This month’s featured Sewista: Kathleen

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. This month we get a peek at Kathleen's sewing life and how Fibre Mood plays a part in it.

Hey there!

My name is Kathleen Vermunicht and I'm 54. Leuven is my stomping ground. I was married here and live with my two teenage daughters in the city. I pay the bills by working as a pharmacist during the week.

sewista Kathleen

Back to the beginning

I got started sewing around 8 years ago. Sewing had absolutely zero appeal for me when I was younger. I also didn’t have the time for it. That said, I grew up in home made clothes sewn by my mum, Paula. She always made exactly what I wanted. Once I had two girls of my own, she inspired me to start sewing little by little. She taught me all kinds of techniques. That also happens to be where my Instagram account name, ‘Olà Paula’ comes from.

Meanwhile, sewing has become a serious passion for me. Creating something yourself out of a gorgeous fabric – even if it's something simple – can give such a sense of satisfaction. It’s relaxing and I can really just throw myself into it.

Normally I sew for myself and my teenage daughters who are 13 and 16-years-old. They regularly have a wish list ready and waiting for me. It’s a nice reward for and encourages girls of that age to appreciate home-sewn clothes. Every once in awhile I make something as a gift for a new baby.

Getting to know Fibre Mood

Before I got into Fibre Mood, I mostly read La Maison Victor and Burda. However, I found out via social media that a new sewing magazine would be making its debut. I immediately placed an order. Then there was a bit of a wait before the 1st issue made it's appearance. However, it was well worth it. It’s a hip and trendy sewing magazine with sewing patterns for the whole family. The difficulty level is doable, and it provides good explanations and the tips & tricks needed. Super handy!

Whenever I pick a Fibre Mood pattern, I always read the accompanying style advice related to fabric selection, colour and body shape...I've got no complaints where these patterns are concerned. The illustrated sewing instructions are incredibly clear and you even learn a few tricks along the way. I also really appreciate the ‘How to’ pattern alterations section.

Made with love

I personally use a sewing machine and an overlock machine made by Bernina. They're my trusty companions. My choice of fabric is based on who I'm sewing for. When it comes to teenagers it's more of an easy-sew sweatshirt fabric, jersey or ‘teenager-proof fabric’ as I like to call them. Personally, I'm more likely to go for a crepe, viscose or light-weight wool. I do occasionally treat myself to silk from time to time. The finishing on creations is always a top priority when I'm sewing. That means I also take my time and put in the extra effort. Consider adding piping to a lining, for instance, or removing seams with bias tape. I also like to add a few flourishes of my own to patterns. Sometimes they require a lot more time, but they add a personal touch.

My latest Fibre Mood creation was the Penny jacket in wool. It was my second time making it. I added patch pockets and a ruffle at the neck for my first creation. It’s just so fun to wear and perfect for my work – I couldn’t resist making another.

The Miyu trousers made for my eldest daughter are my favourite. It’s a great model and they fit like a glove. I didn’t have to make a single alteration. I already see a summer version on the horizon.

Inspiring and getting inspired

I'm not on Facebook. However, I do belong to the community on Fibre Mood's website, where I regularly post things. I also share my creations with others on Instagram.

There are loads of sewistas there who make lovely things and are definitely worth following. There are two that really stand out for me because of their detailed explanations, finish and occasional extra flourishes added. Barbara over at http://bmade.canalblog.com and Birdy from ‘birdy_sew_obsessed’.

I've learned so many additional things via online videos and explanations. With my mum as my personal coach, I don't really need sewing lessons.

Tips & tricks

My advice: start with simple models and use cheap fabrics. You'll learn more techniques along the way and can switch to more complex patterns. You can also start by making a trial version if you aren't sure about a model or perhaps make a few alterations. It might take more time, but it's worth it.