Meet the Maker: Sew in Progress
by Kollabora Follow

posted 6 years ago

My name is Medi, but you maybe know me from my blog Sew-in-Progress, and my DIY weapons of choice are: erasable marking pen, seam ripper and Aristo triangular ruler (seriously, I cannot draw a single straight line without this ruler)

I am inspired by a range of styles and I don’t have a particular designer that I follow. I’m not really a vintage person, but I love the fit and style of 50s garments. I also like the urban minimalist style of the small boutiques in Tel Aviv. In addition, I am inspired by many sewing blogs. But mostly I am inspired by my lifestyle because I love making clothes that I can wear. When I started sewing, I did not really think about this, thus I ended up with clothes that took a lot of time and effort but I rarely wore. 


After a long day of making things I like to take a warm shower and sit with some wine and chocolate.  

I was always a big fan of handmade things but I did not start making things until the end of my twenties. First my mom taught me how to knit, then about three years ago I started attending classes in a sewing studio in south Tel Aviv and learned how to sew as well as drafting and pattern-making.  

My creativity is driven by a range of things like the arts, especially visual arts with a focus on photography. Also, fabric and fabric stores. I love seeing different kinds of fabric and imagining what I can do with them.

When I think about starting a new project I check out the local fabric stores to see what kind of fabrics are available. I search the internet and Pinterest to see other people’s versions.

I used to be a project manager at an academic think-tank in Jerusalem. I left my job about a year ago, when I decided to make a career change. After I started sewing, it became my dream to have my own company and do something related to this. Luckily, my sewing teacher Raama Malkin became my partner and we decided to start our own indie pattern company. We have been working on this project for more than a year now. We hope to open our online store in a couple of months. So, watch out for Toolbox Patterns, we are coming soon :)  

My favorite part of the day is the evening when I finish working and have some time for selfish sewing.

I feel most creative when I am in a fabric or art supplies store. I start thinking about how I can use and combine different kinds of materials.

I always have all kinds of crazy dreams. In my last dream, I was in high school (and believe me I am nowhere near that age) but in my current age. In the dream, no one thought that was strange. I take a history exam and somehow one of my first English language teachers, Mr. Kelley, checks the exam. I feel that the exam did not go well and I am somehow relieved when I get 67 (out of 100). Mr. Kelley does not really remember me so I ask him whether he remembers teaching English to me many years ago. I also realize that he got older. To tell the truth, I have no idea why this teacher was in my dream. I did not really think about him for a while.     

My favorite place to buy supplies is the local shops at the Nachalat Binyamin street in central Tel Aviv. I also love fabric shopping in Istanbul.

My favorite word is: Try

My least favorite word is: Impossible

After I finish a project I feel very satisfied and cannot wait to wear whatever I made immediately.

I get out of a creative rut by doing some physical activity that can totally disconnect me from what I am working on. Taking a walk by the beach or doing some yoga. This way I can come back refreshed and usually my brain starts shooting new ideas.

I most relate to the Aegean coast of Turkey. The food, the smell, the sea, the weather, the culture, the people, the vegetation, my memories, I can relate to almost everything there.   

Photography has an important role in my life and most of the artists that really influence me are from that field even though it seems like it is not directly connected to sewing. For me it is though because photography triggers the visual part of my brain which then translates to designing and sewing. To name a few of my favorites: Diana Arbus, Joseph Koudelka, Robert Capa, Helmut Newton.

My favorite thing about making is the whole process: choosing the pattern, the fabric, thinking how to make the necessary changes to get the best fit.  

To me, DIY means to create things that are unique in my own way.   

The first thing I made was a pillow case. 

If there is good wind, there are very few things that would stop me from going kitesurfing. Apart from sewing kitesurfing is my most favorite activity and I am really lucky to live in a country that has nice beaches. Going hiking or meeting up with friends for dinner is also nice. 

I can’t get enough fabric. I can hardly stop myself from buying more.

Three words that describe me: focused, determined and adventurous

Three words that describe my work: practical, comfortable, casual

(This is not really an advice that I received from someone directly but I see written on a building) - I drive by a yellow building in my area several times a week and it is written on the building with huge letters, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Yeah, Einstein knew what he was talking about.   

If I could live in any other state it would be California.

The best spots of Tel Aviv for me are the beach, the coffee shops and restaurants at the Shuk HaKarmel, Neve Tzedek and Jaffa neighborhoods. I also love south Tel Aviv where you can buy sewing materials for cheap.


One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is that I am a language geek. You know how people have favorite books, well I have favorite dictionaries that I can easily read for fun. I have no problem discussing the root of a word for hours. I am fluent in three languages; English, Turkish and Hebrew. I can read and speak French and I can read Arabic. I studied Arabic for three years and used to be good at it but I stopped practicing so my level is not that good any more.   

My DIY secret weapon is patience. When I have it, even the most difficult patterns run smoothly. When I don’t have it, mistakes follow.

I believe that making mistakes is part of the learning process and I make a lot of mistakes all the time. One of the bad ones was ironing a special linen fabric that I loved with hot iron and making holes. Of course, I could not use the fabric afterwards.   

My next project is the Bomber Jacket from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual.

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