My name is Lauren, but you maybe know me as Lady Sewalot and my DIY weapons of choice are: a sewing machine, left handed cutting scissors and fabric.
When I am looking for inspiration I read my favourite blogs and have a browse through Pinterest.
After a long day of making things I like to bake sugar filled treats, watch some Netflix or read a good book. If I’m home from uni, I’ll play on the piano for a bit. Playing a bit of Einaudi is the most peaceful thing in the world.
I got started making when I got a sewing machine for Christmas when I was 13 years old. I started with massive tote bags made from horrible curtain fabrics and eventually progressed to making clothes.
The one thing that drives my creativity is the end result! Although sometimes it’s a bit devastating to look at your final piece in the mirror and it not matching up to how it looked in your head.
When I think about starting a new project I look at garments that are similar to what’s in my head, decide which parts I like, and which I don’t like, and then i figure out how to manipulate an existing pattern to be as close to what’s in my head as possible and then find the perfect fabric to match.
If I wasn’t a costume-maker-in-training I would love to be a person who writes musicals. Nothing makes me happier than writing absurd lyrics for absurd characters. Or a person who reads books and decides whether they should be published. Or someone who gets to dress up for a living. Dressing up is my favourite.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a teacher, like both of my parents!
The first thing I do when I wake up is check social media. It’s bad, but I love waking up and seeing what people are making. I hope that my social media feed is less poisonous than some because it’s full of people just sharing new fabrics that they are excited about or new projects.
I love the TV show Friends. It never fails to make me laugh.
My favorite word is papoose.
My least favorite word is vegetables.
Making makes me feel like I have the power to accomplish anything. It’s very satisfying to not be depend on ready to wear chain stores for what I wear. When I was packing for my holiday it was great fun to be able to look beyond my wardrobe and to my fabric stash. Although all of the possibilities can be a bit overwhelming.
I get out of a creative rut by making something that excites me. Or making something simple which I know I will feel great in.
My favorite artists/designers/makers are I love Heather Lou from Closet Case Files. She looks super chic in everything she makes, and she has a knack for creating patterns that are interesting, current and slightly challenging for the modern maker.
My favorite thing about making is the freedom to create whatever I like. Also, the sense of accomplishment is much more satisfying than buying a piece of clothing from a ready to wear store. The clothing I make has much more of a sentimental value because I’ve wanted it enough to invest the time, money, blood, sweat and tears into it.
To me, DIY means to have something made exactly to your specifications, and having fun while doing it.
The first item of clothing I made was a dress from a really stiff silk dupion fabric. The fit was awful and I top-stitched the red fabric with brown thread (the horror) but it started the chain reaction that got me where I am today, studying Costume Production at uni in London.
The most influential person in my life is my mother. She is incredibly supportive of what I do, even though going into costume making isn’t the most traditional career path and I value her opinion hugely.
My favorite thing to do on the weekend is sleep, watch Netflix, bake and hang out with friends. I love to go for walks in the gardens of big stately homes and pretend that they are mine. I’ll sometimes do some sewing but after 5 days of sewing 10am-5pm at uni, I want a breather!
I can’t get enough fabric. Ever. There will never be too much.
Three words that describe me Cheerful, quirky and creative.
Best creative advice I ever received is make it work.
My go-to karaoke song is Minnie the Moocher, from the Blues Brothers film!
I never leave the house without my phone.
If I could live in any other city it would be New York. London is pretty cool but the musical theatre scene in NY is pretty great.
One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is that I love asking unsuspecting people random questions all day, every day. What’s your favourite type of tree?
My DIY secret weapon is fusible hemming tape.
My next project is a jumpsuit made from Dad’s old jeans for the 2016 Refashioners challenge. If I can pull it off, it’ll be great.