Sewing Superstar

Sum of their Stories

Sew along with Julia from Sum of their Stories

Julia Nyanyo

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

My Mum was brave enough to let me use her sewing machine from a very early age. She made a lot of clothes, as did both my Grandma's. I was already doing all sorts of embroidery, needlepoint and hand sewing from kits and from books (long before the internet!) I was never short of people to help me out when I got in a pickle.

Can you remember the first thing you made?

I remember making an apron from flowery green fabric (with a pocket - ooo fancy) when I was about 8. I made my first proper garment when I was 12. It was a peach coloured shirt with set in sleeves, a collar and covered button holes. Talk about making it difficult for myself! I had a fearless "what is the worst that can happen" attitude back then!
At school about the same time, I did Needlework and made a skirt and waistcoat from dark green needlecord. I added embroidery anglaise on the bottom of the skirt and thought I looked like something from a Laura Ashley catalogue! It was the 1980's, enough said.

Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?

Most of my inspiration comes from the internet these days and the host of talented sewing bloggers out there. In the UK we have a fabulous TV programme "The Great British Sewing Bee" which has really got people sewing again.

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

My sewing machine lives behind the sofa, and my fabric stash in a box on the top of the wardrobe (with more fabric in a suitcase in the loft!) I have inherited a beautiful sewing box from my Mum which is in the corner of the living room.
When I sew it's at the dinning room table and we eat off trays till I'm finished!

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

Normally the kids have something on the TV and get annoyed when I stitch long seams and they can't hear!

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

I love all crafts, especially crochet, knitting and papercrafts.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

So many people say "I wish I could sew". Honestly, it's not hard. It's hard to be really good but you don't have to be really good to have fun making things. There is nothing quite like the feeling of wearing something you made yourself.

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Julia Nyanyo
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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Doctor Who
Too hard to choose
Shawshank Redemption
Pride and Prejudice
Fabric Brand
Timeless Treasures
Sewing accessory or Tool
My Mum's Sewing Box