In a new series for 2020, we’re taking some time out with each of our fabulous Simple Sew bloggers to find our more about their sewing, what motivates and inspires them and their hints and tips for Simple Sew pattern fans. And we’ll be taking a sneaky peak at their sewing spaces, because who doesn’t like a look behind closed doors…
First up is Angela of Look’s like I made it who, with her own distinctive style that ranges from down right funky to classic dressing, shares her sewing journey.
Why did you start sewing?
I had always been interested in fashion, doing little clothes doodles and cutting out pictures from magazines. I felt like I was never going to be able to make any of my doodles come to life, so in 2014 I finally bit the bullet and decided to teach myself to sew.
What’s been your proudest sewing moment?
Getting a sewing review printed in Sew Now Magazine was a nice surprise, also getting the chance to play shows with my band in me-made outfits always gives me a buzz.
What’s your favourite sewing technique? And the technique you dread having to do?
I don’t think there’s anything more satisfying than a lovely neat, sneaky, understitch to stop your facings flapping out, I love the professional finish that adds to a garment. As for dreaded technique, I’ll put off sewing a curved hem until I absolutely have to!
What’s your favourite fabric to sew with and why?
I’ve been really enjoying working with leather and suede recently. I love how fancy I feel in a handmade suede garment! It can be a bit tricky to get it to do exactly what you want it to do, so always feels like an achievement! I love visiting leather fairs and seeing what’s on offer, also it can be quite expensive so always encourages me to do my best sewing.
Could we have a peep at your sewing space?
I wanted a nice, clean, minimal space dedicated for sewing, so when my brother moved out I pounced on his old room! I planned on everything being black and white, but I can’t resist buying nik-naks so I have introduced some yellows and blues as I’ve gone along!
I love a bold graphic design, so I have some prints from my favourite artist up for some inspo. What you can’t see from this photo is my fabric stash!! I try and keep it under control but sometimes I just can’t bear to part with the offcuts!
Where do you get your fix of sewing inspiration?
Instagram! I love it, I love seeing different garments made from the same pattern by searching the hashtag. (you can follow on Instagram Angela at @twiikalink). Also a browse round the stash bins in Abakhan often gives me ideas for my next make
Which sewing community sew-alongs have you joined in with?
I’ve done a couple of me-made Mays over the years, I found it a good experiment to see what gaps I have in my handmade wardrobe. I came away inspired to make more work clothes and gym clothes. These days I just tend to enjoy watching other people’s sewing challenges and sew-alongs as I’m not a big fan of the pressure when there are so many other things going on in life! I do always set myself a couple of sewing goals at the start of each year to keep me moving forward though
Which fabric suppliers do you tend to shop with most?
I don’t tend to buy online as I like to have a feel of the fabric first. I enjoy a trip to Abakhan as I never know what I will find, or there are a couple of local shops in Sheffield that are worth a browse. I tend to buy most of my notions off the market in Sheffield, as they literally always have what I need.
What do you like most about writing a sewing blog?
I started the blog mainly as a way to track my own progress and document notes for my own learning. I’m really lucky my brother is keen on photography so he was happy to get involved with taking all my photos! It’s become quite fun hunting down new locations and hanging out together. I feel like I’ve learnt more about my city by exploring and can capture and share that with both the sewing community and people interested in Sheffield.
Anything special about our sewing blog that we need to know?
I sometimes like to add sneaky nods to events in my life whilst discussing sewing, some injokes my friends will pick up on and the odd embarrassing story sometimes.…! My blog will be reaching its 6th anniversary this summer!
What’s the best part of being on The Simple Sew blogger team.
I love getting to try out all the Simple Sew patterns and see how everyone else in the team has tackled the tricky bits! I love having a great compendium of everyone’s posts to refer to before I get cracking on making my own.
What’s your go to Simple Sew pattern?
I’ve been loving the Chelsea Skirt recently, I’m in the process of planning my third. There’s so much opportunity to play with different fabrics with those panels. It also goes really nicely with the Miranda T-shirt too! I love how adding a few tweaks to the neckline or the arm length can alter the style so significantly.
And the Simple Sew pattern that you’ve made that’s got the ‘wow’ factor
I love the Veronika Dress for a dinner party!
If you could give a piece of advice to a Simple Sew pattern newbie what would it be?
Make a toile before you go cutting into your lush fabrics! I know it sometimes feels like hassle when you just want to get cracking, but it’s the only way to really know exactly how something is going to fit and if you need to make any pattern alterations first.
Can you share your top two Simple Sew pattern sewing tips?
For professional finish it’s always worth paying attention to pattern matching. It’s a great feeling when your stripes on your Miranda T-shirt match up perfectly at the sideseams! I like to cut things out as a single layer instead of on the fold to help make sure stripes are parallel. It can take a bit of extra time to cut out when doing this, but the stripes then act as a guide when sewing up your sideseams.
I would also recommend trawling through the Simple Sew Blog for inspiration! Once you start picturing your own colours and fabrics you can start to imagine making a pattern your own.
Check out Angela’s most recent post reviewing the Simple Sew Cocoon jacket here