Next up in our Meet the Blogger series is Corrine from Appleby Makes, who has been a Simple Sew blogger since 2016.
Having started sewing to to replace her high street shopping habits, Corrine’s style is relaxed, easy going and super wearable and she’s whipped up most of our Simple Sew separates patterns, accompanied by fab tutorials and step by steps.
Find out more about Corrine’s sewing adventures, favourite’s and foe’s below…
Why did you start sewing?
I first started sewing because I thought it was something I ought to be able to do! I bought my first sewing machine about 15-16 years ago and used it to make cushions and curtains. I made the occasional garment from a big 4 pattern with mixed success but I did enjoy it.
I only really got into sewing once we’d started our family blog, Appleby Makes, though. My husband set up the blog to document all the things we made as he dabbled in woodwork (and still does) whereas I was more of a knitter. I had moved up north to Scarborough from London at this point and the clothes shopping (which I was addicted to) was rubbish in comparison! I got my shopping fix by sewing instead and haven’t looked back.
What’s been your proudest sewing moment?
There’s a few things I’ve made that I’m very proud of. I transformed a leather jacket into a pencil skirt which I thought looked great. I entered it in an online sewing competition and it won too! It’s too big for me now which is upsetting! I’ve also been lucky enough to make my own bridesmaid dress for my best friend’s wedding I’ve also made a couple of coats which I’m really happy with.
What’s your favourite sewing technique? And the technique you dread having to do?
I love bagging out things. Does that count? It’s always exciting to see a garment or bag being ‘born’ and making the project look so neat and professional looking. I try not to dread a task. I’m not keen on button holes. I never used to mind them but my machine has started playing up with these. I have discovered snaps though!
What’s your favourite fabric to sew with and why?
It sounds boring but I love a simple cotton. It does what it’s told so I can concentrate on the sewing. My favourite garments to sew are shirts and there’s nothing better than a crisp, cotton shirt in my opinion.
Could we have a peep at your sewing space? (need photo)
I wish I had a sewing space but I don’t. I have a dining room. We use our dining room every day to eat meals as a family so I do not have any kind of permanent set-up. I clear up the sewing machine (and dump it on the floor!) before every meal. It’s not ideal but I’ve got it to work for me.
Where do you get your fix of sewing inspiration?
All over the place. I read a lot of blogs. I particularly like the round-up blogs by the Fold Line and Helen’s Closet. I’m also a sucker for the pretty Instagram pictures. I sometimes go clothes ‘browsing’ (I rarely buy) and see what the high street has to offer. I’m never stuck for inspiration
Which sewing community sew-alongs have you joined in with?
I’ve recently got as far as round three of Pattern Review’s Sewing Bee which I was really pleased about. This was the first time I’ve entered this contest. I’ve also joined a fair few community sewing challenges over the years, although I’m not sure about sew-alongs as such. I have taken part in the Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern month several years running, but they are no more which is sad! I joined the ‘Sew together for summer’ challenge last year.
Which fabric suppliers do you tend to shop with most?
I try to shop locally where I can. Scarborough has improved massively in terms of choice for dressmaking fabrics. I’ve bought a fair bit of fabric from our newest fabric shop – Finns Fashion Fabric. Boyes has also upped its fabric game and I buy a fair bit from there. I always buy my threads, zips, buttons and other haberdashery from there too. I also buy a bit from sewing meet-ups. I’ve been to #sewdowndewsbury three times and always buy from Lucky Fashions and Fabworks. I’ve also been to #sewupnorth in Leeds three times and have never come away from B&M fabrics and the market empty handed!
What do you like most about writing a sewing blog?
The best thing about my blog is all the people I’ve ‘met’ and interacted with through it. In some cases I’ve gone on to meet commenters in real life too. I’ve also enjoyed just documenting my makes and referring back to it.
Anything special about your sewing blog that we need to know?
My sewing blog, Applebymakes, is not supposed to be a sewing blog but it has morphed into one over the years. In fact, it’s meant to be a family blog. It’s supposed to be a way of documenting all our makes – knitting, woodworking, cross stitching and sewing. It’s more than six years old now and you should read the early posts! They were literally a sentence and a picture! I’m not supposed to be the only author on it. My husband is the main author (supposedly) but he hasn’t posted in ages. He says that all my sewing followers won’t be interested to read about his woodworking. Looking at the statistics on the blog, this is utter rubbish. We are always arguing about it, because I don’t want the blog to be just about sewing!
What’s your go to Simple Sew pattern?
The Simple Sew pattern that I’ve made more than any other is the Miranda T-shirt. I’ve made several t-shirts, both for myself and others, but what I wear the most is my cardigan that I hacked from the pattern.
And the Simple Sew pattern that you’ve made that’s got the ‘wow’ factor?
Without question my Bardot dress. It’s made from some spectacular, emerald green fabric that I bought from a charity shop. At one point I wore it to every occasion going but it’s too big now and needs altering so I’ve not worn it for a while. I must bring it out of retirement!
If you could give a piece of advice to a Simple Sew pattern newbie what would it be?
When I made my first Simple Sew garment (the Bardot Dress mentioned above) I considered myself to be a beginner. I just took my time and followed the instructions carefully and I was very pleased with how it turned out. My advice to a newbie would be to choose a beginner pattern, use some cheap fabric so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t quite turn out, read the instructions carefully and just go for it. Even if it goes wrong (as it does for everyone at some point) then you would have learned something and the next one will be better. Practice really does make perfect.
Can you share you top two Simple Sew pattern sewing tips?
My favourite sewing tip would be to sew what you love. You want to be absolutely sure you’re going to wear your finished make! Just because I’m a Simple Sew blogger does not mean that I’m going to suit all their patterns. I’ve been a blogger for several years and tend to stick to plain and simple garments. I have sewn very few girly dresses because they’re not my style, although I do love my Bardot dress!
Another tip would be to read the instructions carefully then do your own thing! I sometimes think I can do something a better way – such as my Hayley Ballet top in my last post. I do this with recipes too! It does help if you’ve been sewing for a few years though.