Today I have the lovely Julia Bobbin sharing her personal connection between sewing and style. I can relate all-too-well to Julia’s belief that “my life is a musical and any minute the crowd around me is going to break out in song”. And of course sewing enables her to be appropriately dressed for just that occasion!
Well hello there! My name is Julia from JuliaBobbin.com and I am a sewing obsessed, fabric enthused, vintage loving mother of one human boy. I’m currently on maternity leave from my day job, and when I’m not squeezing chubby baby cheeks, I spend my time sewing and fantasizing about my next ten creations. I started sewing about 3 and a half years ago, and I have been covered in cotton threads and pattern tissue ever since.
Describe your style.
My style is a mish-mash of both vintage and modern, with my favourite vintage being the early 60’s. I love to encase my curvy figure in feminine and pretty clothes that emphasise and flatter the female form. If I spontaneously wore a pair of jeans one day, my friends and family would probably be concerned that I’d had a mental breakdown … or forgotten to do the laundry.
Describe what you sew.
I love to sew beautiful vintage garments that you just can’t find anywhere in the shops. My garments tend to be a mix of both vintage and modern. I have a weakness for dresses, which tends to dominate my sewing projects.
What inspires or influences your style?
I am inspired by classic cuts and colours that flatter the body and have a hint of glamour. I always appreciate looking at edgy, architectural garments but time after time I keep going back to that classic romantic look. I love wearing a dress that I’ve made and imagining that it has it’s own soundtrack when I walk around in public.
I look at every day as a chance to play dress-up. How do you play dress-up?
My family and my husband constantly refer to me as a drama queen or an actress. Maybe it’s because I’m half convinced that my life is a musical and any minute the crowd around me is going to break out in song. How appropriate then that I should have a lovely twirly me-made dress on to suit the occasion!
When I’m wearing ‘normal’ clothes for work and other commitments, I like to wear a little red lipstick, or a vintage hairstyle as a little nod to my inner diva who has been tamed for the day.
How does your passion for sewing enable your style?
My sewing has become a massive enabler for my style. Before I knew how to sew my style was non-descript. I didn’t know exactly what I loved or even what looked good on me because I hadn’t SEEN it anywhere in the stores.
Sewing taught me to understand my shape and how to flatter it, and with that came the understanding of what my style was and what I felt awesome wearing.
Does your passion for sewing influence the style of those around you?
The great thing about having a sewing blog and sharing your creations, is that other people can see what you’ve made, how you’ve made it and be inspired to try it out for themselves! I know I am constantly coming up with new ideas for my own style and garments by seeing other creations out there. We all inspire and enable each other.
Has your style changed with time? Have your sewing abilities changed with time?
When I look back at what I made when I first started sewing I always have a little exasperated chuckle. My original garments showed me gradually discovering what shapes and what styles looked good on me, and I didn’t always get it right. A lot of my fabric choices earlier on are no longer to my taste, but at the time I was just so excited to be buying colourful fabric! Sewing with vintage garments you are constantly learning new skills that help add that touch of couture to a garment. Skills such as adding boning to a bodice, or making bound button holes instead of machine button holes. I think there is a deep satisfaction looking back at where I started and seeing my style and skills evolve. I know SO much more now than I did back then, and it’s exciting to know that I still have so much more to learn.
What about in the beginning: Did you learn to sew so that you could have a certain style?
Originally I learnt to sew because I thought it would be a good creative outlet, and it would enable me to make clothes that actually fit my shape. Being an hourglass with a short torso and quite bottom heavy, it seemed that everything I bought from the stores were slightly off in the fit. I really thought that I’d just be making a few basic tops and skirts. I had no idea that I would fall head over heals in love with sewing and end up dominating my whole closet with self-made clothes.
Does your style require that you are able to sew?
It certainly does now! My clothes are not something that you would easily find in a store, and sewing means I can have the exact fit for my body shape.
Anything else you would like to say about sewing and style?
One of the things I have learnt from sewing is that understanding your body type and getting the fit perfect is what helps you understand exactly what looks good on you, and hence what your style is. Sewing has been a totally empowering experience for me and completely responsible for helping me discover my own style.