Sewing Superstar

Sew Well Travelled

Sew along with Katharine from Sew Well Travelled

West Yorkshire
Primary School Teacher

When did you first start sewing and how did you learn?

I have always been really crafty and did little bits of sewing throughout my childhood and into my school days, However once I went to do my first degree my craftiness kind of dissipated and I was more interested in my social life!
So fast forward to 2014, I had just moved home and my mum had bought herself a new sewing machine. It was September/October time and I had to take 2 weeks off work as I had holidays to use up. At the same time my mum went on holiday and left me house sitting. I had no money and nothing to do for the 2 weeks so I decided to try and make a tshirt quilt. 3 months later and it was complete - and Sew Well Travelled was born! In January 2015, after years of wishing I knew how to make my own clothes, I bought my first pattern and fabric and started to teach myself how to do it! I quickly got hooked and have never looked back :)

Can you remember the first thing you made?

The first think I ever remember sewing was a cushion for textiles class at school. We had to design and make it ourselves, so as I was obsessed with Zippy from Rainbow at the time I made a cushion with Zippy's face on and a zip pocket for his mouth! It was pretty good actually!

Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?

Annika Victoria's YouTube series never fail to inspire me. She was the one who made me stop using commercial patterns and learn how to draft my own. Not only that, she is an incredible human being and seamstress.

What's your sewing room like and how do you organize your stash?

My sewing space(s) are chaotic. As I am currently living with my mum the back end of her living room is now taken up with boxes full of fabric and sewing patterns, and her dining room constantly has two sewing machines on, a iron that's been left to cool, and threads everywhere! Matilda the mannequin also looks out of the living room window and scares the postie. I don't think my mum is best pleased with this, but I always believe the best creativity is chaotic.

What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to stitch along to?

I actually sew in silence, unless I'm hand-sewing, in which case I watch whatever is on the television. But as my life outside of sewing is sometimes noisy and stressful and filled with paperwork (as well as my dream job and super rewarding...) I use sewing as a way to relax and switch off from everything. I love just focussing on what I'm making and how I need to solve whatever problems arise, so I don't really need background noise.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I sometimes bake, and like experimenting with different flavours of cupcakes. My main hobby is sewing though, and after trying my hand at crochet I don't think I'll be straying from it for a while!
I also truly enjoy spontaneous adventures, whether it's getting on the first train leaving the station, regardless of where it's going, or just seeing where your feet take you. I'm a big believer in free fun and having adventures in your own area. Exploring and travelling fit me well :)

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

It would be wrong to take all the credit for my sewing and creations, when I always have a trusty sidekick - my kitten Murphy loves to roll around and chase threads when I am drafting/cutting fabric/doing any sort of sewing work. The minute he sees me start, he gets involved! The rest of the time he just eats and sleeps - I don't know what it is about sewing but he is obsessed!

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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Orange is the New Black, Gilmore Girls, The Office (US)
At the moment it's Biffy Clyro, but I'm still obsessed with 5ive
Edinburgh and Krakow
The Fault in Our Stars
Right now, yellow!
Fabric Brand
I'm not too fussy, but tend to always go for Rose & Hubble. I love quirkier prints though.
Sewing accessory or Tool
My mum's old Janome sewing machine from the early 80s!