Jayninn is a fellow speech language pathologist colleague. She’s also a VERY talented seamstress! She doesn’t blog (yet), but I thought I might try to convince her to share her sewing/refashioning knowledge with the online community. She agreed to share her refashion on my blog (thanks, Jayninn!). Here it is, (sort of?) interview style…
Giulia: How and why did you first learn how to sew?
Jayninn: I started sewing as a little kid, because my mom sewed and I wanted to be cool like her :). I remember being in a fabric /sewing shop, and my mom bought me one of those beginner sewing kits with a big plastic needle and a large precut pattern with large pre-punched holes for a kid to pull the plastic needle through. After that, I started making my own patterns and pre-punching my own holes, still using the big plastic needle, threaded with yarn. I still have a rabbit I made, from that time in my life (age 6). I did quite a bit of sewing throughout elementary school and junior high (with a real needle now!), mostly small projects like pillow cases and stuffed animals and PJ pants, but as school got busier, I stopped sewing for a few years. I re-started in my last year of undergrad, during April exam period, because I was so sick of studying and got inspired by the movie The Sound of Music (when Maria makes clothes for the Von Trapp family out of old curtains). I bought some old tablecloths and curtains from the thrift shop, make a few outfits, and this started me sewing again!
Giulia: Love that you started with refashioning thrifted finds! Similarly, my family members (mom, both nonnas, and my aunt) all inspired me to sew… but maybe only subconsciously from an early age! I didn’t start sewing until Christmas 2015 when my parents bought me a sewing machine- leading up to that, I was inspired by several blogs promoting refashioning…and thought, wow, what a creative endeavour I’d love to explore! When I was young, my mom made unique halloween costumes, my nonnas mended various garments for me, and my aunt made fancy event dresses (and much more than that- she is an expert seamstress). Alright, so back to you- tell me about the creative inspiration for your refashioned garment we are featuring!!
Jayninn: I was inspired to make my “Tie skirt”, because I saw someone wearing one in Toronto when I was studying there. I tucked the idea into my head, and it wasn’t until I went on one of my trips to the local thrift shop (to rummage for good fabrics and craft stuff!) and noticed a “50% off all ties today!” sign that I was reminded of my long-forgotten project!
Giulia: Ah, some fellow refashioner inspiration! This is why you should start a blog (winks). How did you construct the piece?
Jayninn: I picked 20 ties, going with a red/brown/gold theme. I laid them all out on my floor to decide which ones to put next to one another. Then I used an invisible stitch to sew them together. The waistband is a piece of old lace I had on hand, which I wrapped over the unfinished cut edge of the top of the ties. I used a series of hooks and eyes (no zipper) and a large button for the opening.
Giulia: Good idea re: hooks and eyes- I haven’t tried that yet. Did you run into any problems during the process? If so, how did you solve them?
Jayninn: Throughout the sewing process, I had to keep trying the piece on to decide on length etc as I went. When I sew, I usually have an overall idea of how the piece will work, but the actual sewing process involves a lot of trial and error. I had to lengthen the skirt (sew more of the length of the ties together), because I wanted to use all 20 ties, and it wouldn’t fit on a short skirt (because the ties get narrower near the top).
Giulia: My sewing process also involves a lot of trial and error (sometimes more than I blog about). Wow, an invisible stitch by hand- I admire your patience. How do you feel about the final fit and flow with movement?
Jayninn: Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my skirt! But if I did it again, I might cut the backs of the ties out to reduce the weight of the skirt (it’s pretty heavy right now with all the fabric!).
Giulia: Hmm, then there would be raw edges to finish in some way. Maybe the heavy fabric will be good for the winter- with tights and boots?!
Alright, I know you didn’t take “in the process” pictures, but let’s take a look at the amazing final product! Dun dun dun…..
Isn’t is lovely?!
And here’s a close up of the waistband:
I love the lace detail and the circle/square button!
And that concludes Jayninn’s guest blog post. I think she should start a blog (and I’m sure you do, too!). She has so much knowledge to share 🙂