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Janome Maker – Lauren Wright

 

Inspired by all things whimsical and pretty, Lauren from Molly and Mama has a passion for encouraging makers of all abilities on their creative journey. Her teaching background helps her to share her love for traditional sewing techniques like quilting, appliqué, embroidery and felt sewing, in a fresh and fun way. You can see more in her book ‘Pretty Handmades’ and in her beginner-friendly patterns, tutorials and sewing classes.

Tell us about your background.

Since I was a small child, I’ve been making and creating in one form or another. I was blessed to grow up in a family where we could craft and sew, draw and paint, and get creative! It’s been a way of life for me, and something I just never grew out of. So it made sense that I’d pursue a creative job. But that didn’t really happen until my children came along. I first started sewing for family and friends. One thing led to another and Molly and Mama was born.

My grandmother Molly, and my mother (whom my kids call Mama) inspired my love of all things creative and encouraged me to follow my dreams. So I named my business after them. It just made sense to me.

Molly and Mama has certainly changed and developed over the last ten years. I began by selling ready-made accessories, embellished t-shirts, simple clothing and pretty décor. But then I started to notice how much I enjoyed the creative process, and also enjoyed sharing it with others.

I also noticed people around me often commenting that they wished they were creative or could sew. And I’m still surprised to hear these comments, because in my mind, we can all design and make. I realised there were many people out there that wanted to try their hand at a traditional craft, but mistakenly believed it was difficult.

So that inspired me to design simple-to-follow craft patterns, with lots of step-by-step instructions, clear photos, and with no sewing jargon. I wanted my patterns to inspire beginners to pick up a needle and thread and give a sewing project a go, just for the fun of being creative. I wanted others to feel that sense of satisfaction when their creative dreams became a reality. I hope my patterns encourage others and share with them a love of traditional sewing methods made modern.

How did you get started with sewing?

My first memory of sewing was hand stitching little soft toys and doll’s clothes from fabrics found in the scrap basket in my mum’s sewing room. I couldn’t have been more than eight at the time. I distinctly recall that feeling of joy and achievement when I made something that fit my doll well, where the buttons were in the right place or the press studs were sewn on correctly. There was a lot of trial and error but also a lot of satisfaction when my little creations worked. And mum was always on hand to steer me in the right direction, but she also gave me the space to work it out on my own.

From that time, I have always enjoyed sewing in one form or another. As a child, my mum gave me a tapestry kit with blue irises, and it was such a thrill to see that picture come to life with my stitches in coloured wool. As a teen I progressed to sewing scrunchies and clothing, and also embroidery and cross stitch. I always had some sort of project on the go. And that still seems to be the case today, especially as sewing and designing is now my full time job!

Tell us about your creations…

If you take a look at any Molly and Mama design, you’ll see my love for all things pastel and pretty. Florals are a favourite too. My original patterns bring a whimsical twist to traditional sewing techniques. My felt, embroidery, English paper piecing, patchwork and appliqué projects are characterised by attention to detail and special finishes. However, I also want my projects to be achievable for all skill levels so I design simple-to-follow patterns, with lots of step-by-step instructions, clear photos, and with little sewing jargon. It is my hope that the skills that are learned with each new pattern can then be transferred to other projects and creations.

I’m very grateful that what started as a hobby has now become my full time job. Not only do I create instant download sewing patterns, paper patterns are also distributed to stores via my wholesale distributor Creative Abundance. I also submit projects to magazines, sew commissioned projects and pieces for companies in the sewing and quilting industry, work with fabric, thread and notion companies and more. It’s always interesting and there’s lots of keep me busy.

Do you have a dedicated space / studio / room for your sewing?

Being that Molly and Mama is now a full time job for me, it was important to convert a spare room in the house into a well set up studio for sewing.

Being in a small room means that I’ve had to be creative about the way I use the space. I have a wall of cupboards that fit most of my fabrics, notions, patterns, projects and more. A sturdy desk holds all the home office supplies that make up much of my job including my Mac and printer. There’s another table for my wonderful Janome Memory Craft 9450 QCP and overlocker. And a third small table is used for cutting and storing works in progress. A small three tiered trolley keeps all of my most used items close at hand while I work and sew.

And the most important feature in the room is a large window to let the natural light pour in, and four newly installed LED ceiling lights that provide bright, white light for nighttime sewing!

What does a typical day for you involve?

I’m a stay-at-home mum by choice. So that job comes first. But that just means that I make sure I plan for my business diligently, schedule in my deadlines and the steps I need to take to get there.

My work day typically starts at 9am with a quick check in on social media and emails. Then it’s time to get straight down to the physical work – the actual making. I try and ensure that the sewing is scheduled for earlier in the day when the kids are at school. And the computer work, blogging, social media posts and networking tend to happen at night because it’s too late to start up the sewing machine!

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and at any time. Living in rural Australia, there’s always plenty to sketch and bring to life with the sewing machine, or needle and thread. From the nearby paddocks and farm animals to the beautiful native flora and fauna, inspiration for my designs is just a step outside the door. A lot of my work features flowers and bees, inspired by my garden and our bee hives.

I keep a notebook handy at all times. Some of my sketched ideas can take hold in my mind, and then they just ask to be brought to life! I grab some felt or fabric and get started. I think it’s really important to give your ideas the space to develop and grow though. I can spend weeks thinking about a design before I start sewing it. And not every project needs to be completed either. The sheer act of ‘making’ can often inspire another design or idea.

Being creative encourages creativity. I think if you always have something to work on, design, stitch or make, then you’ll be constantly keeping that creative process growing. And your creations will be new and fresh, original and distinctly yours.

What are you currently working on?

There just aren’t enough hours in the day to bring all of my creative dreams to life. Yet, how blessed am I to have that chance? I’m so grateful to be able to do what I love, share my knowledge with others, and learn a lot along the way. It really is the perfect job.

I’m excited to continue working with amazing companies like Janome, Riley Blake Designs for fabric, My Felt Lady for felt, and Aurifil for threads. I’ll continue to design projects and patterns for special events, magazines, and my lovely audience. And perhaps there will be a new book on the horizon. But more than anything, I just want to be able to continue sharing the joy of sewing and making. I think that taking time for creative pursuits can be so restorative. When our sewing is utilitarian, we don’t often make the connection between how working with our hands can help still our minds. But sewing in any form can be a simple way to slow down, reconnect with ourselves and make connections with other likeminded people also. I think that’s so important!

Any sewing advice to share?

The best piece of advice I’ve heard in recent years is that ‘done is better than perfect’.

Sometimes we can let fear or a lack of confidence stop us from trying a new project or from attempting a different sewing technique. The best antidote to that is to just get in there and give it a go! Each new piece we create, builds on the skills we learnt in making the last project. So even if the finished product isn’t quite as perfect as we’d like, we’ll use those skills as we move forward on our creative journey. And I like to remind myself that it is a journey! We sew for the joy that the process brings us, and not always for the project we have made at the end. I think that’s an important thing to remember.

Also, there’s lots of lovely, kind and helpful people out there who are only too happy to share their knowledge and expertise. Join local sewing groups or search online for Facebook groups that are centred around your area of interest. It won’t be long before you find a supportive place where tips and tricks are freely shared. And it’s wonderful to sew with likeminded creatives who understand and appreciate what you do.

Share something people don’t know about you…

Most people who follow my business Molly and Mama, don’t realise I have a background in psychology and primary school teaching. Both of these areas of training have really helped me in creating instructional texts like tutorials and sewing patterns that are clear, easy to read and follow, and that encourage others on their creative journey.

Follow Lauren on Instagram.

 

Janome Maker – Connie Cao

 

A Janome maker, lifestyle and travel blogger, Connie also runs an online store selling handcrafted accessories. Melbourne based Connie Cao shares her sewing journey with us on the blog today.

 

How did your sewing journey begin?

My mum has been sewing and making clothes ever since I was born so I have always watched her and wanted to learn how to sew myself. However I first formally learnt sewing using a sewing machine when I was in school.

What do you make?

When I first started my online store, many years ago, I was selling handmade headbands and hair bows. These days I sew as a hobby to create things around the home. I love having a sewing machine on hand to create various small projects around the house, and to re-purpose or upcycle fabrics. Or to create simple things yourself instead of buying them!

My sewing space is…

My dining table! At the moment I prefer to sew on my dining table so I can be in and amongst the action at home. Lucky for us we have a large dining table which was totally part of the plan of wanting to turn it into a part-time craft table.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I usually start my day with a morning walk with our papillon Toro. Then I spend the rest of my morning before the work day begins in the garden watering, harvesting and doing some maintenance. My work day consists of emails, editing, photography & creating products for my online store, and so on. And evenings I love to focus on personal projects but usually end up doing more work!

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a few sewing projects and ideas to create some useful things around the house to help reduce waste / be more sustainable at home.

Your best sewing advice is…

I think lots of people are afraid to get started with sewing but I assure you you can do it! Even if you have to sew at a really slow speed.

Practice always makes perfect and I love imperfect pieces because they are always special and personal. Something made by the hand and heart.

Share something people don’t know about you…

The first time I used a dishwasher was last Christmas!

Follow Connie on Instagram and her blog – Connie and Luna

 

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.