We are long distance friends, having met on social media several years ago with a group of other ladies through our love of a particular brand of clothing. Since meeting, however, we have found a mutual love of sewing.

SEWNEEDY – I am a full time, self employed gardener. My interests include floristry, travel, cooking, family and then of course my passion for sewing. I learnt to sew as a child, at school (perhaps those nuns did teach me something useful after all). I then dabbled in sewing a bit after getting a sewing machine from my parents for my 21st birthday. For one reason or another, mainly a lack of vision, I didn’t really get the sewing ‘bug’ until a couple of years ago, spurred on by the BBC Sewing Bee and a friend’s wonderful makes (#Daphne).  The internet and social media have really helped me overcome issues regarding my lack of vision.

Whilst I do occasionally use patterns from the main brands, as an enthusiastic beginner, I often find that I have issues with getting the size right and the lack of instructions. My favourite Indie patterns are from Sew Over It and Tilly and the Buttons.

DAPHNE – I own a gallery business with my artist husband in Wells-next-the-Sea on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. I’ve always loved great design and use of colour and pattern (particularly mid-century themes), but I’d never had any interest whatsoever in sewing, until I happened to watch the The Great British Sewing Bee in 2014 and found myself thinking ‘I fancy doing that!’. So the following February, I had three lessons locally and made not one, but two skirts; I couldn’t believe it! By that point I’d learned the basics of reading a pattern; cutting out; transferring markings; adding darts, a waist band, and lining; inserting a zip; adding a button and button hole; and hemming… and I was addicted!

My sewing has gone from the basics through to more intermediate makes, in both woven and jersey fabrics, with adaptations to achieve a better fit than I can get on the high street. I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the process: I love it all, from matching a pattern to fabric (or vice versa), deciding the style, working out the fit, the actual sewing and problem-solving as I go along, and of course there’s nothing quite like that sense of achievement when you sew that final stitch. I still surprise myself every time I finish making something. I’ve sewn several patterns from the ‘big 4’, but, like the lovely SewNeedy, my favourite patterns are from Sew Over It. I love their style and the reliable instructions, plus they’re very good at tempting me with their glorious fabrics.