Insight to Sewing: A Collection of Interviews with Passionate Sewists

Let me introduce you to Lara the first Sewist in the Insight to Sewing Series! You might know her on Instagram as @thornberrylara Lara lives in Melbourne Australia.

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https://www.instagram.com/thornberrylara/ 

I've chosen Lara as she is a prolific sewist and loves colour. She is brave, passionate and shares pattern information freely and honestly. She has a real community service heart and outreach. Here is a look into her sewing life...in Lara's own words......

Lara: I am a working (part-time), sewing, middle-aged mother, wife, with a teenager and a primary school aged kid.

Anne :How many clothes do you sew a year?

Lara: Gulp, I don’t really want to answer that.  I would have to add it all up!  I sew for myself, my daughters, sometimes my cousin, my husband, my mum.  I’ve checked how many blog posts I did last year and I know that there are at least 30 items still unblogged, so that is probably around 200 items.  Yes, that is a significant amount!  Remember though that they’re not all for me.


Anne: How do they all fit in your wardrobe?

Lara: I use flocked hangers that are quite slim.  Clothes don’t slip off them easily, and you can fit quite a lot in.  I have a four door wardrobe, and that fits a great deal.  I make sure that I only use that wardrobe with no overflow elsewhere (with the exception of formal items and coats which live in another room).  There is a mixture of hanging space, shelves and drawers.  I use the KonMari method for folding the items that go into drawers, and regularly refold the items that are on shelves to ensure that they fit neatly.  I also do regular clothing culls.  Sewing is not only about the finished garment for me - it’s also about the process - so if I finish something and I’m not feeling the love, it is given away without much angst.  Someone else can benefit from it rather than have it sitting unloved in my wardrobe!

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Anne: What is your yearly strategy that keeps you organised and your wardrobe not so squishy?

Lara: I'll be honest - I do have a lot of clothes.  I enjoy colour, fabric and pattern, as well as the process of sewing, so as a result I do sew a significant amount.  As soon as the wardrobe gets a little crammed, I go through it and remove any items that don’t fit properly or don’t feel right.  You know, the things that just aren’t “me”, or the ones that I put on then take off again in favour of something else.  I actually try to cull in this way as I go, moving items that don’t really work into the wardrobe in the spare room.  Then friends and relatives are free to ferret through and take what they want, before I deliver any leftovers to the op shop.  It needs to be done regularly - because I add clothes to the wardrobe so regularly - and as soon as it’s hard to move clothes around on their hangers, or to find them on the shelves, I know it’s time for another cull.  Sometimes I will get a friend around to help me be a bit more brutal, but generally I don’t find it too difficult to get rid of anything that just doesn’t feel right.  It’s more about how it feels on me than how it looks to others, which is why I can usually cull the wardrobe on my own.

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I don’t have a yearly strategy for what I’m going to sew.  I have some broad aims, but know that I tend to sew according to my mood.  I will sew to fill any obvious wardrobe gaps, but with that many clothes in a wardrobe there really aren’t any gaps that need filling!  This year I am starting a new job that is a little more formal in dress, so I’ll need to be aware of that when I’m deciding on what I want to sew.

Anne: Thanks Lara for the being so frank , honest and helpful in allowing other Sewists to have a glimpse into your sewing life! I love how your wardrobe is on constant turnover, which must be an ongoing challenge for such a prolific sewist. Moving your creations from your home to other homes solves the squishy wardrobe issue and would be fun for the recipients!

Hey Sewists we might all take a leaf out of Lara's disciplined approach...Maybe some squishy wardrobes could benefit from a bit of culling too.

Next Sewist in the "Insight to Sewing Series" is Maria known as @velosewer from Sydney Australia!

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