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Subscriber Profile; Katie

April’s SewHayleyJane subscriber profile was with Katie who you can find on Instagram @winter_wonders81. Let’s find out more about Katie and her sewing journey

Tell us about your sewing journey. When and how did you start sewing?

Some of my earliest memories involve crafting. In my early childhood I started to cross stitch and still have the first piece that I made in nursery school, so I guess I started sewing at the age of 4/5. My love of cross stitch continued and I even had a project on the go during my university party years, although that particular piece took 11 years to complete!

I grew up watching my mum sewing clothes for my grandma so I was familiar with a sewing machine from an early age. However, my own sewing journey didn’t start until 2010, when I took a couple of classes at my local college here in Oxford. I was at a point in my life where I needed a challenge outside of work and I started researching sewing techniques (I am a scientist by day so research is key for me!), I discovered a whole new world of sewing bloggers and so my journey began. 

I’ve had a few ups and downs along the way, pregnancy fuddled my brain for a number of years and during 2020 I finally started to make clothes that fit (reasonably) well and that fit into my everyday wardrobe, rather than sewing all of the party dresses. I just love that sewing has given me the confidence to have a go at making whatever pops into my head and the ability to make matching outfits for myself and the kids.

You have been subscribed to the Classic box since July 2020, what made you want to sign up?

I was looking for a challenge during lockdown and also for a little treat for myself. After seeing all of the lovely SewHayleyJane boxes on Instagram I decided to give one a go myself. I do have a tendency to buy cheaper fabric and was always playing it safe with familiar fabrics. So by subscribing to SewHayleyJane I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and actually really enjoyed sewing with quality fabrics that I would have never chosen for myself.

Do you have a favourite box since you started your subscription?

I still love the first box that I received last July, Riviera. It included a lovely polka dot crepe and felt tailor made to my taste! I have tried out different levels of subscription boxes that Hayley has to offer and as a treat for my birthday last August I received a Luxury Box. This included the most beautiful border print cotton sateen paired with the Sew Over It Marguerite dress. The fabric is so lovely and I am a bit scared to cut into it, maybe as summer approaches here in England I will be brave enough to use it.

What is the best thing about receiving a monthly box of sewing goodies?

I love the surprise aspect of the box and also seeing what colourway other subscribers receive. I have two very small children so the box gives me an opportunity to take myself away for 10-20 minutes of peace, while I go through the box, secretly eat the sweet treat and enjoy the magazine. I also love seeing what other subscribers make with their fabric, it has really inspired me to try new patterns, away from my usual aesthetic.

I don’t often have a project in mind for the fat quarters as I am not much of a quilter, however they have been very useful during the recent pandemic and now my family and friends have very pretty face masks. I have also discovered that I really love an unboxing video!

Do you have a favourite make from your subscription?

My favourite make is from my first box Riviera, which was a navy polka dot crepe. I paired the fabric with the True Bias Shelby dress and I love swishing around in that dress! However, I would say that my most worn and practical make was using a lovely blue viscose that I got in my November box. I paired the viscose with the Fibre Mood Norma blouse, which has a lovely billowy sleeve, perfect for the super soft viscose. Also as we get 2.5 meters of fabric, I was also able to squeeze a pair of Megan Nielsen Flint shorts and look forward to wearing these in summer.

I have also just finished my shirt dress of dreams using the novelty fruit print cotton poplin from my February box. I paired the fabric with the Helens Closet Gilbert Top, which I narrowed at the waist and added a skirt. This fabric is so fun and I had to down tools and cut it out straight away!

Are you working on anything at the moment?

I have become interested in pattern hacking lately and at the moment I am working on a Chalk and Notch fringe dress, which I have altered so that the skirt buttons all the way down the front. I am using a very lightweight viscose chambray and discovered that the Agoya buttons that we received in the October box are a perfect pairing.