Quick, someone call my mum … real proof that not just my family read my sewing adventures came to light this week, when I was nominated for a Liebster award by the wonderful Jenny at Cashmerette. It is lovely to be nominated for any kind of award, but when that nomination comes from someone who you think is a super cool sewing goddess … well, let’s just say that it puts a certain shine on your day. (Thank you, Jenny!)
For those of you who haven’t encountered one of these badges before, they are awards for small blogs to help people discover new blogs they might not otherwise come across. What a brilliant idea!
The format is simple, I answer five questions given to me by Jenny, share five facts and nominate five new blogs. So, here goes:
THE FIVE QUESTIONS:
1. When did you start sewing, and why?
The official version is that I’ve been sewing on and off since my teens. The truth? I was completely uninterested and terrible at sewing when I was younger. I didn’t do it at school and had zero interest in it. I’m sure my mum was secretly gutted as she was, and is, a brilliant seamstress, whipping me up a dress from a tea towel to wear to a disco (no, I am not remotely kidding) or running up a ra-ra skirt from some old curtains (oh, 1980’s, the home of fashion trauma).
The unofficial version is that when I was fifteen and a lowly art student, desperate for cash, I really needed a Saturday job. The idea was that this part time employment would help fund my budding shoe addiction and growing art habit, but there was nothing doing in our village or local town. My mum came home one evening and announced (in desperation, I think, to bring an end to my constant pouty mooching around the house) that she’d found me the perfect part time job – in her favourite sewing shop! Then she dropped the bombshell that she’d arranged an interview for me that Saturday. I panicked … I really didn’t have a clue … so we embarked on an intensive two evening course on sewing basics, enough to get me through the interview. Amazingly, my cramming of the basic sewing skills got me through and I got the job, working in the shop through school and college.
On quiet afternoons in the shop we would use the huge cutting table to pin and cut out patterns, then we’d sew garments together on the test machines in the shop. It was brilliant. I got to know all the regulars in the store and between them, the fabulous manageress Pauline, and my mum, I learnt to sew. Every Saturday and throughout the holidays I’d pick up more hints and teams from the myriad of seamstresses who passed through the doors. I became a much better sewer, although some of my more unorthodox approaches did raise eyebrows! I am proud to still be a renegade seamstress.
2. What’s your favourite fabric store?
Are you kidding? That’s like asking which are my favourite pairs of shoes! (“No, no,” she whispered as she stroked the pink suede high heels, “the converse pumps are comfy, but they are flat, they could never hold my heart like you do …”) *Ahem* I am going to have to throw in a couple of faves here … Hawthorne Threads, an Aladdin’s cave of quilting cotton and Temple of Michael Miller prints (one day I shall fly to the States just to visit them in person), Masons of Abingdon (it’s a bit like being in the middle of a jumble/garage sale once you walk inside but you can prise some gems from the shelves if you’re prepared to rummage) and also The Eternal Maker who make me sigh with longing at just about every piece of fabric they stock. I must also mention Stone Fabrics, somewhere in Devon, who have gorgeous fabrics and some of the most friendly and helpful staff in the world. Seriously, you guys rock.
3. What’s the one thing you want to sew but are secretly afraid to start?
It’s a Trench Coat. I have the pattern printed and ready to go, some ridiculously expensive cotton sateen in a retro floral, underlining, interlining and lining … but the thought of touching it absolutely terrifies me. Oh, and did I mention, the pattern instructions are poorly translated from Russian? This baby is gonna take some alcohol fuelled dutch courage and a week off work to even think about starting.
4. What’s your favourite TNT pattern?
It’s a tie between Deer & Doe’s Plantain Top (even better it is a free pattern) & Kitshycoo’s Lady Skater Dress. I absolutely love both of them, have made them loads and see even more in my future. “My name is T and I am a knit instant gratification junkie.”
5. What’s your sewing motto?
Babe, where are my scissors?
MY FIVE RANDOM FACTS
1. I am the illustrator of a very successful sex book. (No, I don’t think my Dad will ever get over it.)
2. I read all the BBC’s top 100 books in 10 months.
3. I nearly drowned just before my 30th birthday.
4. I have been married three times.
5. I love to tap dance (doubly so if I can wear a hat).
MY FIVE NOMINATIONS
Sue at A Colourful Canvas
(I love colour which is why I love this blog. Perfect tonal eye candy for any day of the week. I have no idea where Sue lives but I have secret plans to make her my new BFF).
Amanda at Wear. A. Wyatt
Angela at Sewn by Angela
Cari at Cari Homemaker
L at You Sew Girl
And here are my five questions for these lovely bloggers:
1. What’s your favourite fabric to sew?
2. Do you have a stash and, if so, how big is it? (The fabric police are watching!)
3. What advice would you give to new sewers?
4. What is the favourite tool or gadget in your sewing arsenal?
5. If you could sew an outfit for anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?
I can’t wait to see your answers!