Do you want to make your own clothes but don’t believe you have the skill? Maybe you want to step away from unethical production chains and the environmental damage caused by the clothing industry. In a warm, friendly voice, Katie Marcus chronicles her journey crafting beautiful clothes with easy-to-follow tips and tutorials on her blog What Katie Sews. We hope our interview with Katie will inspire you to create your own handmade capsule wardrobe and show you that making your own clothes is doable and fun.
What inspired you to start What Katie Sews?
I’ve blogged since I was a teenager in some form or another, so when I picked up sewing as a hobby a few years ago it seemed natural to share my journey and projects too. There was also an amazing existing online sewing community, which was a big inspiration and I now love being a part of.
Which post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
I like my 2016 review post because it shows my favourite makes over a year and helps me review which garments that I make stand the test of time and prove the most wearable.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I can’t really think of one – it’s always unpredictable which posts will strike a chord the most, so I don’t mind when one gets fewer comments.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Probably getting in front of the camera to take photos of my projects. I like seeing clothes modeled so I do it too, but it’s quite an effort and I’m not always feeling photogenic! I’d also like to be more imaginative with my photos but it’s difficult to take them out in “the wild,” so I tend to stick with the tripod in my flat.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
To write about what you’re really passionate about and not feel pressured to stick to a schedule or write what you think people will want to read. If you’re authentic, readers will appreciate it more. I don’t begrudge people who want to monetise their blog and turn it into a full-time career, but I’ve learned that path is definitely not for me.
Share a couple of your favourite blogs. Why do you like them?
I love Charlie of Noble & Daughter’s sewing blog. Her style aesthetic is amazingly cool and she also writes from the heart with such elegance. Another favourite is Heather of Closet Case Patterns, an indie pattern designer whose blog is full of inspiration and useful tutorials. I see a few of my favourite blogs posting less frequently, which I think is due to the impact of being able to share so quickly on Instagram. I hope blogging doesn’t die completely as I love reading and interacting on blogs where you can go into much more detail than a social post.
Can you tell us about a product you’ve owned forever and why it’s important to you?
I’ve had my overlocker since I was a teenager. It’s quite basic but a real workhorse and I’m quite impressed that I’ve never had to replace it given all the use it gets.
What is important to you when you’re buying clothing?
I don’t buy many new clothes now because as a sewer, I try to remove myself as much as I can from unethical production chains and the environmental impact of the garment industry. When I do buy something I make sure it’s something that will last a long time and not go out of fashion quickly. It’s much easier to make something that fits you well in a fabric you love when you sew as well; I’ve got very picky with store-bought clothes on those factors.
Can you tell us about the last time something broke and disappointed you?
My iron broke very suddenly as I was about to use it on a project – it just wasn’t heating up anymore. It’s one of a sewer’s most important tools, so I had to buy a new one pretty quickly.
What vision do you have for What Katie Sews over the next 10 years?
Hopefully to keep using it to share my sewing projects and inspiring other people to sew more!
What do you love most about being a blogger and what drives you to keep going at it?
I love the community it brings – it makes my day when I get a comment saying people find my projects inspiring or that my tutorial helped them. Getting feedback and knowing you helped people is definitely a big motivator. But I think I’d still blog even if no-one read it because I find it so fun and like having a record of my projects and progression too.
Images courtesy of whatkatiesews.net.