I started sewing when I was very young and never really stopped; it has always been part of my life. My first creation was a doll's dress; two roughly hacked rectangles of orange crimpelene with a brown paisley pattern (well, it was about 1970!) held together with huge stitches. I still remember that I couldn't get the thread to stay in the eye of the needle, so I knotted it in place. This fixed the problem, but unsurprisingly made it very hard to get the needle through fabric. I like to think that both my sewing technique and fabric choices have improved massively since then!
|Simplicity 1777, a vintage pattern reissue|
My main interest is clothing, especially vintage, and I've taken part in the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge in both 2015 and 2016.
|Butterick 6877, an original pattern from 1954|
I've also made some historical items as part of the Historical Sew Monthly challenges, and sometimes managed to tie this is with another of my interests, Middle Eastern dance. For some time I was also a member of, and wardrobe mistress to, Ya Raqs; a traditional Middle Eastern and North African dance troupe.
|15th century Ottoman costume, and two of the Ya Raqs girls in costumes which I made|
In 2015 I discovered a whole new passion; hatmaking. I've been on a number of courses at Hat Works, the hat museum in Stockport, Greater Manchester, and sometimes I even manage to finish one of the various hats I've started to make there!
|A completed hat! 1950s sinamay|
Between 2016 and 2019 I completed a Research Masters on women and home dressmaking, with a focus on vintage dressmaking. Some of my research and general vintage pattern nerdery made it onto this blog, and I continue to post about my ongoing exploration of home dressmaking in the twentieth century under the topic home dressmaking history.
I live in the north-west of England, with more vintage patterns than any woman can hope to make up in a lifetime - although I intend to have a darn good try!