So here are my answers to "The Seamstress Tag" as initiated by Hollie of Hollie Sews. I know I’m a little late to the game, but I thought I’d join in as my answers may be a little different and I like being different.
1 Who are you?
Katrina, I’m 46 and live in lovely green Sheffield, with my husband Fluffrick our two rescue dogs Hagrid and Bonnie and my Mum.
2 When and why did you start sewing?
I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t sew. I know I already knew my way around a sewing machine when I started sewing lesson at Secondary school when I was 12. My Mum used to sew clothes (often Clothkits) for me and my brother when we were little, so there was always sewing in our house. I then took an ‘O’ level in Sewing (I’m that old I did ‘O’ levels not GCSE’s), but I kept on sewing as a teenager and into my twenties to save money. Comparatively clothes were not that cheap in the late Eighties, early Nineties, so I could make clothes much more cheaply than buying RTW.
3 What is your favourite or proudest make?
My proudest make if definitely my Wedding dress, I made it using Vintage Vogue V2401 in Scarlet Dupion Silk.
My favourite make is probably my ‘Star Wars’ skirt, I mean who wouldn’t want to wear a skirt with a Wookie on it.
4 What is you most disastrous make?
I can’t really think of any truly disastrous makes. I tried to make my brother a suit for his eighteenth birthday, grey trousers and a tweedy jacket and my first time every using a Vogue pattern. He had already worn out the trousers by the time I got around the finishing the jacket, sometime around his twenty first birthday. I don’t know if he ever really wore the jacket. I do have about 20 items in my wardrobe that I have made that just need a tweak to make them more wearable, but I wouldn’t call any of them disastrous.
5 What is your favourite place to go fabric shopping?
I try my hardest not to go fabric shopping. When you have been sewing for over 30 years you accumulate a lot of stuff - Fabric, more fabric, even more fabric, zips, buttons, thread, patterns, pattern magazines, sewing books. I do like John Lewis, but these days only buy fabric in the sale and there is Fine Fabrics in Hillsborough that is good for a rummage. Where possible I like to re-purpose fabric from existing RTW garments, so charity shops are great for that. I do love Fabworks in Dewsbury, I just really glas it is in Dewsbury and not just round the corner.
6 What is your most used pattern?
That would probably be Paprika Patterns Onyx Top I have made at least 12 different iterations (as seen in OWOP 2016). I have also used New Look 6106 many, many times (as seen in OWOP 2014) and I have 8 different versions of the Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress and Top. When I find a pattern I like I tend to make it over and over again.
7 What is your most dreaded sewing task?
Pressing; because I hate ironing, which is why I choose to make the vast majority of my clothes in natural fibres, I must be a masochist.
8 And your favourite sewing task?
My favourite sewing task is related to my biggest sewing bug bear, which are ridiculous pattern layouts and excessive fabric requirements. I love playing a life sized game of Tetris to try and fit the pattern pieces onto the smallest amount of fabric, whilst maintaining grainline or choosing to place pattern pieces on the cross grain, or occasionally on the bias. I am also not averse to adding a centre back seams in order to reduce the fabric requirement. A simple pencil skirt should never need more than 1m of 150cm wide fabric!
9 What is your favourite sewing entertainment?
Cycling. Road races, Track Cycling, Grand tours, one day classics, I love to watch cycling, but a race can last over six hours, so there is a lot of time to sew and if something exciting happens there is always an action replay. Tonight I will be watching the second day of Six Days of London, whilst finish my Melissa Dress and possibly starting a Brumby skirt. I also love a good box set and feel the need to watch all seven seasons of "Gilmore Girls" before the new episodes arrive on Netflix on November 25th.
10 Printed or PDF?
PDF, for Indie patterns PDFs as they are cheaper than printed patterns. Also when I forget to put pattern pieces back in their envelope and loose them, I can always print them out again.
11 What sewing machine do you use?
John Lewis JL300C, it does everything I need, in 35 years of sewing I have not been able to justify getting an overlocker.
12 Do you have any other hobbies?
I enjoy knitting, but I’m very slow at it. I have tried crochet, but me and don’t get on. I enjoy cooking and find new and wonderful vegetarian recipes to inflict on the Mum and husband.