Today in my series of interviews with sewing bloggers on their connection between sewing & style, I’m delighted to feature Maria of How Good Is That?. I was first drawn to Maria because she sometimes goes by the name VeloSewer (I have a natural affinity for bike people!). I’m lucky to have gotten to know her a better as a fellow Minerva Craft Blogger and as a test sewer for my Presidio Purse. I always enjoy seeing the thoughtful touches she adds to her garments. I’m delighted to share her thoughts on the connection between her ability to sew and her personal style.
Describe your style.
I’m a work and weekend casual type. That means I’ll endeavour to wear clothes that fit, but they might not be quite ‘fashion’ and sometimes not ‘age-appropriate’. Those jumpsuits I made recently did get some judgemental looks from a few people I know, but hey, it’s been a long summer.
Describe what you sew.
Clothes. Let me qualify that. Clothes that fit well and fit into my everyday life. That includes work in the office.
Family events, whether they’re
– daytime ‘take the kids out for the afternoon’
– weddings and christenings
– catching up when we travel in different countries.
What inspires or influences your style?
Most of the time colour influences my style. I’ve sewn a lot of solid colours but recently I’ve gone for polka dots, animal prints (heavily influenced by Anne of Pretty Grievances) and now I’m looking at paisleys and florals. When I’m stuck for an idea, I go back to black!
I look at every day as a chance to play dress-up. How do you play dress-up?
My idea of dress up is going retro i.e. wearing 60’s shifts, a 70’s halter style dress or a wiggle dress. I do have plans for a Game of Thrones outfit this year.
How does your passion for sewing influence your style?
You know, I love big, flowy, easy to wear clothes. But I’m short and have a changeable size so Lagen look isn’t for me. I love to challenge style rules. Not aggressively. But I try to use big prints on my short frame from time to time – just to challenge my eye for style and style balance.
Does your passion for sewing influence the style of those around you?
My work colleagues are now used to seeing me in my ‘home-made’ clothes. Their heads did spin when I wore my pleather jacket one winter. This gave me lots of street cred.
Has your style changed with time?
I still sew the basic, but with a bit more care and the fit of my clothes has improved.
Have your sewing abilities changed with time?
I think I’ve become more game to sew anything, anytime. And I mean anytime.
I sew before and after work. The mornings when I don’t go to the gym, I’ll sew and then get to work at the usual time.
Has a change in style caused you to change your sewing abilities?
No. What’s changed my sewing abilities is going to workshops and reading about sewing techniques so I can improve my sewing techniques. Last year I did a 6 week class on pattern drafting. The teacher was wondering why I wanted to do the course but she didn’t turn me away. What I did get out of this were my bodice block, skirt block, pants block and blocks for my husband. So really, constantly working on my sewing abilities has improved how my finished garments (and bags on occasions) look.
Has a change in sewing abilities caused you to change your style?
No. I think knowing what suits me and how to balance current styles to my body shape is what I’ve been learning and relearning.
Did you learn to sew so that you could have a certain style?
Geez. I started sewing in high school. Style was never really acknowledged. Once I left uni, I tried to dress like the female execs – matching jacket and skirt. But buying ready to wear was out of my budget, so I went back to sewing.
Does your style require that you are able to sew?
No. My ongoing love of puzzles and project management keeps me sewing. I have to pull back from the technical construction at times but those ‘here’s what I’ve learnt’ blog posts are priceless to me. Styling is something I have to work on, or become a wall flower.
Anything else you would like to say about sewing and style?
What motivates me is seeing all the new sewers blog about their sewing. Everyone has a different point of view but when I see their passion for sewing, I’m happy to be part of that ‘conversation’.