Today we have a sewist who's blog will have you LOST in cyberspace for HOURS so make sure you have a nice hot cuppa (and maybe a flask for later on! LOL) and a handful of snacks at your table before you start! LOLLL So I won't waste any of your time and let you get straight to it....Over to you Abby:
When did you start to sew?
It feels like I’ve been sewing forever! I was probably 8 or 9 when I started, making clothes for my Barbie dolls. My Dad worked at a clothing factory and brought me home a stack of fabric and notions to have a play with. It was such a great way to start as I could just create and not really worry about wasting fabric if I mucked something up.
Who taught you to sew or are you self-taught?
I am mostly self taught, though my Mum and Dad (yes my Dad) got me started with the basics. My grandmother is also a super crafty lady and I spent many hours as a child in her craft room making all sorts of things.
What about your blog?
I’ve been blogging for about 2 years now. It started as a way to show family and friends overseas a few pictures of what I was up to and some pictures of my son Roman. I blog about the crafts (mainly sewing) and cooking that I get up to. A lot of it is for boys, but there’s plenty for girls and mums too. Now that Ted has joined our family, I think there will be more baby boy stuff showing up on the blog.
What sort of things do you like to sew?
These days, I love to sew clothes for my boys. I love being able to make them something original and personal. I also love making bags and wallets and accessories. I think I love that there aren’t any fit issues to worry about… so much easier than clothes! Last year, I was given a Spoonflower gift voucher by my girlfriends for my birthday and had a great time designing my own fabric and making a bag exactly how I wanted it. It definitely gave me the bag making bug!
Do you like to use patterns or do you prefer to make it up as you go along?
A bit of both really. For clothing, I always start off with a pattern because it saves me figuring out all the tricky sizing and fit stuff, but I can’t help myself and always change or add something.
Have you made something that is your all-time favourite creation? If so, why?
A Peter Rabbit Jacket for my son. He’s totally in love with Peter Rabbit and even has 2 Peter Rabbit softies, one named Peter, the other named Michael. I made him a blue shawl collar jacket to match his two best friends. It was all quite a gamble as I drafted the shawl collar pattern myself and also dyed the fabric as I couldn’t get the colour I wanted. It turned out exactly how I hoped and it still makes me smile every time he picks it out of his wardrobe.
Do you have a favourite fabric type you prefer to work with? Favourite Fabric line or fabric designer?
I’m a very tactile person, so it’s all about the feel for me! I love organic cottons, especially knits, because they’re so soft! I also love repurposing items for sewing. I use a lot of sheets and old clothes. One reason is that it’s great for the environment, but mainly it’s because they’re always lovely and soft from their previous use. I’m not really up on all the designer ranges, though there are plenty that I want to take home whenever I go to the fabric store.
Any sewing secrets you would like to share?
Keep a chocolate bar in your sewing kit! One day when nothing is working how you want, you’ll be glad it’s there!
What type of machine/s do you have?
For my birthday last year, I upgraded to a Pfaff Ambition 1.5. I’m loving all the features it has and how tough it is…it sews through anything! As a kid I learnt to sew on my Mum’s old Pfaff and always wanted to go back to one. In between that, I was using a Janome. I also have a Janome overlocker, which was my Mums. It’s about 20 years old and never misses a beat!
Do you have any sewing goals?
This year I’ve been trying to challenge myself by trying new techniques and also using nicer finishes. I’ve been blogging all the new seam finishes I have learnt. You can see them all here:
Next year, I want to start working on a handmade wardrobe for myself. Selfish Sewing Week really gave me the bug to make my own clothes. I’ve been collecting patterns, so I better get sewing!
Not usually. I’m very disciplined and like to make sure I finish projects before starting new ones. I do however, have one knitted cowl that has been on my needles for at least a year and is still only half one.
When do you find time to sew?
When I’m lucky enough to get both boys asleep! It doesn’t happen very often, so hubby is good and will take the boys out on an adventure when I need to get something done. It will usually take several sessions to get something completed, which is another reason I don’t like to have too many projects on the go.
Do you have a dedicated sewing space or room?
Since moving house at the start of the year, I’m very lucky to now have a dedicated sewing space. It’s in our upstairs living room and gets lots of light in it, which makes it a joy to work in. It’s still a work in progress. Hubby made me a huge cutting table with storage cubes at either end. It stores all kinds of sewing junk supplies. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect sewing table.
Do you have any other hobbies you like to indulge in?
I love trying all kinds of crafts! I taught myself to knit a few years back and earlier this year I had a go at making soap. It was a lot trickier than I thought it would be. I’m one of those people who looks at something in a shop and thinks ‘I can make that better myself’. I’ll give anything a go!
Anything about you and your family you would like to share?
I’ve been married for almost 8 years to my wonderful hubby. We now have 2 sons, Roman 3 and Ted 5 months, so I’m overrun by boys…not that I’d change a thing! At the start of the year we bought our family home, so spend most of our time and money fixing leaks (roof, shower, solar heating…you name it, it leaks), painting and changes things to make it our own.
Don't you think Abby has really fantastic photographic skills? I feel inspired just by looking at her photos! Thank you Abby for a wonderful interview and peek into your world! What FUN! :)
You can find out more about Abby here:
Next week's Pattern Designer Interview is with someone who knows the bag pattern business inside out and back to front.....someone who is very inspirational and has loads of advice for anyone wanting to start their own pattern business! Don't miss it! ;)