Creating unique pieces to share on your blog and inspire others: the sew & blog combo is all the rage. It's exactly because the number of bloggers keeps multiplying that Fibre Mood is featuring a new blogger every month. Get to know Victoria , find out what sewing means to her and what her role is in this community.
Why did you start sewing and/or knitting?
I actually started sewing and knitting for very different reasons!! The first time the inkling to sew even entered my brain was when I wanted to make curtains for our tiny little starter home about 13 years ago. I didn’t want to spend the money it takes to buy nice raw silk or velvet curtains. So I had to make them myself and this was a great way to start sewing! I didn’t sew a garment until my little daughter wanted an Anne of Green Gables costume for Halloween 2017! I had heard about a pattern company called Violette Field Threads and I purchased two patterns from there! I proceeded to make this costume with extreme fear and patience. The patterns were very good at walking you through the steps, so this was helpful! Eventually, it was completed after about 3 weeks! I used a simple quilting cotton and called it a day!
After that, I was completely hooked! I made so many dresses for my daughter! One day my husband asked me why I wasn’t sewing for myself. I laughed and asked if he was kidding! I can’t do that, I don’t know anything about it! I decided I would try some simple garments but I didn’t know that I should avoid knits or sewing a woven pattern with a knit!
Haha, let’s just say it was a very rough start, but now, almost 2 years later exactly, it is just what I needed in my life! Knitting was another story! I started to crochet about 3 years ago and made hats, scarves, baby blankets galore! It wasn’t until about a year ago that I decided to learn how to knit. I felt the pattern options were more numerous and there was more to choose from out there if you could knit! So now I can do both! It’s a great skill to have and I love how it is so portable!
How did you learn to sew and/or knit?
I learned a bit of sewing from my mom, but I watched a lot of online classes and made a lot of independent patterns! Also practice, practice, practice! Knitting was the same and I am still pretty much a beginner in that area! I love knitting kits, because as a beginner, it is hard to know what yarn to choose.
Which is your favourite, sewing or knitting?
Sewing is by far my favorite but knitting holds a special place in my heart. It is very hard to compare the two. They are so different and make me feel differently and one is very portable, while the other is not! I definitely sew a lot more. Sometimes I feel like I just want to knit and spend time with the family watching TV! Knitting is more relaxing but not quite as innovative as sewing for me. Sometimes I need different things, so I need different hobbies!
Were you already a creative spirit as a child?
I grew up dancing with all forms of dance. I did this for many years until I was about 20. I used to make dance shows and tickets when I was a child for my mom and dad to come and suffer through haha! It is still a huge form of self expression and I am constantly dancing in my head, because my body does not move quite as well! HA! Other than that, I would not really craft too much as a child. I enjoyed making some things but I think I was too much of a perfectionist to just let loose unless I was super confident! That is why, now that I have been sewing for quite a while, I am able to alter and experiment with patterns as I go, because I have a lot more confidence than I used to.
Do you encounter any specific challenges in relation to the handiwork setting?
Not too many challenges that I can think of. My upper back hurts quite often because of the hours I spend at the sewing machine! Other than that, I love every minute of it!
How would convince people who don’t sew/knit?
It is just the greatest thing ever! Period! It provides an outlet for so many types of personalities. I think it serves the scientific mind because there are precise instructions. It also serves me creatively as there is still freedom in fabric choice and pattern hacks. I also think that making something to fit you almost exactly is a huge plus! Also, the quality of what you are making is going to be better because you will have quality fabric and better finishing! Therefore, you are wearing something that would normally cost so much more! When I sew, I try to have high quality fabric and finishes so I can feel proud to wear my new garment!
What is your biggest fear/frustration with sewing and/or knitting?
Haha well knitting just takes soooooo long! However, that is part of the reason you can relax in it and just take your time. Sewing can be really frustrating when you have to completely throw away a ruined garment or you have been stuck to your seam ripper like glue throughout the entire project! All of these have happened to me! Also, one of my biggest frustrations was when I chose the wrong fabric for a blazer and ended up spending hours on something I eventually gave away! NOOOOO! I am also really trying to make garments that I know will last very long in my wardrobe and that will provide me with plenty of wear. I am tired of getting rid of garments that I don’t completely love and didn’t think through before making! It’s good to take risks in sewing, but I like to completely think through what I am making so that I know it will stay in my wardrobe for quite a while and be loved.
Do you have a special sewing spot in your house? Where is it?
Oh yes! I definitely have a large sewing space or room and it is where all the magic happens!! I also do have a special seat on the couch where I knit while watching movies or tv haha. It is usually the corner of our sectional (selfishly).
What brand of sewing machine and overlock do you use?
I started out with a Brother sewing machine and serger but now I have a Pfaff sewing machine and a Babylock serger. I have to say that the IDT technology on the Pfaff machines is a game changer serving as a walking foot and I will never go back! I also think my Babylock is so perfect and worth every penny with its air threading!
Which (types of) fabric do you like working with best?
I love the finished look of Rayon and Tencel! However, my favorite fabric to work with is Cotton Sateen or cotton poplin and Linen. They are so easy to press and sew. They also look so beautiful when finished. I love the weight, drape, and structure of all these fabrics!
What do you think is your finest creation? What are you most proud of?
I think my most favorite creation is my couture Vogue dress I made out of silk crepe de chine and taffeta lining with a horse braid hem and hand stitching everywhere!
I am also very proud of my recent Fibre Mood Martha trenchcoat.
Who do you sew for most of the time?
MYSELF! It’s shamelessly true. However, I am starting to make more again for my almost 11 year old daughter.
Is there anything you’d like to try making in future?
I would love to try a blazer again, possible a wool blazer and also a Coco Chanel inspired jacket.
What tips & tricks would you like to pass on to sewers and/or knitters who are just starting out?
Oh that is a tough one. I think that the most important thing is to practice a lot! I would try independent patterns first as the instructions can be more helpful and you can email the pattern designers if you have any questions! I would also start with stable cottons and linens and not rayon’s or thin, delicate fabrics. This is better for a beginner. Don’t get super caught up on being perfect and let yourself make some mistakes. You don’t have to be perfect every time, but if it is going to bother you, then you should redo it.
Do you listen to music while sewing? If so: what’s your top 3 sewing music? If not, what else do you do? Some Netflix&Sew, listening to podcasts, enjoying the silence, …
This is an interesting question! I usually listen to music only. Podcasts, Netflix, or anything else that requires my attention can tend to distract me too much. I prefer to have something on that I won’t have to worry about missing when my serger is on or I sew a seam. When I am listening to a podcast, I have to pause when I sew, even when I wear earphones and that can be annoying! I love listening to several different types of music while sewing depending on my mood. Sometimes it is Norah Jones, sometimes classical music, sometimes Panic at the Disco, sometimes 80s rock, sometimes musicals and last but not least, Disney music!
Tell us your favourite funny sewing story !
Oh! One time I spent a thousand hours gathering 2 layers of tulle for a christmas dress for my daughter. I stitched about half of it and unknowingly kept stitching and removing pins for the second half....and my bobbin had run out. So I had to spend almost an hour pinning it back on there and shoving it under my machine once again! HA! Not funny at the time but now it makes me laugh. I have also sewn a gathered skirt tier wrong side to right side before and then thought I was finished but nope!