AT2000D Professional – iF Award Winner 2019

 

Janome was a winner of this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD, a world-renowned design prize. This winning product, AirThread 2000D Professional, won in the Product discipline, in the Household/Tableware category.

Each year, the world’s oldest independent design organization, Hannover-based iF International Forum Design GmbH, organizes the iF DESIGN AWARD. AirThread 2000D Professional won over the 67-member jury, made up of independent experts from all over the world, with its unique one-touch air-threading system. The competition was intense: 6,375 entries were submitted from 52 countries in hopes of receiving the seal of quality.

Last year, AirThread 2000D Professional was recognized for its design excellence with the Good Design Award, another prestigious worldwide design awards.

More information about AirThread 2000D Professional can be found here.

Click here to download the Press Release.

A Brief History of Janome Australia

 

Janome Australia was incorporated in NSW on November, 1969 and soon after set up the first State and Head Office in Sydney at 10 Martin Place under the guidance of our first Managing Director Mr Charlie Yamamoto and his Sales Manager Mr Graham Hodgeson. In 1971, the head office was moved to Melbourne at 42 Levanswell Road, Moorabbin.

In the early years while Janome was establishing itself in Victoria the other States were very well looked after by our agents being:

New South Wales – Cameo Machining Co

Queensland – Walters Import

South Australia – W D Taylor

Western Australia – Max Shaw

During the 1960’s and 1970’s particularly in Melbourne, Myer had a huge influence both as a shop window as well as a sales outlet.  Graham Hodgeson did a good job in obtaining a presence for Janome in Myer, both under our own brand as well as supplying Myer Victor models.  As a company this ensured we were on our way.

At this stage the sewing machine market in Australia was dominated by the European brands particularly Elna and Bernina.  There were several importers of Japanese machines in the market but they were mainly interested in importing product to sell through mass merchandisers.  Janome was the only company to look how the European brands were doing things and follow suit but trying to do better.

In the early years Janome employed two sales representatives, Mr Brian de Vaus and Mr Colin Brooks who really did a good job gaining extra exposure in specialist retailer stores as a support to the European brands.

To assist Janome gain attention with retailers we took on the agency for Passap Knitting Machines which was a precision top end Swiss made knitting machine which sold very well at the time.  Having that extra product to sell proved an excellent introduction to gaining acceptance in dealer stores.

Our founding fathers worked hard to identify what was required to be successful with specialty retailers and that was a ready supply of stock plus a ready supply of spare parts and accessories at affordable prices.  This formula worked really well and gave Janome a real presence in the market place as well as providing the profit for the company to move to the next phase of an expansion program.

During 1974 Janome opened their own office in New South Wales with Colin Brooks as State Manager.  Colin spent a lot of time visiting all the specialist retailers to ascertain who the best were before approaching them to become Janome retailers.  This format worked well and 2 years later Colin moved to Brisbane to do the same job, once again very successfully.

In 1978 Colin returned to Head Office in Melbourne as National Sales Manager and later Sales Director and took over the expansion of Janome in the market place.  Perhaps the introduction of the model XLII was the time when everybody realized that Janome “quality” was as good as or better than the European brands.

Also under Colin’s guidance we took our product to the people with extensive television promotions.  Janome also featured as prizes on top rating game shows on television.  We were also innovative being the first company to provide a free instructional video tape with our sewing machines which was revolutionary at the time.

Over the years we have had many Managing Directors with Akira Suzuki, Sam Aiko, Roy Kambe, Nobby Koseki, Kenji Wada, Yasu Kozu, Masashi Kawashima, Minoru Tokunaga, Toshi Takayasu, Shinichi Ohashi & presently JoJo Yamada.  All of these gentlemen have had some input into the success of Janome Australia.

Today, Janome Australia has a unique position in our industry with support from all the best specialist retailers and selling more product than all of our competitors put together.  Also for a company with relatively small staff numbers we have a lot of staff members that have worked with the company for many years which must be an asset.

Janome Christmas Giveaway – AT2000D

 

Are you making a project for Christmas? Is it a patchwork tree skirt? A set of personalized stockings? Maybe an advent calendar to count the days to Santa’s big visit?

Share with us your handmade Christmas creations on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #janomechristmas, and stand to win a great Christmas pressie for yourself – our Good Design Award winner, the AirThread 2000D Professional!

The most creative one wins! 🎄🎅❤✂

Click here to get some Christmas project inspiration.

Competition ends 16/12/18. Open to Australian residents, aged 16 years or over only. Click here to view the full terms and conditions.

 

Janome Maker – Lisa Dopking

 

It all began for Lisa Dopking when she first discovered the wonders of teddy bear making in the mid-eighties. Over the years as Lisa perfected her bear making skills, her artist bears grew in popularity. It wasn’t long before she was asked to teach the craft, and make and sell patterns.

On our Janome Maker series today, the award winning maker shares with us her sewing experience spanning over three decades.

 

How did your sewing journey begin?

I first discovered the wonders of teddy bear making in the mid-eighties and started constructing them from whatever fabric I could get my hands on. A few years later in 1990, I walked into my first ever craft show. Stopping by at Gerry’s Teddy and Craft Designs, I was introduced to the new and exciting alternative of German mohair fabric and immediately knew I was in bear making heaven.

Having such an array of different fabric suddenly available provided me with the inspiration to make a traditional teddy bear from German mohair and the distinct lack of available patterns, only fueled my imagination and supplied the motivation to experiment with designing my own.

From there, I continued to perfect my bear making  skills and eventually began teaching a few friends. Soon I was selling my bears at local doll and bear shows as well as supplying several shops. As my artist bears grew in popularity, it wasn’t long before I was being asked if I sold patterns to make them.

Fast-forward a few years, and I now have a range of more than 40 bear making patterns. My work has been published both locally and internationally and I have won numerous awards for my Artist & One of a Kind (OOAK) Bears including a prestigious TOBY Industry Choice Award.

What do you sew or make these days?

These days, although I am semi-retired, I still enjoy teaching and conduct bear making and sewing circles 4 days a week (day and evening) for all skill levels, in my own studio at home.

I bought the Janome Quilt Maker Pro long arm quilting machine at the end of last year and am now thoroughly enjoying free motion quilting and using rulers on my long arm and loving the endless possibilities to explore. My only wish is that there were more hours in a day!

Where do you find inspiraiton?

My inspiration comes from the fabrics. Spend enough time with them and it is quite apparent that some fabrics actually do talk to you.  There seems to be such a never-ending array of gorgeous quilting fabrics continually arriving on the market, that it is hard NOT to be constantly inspired. Often I will see a single fabric or even a range of fabrics and instantly know exactly what I would like to make from them, surprising even myself!

I had a panda design in my head for years and then one day I found the right black and white German mohair. I went home and made the Panda in about 4 hours. It just worked out perfectly.

What’s a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me starts with doing most of the usual ‘mum’ things, like putting on a load of washing, and tidying up a bit. About 9am I let the dogs out the back door and I walk down the hallway and across the breezeway to my studio.

Three mornings a week I have craft circle classes which finish around 1pm and most afternoons are spent with a little bit of sewing, catching up on some paperwork and maybe some gardening. I do love my roses, just about as much as fabrics!

What are your future plans?

This year I have two main projects I will be tackling.  Apart from creating and launching my new website, I have also set myself the goal of becoming highly proficient on my new Quilt Maker Pro.

Your best sewing advice is…

The best sewing advice I think I could offer would be that there is no right or wrong way to sew. Work out what suits you best and create your own style.

Funny thing I found: I was interviewed in 1998 for The Australian Bear Creations Magazine and this was written: “When asked how much longer she sees herself being involved in the bear making world, the extent of Lisa’s commitment to bears is plain: “I don’t think I’ll ever stop making bears.” So true!

 

Follow Lisa on Facebook and her website.

 

Janome Maker – Katrina Edwards

 

Katrina Edwards is hooked on machine embroidery, thanks to her Mother-in-law. She loves it so much that she started a YouTube page to help people around the world with Digitizer and Cutter software. Katrina currently teaches lessons in Shelock Holmes Sewing Machines Store and specialise in Janome MC15000, Digitizer MBXv5 and Artistic Edge Digital Cutter.

 

Tell us about your sewing background…

I was first introduced to sewing by my mother when I was 10; she had an Elna Lotus and I made Christmas gifts for our neighbours. But when I really got back into it after university, my grandma was a big influence as she was a second generation seamstress. So I guess it’s just in my blood.

I started out in the sewing industry back in 2006 when my family purchased a local art, crafts and sewing machine store in Gympie, Queensland. After being introduced to machine embroidery by my mother-in-law, I was hooked!

What do you make?

I like to create projects and tutorials based on built-in designs and stitches on my Janome Memory Craft 15000 and I’m also using Janome Digitizer MBXv5 to create my own patterns, which I then share on YouTube.

I find it interesting that people buy these beautiful machines and then are often frightened to use them to their fullest potential. I guess I just love to help people with their machines – they are such wonderful machines to use and I just love to share my knowledge with people to help them build confidence in their embroidery abilities.

Is your family supportive of your hobby?

Absolutely! I am very lucky that embroidery is a family affair in our home. My husband works in the industry and our children are very creative individuals. I love that I can go shopping with my 11 year old daughter and she will look at latest fashions trends and work out how we can create her own unique version with the tools we have in our studio.

Where do you find inspiration?

Pinterest, Facebook and peers in the industry!

I am a member of many groups on Facebook – I love to see what people are creating and get to know what issues they may have and how I can create a video or tutorial/project that would help them with their trouble shooting.

Also, I feel I pick up inspiration from all around me, my family, and my community too. I can often be out and about and see something in my surroundings and an idea starts to form in my head.

What’s a typical day like for you?

After I have finished the MUM tasks, I head into the studio and power up the computers. I have one just for my softwares (Digitizer and SimpleCut) and one for day-to-day stuff.

I start by checking emails and logging onto my YouTube channel to see if anyone needs any questions answered, and also thank my followers for their comments. Then I check Craftsy and spend time emailing each customer a thank you note for downloading my projects – I believe in showing the customer that I really do appreciate them. From there I look at what I have planned for the month and jump into my sewing.

What are you currently working on?

Like a true sewist, I have more than one project on the go.

Personal sewing – I am playing with leather and creating clutches and handbags that have embroidery on them.

Professionally – I am creating lesson plans for the Janome Digitizer MBXv5 software that I can bring to stores. I am working with Sherlock Holmes Sewing Machines in Boondall Queensland to teach classes on the software as well as Janome MC15000, as there is no store that offer this in Brisbane – I believe this will be very positive for the industry!

Your best sewing advice is…

Don’t be scared to be creative. I am surprised at how often I meet people who have purchased embroidery machine but don’t have the confidence to use them.

Follow Katrina aka Katty Kreations on YouTube, Instagram and her website.

 

Janome Maker – Cat Noonan

 

Cat Noonan’s fascination with fabric may be fairly new, but she is steadily gaining influence on Instagram with her dainty sewing projects and quilt inspiration. On our Janome Maker series today, Cat tells us about enjoying quiet time being creative, making original (and often useful) items and making pretty things that stay made at the end of the day!

 

How did your sewing journey begin?

My Mum taught me how to use a sewing machine when I was in my early teens. My first memory of using a sewing machine was making an Edwardian Dress costume for my Barbie dolls in primary school when I was about 12. I don’t think it worked out very well, which may be why I never pursued dressmaking!

I’ve only been quilting for about five years when my Mum sent me to a quilting class for my birthday, and ever since I’ve been sewing like crazy and enjoying every minute.

Tell us more about the projects you’re currently working on…

Gosh, where do I start!  I adore making quilts. Patchwork is my favourite. I have quilts all over the house and I love making baby quilts for friends. I also love quick fix patchwork projects like mug rugs, small bags and mini quilts.

Currently I have traditional pieced quilts, foundation pieced projects, English paper pieced projects, embroidery, cross-stitch, knitting and handquilting projects on the go.  I don’t stress about having so many unfinished projects because my enjoyment is often from the process rather that the end result.

How does your family feel about your hobby?

My family is slightly perplexed by my hobby.  They don’t understand what drives me to keep sewing like mad but they are happy to see me happy. The community of crafters I’ve met on Instagram totally get it and it is nice to have met so many like-minded people.

What inspires your craft?

I am continuously inspired by the talented, creative people I’ve connected with on Instagram. I am also inspired by necessity.  If I need something around the house my first thought is whether I can make it.  I am also inspired by vintage and modern craft books.

Tell us more about your sewing room…

I’m very lucky to have an outdoor detached room that is largely dedicated to sewing.  It holds a large dining table that houses my machine, a kitchen island for my cutting mats, a linen press for my fabric stash and it is full of natural light.  I love not having to clean up halfway through a project.  I really enjoy heading down to my studio, putting on some music and getting lost in a project.

Do you sell what you make?

Sewing for me is purely a hobby.  I don’t sell the things I make and I think if I did it would take the shine off it.  I do lots of swaps with other crafty people and I give away a lot of the things that I make.  I get a lot of joy sharing my love of handmade with my family and friends.

What does a typical day for you involve?

My everyday life is a flurry of kid-wrangling, play, cooking, cleaning (hmmm sometimes!) and laughter. It’s exhausting. I recharge by finding snippets of time to sew. I sew every day and always have a hand sewing project on the go.

Any future plans?

My crafty goals this year are to continue to improve both my hand and machine quilting technique.  I would also like to start creating patterns for my original work.  The design process and quilty maths are some of my favourite parts of the quilting process.

Your best sewing advice is…

Be organized.  I often spend a few minutes in the evening collecting the materials for my projects so the next day I can jump straight in and be productive if I find some time to sew.  It is incredibly frustrating to spend 20 minutes trying to locate your rotary cutter and that elusive piece of interfacing only to be interrupted and not managing to sew a stitch.

Share something people don’t know about you…

I like to listen to 90s pop music when I exercise and wish that step aerobics would come back into fashion.  I’ll pass on the leotard though!

Follow Cat on Instagram.

 

Janome Maker – Annie Mollison

 

Growing up on a farm on the North West Coast of Tasmania, Annie Mollison is one of seven children. She has lived in Sydney and Canada, where she studied Fashion Design, and finally settled in Melbourne about twenty years ago. Annie recently opened a studio in Elstenwick, Melbourne where she teaches sewing.

 

How did your sewing journey begin?

Sewing is a skill passed down from my mother when I was 12. She thought it was a much more economical way of clothing us all, which it was at the time. I loved it instantly and remember the first time I started sewing on my mum’s sewing machine which she would bring out to the big old dining table between meals.

Sewing was one of my subjects at school for two years which I joke about now as my teacher kicked me out a lot for talking too much. It turns out that talking is a great skill for teaching sewing! If only she could see me now…

After leaving High School I worked in a fabric shop. This is really where my sewing journey began. I remember learning everything there was to learn about sewing from an older sales assistant. I started collecting my fabric stash and bought a very expensive sewing machine and overlocker (which I had to put on lay by).

During my two years at the shop I was inspired by many experienced sewists and experimented with my sewing. I still have a few dresses that I made from this time; one being a lovely lavender taffeta dress with puffed shoulders (inspired by Lady Di)!

What do you make these days?

I like to sew dresses with a hint of vintage and I am not afraid of prints and colour. My style is definitely fun and feminine.

I started designing PDF patterns four years ago and have recently opened a studio where I teach sewing. I also received an award this year in the Dressmaker of the Year Awards from Simplicity patterns.

Do you have a dedicated room in your house for sewing?

I used to use the spare room in our house until recently when I opened up my little sewing studio . Even though I have this new space I prefer to sew at home as it’s an escape for me and I find being at home really lets me switch off.

What’s a typical day like for you?

After dropping of my boys at school and walking our gorgeous dog Roxy, I either head to the studio to prepare for classes or head back home to catch up on the never ending housework routine. Once that’s all done, I try to get some of my own sewing time before picking up the kids from School again. Most nights and weekends, I’m in the studio teaching lessons.

Do you find your sewing style or technique have changed over the years?

My sewing style has definitely slowed down over time. When I was a teenager I just wanted to sew my clothes as fast as I could and I didn’t really care about what the insides of the garment looked like. Now, I love hand sewing and couture techniques.

What are you currently working on?

I’m trying to finish a faux fur jacket, which I plan on finishing today! After that, I’m going to sew the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns.

Any future plans?

The plan is to begin to offer a wider variety of workshops such as pattern making, embroidery and specialty classes like jean making and corset making at my studio. I would also like to invite local and international expert instructors to join me in one off speaking and teaching workshops.

Your best sewing advice is…

Don’t strive for perfection and just enjoy sewing. Just be happy that you’ve made something and be proud rather than being too hard on yourself when things don’t always work out.

Share something people don’t know about you…

Fitness is a passion of mine as well as fashion. I still race in A grade women cycling races and I work a few hours a week at a gym as a Pilates and Spin instructor.

Follow Annie on Instagram and her website Sew This Pattern.

 

Janome Maker – Ange Hamilton

 

Happily married with two children and living in a converted shed on acreage about an hour outside Canberra, Ange Hamilton dreams about building an energy passive house and being self sufficient. She’s also a passionate sewist with a home full of handmade comfy cushions and snuggly quilts!

Ange found time to take five with us and share her sewing story.

How did your sewing journey begin?

I had sewing lessons in high school but didn’t enjoy it in the slightest. We spent two months sewing a pair of shorts in horrible fabric that in the end didn’t fit me and went straight to the bin!

After the birth of my daughter, I struggled to find dresses in prints that I liked, at a price I could afford. So I decided to try my hand at making my own clothes again and bought my first sewing machine 8 years ago.

I enrolled in a basic dressmaking class at a local fabric store – which was a great introduction to sewing – and spent the next few years making clothes for my children. It was also a great skill to have after my 18 month old daughter was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and needed to spend 6 months in a hip spica cast (a cast from chest down to both ankles) and then a brace.

Unfortunately along with having a little toddler stuck in a frog leg position we also couldn’t find any clothes to fit her. So I used my sewing skills to make her pants that we could pull over her head like a skirt and then button up over her cast. It was wonderful to have a hobby that I loved and also meant I could help my little girl gain her confidence back as it stopped strangers staring at her whenever we left the house.

What do you make now?

As my children got older they preferred shop bought clothes over handmade ones which meant I was free to discover a new type of sewing – patchwork!

One of my favourite fabric designers Tasha Noel , had a great blog which had links to lots of other fabulous patchwork bloggers like Amy Sinibaldi from Nana Company and Kerri Horsley from Lovely Little Handmades. From their accounts I discovered the quilting community on Instagram.

I initially made small projects like purses, cushions and single quilt block wall hangings which is why when I joined Instagram I named my account A Little Patchwork. I still love working on small scrappy projects, using lots of fabric from various collections but in the last year I have also started sewing larger projects such as quilts.

Where do you sew?

Living in a tiny space in a converted shed means space is at a premium. For the first few years after we moved I sewed standing up at the kitchen bench and would have to pack everything away to prepare meals. I now have a dedicated space underneath our stairs in a corner of the lounge!

Ikea has made this very workable, as I use the Norden drop leaf table for my sewing machine (when I’m sewing I prop both sides up so I have space for my cutting mat) and all my fabric and tools are on Raskog utility carts which I can push under the lower stair section when I’m not using them.

Where do you get ideas?

Instagram is a huge inspiration for me! I don’t have time to attend quilt guild meetings but the quilting community is so generous and supportive I feel like I am part of a global guild. It’s a great platform for being inspired by the fabric or project choice of others but its also fantastic if you want advice on how to learn a new technique or pattern.

I also borrow a lot of quilt books from the library and spend way too much time on Pinterest.

What’s a typical day like for you?

On weekdays I get up at 5am to get my children ready for school and myself ready for work. Then we spend most afternoons racing to after school activities like swimming and ballet.

The weekends are our family time and often spent working on our home or garden. However everyday I always make time for sewing, whether that is grabbing a few minutes on the sewing machine while dinner cooks or hand sewing in the evenings on the couch while we watch TV.

Then and now – has your sewing style/technique changed much?

Practicing sewing every day has meant my sewing techniques have definitely improved. I have also come to understand the importance of using the right tool for the right job (like the difference using a rotary cutter and a 1/4 inch seam foot make when it comes to getting accurate quilt blocks).

What are you currently working on?

I am looking forward to making a Christmas themed quilt using Heather Ross’ latest collection Sugar Plum. I also want to start making gifts like foldover pouches and totes for Christmas, as this year I’m hoping to be super organised rather than panic sewing on Christmas Eve…

Any future plans?

The next technique I want to learn is free motion quilting – it was one of the main reasons I was drawn to buying a Janome Memory Craft!

Your best sewing advice is…

Embrace the imperfection.

When you fixate on getting a perfect finish it can often prevent you from finishing which means you end up having a pile of unfinished projects in a cupboard rather than a slightly wobbly finished quilt for your family to snuggle under.

Share something people don’t know about you…

I am a huge fan of Kylie Minogue – I have been ever since she first appeared on Henderson Kids in the late 1980s. My love for Kylie has now been passed on to my children and we are all hoping she’ll tour Australia again soon!

Follow Ange on Instagram and her blog – A Little Patchwork.

 

Janome Maker – Julie Hall

 

Julie Hall bought her first sewing machine, a Janome, when she was 14 and has never looked back since. Today, the mother of two has expanded her sewing passion to creating machine embroidery designs. In-between time spent at the computer working with Digitizer software, test sewing and putting together designs, Julie is a regular exhibitor at craft shows where you can find her embroidery design creations for sale.

Today, we share an inspiring chat with Julie about how she got into embroidery design, her family support and current project.

 

How did you find your way into embroidery design? 

My background is actually in Computers. Whilst I always sewed as a hobby, upon leaving school, I went to business college and trained as a secretary. Throughout my secretarial career, I developed a love of computers, and moved into Computer Training, teaching people how to use different software programmes.

When I stopped working to raise my family, I started my business selling machine embroidery designs, and we have grown the business from there.

How long have you been sewing for?

I honestly don’t remember a time that I wasn’t sewing.  I can remember Mum letting my sister and I use her machine with some decorative stitches to make denim bags, and I would have been 9 or 10, but I brought my first sewing machine, a Janome in 1986 when I was 14, and have never looked back.

Your mum must have been a strong influence in your sewing journey…

Mum has probably been my biggest sewing influence. Mum always made our clothes when we were young, and taught us to sew on her knee. I can remember always having the nicest dresses at church on a Sunday. When the 80s/90s brought cheaper clothing into Australia, Mum discovered patchwork, and brought that love over to us as well. In the late 90’s, a friend of mine brought the Janome 9000, and I would watch her stitching out amazing designs.

Tell us about your sewing projects…

My passion with sewing is to create machine embroidery designs for home sewing machines. I began stitching things for my nieces and nephew, and then moved up to being able to create designs for my own children. I love making quilts using machine embroidery designs, but I also use my embroidery machine for creating amazing gifts for family and friends, and embellishing clothing.

Does your family support your hobby?

I have the most amazing family support. When I moved in with my husband, he immediately cleared a room out for me so that I could have a sewing room. We have an embroidered Christmas shirt tradition in our family, and over the years I have used my Digitizer software to create shirts in his favourite sci-fi characters.

My children are now in on the act as well, with my daughters loving creating their own designs and watching them stitch out, and loving being able to create gifts for their friends!

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes in so many different forms. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, Facebook and Google, looking at colour trends and fashion trends. I also love checking out what is happening in different magazines and articles from around the world. I go to a lot of craft shows and am always looking at what others are doing for trends and ideas.

Where do you create? We bet you have your own dedicated room…

I absolutely have a dedicated space. I have just finished house extensions which gave me a 20m2 space (still not enough!). Until then, I was in a 12m2 bedroom. I now have a row of tables with all of my machines, my computer set up, and my cutting table can actually fold all the way out now.

What does a typical day for you involve? 

A typical day for me is getting hubby and kids off to work and school, and then getting into the sewing room. Depending on what I am working on, it may be a lot of time spent at the computer, working with my Digitizer software on new designs, or it might be all about the test sewing and putting together of designs.

I try and keep my day to finishing when the kids come home from school so that I can spend time with them, but honestly, when inspiration strikes, I have to move.

Share with us your current project…

Currently I am working on a set of sea animal designs. I am loving using all of the beautiful fill stitches included with the Digitizer software, and how it can make a design look like you have used fabric for applique, whilst only using thread.

Any sewing advice for us?

Be fearless and have a go. In the privacy of your own sewing room, it doesn’t matter if you stuff up the design, but it does matter if you don’t try.

Keep up to date with Julie’s work on her website and Instagram.

 

Janome Maker – Amanda Adams

 

Museum educator by day, sassy sewist by night, Australian maker Amanda Adams has a pretty full schedule. The self-taught dressmaker has been sewing for 7 years, churning out amazing new wardrobe pieces for herself, and taking Instagram by storm with her #bpSewvember – a photo a day challenge.

We recently caught up with Amanda to learn more about her sewing life.

When did you start sewing?

My mum showed me the basics of using a sewing machine in my 90s-grunge teen years and I made up a few basic skirts while at uni. Work and life got in the way and I forgot about sewing until it was time to make my wedding dress.

After seeing a gorgeous dress that there was no way I could afford I spent three months working with a talented friend of mine to sew up my frock. It was such a joyful, creative and collaborative experience and I was hooked.

Armed with Google, YouTube and penchant for asking questions at fabrics stores, I have been slowly teaching myself the fun of taking pieces of cloth and creating something amazing.

What do you create?

I generally create pieces for my wardrobe. Sewing allows me to experiment with styles, designs and fabric I would not think to try in ready to wear. I’ve made corsets, jeans, swimsuits and lots more for the sheer joy of trying something new. But let me be clear – they are not always wins!

Tell us where you find ideas…

I find a lot of my inspiration online via Instagram, blogs and Pinterest. There are so many talented sewists out there! I also check out ready-to-wear and have been known to take a stealth photo when I’m out and about if I see someone is something cool.

Has your style changed much over the years?

I think my personal style has definitely evolved throughout my sewing journey. I used to favour a lot of vintage inspired fit and flare dresses in big prints. I’m now embracing the solid fabric, subtler prints and a focus on comfort and interesting design lines.

My sewing style has evolved as well. While I still love a quick sewing win (all hail the power of the knit fabric!) I also enjoy working on fit and finish. There is something satisfying about slowing down and investing time into a garment that you will be loving and wearing for years.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My days are pretty similar – dog walk, work, run, hang with my husband, check out what’s happening on Instagram and some sewing.

With moving house and starting a new job in the last couple of months, I’ve really embraced the power of sewing snippets.  I put an alarm on my phone for 15 minutes and have a ninja sew before or after work. It’s amazing how much you can get done!

We heard you are getting a new sewing room…

We’re in the process of unpacking in our new house and I am slowly setting the space up. My new sewing room has amazing light and lots of room to move. I’m looking forward to working out where everything will go and to nail down some good storage solutions.

What’s next on your sewing list?

I’ve got far too many projects on the burner! A fitted blazer for work, a velvet wrap dress for a wedding and I recently splurged on a kit to make a Pendleton wool clutch bag. Also I’ve just completed a course on drafting a pants block so after I finish the final tweaks on that I am going on a pants making binge. Just you wait!

Your best sewing advice is…

Press those seams! And don’t forget sewing is meant to be fun. If it’s frustrating you it’s time to put the project down and have some gin.

Share something people don’t know about you…

I studied Mandarin Chinese for nine years!

Follow Amanda’s sewing journey on Instagram and her blog – Bimble & Pimble.

 

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