Meet the Maker ~ 7 Questions with Lynda

Helen Cloke customer profile meet the maker

I almost can't believe it has been 6 months since I took over the running of Nellie Joans.  There really is truth in the saying that time flies when you are having fun!

I would think Lynda feels the same too since deciding to hand over her lingerie supplies business in order to concentrate on her other exciting venture of Kombi campervan hire. 

Still, you can't suppress the urge to create lingerie, huh?!  So I thought it was about time to catch up with Lynda on her bra making process.  I also asked that all important question that can make or break a relationship....Marmite or Vegemite?! 

Lynda and Pippi, the purple Kombi
1.Name and Location: Lynda Stevenson - Invercargill, Southland, NZ

2. What first sparked your interest in lingerie sewing?
I was an avid blog reader a few years ago, when I first discovered the indie sewing world and read everything I could lay my hands on!  I was a subscriber to Tasia's blog at Sewaholic.  Tasia had gone to a bra making course to learn how to make her own and the whole idea of being able to do that fascinated me - that was enough for me to start searching for patterns and kits as my initial forays into Spotlight here in NZ did not yield much in the way of suitable fabrics.  My first kit was a Merckwaedigh pattern and sewing kit - on reflection, not the easiest pattern to begin with but wow!  That was me down the rabbit hole of bra making...
Lynda's first me-made bra ~ such pretty colours!

3. How would you describe your lingerie sewing?
I would put my skill level at between intermediate and advanced - mainly because I still have not got the fitting issues for myself at the point I'm completely happy with.  I can certainly sew a bra in a lot less time than my initial attempts!

4. How has it enriched your life?
Lingerie sewing has totally enriched my life, starting with beginning the Elle Joan's supplies business, engaging in the online sewing community which has been amazing.  Getting to know my customers, some in real life - looking at you there, Kat Klebenow, and yourself of course Helen (IRL one day!)  Getting to chat with Libby of Truly Myrtle on her podcast and getting to know many of the rest of you through chats or messaging on IG.  I've felt truly privileged to be part of something so special as the online sewing community.

Doing a spot of fabric shopping with Kat Klebenow @katklebenow
5. Please describe your best 'Ah-hah! Wahoo! Ye-haw! Tah-dah' moment.
Well actually - every time I finish a bra I'm telling myself, "I made a bra!" "And it fits!" And that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction never gets old.
One of Lynda's favourite makes and it's easy to see why ~ what a stunning bra!
6. How do you deal with sewing setbacks?
Uggghhh, I'm "Team Throw it in the Corner" and hope it will go away!  Out of sight, out of mind.  I can always hear my mum telling me to unpick and have another go though, so I'll sometimes try again after a few weeks, but if I'm not feeling the love anymore (close your ears if this offends anyone) but I'll take off the hardware to keep and throw the rest away!!

7. What is your top tip to share with other lingerie sewists?
My number one tip is to just give it a go - you will probably not get the fit correct the first time, but you know what?  It's bound to be a whole lot better fit than the RTW bras we sometimes wrangle ourselves into - and it comes with the bonus of an amazing fist pump, feel good, euphoria for actually sewing yourself a piece of lingerie!
Lynda's latest make ~ a Simplicity 8437
Bonus Random question - Team Vegemite or Team Marmite? Or Team Either/Neither!?
Well this is a bit of a crazy answer because I grew up with Marmite (my mum came from a marmite family and dad was a vegemite family but no prizes for guessing who the grocery buyer was!) and I hated the taste of Vegemite but surprisingly, as an adult - I've gravitated towards the Vegemite tang and find Marmite too strong for my taste now. 
Thank you for the interview Lynda and thank you for paving the way and creating Elle-Joans, enabling the rest of us New Zealand based sewists to start on our bra making journeys!  We are truly grateful and I feel very humbled to be able to carry on your great work.  Also, Phew!  You picked 'Team Vegemite!' :)
Lynda references her sewn items and keeps up with the sewing community over on Instagram @ljssews
Also, check out the retro kombi vans with the cute names on IG and Facebook: @nzkombihire
It's full of life and road trip adventures - what a way to see NZ!


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