Let me introduce you to Maria the second Sewist in the Insight to Sewing Series! Maria works full time and is married. You might know her on Instagram as @velosewer Maria lives in Sydney Australia. Maria is an active member of the Sydney Spoolettes (A nationwide sewing collective) and a regular contributor to https://sewing.patternreview.com/
I've chosen Maria as she is an adventurous Sewist and applies her creative skills further by ... making shoes, hats and most of everything in between. Maria is the one stop shop! Join me as we learn a little of what motivates Maria's sewing in her own words ......
Maria: I juggle family commitments just like everyone else, even with a somewhat self-managing husband. He and I have an unspoken agreement that I don’t take him to fabric shops or sewing events and alternatively I don’t get hauled into history museums for hours on end. Give and take.
That also means he is not included in sewing weekends away. I’ve experienced one disaster I don’t want to repeat again.
Afterwork I also don’t cook everyday even though we cook from scratch.
If I work back late, there’s always toast and a cup of tea.
Someworkday mornings if I’m tired, I won’t go to the gym but I’ll cut out a new project.
Social media helps me keep in touch with family both here and overseas and keeping in touch can take place any time of the day.
So…I juggle to stay sane and sewing keeps me sane.
Anne: How many clothes do you sew a year?
Maria: I'm not sure how to answer this question. On average I make a new piece of clothing every week. At a guess I make over 50 pieces a year, give or take a few pieces I make when pattern testing.
I usually test new patterns and make a 'wearable toile'. Most of the time I'll only wear these once or twice but sometimes they become a fav.
The other strategy I use is when I'm working on a project, that needs lots of work, I'll take a break from it and whip up a knit top or something that I can make in 3 hours. This relieves the sewing intensity. I also find this break allows me to reflect on what I'm creating and I come back refreshed and renewed. It works for me.
Anne: How do they all fit in your wardrobe?
Maria: My secret is I have two wardrobes. One for work and one for non- work activities like weekend activities including cycling and running.
Anne: What is your yearly strategy that keeps you organised and your wardrobe not so squishy?
Maria: Twice a year I cull out enough clothes etc to fill a car boot when I give them to charity.
I have light-weight and medium weight suits that I've made and these get me through my work week and through warm and cooler seasons.
My summer gear gets stored away once the weather cools and I do the same with my winter gear when the hot weather kicks back in again. It's at this seasonal change point that I'll bag up the clothes I haven't worn or don't need and they go to charity.
I do have a couple of special suits that I've made for job interviews and special work events.
When I first started working I made a stack of knit tops for work and I've slowly replaced these with more structured blouses and shirts, when I can find the right fabrics and styles.
These rules apply to my running and cycling clothes. I have dark colour bottoms in light and medium weight fabrics. My tops are usually bright colours or strong colours so I can get away with no makeup.
I've made lots of my gym/running gear so I know these pieces really do fit me and co-ordinate well. When I get dressed for the gym at 5am in the morning, my choices don't match but they do 'go together' for the activity I'm doing.
Anne: Thanks Maria, your passion for Couture and detailed garment construction is inspiring! Hats, Shoes, Activewear, Underwear.... nothing is out of your creative and sewing reach. You make wardrobe space for more creations by culling regularly. We can all be proactive in our wardrobes Sewists! Make some space, let someone else have what you aren't wearing! Overstocked wardrobes cause creativity blockage.
I Love that you know your Style. Maria you have great drive and a courageous sense of adventure! Best tip for Endurance Sewing - is to know how to keep your sewing Mojo going. Maria makes one or a few quick pieces during the marathon projects. Sewists who are in the middle of a very long "make," take note! Shoes, gymwear, underwear, hats ...a wardrobe full of Bespoke garments and accessories. If you have ever wondered what you should try to make next, stop by @velosewer on Instagram and be inspired then...make it!!
May I say Maria ..You Juggle Sew well!!
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