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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand and moved to Perth, Western Australia about 6 years ago with my partner. Wellington is a super creative city and you can’t help but become a creative person just by living there, the influences are everywhere.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

I remember my Mum had this amazing scrap bag that she let my sister and I cut up and hand sew to make clothing for our Barbies and Cabbage Patch dolls. That bag represents so many wonderful early sewing memories for me that now I have my own scrap bag which is full of off-cuts from some of my favourite pieces and I even bought myself a collector Barbie doll so that I can get back to my sewing roots and make her a few items from those special scraps just for fun.

All my early sewing knowledge came from my Mum, when I was old enough she taught me how to use her Globe sewing machine (which still chugs along to this day). She taught me all the important basics like inserting the bobbin, holding the threads when you start sewing, reversing at the end and her most important rule: only turn the hand wheel the correct way! I really enjoyed sewing on that robust little machine, it was so forgiving and made me very picky when it came time for me to invest in my first machine. I really value everything my Mum taught me and her foresight to nurture my early interest in sewing.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing is purely my hobby. I work in a creative industry where I dream and create things for other people so sewing is my own personal “out” to be creative just for me. I think everyone needs their own “out”, something that makes them really happy that they can grab during times of stress or to pamper themselves.I have always been a creative person and sewing gives me a great sense of satisfaction to create something from a flat piece of fabric into a complete garment or outfit that I can wear and when someone asks where I bought it from I just smile. When I first moved to Perth I left my sewing machine behind and a couple of years without it made me realise I really missed it. I was so happy when my Mum came to visit and bought my machine with her, my trusty Elna survived a trip across the Tasman packed into her suitcase and when I plugged it in it was like I had never left it behind.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
Just recently I have become much more interested in construction, how the flat fabric becomes the final shape. I’ve always loved pulling things apart to see how they work and now I apply it to my sewing, I can now focus more on understanding exactly what impact each cut or stitch has on the final shape and I am really enjoying the added insight. I also love going into a shop and seeing something amazing and turning it inside out to work out how they did it.

My least favourite thing is button holes and I’m not really sure why, they freak me out a little and every time I start one my heart beats a little faster and my hands take on a slight shake. I think it’s because they are so permanent. My machine usually does a really good job of button holes but every now and again I’ll forget to pull down the guide or reset in-between each one or my machine decides it just doesn’t want to cooperate today. There’s a tiny moment before you know the machine is supposed to turn around and when it doesn’t…I grab my unpicker, unpicking button holes is the worst.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
Wow, this is a really hard question. I am getting married next year in January and I will attempt to make my own Wedding dress. I really wish I could make my Mum a dress too but it is very hard to do that while being in a different country and I know she has fitting issues I could only address with several fittings in person. I think one day when I return home I will definitely make her something really special that she can wear out, to thank her for all the encouragement that lead me to a hobby that makes me so happy.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
At first I just began using BurdaStyle for the free patterns and member inspiration, then I became more and more active, I posted my projects and enjoyed the encouraging comments and now I have made so many friends all over the world with different skills. I think combined with picking my sewing back up I feel the whole site has been just another wonderfully useful sewing tool in my toolbox.

The BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs have been the most amazing thing so far, I started our Perth Club with Sandra (sewanista) and it has been so successful beyond anything we imagined. Connecting with like-minded girls and socially sewing together has added an entirely new dimension to my hobby. I’ve made some really amazing friends and I go home from every meeting enthusiastic and inspired and I just sew, sew, sew. I can’t wait until the next meet and I tell everyone I can to get involved because they won’t regret it.

I think the site is going really well and the team has done an amazing job with their limited resources even in the face of the recent hurdles, I really enjoy how the site works, I can post my projects and interact with other members. I do think the site could benefit from a ‘Work In Progress’ section/tab, I know I would use that and enjoy following other members projects through to completion. It could also be really handy for members to ask for advice at various stages of their project. The Discussions section (especially with the recent huge influx of new members) really needs some serious work, it doesn’t function well as is and I think the team should invest in a proven forum software like vBulletin because I really believe our forum has the potential to be so much more than what it currently is. If it were more user friendly and less buggy it could grow to be such an amazing resource for us all to take advantage of and I think more members would use it to not only ask for advice but to give advice too.

7. What is your motto?
I think it’s important to always take some time for you to enjoy life, do something just for you and there is no shame in giving yourself a little pat on the back every now and again.

Kaitui_kiwi has been on the site for a while now, she has amazing creations and can be seen commenting all over the place! Check out what inspires her in her top ten favorite creations. Visit her blog to find out more about her or meet her in person (if you’re in Australia) at the Perth BurdaStyle Sewing Club!

14 Comments

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    Aug 17, 2010, 11.27 PMby micbrown

    Congratulations on being featured! Was just reading about your Melbourne trip (sounded very exciting)and noticed you had been featured. Well done.

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    Aug 11, 2010, 01.02 PMby gerganas

    Hi, it is so nice finally to meet you!

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    Aug 10, 2010, 02.37 PMby sarahscustard

    Oooh – famous! I was wondering if Burdastyle was ever going to feature you… you’re like a permanent fixture around here ;-) See you Sunday!

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    Aug 10, 2010, 01.59 AMby thecuriouskiwi

    Wow, thanks everyone for your nice comments. I just got back from a trip to Melbourne (and I have returned with much fabric, hehe) and it was a nice surprise to see this xx

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    Aug 9, 2010, 11.13 PMby passthepins

    Great interview :). I WILL make it to another meeting one of these days :). I gree about Wellington being a creative incubator.. I think a progress section is a good idea, as I seem to have more works in progress than in completion!..

    1 Reply
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      Aug 10, 2010, 02.05 AMby thecuriouskiwi

      Thanks Gila, I look forward to seeing you again soon too xx

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    Aug 7, 2010, 11.28 AMby roarah

    I’m not sure about others, but I LOVE the idea of having a work in progress section of each member’s profile. It would be really fun to see what people are working on at any one time.

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    Aug 6, 2010, 06.49 AMby julietta

    Congratulations on being the featured member! It’s nice getting to know you better :)

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    Aug 5, 2010, 04.39 PMby gedwoods

    It’s my turn to say how wonderful it is to find out more about you! Your life sounds… well, a bit exotic, with your talk of travelling across the Tasman and working in a “creative industry” – couldn’t you say more about the latter? It’s also lovely to see a good quality photo of you. Now I can imagine you in your sewing room!

    1 Reply
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      Aug 10, 2010, 02.04 AMby thecuriouskiwi

      Thanks Gedwoods, I didn’t mean to sound so cryptic, I work as an Interior Architect, mostly with commercial projects. It’s a lot of fun but very stressful at times but the pay off is I get to play with large format copiers and printers which is super helpful when it comes to sewing patterns ;) I love this section, it’s no nice to feel like we all get to know each other that much better, even if most of us live on the other side of the globe! :)

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    Aug 5, 2010, 11.37 AMby magdamagda

    congrats on your featuring, i enjoyed reading your interview!

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    Aug 5, 2010, 10.11 AMby gillthecat

    check you out big famous person,,,god and your my friend, so that makes me almost famous,,, go mel go mel go meeeeeellllllllllllllll ps got some cool old burdas for you to look at,, maybe you can sign them for me ,,,,tee hee

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    Aug 5, 2010, 02.21 AMby sew4my3

    It is so great to get to know one of our most active members! Kaitui Kiwi, I have always valued your activity in the “Discussions” section and couldn’t ask for a better person to work through issues with. Also, I love being able to see your lovely smiling face in the picture above! Congrats on being our Featured Member!

    1 Reply
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      Aug 10, 2010, 02.01 AMby thecuriouskiwi

      Awww thanks Sew4my3, I really love being a part of this community, it’s such a great inspiration to sew and I’m glad I can help and contribute :)

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