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  • Camilla

Why I Sew, by Abbey (@whatabbeymade)

Hey! My name is Abbey : you may have seen me on Instagram under the handle @whatabbeymade. I'm generally quite active on there, sharing posts and chatting with other makers from the sewing community.

This is my first attempt at blogging so I hope you enjoy it!

Camilla reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in writing a short piece for `We Sew Fabulous' since I've expressed interest to her previously about starting my own blog. I’ve had some time to think about the topic and why I actually sew.

I've always been a really creative crafty person. Even as a child, I was always drawing or painting with my aunty who was an artist. As I got older, I started making clothes for my Barbies, which I think probably is what piqued my interest in sewing. I studied art in secondary school and eventually went on to study art at college. During this course at college, I got to choose a specialized subject and ended up choosing fashion design and manufacturing. I LOVED getting to spend so much time in the studio, using various sewing machines and designing garments to briefs set by my tutors.

This was where I really found my love for sewing. As this was such a long time ago (12 years!) I have few photos of anything I made, but you can see two of them at the end of this piece. One project really sticks out in my mind though; we had to make a dress to a brief and I ended up making a replica of what was my dream prom dress. I was SO proud of myself!

I worked really hard through college and finished my course with good grades. I have so many regrets now that I didn’t pursue my love for dressmaking and designing at this point. I ended up working in a pub, then a call center and finally settled into my current career choice working in pharmacy, which couldn’t be any more different to what I had envisioned for myself when I was leaving college.

Since leaving college I've ve tried a few times to get back into sewing, but just didn’t seem to be able to! This was probably to do with the old clunky sewing machine I had been given by a family friend that jammed after sewing 10-15 stitches. I lost patience very quickly and packed the machine off to the charity shop.

2020 hit and we began our first lockdown in the UK, although I worked full time in community pharmacy, I ended up making fabric facemasks for my family and friends. As it had been such a long time since I'd done any sewing, I had to borrow my aunty's sewing machine (which worked a lot better than the old clunky pile of rubbish I'd tried to use before). I enjoyed making the face masks more than anything I'd done recently and remembered why I loved sewing so much. It all came back to me so quickly, so that night I ordered a few patterns and some cheap fabric to have a practice with and fell back in love with it all over again.

I realized after 10 years how much I missed sewing, I missed been able to make things that fit me specifically. I missed been able to browse fabric shops, I missed the creative side of it as well as the technical side of sewing.

During 2020 and the early part of 2021, sewing has been one of two happy places for me, the other being able to spend time with my fiancé Sam. I realise how much I love been able to switch off from the stress of work and the general stress of the world as it is at the moment and completely throw myself into whatever project I'm working on at the time. After such a difficult and painful year, I hope to continue sewing and creating, as this year has made me realize that life’s too short to not do what you love.

I hope you've enjoyed my first attempt at blogging!

Photos :

The header picture is a hacked Mcalls m7969

The black top is the Boleyn top by Stitch Witch Patterns that I pattern tested.

The other two are of things I made in college.

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