After her review of the Bleuet dress, we were dying to learn more about her!
Absolutely! Hi everyone, I’m Sarah; 30-something living in London. Financial accountant by day and sewist by evening and weekend. I’m originally from Ipswich, Suffolk and spent a couple of years living in Borneo where I became dog mum to two stray puppies that I brought back to the UK with me. I’ve been crafting ever since I was a little girl, and have tried my hand at pretty much everything – beading, papercraft, scrapbooking, you name it I’ve tried it. Knitting is something that I’ve done all my life, and still dabble in – I wish I had more time for it! I’ve owned a sewing machine for 16 years, but for the first 13 of it’s life I only ever used it to make a few simple things like curtains and cushions. It’s only been over the last few years that I’ve really spent time working on my dressmaking skills, learning about my shape and figuring out which styles and colours suit me. I started my blog, Wanderstitch, at the beginning of 2017 and I’m so glad that I did – it’s wonderful to see all my creations in one place, and see how my style and skills have developed over time.
Literally everywhere! Being in London, there’s so much inspiration on the streets in front of my very eyes – I love people watching to see what sort of clothes they are wearing, and what else they are pairing it with to make an outfit. I also love to see what other people are sewing on Instagram – there’s an absolutely massive sewing community on there that’s full of amazing creations. I’ve even been known to inspect the clothing of my colleagues in the office if they turn up wearing something awesome – I like to see how it’s constructed, what it’s made from, the little details. I don’t follow the current trends or colours, I am more about finding garments that suit my shape and style, regardless of whether they are considered in fashion or not! I believe that a well fitting garment, in a colour or print that you love and makes you feel a million dollars is always better than an ‘on trend’ style that doesn’t suit you.
My favourite is definitely the Belladone, I am just so in love with the back design! As you’ve probably gathered from my style, I like things that are just that little bit different. I will make some more once summer rolls around again next year, I’ve got a few fabrics lined up ready for them! The waistband is the perfect width and height for my body shape, and I get so many compliments on the fit of it when I wear it.
And because you know I can’t choose just one, my second favourite is the Chardon skirt which I’m currently planning my fourth one of!
I am so fussy about choosing fabrics – I could (and do!) browse hundreds of fabrics and come away with nothing. I’m very particular about colours – I always choose warm tones, and can’t have anything that clashes with my hair! I prefer large-scale prints over small ditsy prints, and you’ll never see me in florals. It’s been a real learning curve for me to be able to distinguish between fabrics that I like the look of in their own right on the bolt, and fabrics that will actually look good on my body. I’ve discovered that these are two different things – there have been fabrics that I’ve bought because I liked the look of them, but they didn’t work as clothing.
When I’m thinking about which fabric to use for a particular project, I consider the size of the garment itself (eg is it a dress, or just a skirt) as some really large-scale prints are more suited a dress to get the full effect. Next there’s the construction and design elements to think about – the fabric has to compliment this. Are there details that would be lost among a really busy fabric? The cut-outs on my Datura blouse are an example of this, which is why I opted to make it in a plain fabric – to put them in the spotlight. I knew that I wanted to make a Bruyère out of plaid fabric, to highlight the bias angle on the placket, waistband and yoke – these little accents get lost on fabrics that aren’t as strong directionally, and you end up overshadowing the details.
Sometimes it takes me a really long time to find just the right fabric, but I’ve learnt to wait until I’m totally happy with my choice rather than go ahead with a fabric I’m not totally 100% sure of – because chances are it means that I won’t be happy with the end result.
I’ve just cut the pieces for my first Bruyère, and I’m currently searching for fabric to make the Safran trousers from. I’ve had the Bruyère pattern for a year now, but struggled to find the right fabric – as I mentioned above I knew I wanted to make a plaid one, but couldn’t find a colour scheme that wasn’t too bright or too much like a Christmas tablecloth! In the end, I bought some petrol blue and purple plaid from Etsy – I always ‘know’ when I see the right fabric. It literally took me months to find it, but It was worth the wait and I’m excited to finally make the shirt!
As for the Safrans, I’m hoping to get to a point where I have a template for well-fitting jeans – I realise I may have to make a couple of versions to perfect the fit, but I really struggle to find jeans or trousers that fit my hourglass shape. I need two sizes smaller at the waist than I do at the thighs, and that’s impossible to find in stores.
I’m also totally loving the Azara skirt from the new AW17 collection, and I have the perfect burgundy wool twill to make it from – now all I need is the time!