I’ve been meaning to take part in the Seamstress Tag, which was set up by Hollie Dolly and has been going around for a few months now. I thought the launch of my new website was a great chance to take part and tell you a bit more about me.
1) Who are you?
I am Sarah, a 40 (yes, still coming to terms with that one) year old sewist from Bristol, UK. I live with my wonderful partner, Alex, who is a singer/songwriter and our stunning Bengal cat, Jasmine.
I work in Marketing as an Account Manager. After being made redundant last year, I have been freelancing, which has been great as it means I can make more time for sewing!
2) When & why did you start sewing?
I started sewing when I was about 12. I took Textiles GCSE at school and really developed an interest in it. Funnily enough, every time I iron on interfacing, the smell instantly transports me back to Mrs Taylor’s sewing room at school!
Sewing must be in the blood though as there is quite a history of it in my family. My mum used to sew all of her own clothes and had dreams of becoming a fashion designer. She could never find clothes to fit her so, rather than shopping in the children’s section, she chose to make her own clothes!
After a break from the sewing machine at University, I decided to start sewing again when I joined a band and was looking for 1950’s style dresses to wear on stage. At the time, they were very difficult to find, so I decided to find a pattern and make my own. This resulted in me buying a machine of my own and really falling in love with sewing. I started my blog in 2014.
3. What is your favourite or proudest make?
I made what can only be described as a ‘gown’ for my 40th birthday party. I saw the pattern on Instagram and knew I had to make it! It is the McCalls M7154 dress pattern. I made it in a dark grey fairly cheap taffeta as a wearable toile as I really wasn’t sure what the fit was going to be like and would then make it again in a more luxurious fabric. Actually the fit was pretty spot on but it was so tricky and time-consuming to make that I decided to just go with what I had as I really didn’t have the patience to go through it all again! Maybe one day if I ever have the occasion…
4. What is your most disastrous make?
I made a lined Sew Over It Joan dress and really struggled with the instructions for creating the back vent. I got the hang of it but when I tried it on, the vent was way too high up, so I decided to alter it and in doing so I ended up sewing things all the wrong way around and inside out, and by that point, I was so fed up of it, I just left it in a heap and it has been languishing in the UFO (unfinished objects) pile ever since! It looks great from the front but the back is a disaster!
5. Where is your favourite place to go fabric shopping?
Recently Marie opened up an amazing fabric shop in Bristol called Sewn, that specialises in high quality dressmaking fabric. As big as Bristol is, prior to that, there really wasn’t much choice when it came to fabric shops – pretty much Fabricland or nothing! I did used to work in the Midsomer Norton, which is in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing to do on a lunchtime apart from visit the little shopping centre but, luckily for me, there was a treasure trove of a fabric shop that was packed the the rafters with pretty things!
6. What is your most used pattern?
I have six Colette Patterns Moneta dresses (and one more in the works, because who doesn’t need one for every day of the week?!) and five Colette Patterns Sorbeto tops.
7. Your most dreaded sewing task is…
Threading my overlocker! It is so sensitive and will go wrong if you so much at breathe near it! I have got much better at threading it over the years but I just hate that it involves getting my hands all scratched up as I do it. I have my eye on one of the Babylock overlockers with the jet air system – a girl can dream, right?! #sergergoals
8. And your favourite sewing task?
I actually love a bit of topstitching – so satisfying!
9. What is your favourite ‘sewing entertainment’?
I sometimes have Netflix on the laptop while I sew. Shows like Gilmore Girls are perfect as they don’t need too much concentration and can just be on in the background. Otherwise I just listen to Spotify.
10. Printed or PDF?
I used to love proper printed patterns and I do still love some of the independent patterns as they are just so pretty (I’m looking at you Colette Patterns and Tilly and the Buttons!), however, I do really love the convenience of a PDF pattern. So easy to print out at home instantly and piece together.
11. What sewing machine do you use?
I was very fortunate to receive the Janome Atelier 5 for my 40th birthday from my amazing friends and family. I absolutely love it.
I also have a Janome DC 3050 as a back up and a Janome 9200D overlocker.
There have definitely been days when all three are on the go at once – it makes sewing jeans much faster.
12. Do you have any other hobbies?
I sing in various bands and I love yoga and reading. More than anything, my main other hobby is worshiping my beautiful cat, Jasmine!!
If you haven’t taken part already, join in with the Seamstress Tag x