I’m so excited to introduce you to lovely Sophie this week for our Sewing Community Project! I am a huge fan of Sophie’s personal style and if you’re not following her on Instagram I highly recommend you start. I met Sophie last year at my studio’s grand opening day, and since then have loved getting to know her as a studio regular. I love how she is always pushing and challenging herself, and keen to learn new skills. She is such a truly lovely person and a fabulous maker!
For our special photoshoot, Sophie sewed a Eucalypt tank in gorgeous silk charmeuse and cotton twill Flint shorts with Arrow Mountain buttons. What I really love about her outfit is how she has created elevated staples. These pieces could be both casual or dressy depending on how you style them, and I always love it when that happens when you are sewing! Seeing her mix and match these pieces into the rest of her handmade wardrobe makes me so happy!
I really hope you enjoy meeting Sophie and reading all about her sewing journey!
What did you choose to sew for this project?
I hadn’t sewn with silk before, but I took one look at the green silk and fell in love with the colour of it! For bottoms, I chose the Flint shorts because I needed a pair of longer shorts for work and because I love the pleat detail at the front and the button closure.
Were there any new skills you picked up using your patterns?
I sewed with silk! Cutting was a bit fiddly (I usually work with linen and cotton) but I made sure to go very slowly and use a lot of pins.
Megan’s instructions ask you to French seam the side seams and that made for a beautiful, clean finish on the inside.
What do you love about your new outfit?
The Eucalypt top is very versatile and comfortable to wear. The Flint shorts (just like the Dawn Jeans) have really deep pockets which I love – I never have to worry about my keys/phone/whatever falling out because they are deep and secure.
How did you learn to sew?
I started sewing when I was about 13 or 14. I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas and learnt off YouTube and Google. I made a lot of elastic waist shorts, many of which I couldn’t pull past my hips because I had traced them from an old pair of denim shorts – rookie error…. We all have to start somewhere!
Who do you mostly sew for?
I mainly sew for myself. I do make a few things for my boyfriend and family though!
What do love about sewing?
I love sewing because it’s so satisfying to see a 2D piece of fabric become a 3D garment. I love watching it all come together, it’s really calming for me (when everything goes well haha)
What’s your sewing kryptonite/what in sewing makes you want to burn everything and crawl under your table to cry?
I hate cutting! I often forget to mirror my pattern pieces when I’m cutting on a single layer and then pay for it when I end up with two left legs! This usually happens late at night when I’m tired and should probably be going to sleep but I want to sew. Another sewing kryptonite is hammering rivets/buttons for a button fly. I either whack it so gently that nothing happens, and it just falls off, or I whack it into oblivion and flatten it into a pancake. I’m still searching for the happy medium. For my Dawn jeans, I cheated and got my dad and boyfriend to hammer the jeans buttons in…
What do you wish you had known when you first started sewing?
I think it’s really important to use good thread. When I first started, I was using the cheapest thread I could find but I noticed that the finished seams were not very strong and broke easily, both in the machine and on the finished garment. I only use Gutermann now!
What’s been an important lesson you’ve learnt while sewing that’s stuck with you?
The most important lesson I’ve learnt while sewing is to go slow and no sewing past 10pm!! I’m quite stubborn so I often find myself sitting at the machine for hours unpicking and sewing the same thing (zippers and topstitching I’m looking at you). I think it’s an important skill to know when to walk away for a while.
What has been your crowning sewing achievement to date?
My biggest achievement is probably making my first pair of jeans (Dawn jeans). I really took my time with these, making 4 muslins before finally taking the plunge and cutting into the beautiful beige corduroy. Since then I’ve made 2 more pairs, a wide-leg pair in black corduroy, and a linen wide-leg pair. I’ve currently got a denim pair with a straight leg on the sewing table now. I’m planning to try something new and do an exposed button fly on this pair!
How are you involved in the sewing community?
I interact with fellow sewists via my Instagram account (@sophie.sews). It was initially just a little side project for me to document my makes but it’s grown a bit since, and I’ve met so many lovely people through it!
How did you start getting involved in the sewing community?
I found following hashtags for patterns I want to make really helpful – tons of inspo there! I think that was the way in which I discovered a lot of the people I follow too.
How would you recommend new sewers get involved in the community?
Join a local sewing group or the online community!
I really hope you enjoyed learning all about lovely Sophie! You can find her on Instagram @sophie.sews
I can’t wait for next week’s Community Project Feature!!