February's interviewee, Caroline, sewed along with me in the recent swimwear sewalong and despite being a little bit of a newbie still, she completed not one but two fantastic bikinis!
Caroline is perfecting her 'Tah-dah - I MADE THIS!' face while practicing her lingerie sewing skills.
1. Name and Location:
Caroline van Deventer, Masterton NZ
2. What first sparked your interest in lingerie/swimwear sewing?
Just to see if I could - I just really like to try new things and enjoy the challenge of figuring it out. Friends had been telling me for ages that I should try making underwear but I resisted, as I didn't want more projects and to add to my stash. But then I saw the Elle Joans (now Nellie Joans) kits and they were on sale so it seemed like a good way to start. I was hooked. The kits really are a great way to try it out.. I now have a few. I am a much faster planner than sewer.
3. How would you describe your lingerie/swimwear sewing?
I would say I am an adventurous beginner and like to give it a go! I am at the very beginning of my lingerie sewing journey and can't wait to try more things like underwire bras and new styles and a mix match bikini set, a swimming costume...lots planned!
4. How has it enriched your life?
Sewing in general keeps me sane and is good for my mental health. I heard someone once say they did sewing as it meant that they had done one thing that day that was permanent and it really resonated with me. I have two small boys and sewing is something for me, it's not tidying up the chaos, making food, answering questions. It's something that centers me and I think makes me a better Mum in a round about way. It gives me so much joy when i make something, it's a bit addictive! I love it!
"The swim costume that made me realise how sewing made me feel much more body confident."
5. Please describe your best 'Ah-hah! Wahoo! Ye-haw! Tah-dah' moment.
I think I have one of those moments every time I sew something! The most recent was making something on my overlocker successfully. That felt like a massive win, I had struggled up until that point and just got frustrated. Sewing my first bra was also an amazing feeling. I wear it all the time and it is so comfortable. I feel like showing everyone, as I'm so proud! But it’s lacy and I feel like I flashed enough people when I was breastfeeding so I'll just keep my tatas to myself for now!!
"My favourite bra and undies - the one that led me down the rabbit hole"
6. How do you deal with sewing setbacks?
Walk away, then come back and miraculously it seems to be ok. Or it's not and I give it the death stare and eat chocolate.
7. What is your top tip to share with other lingerie/swimwear sewists?
I don't think I am experienced enough to share tips, but what I would say is it REALLY isn't as hard as I thought it would be and the rewarding feeling when you conquer it totally outweighs the tough parts.
Bonus Random question - Which piece do you reach for first from a chocolate brownie - the ooey-gooey centre or the crispy outer?
Crispy outer...but only by a slim margin. Generally it just gets shovelled in.
Thanks Caroline - I'm sure so many Mums (me included!) can relate to your comment that sewing is such a tangible achievement in amongst the repetitive daily tasks and if in doubt, ponder the problem over a piece of chocolate!
You can check out all of Caroline's sewing and other crafts @sidoniemakes on Instagram - she is one multi talented lady!