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.
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!