Sewcializing with a Sewcialist – November Edition

Hello fellow Sewcialists!  It’s Nisha from Blue Sunday  back with the November edition of Sewcializing with a Sewcialist.  This is our monthly highlight of a sewist from the Flicker pool.  We can never have too many resources or sources of inspiration … and that’s what Sewcializing is all about.  Sharing resources and inspiration.

The holiday season is fast approaching.  Why don’t we kick it off with a with a bit of happy?  I can’t think of a better catalyst for all things that bring joy than Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time.  I was initially exposed to Winnie’s blog during Oonapalooza, where she made the dress pictured below.  Queue the upbeat holiday music and the beverage of your choice … let’s settle in and hang out with Winnie for a bit.

Scruffy Badger Oona


How did you start sewing?

I have been sewing since I was a child (I’d say from about age 7) and was taught by my Mum (who was taught by her Mum who was taught by her sisters).    I can remember dreaming of the dolls’ clothes I was going to make as I fell asleep, these days it’s my clothes….I picked it back up again with gusto in a reaction to my emptying nest when my children left home….

What are a few of the ways you learn new skills and challenge yourself?

Learning new skills is such fun!  And for me that generally comes by picking something with a harder skill level & following the instructions.  I generally am a pattern instruction reader, as opposed to researching on the internet, & really enjoy seeing different approaches for completing the same process.  For example I have tried quite a few different methods for invisible zip insertion & it fascinates me how results can vary & be improved by small bits of others’ know how.  HOWEVER saying that, I love reading sewing blogs & some bloggers also leave revelations they discover about making a particular process easier by doing xyz.  It’s just one of the cool things about the online sewing community.

Scruffy Badger Pants

What is your best sewing organizational tip you can share and how has it helped keep you organized?

Oh I am organised am I?  My best organisational tip at a time when I had a long list of projects with various events to sew for, was to get down in the detail and project plan, with a whiteboard and my google calendar.  It was the only way that I could understand if this long list of projects was achievable.  I wrote more about that here.

What is your favorite online shopping retailer (for sewing fabric, notions, supplies) and why?

There are so many wonderful fabric shops, and I don’t think I’ve had a bad online experience.  I’ve had quite a few dealings with Minerva Crafts and Plush Addict.  Minerva offers a vast choice with a massive range available online, with quite a lot of bargains- if you know what you want it’s a good place to look first.  Plush addict on the other hand may cost a little more, but the quality of fabric is superb, and the prints available are cute, quirky and interesting. It’s a browser’s heaven, and sure to inspire.

Scruffy Badger Red Dress

What sewing tool can you absolutely not live without and why?

Now this is an interesting one!  In addition to the standard kit of scissors, pins, seam ripper I would have to say I’m a late convert to a silk organza press cloth & a sleeve board.  If I had to pick one, it would be the sleeve board – it’s good for so much more than sleeves – trouser legs can be pressed so much easier using one of these minis.  The silk organza is a huge boon for pressing whilst being able to see through the press cloth.  I use it to get a hotter iron heat on fabrics that maybe would shine, or scorch if ironing directly on them.  I also use it for attaching fusible interfacing to save my iron getting goo on it.

How do you sewcialize?

I have a workday routine that most days involves checking out Bloglovin with my morning cuppa to get a quick overview of what’s been happening.  During the workday I can’t sewcialise (and the temptation is greatly reduced by lack of wifi/ 3G coverage in my office 🙂  ).  In non working hours, like everyone else I have to limit myself otherwise I wouldn’t get sewing,  I mean there is just so much out there!  But I dabble in twitter, instagram and a sprinkling of facebook- but I will generally return to Bloglovin or Pinterest for a quick fix maybe over my evening meal.  Then Saturday mornings spent lost in Pinterest …..sound familiar?! I reckon my contribution on IG/ Twitter has to be noticeably larger at weekends!  I love the Firehose – I think it’s such a cool idea.  (Then there is my own blog which I try to update with a couple of posts a week & respond to the lovely comments & queries- I suppose that is Sewcialising too)!

What’s your proudest sewing moment to date?

I have struggled with this one!!  I think I am probably most proud of things that use more skill (whether sewing techniques/ tailoring or learning about fitting) particularly if they are made from expensive fabric.    And out of all of my sewing output, I do not tend to sew a lot that fits this category!  (That’s a useful bit of self reflection!! And an area for improvement) So, my top three garments:  The Spearmint Coat that I pattern tested for Lolita patterns – it is made from Wool Melton and has a bound buttonhole, is embellished with some badger ricrac too.  It was my first coat & it feel so special.

scruffy-badger- Spearmint Coat

The Crepe Dress by Colette Patterns – I have only made it once, but it was my first real fitting challenge – I learnt soooo much through trial and error.  (The fabric was from Walthamstow, so not an expensive one).

Colette Dress

And my Flora dress by By Hand London – the fabric was awesome John Kaldor “pansies on acid” and I’d lined & piped it.  I love this dress.

By Hand London Flora

Since the holiday season is right on our heels and we’ll all need something FABULOUS in our closets to wear … what’s your “go to” party outfit?

My holiday staple over the Christmas period? It has to be my peplum charlotte skirt! It’s my party skirt without ever feeling over dressed!

Scruffy Badger Charlotte Skirt

Winnie’s my kind of girl.  There is no better way to end an interview than with a glass of champagne!  Winnie, thanks for taking the time to answer the questions AND for tolerating the emails.  It is greatly appreciated.  I love the happy you bring into the world with your enthusiasm and passion for sewing … its reflected in all you do!

What about you fellow Sewcialists?  Do you have “go to” pattern or outfit for the holidays?  Please share in the comments below.  Until next time!!