In-Seam Insights: @selfassemblyrequired

Hello fellow Sewcialists! Welcome to the mini series In-Seam Insights. The goal of this series is to ask people in different countries about their experience with the pandemic in 2020 and what this means for them going into 2021. I think it’s important to highlight community members in different regions of the world because even though we all might feel this has been a universal experience, we have each handled this year in different ways. Each country also has its own method of trying to control the virus (or not) and that also shapes our experience. I hope that this series gives us all a little more insight on what’s going on outside of our respective regions and also connects us more to each other.

Emily wearing the Mira Dress by Fibre Mood in a floral viscose. The fabric is blue and has yellow/red flowers on it.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and how you got started sewing.

I’m Emily, a born and raised Londoner, currently living and working in South London. I’ve been sewing since my late teens — I’d always loved fashion so my mum taught me all the sewing basics so I could have a go at making outfits myself! 

2. 2020 started off strong and then Covid-19 pandemic hit. How has this year affected your life?

This year has been just a bit nuts! I was off work for almost 4 months and honestly I loved all the free time I had for myself! I was quite sad to have to go back to work – not helped by the fact that work has been really weird since we reopened. I’m a dentist and as it’s a high COVID risk job, how we practice has had to change a lot. 

It’s been a year that has seemed to pass so quickly and has stretched on forever where both nothing and everything has happened all at once.

Emily wearing the Haley Dungarees by The Foldline in Lilac Denim fabric.

3. How does this translate into your crafting? Do you feel like you’ve crafted more or less? Does this help alleviate stress or does crafting become too stressful at times?

During my time off during the first lockdown in the UK, I made so much stuff! I kept myself occupied and made copious amounts of stuff, both sewn and knitted. I loved having such dedicated crafting time — it definitely helped to keep my mind off everything else that was happening in the world! Since I’ve been back in work, I’ve found my crafting drive fall to minimal levels and I’ve made a lot less than I would normally do. I think it finally hit me that there’s nowhere to wear my new outfits to so there’s no point making them!

4. How do you feel your country has handled the pandemic?

I think this is a difficult question to answer. The short answer will be no because I feel that BoJo often makes decisions on what political advantages it might give him rather than what’s necessary for the greater good. On the other hand I don’t think there would have been a successful way of handling the crisis here. Each country is so unique and I don’t think it’s fair to compare the UK to the successes of Taiwan or New Zealand for example, as the political and social climate is very different. 

5. What were some personal goals that you have set for yourself at the beginning of this year and have you achieved them?

I honestly don’t remember what plans or goals I’d set myself! January 2020 seems like an actual age away and not just 12 months! I’m sure I wrote a blog post on it but I’m too scared to try to find it as I don’t think I’d have achieved any of it!

Emily wearing the Mindy Dress pattern by Fibre Mood in a black floral cotton burnout fabric.

6. Do you feel the sewing community has stepped up to support one another? Are there ways in which it can better improve itself?

I think the sewing community has always been very generous and kind – at least my in experience of it. I know there have been incidents here and there, people getting called out for what they did or didn’t say or post about. In many ways it just reflects what society is like in real life – full of differing opinions and voices, some louder than others.

7. If 2020 has any takeaway, what would that be for you?

My takeaway from 2020 is to live and appreciate every moment to its full! You never know when something will happen and you won’t be able to hug your mum again for months! Also I really love a pub quiz…

Emily wear a white button up shirt with sleeves and DP Studios LE 3002 shorts in a rust colored linen.

8. What are your hopes and aspirations for 2021?

I’m so desperate to go abroad on holiday! It’s definitely one of those things where because I can’t go that I really really really want to! On a less flippant note, I’m hoping to be able to legally spend time with my family again and I’m aiming to get the some renovation work done on my flat. Just some little things!

9. What socials do you have if people want to follow along with your journey?

Follow me on Instagram @selfassemblyrequired and you can find my blog at