ISO, I sew

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Yes, I am a sewing addict. I used to sew occasionally but after I was diagnosed with something relatively nasty, I became a little obsessive about it. I make simple garments but I love using great fabrics. Sewing is a wonderful distraction and pairing it with listening to podcasts is my idea of ‘Girl Heaven’.

I made so many clothes in 2018, I decided to make them for friends in 2019. I called it my ‘Year of Sewing Kindness’. It’s ridiculous but people who don’t sew get so excited when you make them a piece of clothing; it made me feel good too.

I’m still in self-imposed isolation so I am mostly just wearing daggy stay-at-home outfits. I would find it a bit frivolous to be buying fabric for new clothes right now. Instead, I’ve been going through my stash pile and using up forgotten fabrics and all my left-over cotton reels. Make-do and mismatched can produce some interesting results.

Despite living in Tasmania, I mainly sew summer clothes. I think I’m always visualising the next summer ahead or the tropical holiday up north in the winter months. Bit tricky this year.

Planning what I am going to sew is nearly as much fun as the making process. Some mornings it takes me over half an hour just to go through my Instagram feed because I follow so many inspiring makers. ‘Sewistas’ post photographs of their latest makes and add hashtags for their pattern and fabric sources. I love being part of this world-wide community.

I buy all my patterns online as downloadable PDFs, mostly from Indie designers. Those who haven’t bought patterns this way can get a bit alarmed at all the work they imagine might be involved – printing out multiple sheets of paper and sticky-taping them together before tracing and cutting out a sewing pattern. For me, it’s an opportunity to lose myself in the process whilst listening to another podcast. On the positive side of things, sewing has taught me a lot of patience.

Here’s a tip for you – download Adobe Acrobat Reader (it’s free) and open downloadable pattern files with this program. Most Indie pattern makers use layers so you can choose to just print out your individual pattern size instead of printing out a pattern with multiple size markings. Spotlight sells 10 metre rolls of pattern tracing paper for around $20. This is usually enough for maybe half a dozen patterns.

I buy nearly all my fabrics online. Locally, I will venture into Spotlight occasionally and also have bought some interesting Japanese fabrics from Wafu Works at Kingston Beach.

The following information might interest you if love to sew or are thinking about giving it a go.

Some Fabulous Australian Online Fabric Websites:

Crossgrain Fabrics | Doops Design | Ellie Whittaker | Maaidesign | Nerida Hansen |Tessuti |The Fabric Store |Woven Stories

Recommended Online Sewing Pattern Websites:

100 Acts of Sewing (Highly recommended if you are just getting back into sewing or a beginner) | Christine Haynes | Closet Case Patterns | Helen’s Closet Patterns | Indygo Junction  | Made by Rae | Megan Nielsen | Merchant & Mills | Paddleboat Studio| Papercut Patterns | Peppermint Magazine Patterns | Sew Liberated| Seamwork |styleARC | Tessuti

Next article I’ll let you know about some great freesewing patterns you can download online. Meanwhile you can follow my latest makes on Instagram@millymaker

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