Kia Ora Koutou (hello/all be well) and Haere Mai (welcome)! My name is Sophie-Lee and I blog over at tworandomwords.
I’m 25 and live in arguably the most beautiful country in the world, New Zealand (although I may be biased). During the day I’m a doctor, currently working out my time in the hospital system before I can start training in my passion, rural general practice. I’m married to a wonderful man (known as Mr. Guy) and have a cat Travis and dog Jessie, who pretend otherwise but secretly love each other.
I first started sewing at “prep school” (intermediate). I made a polyester windsock, and had my first altercation with an overlocker when I cut a hole in it. I also made a navy cotton “gypsy skirt” that I wore quite often, and a most hideous straight skirt from shiny, stretch teal fabric with beaded trim. My mother must had thought I was crazy. For the next few years I made a couple of outfits (including a beautiful pair or tartan shorts for my brother, which shredded as soon as he put them on because the wool was such terrible quality. I think I cried) which, despite their terrible quality (never a hem in sight), I wore a LOT. I dabbled in sewing while in my first few years of medical school.
After I graduated in late 2012 and moved to Wellington (our capital city), I needed something to help de-stress from work. I turned to sewing and became obsessed. It was talking to Mrs. C and her dangling the prize of being part of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network that prompted me to get serious about blogging – now I love being able to show off my garments, get advice, and make friends throughout the “blogosphere” (Mr. Guy hates that word)
As soon as I saw the posts come up about the CSC, I emailed Mary asking if I could take part. I’m quite big on body-positivity and am very conscious of the part the media has to play in this. Being a big girl ever since puberty, I know the kind of judgment thrown at people purely because of their weight. I know how difficult it can be to dress well for your size, given that others generally choose what we’re “allowed” to wear (by not selling certain clothes in a full size range). Sewing allows us to somewhat get around that, but I think there needs to be visible role models so people don’t feel as alienated in the sewing world as they do in the fashion world.
Through sewing my own clothes I’ve really learned what looks good on me, as I’m not so much at the mercy of “fashion” (previously I would have bought whatever polka dot clothes fit me, regardless of actual fit or whether they looked good) If you’ve seen my blog you know the kind of styles I favour – they tend to be fitted in the bodice and flared over the hips, and I ALWAYS need to have waist definition. My favourite pattern to date is Gertie’s pencil skirt (from her first book – when is the next one going to be released already??) and I like altering existing patterns (or my sloper) to create my own designs.
The most common alterations I have to make are grading between sizes – I’m often three different sizes in a pattern, as I have narrow shoulders, small bust and waist, and very wide hips (I’m a super pear shape). For reference my measurements are: 40” bust (38” high bust), 32” waist, and 48” hips/bum. I probably should learn to make full butt adjustments!
I tend to sew predominantly with wovens but am reasonably comfortable with knits. I’m trying to make myself take more time (I’m not a very patient person) with techniques and finishes, to make my clothes as good a quality as I can. I have been making all of my own clothes recently and have been “RTW free” since June 2013.