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We’re sew excited about our newest Featured Member, miss Haylee Atkinson! She first caught our eye as the chosen Member Project of the Week a few months back in a gorgeous red lace dress inspired by Valentino. Read our interview with her to learn more about when she fell in love with sewing, what she dreams of making someday and what inspires her.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a 22-year old student from the United States. I love New York City, chocolate oatmeal cookies, and being with my family.

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At home with her serger.

Where are you from originally, and where do you currently live?

I’ve lived in Utah all my life, which, for those not from the USA is probably some random place that you’ve never heard of. haha so it’s the Midwestern part of the United States, sort of near California.

Do you have a day job besides sewing?

I am currently a student at BYU studying Dietetics. I have two years left. Creatively, my dream job is to be a wedding dress designer or an event planner but I also am really interested in nutrition so I thought this would be a good (and more practical) route. Once I’m a dietitian, I hope to work with rare metabolic diseases. (For the geeks out there, Prader-Willi Syndrome, PKU, things like that totally fascinate me!)

How and when did you start sewing?

My mom taught me when I was little but I really didn’t like it at first, I only got into it as a 16-17 year old. I had the best sewing teacher in high school who let me TA for her on top of taking all of her classes so by the time I was a senior, I was spending all my time in the sewing room.


Do you prefer to work from patterns, or draft your own?

I like to mix both together! Usually I’ll find a pattern as similar to the dress as I can and then draft the pieces I need to to make it an exact match. It works well for me, but I have a sloper in my size that I draft from so that makes the process a lot easier. I go off this book, it’s a great resource.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would say it’s pretty feminine, though I kind of hate that word. ha but I love skirts and dresses and things like that. I’m drawn to light colors and simplicity. I’m not really one to go crazy on jewelry or anything.

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Self drafted lace crop top using a basic sloper.

What’s your sewing secret weapon?

I love glass head pins because they are so much easier to work with. Also, I’m a big fan of making an inspiration collage before you start working on a project. It helps keep your ideas together.

white lace dress inspiration pic

Here is an inspiration board for the dress Haylee is getting started on. (1, 2, 3, 4)

Who or what inspires you? Shop windows, magazines, vintage patterns…

Sarah Seven, Esther Boller, Elie Saab, so I guess mostly just people and their amazingness. I also get inspired by outdoor landscapes, product packaging and weddings (which is ironic because I’m not even sure I want to get married. But I love seeing all the beautiful work people put into something. And I love white dresses! haha in case you haven’t noticed yet.)

What has been your favorite project?

Probably this midi dress I made out of crochet lace:

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If you were to give a beginner one piece of advice, what would it be?

Do something fun while you sew. Often times, sewing can get kind of monotonous- especially when you’re first starting out. I find that I enjoy the less-than-fun parts way more when I’m listening to podcasts or watching TV while I sew. My favorite TV shows include The Bachelor, Big Brother, Project Runway, This is Life with Lisa Ling, and Recovery Road. As for Podcasts, Thread Cult is excellent, as is Stuff You Should Know and Stuff Mom Never Told You.

If you had all the fabric, money, and equipment at your fingertips, what would be your dream garment to sew?

A beaded wedding dress, beading is not something I’ve ever done so this is a skill I’d really really like to learn.


Anything else you’d like us to know?

Since I know some of you are wondering, I was just born without my hand. haha I never was bitten by a shark and I’m definitely not a pro-surfer. (Though that would be so cool if I could say that!) Doctors aren’t really sure what happened honestly, my mom sometimes thinks it could have been due to high levels of pollution the year she was pregnant. Who knows, I’m totally cool with it though. I feel like it definitely doesn’t stop me from physical stuff, it’s more the emotional aspect that comes along with being different that is hard to deal with sometimes. But I suspect we all have things like that so it’s all good. :) I’m comfortable with it so you totally can ask any questions you have!

baby haylee
Sweet baby Haylee!

Thanks, Haylee! Make sure to check out all her BurdaStyle member profile here and her blog, Threaded.

Happy Sewing!


  • Img_20180224_091158_825_large

    Apr 28, 2016, 07.37 PMby ANR

    Congratulations on being featured! I am also from Utah originally. It always makes me excited to see people as talented as you getting noticed because Utahns are often underestimated! Best of luck in all your endeavors. :-)

    1 Reply
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      May 4, 2016, 10.17 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      No way a fellow Utahn! So cool, I love finding fellow Utah people so thanks so much for commenting!

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    Apr 28, 2016, 02.30 PMby lisascarolina

    Lovely, lovely story. Your projects are beautifully amazing and you are such an inspiration.

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.18 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Thanks so much Lisa! That was really sweet of you to say, thank you.

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    Apr 28, 2016, 12.54 PMby nrobson

    i love your feminine creations also, very inspiring and dreamy!!!

    2 Replies
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.21 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Thanks so much Nadia! I’m loving your creations too, that geometric neck dress you made was absolutely amazing. I would wear that all the time!

      Also- your cat is adorable. haha ahh I want one.

    • Simba_nov_06_large

      May 6, 2016, 04.06 AMby nrobson

      thank you so much hon; in fact i just updated the pics for that dress today; my cat she loves cuddles (though sometimes bites lol) x

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    Apr 27, 2016, 10.28 AMby thewallinna

    What a great story! I love your addiction to lace and white :) I’ve never made anything with lace before, but you have inspired me with your creations!

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.23 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      I’m glad at least one person isn’t completely rolling their eyes at my lace/white addiction. haha because I admit, I may have gone slightly overboard. But heck, might as well make what you love, right? :)

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    Apr 27, 2016, 07.49 AMby Ellen Hatteland

    You are such a lovely girl and so talented! Cheers to you! ;)

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.26 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Thanks Ellen, That was so sweet of you to say!

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    Apr 27, 2016, 07.35 AMby Réka Vanyolai

    I’m so happy Haylee was featured! I love her blog and her unique style, she is very talented! Haha, and I’m also very inspired by Esther Boller as she is :) You should pick her in the next featured member – to see how she is in college!

    2 Replies
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      Apr 27, 2016, 02.58 PMby TyMarie

      Great idea! Her creations are amazing.

    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.27 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Ditto on thinking this is a great idea! She is amazing, isn’t she? Her creativity blows me away and everything she sews is just gorgeous.

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    Apr 27, 2016, 01.16 AMby Frenchy-C

    FEMININE girl power! You rock. Inspiring. Keep up the great work.

    1 Reply
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    Apr 26, 2016, 11.53 PMby SurMesure

    Interesting interview. You are so very talented and creative!

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.29 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Thank you so much! Also can I just say that I got a chance to visit Montreal last year and absolutely LOVED it. You live in such a cool place, I really hope to go back someday.

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    Apr 26, 2016, 11.07 PMby SueMH

    You are an inspiration. Lovely interview!

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.29 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Thank you so much Sue! That is really sweet of you to say.

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    Apr 26, 2016, 05.20 PMby Beccki

    Lovely interview, and you really do make beautiful clothes, I hope that one day you do make that beaded wedding dress.. I’ll keep watching this space :-)

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.30 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Thanks Beccki! I’ll admit, I’m kind of terrified to try, haha but hopefully someday I’m gain enough courage to attempt it!

  • Meg_healy_burdastyle_90_90_large

    Apr 26, 2016, 04.10 PMby MegH

    Lovely! I also love glass head pins :)

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.32 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Aren’t they amazing though? They seem to disappear twice as fast as the other types of pins I have though, which is really annoying. haha I use them and then I lose them! It’s like all my bobby pins which have disappeared into thin air.

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    Apr 26, 2016, 03.20 PMby kisses

    Nice interview….I am glad that you decide to push towards your dreams despite your situation. Stories like these give others hope that no matter what the circumstance one is able to rise above and be all that they can be. Keep up the work!

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.36 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you feel that way. Thank you for your sweet comment <3

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    Apr 26, 2016, 09.05 AMby Misskoopie

    I loved reading your story! You have a very nice blog and amazing projects

    1 Reply
    • Diy_asos_midi_lace_dress_large

      May 4, 2016, 10.37 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      This was such a compliment coming from you considering all your makes are GORGEOUS. Seriously blown away by you right now, that brown winter dress you made was absolutely incredible.

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