How did you first get into sewing?
My grandmother and my mother both sewed, so I learned some rudimentary skills when I was a child. It wasn’t until I was an adult and struggling to find clothes that I liked that I started learning to sew properly.
Discovering indie pattern makers was a game-changer – I’m mostly self-taught, and having access to comprehensive, illustrated instructions, and online sew-alongs really helped me develop my skills.
How would you describe your personal style?
Classic, but with personalised elements. I like clean lines and natural fabrics wherever possible.
Which is your favourite sewing tool and why?
I love my Bohin Wrist pincushion. It’s elegant, but also practical. I never sew over pins (I’ve lost too many needles that way) and being able to pull pins out while I’m sewing and without breaking my rhythm is invaluable.
What are your best sewing tips/tricks?
Often you can squeeze a pattern out of less yardage than the instructions suggest, but make sure you lay out all your pattern pieces before you start cutting so you don’t end up short.
Instagram has a huge active sewing community, and you can find plenty of inspiration by checking out a hashtag, and following sewers with a similar shape or style to your own.
What are the best (and worst) bits of sewing?
Saying “thank you, I made it!” when someone compliments what you’re wearing feels pretty great, but getting halfway through a project and knowing it’s almost certainly not going to work, then having to decide whether to go to the effort of finishing it or not, definitely doesn’t!
What’s your proudest sewing moment?
Packing my bag for a long holiday, and realising that every item of clothing (bar one dress) had been handmade by me. I hadn’t realised until then what a large percentage of my wardrobe I’d sewn myself before that point.
Do you have a favourite fabric you often choose?
At the moment I’m sewing with a lot of linen – it’s the sort of natural, luxe fabric that’s very difficult to find in RTW in plus sizes.
Where do you get your fabric from?
For prints I usually go to Nerida Hansen Designs or Doops Designs – both feature contemporary Australian Designers and unconventional prints. For plains I’ll go to The Fabric Store, Drapers, or Fabric Deluxe.
If I don’t really know what I’m looking for I’ll pay a visit to Rathdowne Remnants, and I recently placed my first order with Next State, who print on demand from a huge library of designs on a variety of different fabrics.
What would you want to say to someone who’s trying to get started in sewing?
Do it! It can take a while to find your feet, but the ability to sew is both powerful and liberating.
What is your next project?
I’m finishing a Wiksten Shift Dress, and then I’m going to try my hand at the new The Assembly Line A-line skirt – just have to find the right fabric.
What do you do when you’re not sewing?
I cook, read, craft, and look after my toddler!
FAVOURITE TAL PATTERN
My favourite pattern is the Cuff Dress – I love that it’s comfortable and versatile, and suits a variety of different fabric styles. The seams that help give the bodice shape really elevate the dress, and I love the gathered full sleeves.