I live in London with a husband, a daughter and a cat.
I’ve been sewing since I was about 10 years old, when my mom first taught me to make doll clothes on her old Elna machine.
The first item of clothing I ever made for myself was a rose pink circle skirt, with elastic waistband and a shoelace tie. I was about 12 or 13, and I wore it to a school dance.
My first job was working in a fabric store – a giant fabric store – cutting fabric, trims and generally offering advice. I worked there part-time throughout my school years. That was a pretty sweet job.
During University, I didn’t sew much. While I got a sewing machine for graduation, it was stolen (that’s dorms for you) and it wasn’t replaced for a while.
I still reckon one of the best machines ever is my mom’s old Elna. It may only do straight and zig zag, but it’s a serious workhorse of a machine.
Although I’ve been sewing for a long time, and made lots of items of clothing and taken classes at fashion colleges, I still reckon there is so much I don’t know and I’m constantly impressed by what other sewing bloggers have done in a much shorter time period. Quite inspiring (and occassionally annoying!)
Although my mom taught me to knit and crochet as well, I never took to knitting as a kid. I picked it up again in 2004, when a colleague offered to teach me. She was right-handed and I’m left-handed. She was really patient and the internet was really helpful and I eventually figured out that I knit best in the combined continental style.
Left-handed combined continental knitting is pretty much the exact opposite of how knitting tutorials and instructions are written. It’s been frustrating at time, but over the years, I reckon I’ve come to understand the art of knitting a lot more than others who never faced the challenges I faced.
Which brings us to why I started this blog – after frustrations with not finding useful tutorials on knitting techniques for lefties/combined knitting, I thought I would make my own. I have a couple of knitting tutorials on here for that small number who knit like I do. And plan to do more. In the meantime, I try to share interesting recipes and sewing successes and failures, for those who are interested.
The blog name, I made this!, comes from the production company sign-off for the people who did The X-Files. The excitement and pride of that exclamation kind of captures how it feels to have made something practical and useful and lovely by yourself. I also quite like other production sign-offs, like J J Abrams ‘Bad Robot‘ and ‘Grr Argh” for Mutant Enemy Productions (who did Buffy – best show ever!) – but they didn’t seem as appropriate. Even though I do often exclaim “Grr argh!” when something goes wrong with a project…