Hi, my name is Emily and I thought I would use this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself and about why I decided to start See it, Design it, Make it.

The first thing to know about me is that I am a self-taught sewer, I have no fashion design degree and everything I have learnt has been picked up through books, magazines and the internet. In fact my training is in the completely unrelated of chemistry where I work for a medical research company.

My interest in sewing started just over three years ago when my mother-in-law gifted me her old sewing machine which dated back to the 1970’s and was given to her on her 18th birthday. Needless to say it was a very large and heavy machine which could just about manage a straight or a zig zag stitch, more decorative options were available but you had to change a cog to be able to do so. When I first received it I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, the original idea was that it would be useful to fix hems or make repairs, making clothes seemed like a ridiculous idea as I assumed it would be really complex. However, I have always been a creative so once the idea of dress making had been planted I thought I would do a bit of research. Fortunately, I came across the book Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes which is a beginner’s guide to sewing and dress making, it has loads of pictures and lots of guidance and made the whole process seem less daunting. This lead to me making my first creations:

As you can see they were far from perfect, the checks in the skirt didn’t match up and the sleeves in the dress were wonky. But for first attempts I was quite proud of myself and it sparked a new passion. After a year of the second hand machine, which was full of frustration as a result of constant breakdowns, I finally decided upgrade to a new machine the Brother JK2500NT. I definitely noticed the difference, it was smoother, quicker and had far more functions. It also meant that I could finally look at completing more challenging projects and using a larger variety of fabrics, such as knits which I was not brave enough to do before.

Whenever I start a new project I always like to make sure that I will be developing a new skill, be it pattern matching, adding an invisible zip or learning to sew with new fabrics. Here are a selection of my favourite makes:

As you can see I am quite girly in the way I dress, I love skirts and dresses and rarely wear trousers (except my favourite pair of jeans). I like colours and patterns, and I particularly favour blue as it suits my pale skin tone.

The aim of this blog is to share my sewing journey with you all. I plan to show you my current makes as well as sharing any tips or techniques that I think you may find useful. Everything I learn involves research and pulling information together from different sources so I hope to combine this in an easy place for you all to access. Also, feel free to add any comments or advice that you may have.

The name of this blog See it, Design it, Make it comes from the process I am going to take with my future projects.

See it: I am going to take my inspiration from designer garments that I find either in designer stores such as Selfridges, from the catwalks of fashion week, or from the pages of Vogue.

Design it: I am going to sketch and design my own version of these looks and convert a high end look to a more practical look that anybody could wear.

Make it: I am going to make my version of the designer look I have chosen but for a significantly smaller price tag.