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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?

I live in a tiny village in South Gloucestershire, UK. There is not much there in the way of shops…or anything really. I seem to spend most of my time on the bus at the moment, in search of civilisation. But that is fine; whilst you cannot sew in a moving vehicle, knitting is ideal, which is another of my hobbies. I’ve recently starting studying Fashion Design at college, which is great. Doing what I love everyday is like a dream.

2. How did you start sewing?

I taught myself to sew earlier this year and have completely fallen for it. It followed a time when I had been quite ill and really needed something to inspire me again. I think it all began when I discovered the incredible online sewing and fashion community, such as BurdaStyle and the many craft blogs connected to it.

Ever since I was a little girl, creativity has been a big part of my life. My mum is an artist, though it isn’t her profession, and my Grandma is never seen without her tapestry or knitting. She taught me to knit at the age of four and her vast collection of sewing accessories means that trips to the haberdashery need not be too often (my purse breathes a sigh of relief!)



Little iroiro!

Over the past few months, I have definitely seen my confidence and sewing skills develop. My first projects were all from Japanese pattern books, but now I like to draft my own patterns as you really can make something totally unique.

My favourite project always seems to be my most recent creation! At the moment it is my vintage-inspired blue floral dress. I made it for a trip to London and was spotted by a Sunday Times photographer, who took my photograph for a feature in the paper. It seems slightly surreal, my creation being featured in a national newspaper.



Vintage-Inspired Blue Floral Dress

3. Try to describe your personal style in 5 words or less

Hmm…that’s a difficult one. I would probably say: ‘quirky’, ‘feminine’, ‘vintage’, and hopefully ‘cute’.

4. Do you have a style icon who inspires your sewing projects?

I am literally inspired by anything and everything. When an idea strikes me, I tend to get a little overexcited and have to sketch it immediately. Rarely do these ideas actually become a real garment, but they all feed into inspiration for future projects.

I love scouring the internet for inspiring images and always carry my camera with me, so my inspiration folder is bursting full. Japanese craft books like Pattern Magic and the Stylish Dress Book series provide a never ending source of beautiful images and I definitely spend far too much time on websites like Etsy.com and TokyoFashion.com. Vintage clothing, dressmaking patterns and homeware are favourites of mine too, particularly the 50s and 60s. There is something so romantic about wearing vintage…what is its story? What has it seen? The shapes from that era are so flattering too.



Iroiro’s inspiration board



Inspiration

5. What time of year do you find yourself most creative?

As I have only been sewing since May/June, I cannot be too sure. Right now, I miss making all those pretty Summer dresses, and there is certainly more time for sewing in the long Summer break, so I may have to say then.

6. Tell us about your sewing experience!

As there isn’t a designated place for sewing in my house, I tend to have quite a disjointed process. The pattern drafting and cutting generally happens on the floor, where I can have the TV on or listen to music. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to learn Japanese so I have been listening to a lot of language podcasts as well. I then sew and serge on a cramped table at the end of my bed, and have to run to the other side of the house to the iron, for pressing. Most people say that sewing is a relaxing hobby for them, but for me it can be pretty exhausting! My favourite time to sew is the morning and afternoon, but being at college all day means most sewing tends to happen in the later hours.



Sewing table treasures

7. What is your dream sewing project?

I have always secretly dreamed of joining the circus and making costumes for the performers. I would love the challenge of creating extraordinary and unique outfits, whilst having the allow movement for the performers. Another dream job would be sewing costumes for my favourite band, of Montreal . Their live shows are almost like a circus performance and to be part of that would be incredible. This is definitely an area I would like to look into after I finish my fashion course.

8. How long have you been a member of BurdaStyle?

I have been a member of Burdastyle since I began sewing in late May. What I like most about the site is the supportive community and creative atmosphere that you just can’t miss. I have been so overwhelmed by everyone’s encouraging comments, and am constantly amazed by the incredible talent of some of the people on here. I usually visit the site a couple of times a week to read the new blog posts, see featured projects and browse for inspiring creations, but sometimes I pop in a couple of times a day!

9. What is the most frustrating thing about sewing for you? What is the most rewarding?

Like everyone else, I find unpicking the least enjoyable thing about sewing. However, if I go wrong, I am prepared to sit down and unpick every last stitch. I find I have immense patience whilst sewing or knitting, and this is because I know I would never wear anything that wasn’t perfect. I want people to ask where I bought my clothes from, and not for it to obvious that I made it. Of course, the best part is finally wearing the garment and receiving a compliment .

Check out iroiro’s Top Ten favorite member creations!

Visit her BurdaStyle studio

27 Comments

  • Margaret_large

    Aug 1, 2011, 06.21 AMby andiecork

    Nice fashion designs. Nicklaus Misiti

  • Margaret_large

    Jul 14, 2011, 03.09 AMby andiecork

    I like the fashion trend in this clothing line. And the model, she’s so gorgeous even at her young age. furniture poker tables | best poker tables | craps table

  • Mee1_large

    Jan 29, 2011, 01.14 PMby fashionfreek

    Well done. Great work. What a lovely read. You encourgaged in some ways..thank you.:-)

  • Burdastyle_profile_large

    Jan 29, 2011, 06.21 AMby junaluska

    Congratulations! You definitely deserved the feature, and I can’t wait to see new projects. =]

  • 2_dsc_1140_large

    Jan 28, 2011, 03.59 PMby magdamagda

    there’s lil left to say with all these wonderful comments, my congrats for being who you are! :)

  • Dscn0826_large

    Jan 28, 2011, 03.41 PMby ruthw

    It’s not just your sewing! Your writing style and your marketing talents are way beyond your years too! Amazing!

  • Dsc03784__b3_profile_large

    Jan 28, 2011, 12.25 PMby Laura Bolčina

    Congratulations! I loved reading your interview. :)

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    Jan 28, 2011, 05.30 AMby Ophelia K

    Sophia, it’s so great to read about you. I have been very inspired by your vintage look. Keep making lovely outfits to make people smile:) And thank you very much for picking my item in your top 10!!

  • J_s_painting_large

    Jan 28, 2011, 02.40 AMby lizajane09

    Such a great sense of style! I like the additional photos as well.

  • Burda_avatar_004_large

    Jan 28, 2011, 12.50 AMby mamamodista

    I loved reading about you and love your style. I also discovered sewing at a young age but let it go for a long time which is a huge regret of mine some 30 years later. So stick with it. You are obviously talented and I have a feeling this is only the beginning. I think we’ll all be hearing great things about you in the future. Please consider this old lady one of your earliest fans! And by the way your blue floral dress…SUPERB!!!

  • Ooobop_thatched_house_large

    Jan 27, 2011, 08.51 PMby janene

    Congratulations. Lovely feature. And so deserved. You are an inspiration to us all x

  • Missing

    Jan 27, 2011, 08.25 PMby sarahmaccarelli

    You are so very talented! Congrats.

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    Jan 27, 2011, 07.30 PMby lucyrev

    Can I be your secret admirer? I had to read about you when I saw the featured line that you dreamed of sewing for the circus. That has always been my dream too! Of Montreal is amazing, and I adore your tiny dresses. I would wear any of them in an instant. Keep sewing, and thanks for the peek into your process.

  • P8150166_large

    Jan 27, 2011, 05.30 PMby fosteretalk

    You are very talented. You look wonderful in the clothes you have sewn. It is wonderful to see such a young person with so much talent.

  • Sitting_down_-_gloomy_large

    Jan 27, 2011, 08.32 AMby sarsaparilla

    Yay congrats on the feature! I have a similar sewing set-up to you – I’m constantly running between my iron and my sewing machine, so it feels more of a workout than relaxation :) Love your dresses (especially your blue floral dress with the long sleeves!)

  • Monjio-1_large

    Jan 27, 2011, 07.51 AMby Monjio

    Nice work! I think it is a beautiful thing to have such a passion. I also started at a young age, and when working full-time as a costume technician (I am taking a break to be a stay-at-home- mom in the country-side of Italy!) I can not believe I make a living by creating !!

    Best of Luck! Your starting on a wonderful track!

  • Img_7503b_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 11.12 PMby iroiro

    Wow thank you soo much everyone, and Burda of course!! Such a great honour, and all your kind comments are much appreciated.

  • Picmonkey_collage_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 10.35 PMby designerroya

    Keep up the awesome work!

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    Jan 26, 2011, 09.40 PMby mollykatherine

    Well done on the feature, I was wondering when it was going to be you! You have a lot of talent and a wonderful personal style, Love your blog too – keep up the amazing work :)

  • 3864138084_1fb5db6c00_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 08.57 PMby Ruffles Gazebo

    wooo. featured member! great work missy. love looking at your things :)

  • Betty_dress-5_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 08.35 PMby Chloe' Window

    I saw your feature in the Sunday Times! It really caught my eyes as it said you made it yourself. So glad to see you here on burda. Congrats =) … btw I lived in Tokyo for 4 years and just moved to London a month ago ;-)

  • 169_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 07.21 PMby eamcnair

    I’m glad that you were featured today. I just favorited several of your dresses for inspiration when I begin making my dresses for summer in a few months.

  • Cc62aca608f8959a835d15e74d63afd74b6ae2a9_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 06.09 PMby applesnoranges

    YAY! congrats. I dig your style and blog :)

  • Image_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 04.39 PMby rifka

    Great feature, I love this layout with additional photos and questions.

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    Jan 26, 2011, 03.25 PMby susanne2011

    Wow you’ve got talent. So awesome that you started so young, now you can still take your life in whichever direction you want to. Good for you! :)

  • Long_blue_skirt_headshot_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 03.09 PMby nyphertiti

    You have a great sense of style. Wish I had had your talent when I was 16!

  • Mom_theo-2_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 02.15 PMby anuchka

    I ADORE your dress!!! Please never stop sewing) You’ve got what it takes to create wonderful one-of-a-kind garments.

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