Our patterns are the reward in store for the community of loyal Sewistas bursting with unique perspectives, loads of creativity and gifted with deft fingers. It’s also why we feature a different Sewista every month, who happily passes the baton on to someone new when her turn is over. Get to know Corine this month and find out what kind of role Fibre Mood plays in her life.
My name is Corine Tijsen and I'm 42 years old. You'll find my stomping grounds in The Hague. Married to Aad, the nicest and the sweetest, with whom I’ve got a son who listens to the name Dieze. In daily life, I'm the breadwinner of the family, supervising people who have mental disabilities.
How it all got started
Towards the end of my pregnancy, at the end of 2016, I graduated from the photography school in Rotterdam. After the two exhibitions I did as part of my graduation project, I stopped. I decided to put my plans for a career or a business in photography on hold to take care of my son. However, that creative itch didn’t disappear. After a while it found an outlet when I participated in my first sewing class at ‘Ansje Handmade’ with Anouck, the very best sewing teacher in Westland. I was instantly hooked. I started making my own baby clothes, because I thought the selection available for boys was a little too limited in the shops. Luckily I could go nuts in Anouck’s online shop, which at the time was completely focused on children’s fabrics, and immerse myself in the online world of children’s patterns.
Fibre Mood: love at first sight...
My first encounter with Fibre mood was in the Facebook group ‘Gratis Naaipatronen’ (Free Sewing Patterns). I downloaded the Frances top pattern and was immediately sold. Everything just fit: the pattern, the photography, the styling and the promotional film that went along with the download. It was a perfect match for my interests in styling, fashion and design.
My own Frances top creation was an immediate hit on Instagram and was even featured in the first issue of Fibre Mood. Encouraged by the response, I created my own Instagram account 'Ceetjemaakt', which is fully dedicated to home-sewn clothing. I couldn’t wait for the first issue of Fibre Mood to land on my doorstep!
And it was well worth the wait. A lovely, clean layout, gorgeous photography, models that weren’t too mainstream and great patterns: it was definitely my thing. My wardrobe, which is gradually filling up, is good proof of this.
What’s so great about Fibre Mood is that their patterns focus on a whole range of women: that includes plus-size women and the slender waifs among us. From going casual with bootleg trousers and trainers to something a little dressier, and for young and old alike: there’s something for everyone! The styling tips and body shape-based advice mean the sky's the limit.
Another theme that really appeals to me is sustainability. Making sewing instructions available for download helps cut down on paper use. With Fibre Mood and sewing, the concept of slow fashion fits perfectly. You consider the choice of fabric, the pattern and your figure. That way you sew love into each piece and also wear them for a lot longer. That’s exactly what I'm going for in my own wardrobe.
The magic ‘wands’ and where the magic happens
Personally, I don’t use a high-end sewing or overlock machine. The basic stitches available on my mum’s old Lewenstain and Breitner's entry-level overlock machine are more than enough for me. While I used to work with jersey and sweatshirt fabric in the beginning, now I've branched out, brave enough to work with all kinds of fabrics. So when my end result actually appears I'm incredibly proud that I managed it with my basic sewing equipment.
You’ve got to take your time when it comes to sewing. I work meticulously, pay attention to the details and am careful with trickier fabrics. If I'm not satisfied, I start all over again.
The Victoria blouse is my latest Fibre Mood creation. It’s my favourite to date. On my to-do list: a yellow or pink Willa dress, a Carmella jumpsuit, the Pina skirt and the Filippa dress. Adore the sleeves!
Learning to sew involves sharing my projects. My go-to remains Instagram. Facebook is only occasionally on my radar, although I am a member of Ansje Handmade’s ‘crazy sewing’ group and the group 'maak het met Fibre Mood'.
My favourite Instagrammers who focus on children are firstly a siwsiw thing. Her combination of colours, hacks, her love of photography, Mississippi, creativity and eye for detail are fantastic and so inspiring. Especially her use of the silk screening technique: love it! Then there’s deborasluijs with her atmospheric photography and ‘less is more’ perspective.
I could continue for a while: Piep&matz, Yasjes, Memaya, Wensjesofie, etc.
When it comes to adult clothing I head over to Sewitcurly because she's passionate about details and special sleeves. Here too though I can also list several names: Republique du chiffon, Joliesbibines, Sara Johansen, 36 pieces, etc.
Inspiring and getting inspired
My own style is characterised by a dose of edginess, a pinch of sexy and clear-cut choices. In this respect I'm especially inspired by a few influencers: Romy Boomsma’s retro look, style queen Anna Nooshin, the gorgeous dresses and suits of Yara Michels and Jamie Li's edgy, sexy and nonchalant style. I also look to fashion label Stieglitz and the brand &Other Stories for inspiration.
You'll also frequently find me on the Fibre Mood website. I browse through the latest creations and get to know some inspiring women that way. I always post the most recent of my own creations. Blogs don't really speak to me. I'm much happier scrolling through Instagram, although I do try to moderate how much time I spend online.
Tips & tricks
My tip: experiment. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the pattern and add your own something special. Don’t be afraid to combine fabrics and colours. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high: that's how you'll develop your skills. Last but not least, attending the occasional sewing class can’t hurt.