Today you get to learn a bit about Maria from the land of Oz, known in the blogging world as Velosewer This gal has some crazy-good sewing skills, and I always appreciate hearing what she has to say on my own sewing adventures. So let’s hear it from Maria!
I’ve always sewn.
I love to sew.
And I love to sew most clothing. And the funny thing is, I don’t stress about sewing projects anymore.
It’s just fabric.
Oh – and I ride my bike when I can.
A few years ago, I heard some local sewist say they were concerned about how sewing becoming a ‘lost craft’. Well, thanks to the web that’s not an issue anymore. There are so many creative crafters on the web sharing their experiences everyday.
I’m school taught and then got a degree to be a home ec teacher, and I have always loved face-to-face sewing classes when they’re available. Mum knitted and her mother crocheted. That’s my heritage.
Now, I Google what I’m looking for or ask other sewists for advice – in any part of the world. How good is that?
In Australia we now have three Spoolette groups in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, so sewing isn’t a lost craft.
Once I’ve finish a sewing project, I share it on my blog. Many people have helped me with my sewing so I share what I know to pass this knowledge on. Sharing is caring.
I have a little sewing library that keeps me company. The new Simplicity sewing book from way back is my ‘go-to’ book for techniques as well as the Palmer Pletsch books and Sandra Betzina’s books. Winifred Aldrich Metric pattern drafting, Enid Gilchrist Teenagers and small women and Pattern Magic series are my pattern drafting books. For fitting, I use ‘the red book’ especially when I collaborate with fellow sewists.
My main sewing commitment is my Minerva Crafts projects. I’m part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network – a collection of amazing bloggers from across the world – and when I visited Minerva in the UK, I realized how unique it is to be part of a global network of crafters. The Minerva Crafts family are three generations of crafters and they are totally supportive of everyone’s creativity. Their support can’t be beat. This creative support drives my own creativity.
Mr V’s is used to my meeting sewing bloggers when we travel. I love catching up with sewing bloggers anywhere and he encourages me to do this. Meeting sewing bloggers gives him time to do his own sight-seeing.
Pattern testing for others is something that makes me feel I’m contributing in a different way. I’m happy to help sew new patterns, proof their instructions, or simply check their English translations. Helping others gives me a unique insight into their creativity. I also learn construction techniques that I wouldn’t have tried on my own bat.
I’m a sewing consumer so I’ll sew projects from any pattern line as long as it meets my needs, too.
Each pattern testing project is similar but different. I have pattern tested for Iconic patterns, Amity of Lolita patterns, Marie of Seamster patterns, Deepika of PR, Erin of Seamstress Erin, Rachel of House of Pinheiro, Melissa of Fehr Trade, Pauline of PaulineAlice patterns. I do each project in my own time as I work full time for a company I love, so I pattern test for fun.
I also check the English translation for Sacotin patterns. Vero of Sacotin bag patterns provides her patterns in French and in English. If you buy an English Sacotin pattern and the spelling or the grammar isn’t right – blame me! Vero’s English is much better than my French. I tried using Google translate and I’ve stopped doing that. #embarrassing.
What I love the most is working on a new creation with inspiring designers and assisting their creative process.
I love making complex projects. Projects like coats and jeans always seemed complex but now I love making them. My next challenges are to make my own ‘smalls’. That’s a scary thought for me.
The other real life sewing goal was to keep making clothes for Mum as her care needs increase but her dementia has progressed and this challenge has meant less sewing and more time just sitting together and having a cup of tea with her.
Matching fabrics to patterns that work on me is a bit edgy. Bound buttonholes and welt pocket are a challenge and I haven’t worked my way to making bras yet, but I will.
Pattern Review is my go-to site to checking out the quality of patterns either before I buy them or when I’m about to use a new pattern. Managing sewing contests for PR has been fun and I’ve learned about new and different sewing aspects through these contests, too. The Vintage contest made me love vintage patterns and styles. So much that I contacted Lara Nash at Sew Chic Patterns and she gave me two of her patterns to review.
So you see, I’m actually sewing with lots of sewists all the time!
Maria, thank you so much for sharing your story with my readers. I know how much I have benefitted from your wisdom and generosity, and I hope your “sewing circle” continues to expand and grow!