Sewing Superstar

The Magnificent Thread

Sew along with Shauni from The Magnificent Thread

Leeds, UK
Science Outreach Coordinator and out-of-hours sewing enthusiast!

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

I've had a lifelong interest in crafts and creative pursuits. I was taught to sew as a child by my mum, but didn't make any garments until I studied A-Level textiles (aged 16-18) and I was still pretty limited in my understanding of how patterns/fabric worked together after that.

I started seriously sewing almost 3 years ago, and I'm mostly self taught, using blog tutorials, and books like Love to Stitch by Tilly Walnes, and The Great British Sewing Bee resource books. I'm pretty willing to try anything and be quite experimental, so I guess that helps!

Can you remember the first thing you made?

The first serious item of clothing I made was a long skirt with a 'ruffled' peplum - a quite unusual pattern I found in a magazine. It wasn't particularly flattering and it didn't get much wear, but I learnt a lot about putting a pattern together, and I even went to the effort of matching the plaid fabric at the seams. I hate pattern matching to this day, so I'm still impressed that I managed it then!

Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?

My favourite pattern company is Named Clothing. Their pattern collections contain some of the coolest and most stylish silhouettes out there (I've made their Kielo Wrap Dress FIVE times - not obsessed at all...)!

And if we're talking about famous designers, Vivienne Westwood all the way!

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

My humble and cosy sewing space is situated in the corner of the living room in the flat I share with my boyfriend. I'd say I dream of having a sewing room one day, but you know what? It's just right!

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

I tend to listen to alternative, female singers like Sharon Van Etten, Jenny Lewis and Tori Amos while I sew, but I occasionally stitch along to whatever series I'm hooked on at the time. At the minute I'm watching the Gilmore Girls for the very first time (late to the party I know!)

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

I can knit, though I haven't got the patience to make anything more than a hat. I'm quite interested in leather work and have tried my hand at copying the Zana Bayne harnesses that Beyonce wears (to reasonable success). Outside of sewing, I like going out for nice food and spending time with my fab friends.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Don't do it unless it's fun!
Sewing and making should be enjoyable and empowering, so if a project just isn't working out, take a break and try the next thing!

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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Deutschland 83
Rilo Kiley/Sharon Van Etten
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Any type of blue
Fabric Brand
Anything unusual from Abakhan or Fabworks
Sewing accessory or Tool
Chalk tracing wheel