Hi, guys! I’m Sonja, and I blog about sewing, knitting, and, well, making things, over at Ginger Makes. I live in NYC with my husband and two pugs, and I work in the film/TV industry. When I’m not sewing or blogging, you can usually find me wandering around the city or snacking (both on a good day!).
I like to describe my style as “tomboy chic”, and that’s only half tongue in cheek! I spend most of my time in skinny trousers, raglan tees, and slouchy sweaters, but I love having a chance to dress up every now and then and show people that I’m actually a girl! Because of that, my sewing is split between everyday, tomboy clothes and tailored, girly clothes. I love to make and sew both kinds of garments, even though I wear everyday clothes, well, every day!
My biggest style influences come from the world of music rather than fashion. I’m a huge fan of early- to mid-1960’s fashion, and my favorite fashion icon is Mick Jagger. I LOVE his style– he puts his own spin on classic menswear and always looks sharply tailored, youthful, and cheeky! My love of slim trousers, immaculately-fitted jackets, and skinny buttondowns can probably all be traced back to my decades-long Jagger obsession (holy crow, can that man wear a jacket!). I’ve also always loved Francoise Hardy. She’s tough and has a bit of an edge, but at the same time she looks chic and put together at all times. I love that she always looked equally confident in a biker jacket or in a minidress. That’s something I aspire to! I just generally love all the Brit Invasion style– peacoats, fur-collared trenches, minis with knee-high boots… But in my fantasy life, I’m a backup singer (c’mon, I don’t have to be the star!) in a girl group like The Supremes and I get to wear flashy, tailored sheath dresses all the time… yum!
That said, one of my favorite things about sewing is that I don’t have to commit to one specific style. I love that I can experiment and explore different versions of myself just by spending a few (OK, sometimes a few dozen) hours at the sewing machine. Clothes don’t make the gal, but sometimes they can help her tell a story about herself or present herself in a new and different way. You can get this effect by shopping, of course, but I feel like I can more authentically tell a story about myself with clothing that I’ve made myself.
I didn’t actually learn how to sew because I wanted to dress uniquely, although I’ve always loved to dress a little bit differently. I sort of fell into it accidentally– my friend convinced me to go to a sewing class with her, and I fell in love with the tactile nature of sewing. But my first few sewing projects, the things that I made in my first year or so of sewing, were less about exercising my style than about just figuring out how to put a garment together. Now I finally have a level of confidence at the sewing machine that allows me to think of something I want to wear, figure out how to make it, and then sit down and sew the garment that was in my head! As a result of this, I feel like all of a sudden I’m dressing in a way that really expresses who I am (instead of the years in high school and college when I wore whatever I could afford that sort of fit me, regardless of whether or not I even liked it).