Today in my series of interviews with sewing bloggers on their connection between sewing & style, I’m delighted to feature Andi of Untangling Knots. I’ve been a fan of Andi’s ever since I bought a crochet jacket pattern from her (which I did before I learned to crochet because it was just that awesome). Although I am ashamed to admit that I have yet to knit any of the several patterns of hers that I have purchased, I will readily admit that I ooh and aah over every new knit pattern she releases (yep, I’m another fangirl). Turns out, not only can she knit and crochet, she sews too! I’m delighted to share her thoughts on the connection between her ability to sew and knit and her personal style.
Hello there! My name is Andi, short for Andrea. I am currently in my 20s, living in Seattle, and working as a pattern designer. I’ve been knitting since 2004 and crocheting since 2006.
Describe your style.
I usually describe my style as vaguely retro. I’ve always loved mid-century fashion, but I’m more interested in the silhouettes and shapes than an authentic vintage look. It’s what works best on my body type, and I always feel so comfortable wearing a full skirted dress and a cardigan.
Describe what you sew/knit.
I mostly make full skirts. I am terrible at fitting more complex sewn garments, so I tend to stick with what I’m comfortable with. When it comes to knitting, I’m a little addicted to cropped cardigans. They’re so fast to knit, and they go with everything in my wardrobe. They’re hard for me to resist, but I try to branch out from time to time.
What inspires or influences your style?
When I was in high school, I’d got to ska and psychobilly shows, and I just adored the way the women at those shows dressed. They looked feminine but tough, and I wanted to be like that. I also discovered Lily Allen when I was in high school, and her look resonated in a similar way for me. Dresses and skirts started to appeal to me in a way that they never had, and I could see how they could fit into my lifestyle instead of just being something I admired in old Hitchcock movies. Since then my style has sort of evolved from those origins.
I look at every day as a chance to play dress-up. How do you play dress-up?
I love dressing up! I work from home, and it’s given me an interesting relationship with dressing up. I used to have good outfit ideas, but I wouldn’t want to wear them because I wasn’t going out and no one else would see my outfits. I’m trying really hard to break that habit and just wear the cute outfit because I dress up for my own enjoyment so who cares if no one else gets to see it?
How does your passion for sewing/knitting influence your style?
Making my own clothing really changed my style’s accessibility for me. Before I started to make my own clothes, I’d have to wait for mainstream fashion to cycle around before I could buy more clothing. The 50s and 60s come into fashion pretty regularly so it wasn’t a huge hardship, but my shopping habits were in feast-or-famine mode and that’s just not ideal.
Has your style changed with time?
My style has evolved a bit to be a lot more brightly colored. I’ve always loved flashy loud colors, but I used to play it safe and wear mostly black clothing with brightly colored accessories. Now my outfits tend to be the exact opposite. I think at least a little big of that is due to how boring it is to knit and/or sew with black. Bright colors are more fun to work with so I ended up with a very cheerful wardrobe.
What about in the beginning: Did you learn to sew so that you could have a certain style?
No, I learned to sew and to knit to have something to do, which was probably a good thing because it took me a long time to be able to make something wearable. The attraction for me was more about having something interesting to do with my free time.
Does your style require that you are able to sew?
No, but it makes it easier!
Anything else you would like to say about sewing and style?
The best thing about making your clothing is that you’re in control of everything so you truly can make it your own. You get to decide exactly what you’re going to wear in a way that you just can’t with store bought clothing. There’s something extra special about that.