It’s time to meet this month’s meet the maker and if you already follow her on Instagram, you’ll know she’s an expert at making all of our fabrics look amazing – #Sewisfactionsuperfan anyone?
We asked Rachel (@scissorspapersewn) our #MySewifaction meet the maker questions so you can get to know how fabulous she is too!
Hi Rachel, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Rachel, a forty-something Mum and a bit bonkers about sewing, so it helps that I live about 10 minutes from Sewisfaction. I was chuffed to bits to be picked as the May Maker! I have two girls who are 8 and 11, two cats and a brilliant husband who has learned to say all the right things when I arrive in my latest make asking ‘what do you think?”.
I’ve always had a passion for creative endeavours – painting, dancing, creative writing. I painted the hallway of our first home to look like faux marble. It took me a whole bank holiday weekend, gave me chronic neck-ache and, looking back now, it must’ve been grotesque! After uni I followed my curiosity into the world of advertising and direct marketing to join my tribe and play with words all day.
How did you get into sewing?
That would be my Mum. Her first job was as a seamstress. My Dad just dropped that into conversation recently. I knew she made her wedding dress. She showed me how to cut out a pattern, transfer the markings and was a stickler for pre-washing your fabric. We lived in Lancashire and she’d take me to the mill shops and I’d watch the bolts bouncing across the table as the women yanked the fabric along, measuring by eye, snipping and ripping down the grain like they were opening great curtains. After showing me how to thread up her Jones sewing machine she left me to crack on. I started out trying to make a coat. Talk about ridiculous! I didn’t finish it.
I’ve learned through trial and plenty of error as there was no YouTube. You can learn so quickly and readily now, it’s wonderful. In my twenties, I made simple cotton shift dresses and 1950s circle skirt numbers but didn’t get as far as pattern adjustments. I sewed myself two dresses from curtain fabrics for my brother’s wedding – he married a lovely Irish girl and they had two parties. I only got back into sewing last summer when my sewjo suddenly awoke from its slumber!
Where do you do your sewing?
I commandeered our new dining room when we extended our house. Cheeky move but I’m getting away with it so far! My sewing table is a drop-leaf one from IKEA that folds down to almost nothing. I could do with proper storage for my fabric and patterns – what you can’t see behind the camera is boxes stuffed with fabric, notions, patterns, UFOs but let’s just look at the pretty table that I tidied up just for you! Spotted my little helper yet?
What’s your proudest ever make?
I was going to say the Ginger jeans I made with Charlotte Newland at the Sewisfaction workshop because…well… jeans! Toiling, adjustments, top-stitching, fly zipper, rivets, Charlotte hoiking you about by the pants. It was amazing but I’d have to land on these Butterick B6178 culottes. I spent ages on the fit, the zip, and I lined them. They were the first garment I’d lined without the first idea about how to do so. I figured it out myself and that’s what edges it for me.
What’s up next in your sewing pile?
Oh blimey, my next-make list changes every time I open my eyes! I really want to make a jumpsuit but I don’t want to make something that would probably end up touching a toilet floor while I do a backbend undoing the zipper. I’m currently eyeing the new True Bias Shelby which is a front opening romper suit with buttons. Sometimes a fabric swoops in, grabs me by the sewjo and I’m a woman possessed. So, keep an eye out!
Isn’t Rachel amazing? We can’t wait to see her next make and if you’d like to see it too, then why not give her a follow over on Instagram?