Meet the Maker: Fiona from Diary of a Chain Stitcher
by Kollabora Follow

posted 4 years ago

My name is Fiona, but you may know me from Diary of a Chain Stitcher, and my DIY weapons of choice are a sewing machine, fabric shears and an iron!

When I am looking for inspiration I head to my bookcase. I’ve got a bit of an addiction to collecting big fashion, sewing and costume history books and it’s often a little detail of a garment that sparks an idea.

After a long day of making things I like to get settled on the sofa with a bit of Netflix and a relaxing cross stitching project or head out for a cocktail in my latest handmade outfit!

I got started making when I was very young. I’ve been creative as long as I can remember and always enjoyed art and textiles at school. I rediscovered a real passion for sewing 4 or 5 years ago after I started reading sewing blogs and used my first sewing pattern to make clothes.

The one thing that drives my creativity is the motivation to learn and try new things. Whether it be a new style, pattern, fabric or sewing technique.

When I think about starting a new project I get carried away mulling over fabric choices and scour the internet looking for what other sewing bloggers have made with the same pattern. Then I dive straight in!

If I wasn’t a costume supervisor I would love to be a tailor. Perfecting a true craft like that really appeals to me.

The first thing I do when I wake up is usually hop onto Instagram! I feel like it’s a terrible thing to pick up my phone straight away but my sewing filled feed usually gets me feeling inspired and motivated to make the most of my day.

My favorite place to buy supplies is the Goldhawk Road if I’m out and about in London or if I’m online a browse on Mood Fabrics and The Fabric Store sites always proves hard to resist.

The song that can cheer me out of any bad mood is Mr Brightside by The Killers. I have so many amazing memories of my bestie and I dancing along to this it never fails to put a smile on my face.

Making makes me feel like superwoman!

I get out of a creative rut by going stepping away from my sewing machine and giving myself a break. Going for a run, visiting an exhibition or having a mooch around the shops frees up the creative part of my brain again so I can come back with renewed motivation.

My favorite designers are Edith Head, Manolo Blahnik and Ellie Saab.

My favorite thing about making is the soothing effect getting lost in a project can have on me. If I’m having a rough time, concentrating on the steps of a project and using my hands can really take my mind off my problems.

To me, DIY means having the freedom to make whatever your heart desires.

The first thing I made as an adult was a panelled mini skirt from a vintage 1960s pattern. I picked a really thick wool which was completely wrong for the pattern and the project was a disaster!

The most influential people in my life are my family. They inspire me to keep going, keep smiling and be better.

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is sew! Usually accompanied by the football on a Saturday afternoon.

I can’t get enough Cadburys chocolate.

Three words that describe me are: positive, caring and determined

Three words that describe my work are: detailed, neat and wearable

Best creative advice I ever received is not to be afraid of failing and just have fun. The best things can come out of experimentation and trying something new.

If I could live in any other city it would be New York City.

The best spots in my city are too many to count! London is a fascinating and vibrant city. Some of my personal favourite things to do are a walk over Waterloo Bridge, a visit to the Planetarium in Greenwich Park, a wander around the Victoria & Albert Museum or a tour of a historical building like the Tower of London.

My DIY secret weapon is Microtex sewing machine needles. Whenever I’m having trouble with skipped stitches these seem to 9 times out of 10 solve my problems

The biggest DIY mistake I ever made was to knock a tin of pins over on top of the keys of my ex-boyfriend’s piano! It took us hours to get them all out using a magnet!

My next project is my first coat! I’m using Butterick 6385 and some incredible Burberry coating I treated myself to earlier this year.

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