The Seamstress Tag

Hi there! How’s your week going? Mine’s been a bit of a funny one; after almost 11 years within the same team, I’ve accepted a new role, so I’m kind of in that funny transition period.  But it’s past time for a change: my only regret at this point is that it won’t get rid of my commute as it’s in the same building!

I’m also slightly between makes: I’ve finished my first Grainline Studios Moss skirt, which is in need of photos, and I’m tracing out the pattern for my next make.  I’ve also been rather busy on the Sew Up North front (largely in getting excited about it!)

So I thought I’d join in with The Seamstress Tag, something originated by http://holliesews.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/the-seamstress-tag.html in the interest of getting to know sewing vloggers.  Now, I appreciate I’m not a vlogger (you don’t want to see me on film, believe me!) but I thought I’d follow the example of several others who don’t vlog and join in anyway.

So, here are the questions and my answers.  If you get to the bottom of the post, consider yourself tagged!

1. Who are you?

Always a good question! Hi, I’m Becca. I’m a Yorkshire girl, living in Leeds with my husband, our 2 daughters and our cat.  I work in banking, using my geeky maths skills for far too many working hours a week!  And most of my (rather limited) free time is spent in front of a sewing machine.

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2. When and why did you start sewing?

I guess sewing’s always been there; my mum is extremely talented, as was her mum.  Although I helped with various projects growing up, I didn’t get the bug until I was on maternity leave with my eldest when I went on a BYOB (bring your own baby!) course with a friend.  Incredibly, both our infants sat beautifully in high chairs at the end of very long tables for 2 hours a week, happily entertained whilst we worked out how sewing machines worked!

I wasn’t properly obsessed, though, until I watched the second series of the Great British Sewing Bee and decided that I could definitely do that, too. Well, at least on week 1, anyway!

3. What is your favourite or proudest make?

So many choices here!  Quite often, whatever I’ve just finished springs to mind!  But I think oddly the make I was proudest of was the dress I made for my office Christmas do 2 years ago.  It was a Tilly & The Buttons Megan dress and it was the first time I’d even contemplated wearing something me-made for such a public event and I felt great! (Also, it made it through the evening intact, which helped!)

Megan number 1 from Love At First Stitch – love a bit of sparkle! @tillybuttons

A post shared by Rebecca (@redwsews) on

4. What is your most disastrous make?

Hmm, well there’s my recent crop of wadders for my holidays!  But possibly another Tilly pattern, this time a blouse from Love at First Stitch, which I made up in a beautiful cotton voile which I adored, right up until I put it on and realised that, on me, it wasn’t stylish with a slight vintage nod, it was merely frumpy :-/  It went to the charity shop!

5. What is your favourite place to go fabric shopping?

Anywhere! I think it depends what you’re after: I’ve never seen anything quite like Birmingham’s Rag Market last month, but I love the local market shops, in particular B&M Fabrics which seems to have an ever expanding range of dressmaking fabrics. And then there’s Fabworks in Dewsbury, an Aladdin’s cave if ever there were one…. Really, anywhere with lots of fabric which isn’t too naff quality and I’m happy.

6. What is your most used pattern?

I’ve a few that have been more than worth the money.  I’ve made several By Hand London Anna dresses; New Look 6217 and 6808 have both served me well; and I finished Tilly and the Buttons’ Agnes number 6 last week!

7. Your most dreaded sewing task

Getting the pattern ready. Pdf sticking, paper tracing, glueing, attempting to make adjustments…. really I just want to get to the fabric, dammit!

8. And your favourite sewing task?

As of yesterday and the arrival of my new overlocker, it may well be seam finishing!  I do enjoy hand stitching a hem (perfect excuse for a little TV time) and I love getting to a bit on the machine where I can sew at speed! (this explains many of my errors)

9. What is your favourite sewing entertainment?

It depends really.  A lot of the time I sew in silence; sewing is largely a stress relief tool for me and after a hectic day at work, followed by getting two small girls into bed (often with much yelling),  I really value peace.  If I have the TV on, it’s got to be something relatively light on plot, so I can ignore it for a while; I sometimes listen to podcasts but quite often it’s Radio X.

10. Printed or PDF?

I like and loathe both in equal measure! I almost always trace paper patterns, which can be a pain (and yes, I know that some people enjoy this, bizarre!) and always takes longer than I think it will. But then there’s the sticking together element of pdf’s….meh. I do like a bit of classy packaging (I’ve an almost full set of By Hand London paper patterns, they are beautiful) but I also like a bit of instant pdf gratification; there’s a place for both.

11. What sewing machine do you use?

I have the Janome DKS30 and I absolutely love it!

Not sure if this is wise? But it's been a very long day!

A post shared by Rebecca (@redwsews) on

My Janome family grew yesterday with the arrival of the 9300DX (such a treat! a trade in after I won a sewing machine from Love Sewing magazine) so I’m all Janome’d up and I’m very happy!

12. Do you have any other hobbies?

Not so much these days; growing up I played in brass bands which I loved but which doesn’t fit too well into my working life. Music’s always been part of my life and I will take any excuse to go see live music, particularly some decent rock (life long Queen fan; the highlight of my Christmas is likely to be the tickets I have to see Brian May in Leeds); this happens rather less often post kids, as does the travel which I’ve always loved.  Having said that, we did take our eldest to Australia at 13 months so let’s not say I don’t get to travel anymore!

So, there you have it; a little more about me.

How about you?

Becca x

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18 thoughts on “The Seamstress Tag

  1. Hi Becca, thanks for posting – I love to get to know a bit more about fellow seamstresses. I think you’ve picked up the talented sewing gene! Congrats on your new post, how exciting! I’ve recently gotten into sewing podcasts since I began walking to work, I really enjoy them. I dont tend to have any entertainment when I sew per sae maybe a vlog sometimes but its hard to concentrate. I took my son to Australia when he was 4 – kids shouldnt be a reason not to travel!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha yes! He was very good tbh. When we got on the plane here some woman created a fuss because she had to sit next to a child all of the way but at the end of the flight she complimented him on how well behaved he was. I can appreciate not all kids would be so easy though!!

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  2. Lovely to get to know you Becca. Echoing Claire above – all seven of us in April long haul flights ,with a stopover in Dubai ,to Zimbabwe and back😄. Emirates is really great for kids travel. X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Becca – I didn’t know you were a mathematician! (I used to be one too.) Great to get the lowdown on fabric shopping in Leeds – I grew up there and my Mum and I are always on the lookout for new places to try when I go to visit. Enjoy your new overlocker…

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    1. Hi Janet: yep, full on geek 🤓 I did maths and stats at uni, trained as an ACA then moved into banking and some years later am probably doing the job I should have taken out of uni! Funny how life turns you around sometimes x

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      1. Isn’t it? Sounds like you’ve found your niche now though. I’m always surprised by the number of scientists who sew (and play music), but maybe I shouldn’t be. There’s a logic and order to it, and (for me at least) it’s creative, but with enough boundaries to keep me on track.

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      2. That sounds very familiar to me. I hate how little music I see in schools these days; to me there was always a huge link between the discipline and logic of my music and my maths. Let’s hope parental influence will help there!

        Liked by 1 person

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