Hello! It’s been a few weeks since I have posted, life has been hectic. I am in the process of producing the second post for the Sewalong but in the meantime I thought I would join in with the #theseamstresstag that is going viral around the sewing community! This is the brainchild of Holly from Holly Sews and I have seen various other people take part such as Leigh from Clueless Seamstress, Jess from Little Miss Lorraine and Ellie from Ellie Maclulich, so here we go!
1) Who are you?
This question is difficult to answer without heading for the obvious response: My name is Claire, I am 41 and live on the Isle of Wight, in the UK. While the UK in general can be a bit drab in places, the island is gorgeous. Its a holiday resort for a very good reason and I love living here. I work in admin in the charity sector and love to be creative as often as possible. I am married and have an adult son.
2) When & why did you start sewing?
I have been sewing for between 2-3 years now. I’d gotten into other crafts and bought a sewing machine while in Ikea on a whim. The machine sat there for months collecting dust until one day I came across Tilly and the Buttons blog and my interest was piqued. I haven’t looked back. When I was young I remember my grandmother sewing, she used to make all her own curtains and upholstery, she was very creative. My mother also sewed when I was young but not seriously as far as I can recall. I never took a great deal of interest but wish I had now!
3) What is your favourite or proudest make?
My proudest make is my Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons. It looked fantastic when I finished and I got real butterflies in my tummy when I saw the finished piece. It went so well and I couldn’t believe I made something so professional looking. I must make another soon.
4) What is your most disastrous make?
I have had lots of disasters (this is how we learn, no?) but the one that sticks out in my mind is a skirt I made from Tilly and the Buttons book Love at First Stitch. It was the A-line skirt (I can’t remember the name). I made it in a gorgeous fabric and it looked wonderful all except I messed the zip up completely and one side of the waistband was much higher than the other…
5) Where is your favourite place to go fabric shopping?
As I live on the island there are not many shops to chose from (we only really have two and their stock is limited). So I am always really excited to go to the mainland and visit Fabricland. So many fabrics at such good prices. Okay they’re not high end but for what you pay you get good quality. I do most of my shopping online, usually on Ebay, Abakhan, Fabric Godmother or Sew Over It. I’m always on the look out for new fabric shops so please leave a comment if you recommend one I haven’t mentioned.
6) What is your most used pattern?
This is difficult for me to answer because it is rare I have made the same pattern twice. This is going to have to change now as I am starting to do extensive fitting alterations to the patterns I make, so I will have to make them more than once or they wont be worth the work. I love the Colette Wren and Moneta dresses (great for plus size), and By Hand London Victoria Blazer. I also like Sew Over It’s Betty dress (my wedding dress) and their shift dress.
7) Your most dreaded sewing task is…
Altering a garment I have finished making… so far this hasnt happened because it goes on the pile to be fixed and doesnt get looked at again!
8) And your favourite sewing task?
Pinning fabric because this is when you can see your garment start to take shape, and it gives you – the seamstress – more control when the fabric is under the needle.
9) What is your favourite ‘sewing entertainment’?
I usually like to watch vlogs but sometimes that doesnt work because the machine is noisy. Other times I don’t have any entertainment – my health condition means I can’t cope with excessive noise (I can only use my serger for 10 minutes at a time). Very occasionally I will have iplayer on while I sew.
10) Printed or PDF?
I like both but if I had to chose one it would be PDF. You can start making it more quickly, you have a back up copy, you can print on sturdy paper… but I do miss the glamour of a pre-made pattern envelope, they are so pretty these days!
11) What sewing machine do you use?
I have a Janome DKS100. I love this machine but I bought it less than a year ago and have had nothing but problems with it. It is behaving at the moment so fingers crossed. I also have a Janome serger, which has been fantastic, a vintage machine which I intend to sell, and two brother basic back up machines, which I hope I never have to use.
12) Do you have any other hobbies?
Yes! I havent come across a sewer yet who doesn’t! I also make jewellery and have a ridiculous amount of supplies, although I havent made anything in a while. I am teaching myself illustration at the moment so I can draw croquis (it is going to take a while!) Zoe Kong on Youtube is fantastic if you are interested in this. I also like to crochet, although my keenness for this comes and goes! Sewing is the only hobby that has really stuck!
I am supposed to tag others to do this but I think most of the people I would have tagged have already been tagged. So if you want to do this too please do and leave a comment with a link to your post.
Don’t forget to #theseamstresstag so you can be found!