show floor of a very busy consumer sewing show.  The contestants were given a challenge, and then shopped for fabric from show vendors.  They created their garments with thousands of consumers watching their every move.  During the final Fashion Show, Angela was declared the winner.  It was a game changer.
Until that moment, Angela didn’t even know there was a “sewing world” out there.  She had never attended a consumer sewing show and her victory at the American Sewing Expo (ASE) was a turning point.  The following year she exhibited a large display of her couture designs and the year after that Angela was invited to teach.  In 2012, she was awarded the ASE teacher of the year award.

Angela looks back on her first 15 years in business as a sewing, fitting, and pattern designing bootcamp.  After getting involved with American Sewing Expo, she realized she had a lot to share and she loved teaching. She developed several classes including how to sew your own designer jeans, hand dying fabrics, how to sew with knits, and starting and running an alterations business. And now, thanks to PatternReview and Craftsy, she has over 77,000 students from all over the world.

During this time, Angela met Kathie Stull, who was in the beginning stages of planning the PBS series, It’s Sew Easy.  The concept was for a sewing show that focused on garment sewing.   Angela was a perfect fit and she has been the anchor of the show for 6 years.

Angela Wolf Pattern Collection

What are you wearing today Angela?

Angela’s credibility for It’s Sew Easy came from the fact that she designed and sewed all her own clothes.  She started receiving viewer emails asking “what pattern was your top, or your jeans? etc.”

At that point, Angela made the decision to switch gears in her business.  Instead of designing and sewing for individual clients, she invested in a new CAD software program and started Angela Wolf Pattern Collection — to create patterns for the home sewist.

Her goal with the patterns was to offer a good fit with easy to follow directions no matter how complicated the design.  She wanted the pattern printed on quality paper (easier to trace), with a spiral bound booklet with the directions so the booklet could fold back at the sewing machine.  There would be a coordinating PDF file for the tablet users.

Angela works from a 6,000 sq. ft. office/studio about 10 miles from her house.  She tries to keep to a daily routine when she’s not traveling.   Her first hour is shipping and answering customer emails.  Her day might include some or all of the following — blogging, taping and editing video tutorials, testing new patterns, consulting, experimenting with new technology on sewing and embroidery machines, or designing fabric.

“Fabric inspires me to create and I have quite the stash. I design a lot of my own fabrics, although I don’t sell it on a mass scale, it’s on my short-term bucket list.  From hand-dyeing, printing, embellishing with embroidery and quilting, the list goes on. It makes me sad to see so many fabric stores closing, as people buy online or they go to a store and find a better deal online.  There is nothing better than touching and feeling the hand of the fabrics!”  

Angela with 20+ lbs. of King Salmon Glory!

Angela with 75 lbs. (well, we think it’s that big) of King Salmon Glory!

From April through September, Angela leaves the office on Friday to jump on board their boat the Win-n-Angel.  Her husband (his name is Winn) and she (sometime the Angel) fish professionally on the Salmon Tournament Trail on Lake Michigan. They are featured on the Salmon Showdown reality tv show.  Brother is the official sponsor of their team.  So, of course every team has embroidered jackets and hats.  Angela is honored to be Brother’s official brand ambassador in the sewing world and humbled by the fact they believe in her enough to sponsor her fishing team in the sports world.

“The phrase work hard, play hard sums up my life.  I never stop working — even when I am laying in the sun on a beach — I am coming up with new embellishing techniques, new patterns, thinking about new technology on the machines, researching new trends, new ideas for fabric designs.  Years ago, my grandmother asked, ‘does your mind ever stop?’ Not when you love what you do!
One viewer wrote and told me that watching It’s Sew Easy on Saturday mornings became her new routine after she lost her husband. She told me it helped her to work through the grief and inspired her to start sewing again. I am very blessed to have a career that I am able to grow in and inspire others to do the same.”

Visit Angela at:


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