Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Was Your First - Mel from Seamstress:Poppykettle

Today I am incredibly excited to be posting the first interview in my new "What was your first?" series. The first interviewee is the incredibly talented Melanie, from Seamstress:Poppykettle. I have to confess, I have a bit of a blog-crush on Mel, she has made some absolutely amazing garments. So onto her first...

First, introductions:
I'm Melanie, the sewcialist behind seamstress: poppykettle. I did a wee bit of sewing in high school, but I had my first sewing lesson as a technical beginner in February 2011, so just over two years now! I continued on having lessons for the next 12 months before striking out alone. I'd class my skill range at being somewhere between intermediate and advanced.... as the more I learn, the more I realise there still is to learn!!

What was the first "real" garment you sewed?
The first real garment I sewed was McCalls 5523 - which has four different skirts, I made mine with a pleated lower back. That was back in April 2011! I wore it quite a bit initially because it filled a black work skirt void in my wardrobe, but I made it a bit too closely fitting (the concept of 'ease' took me a while to get) and well, I'm a little more curvy these days ;) It's still in my wardrobe though, waiting for the day I can squeeze back into it!

If you were making it now, What would you do differently? 
I wanted to line it, but I didn't quite get how to do that with a facing. Knowing what I know now, I'd go back and draft the lining separately (rather than just cut out the same pattern pieces in the lining) and include a self fabric facing. I probably wouldn't make this skirt again though - I've discovered I prefer skirts with waistbands. This allows for much 'cleaner' lining application, and everything stays in place.

If you could go back in time and tell past-you one tip to improve your early garments, what would it be? 
Gosh... probably to think a little more about what I would like the end result is going to look like. I was so head-over-heels in love with sewing that I just put pedal to the medal, and quite often the end results didn't match the vision in my head as a result!

Thanks for that Mel, your first garment is exquisite!
Hopefully you've enjoyed this 'What was your first?" post, I'll be back with another one in a few weeks!


  1. I can't believe you've been sewing for only two years, Mel!

    Thanks Rachel for putting these posts together.

  2. Love this series! Mel, love the fact you make a sassy pencil skirt with your first project :D

  3. I'm loving this series! And Mel, that skirt is AWESOME!

  4. Aww, thanks Rach! You're such a dahl :P

  5. What a great idea for a post series!

    Wow, from beginner to advanced in two years! So impressive, Melanie!


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