#SATW Sewing Around The World – Tea / Belgrad

Not quite April, but quite changeable out there! We are very pleased to present our new Sewing Around The World Project, suitable for rain, wind and sunshine. Tea alias teaokereke.blogspot.de wanted to sew a rain coat exactly for this time of the year and chose the Amy Parka pattern. As far as fabric is concerned, she finally found some great stuff at Lillestoff. The colorful and water-repellent “Dancing In The Rain” fabric fits the pattern and rain no matters anymore…


Tea used a white quilting fabric as lining and – very practical! – Tea has sewn a hanger and a very simple inner bag into the parka. How she made this, about her preparations and about sewing something like raincoatfabric, Tea reports extensively on her blog.

Teas blog is something special anyway, because next to sewing she loves music. So the name of her blog is composed of her first name and the surname of the singer of her favorite band Bloc Party. And the titles of her contributions are always song titles. A wonderful idea, because what is more beautiful than listening to favorite music while sewing?

Thank you, dear Tea, for the great, inspiring contribution and Lillestoff for the generous support! If you would like to sew the Amy Parka, but do not feel like sticking the pattern together: we are giving away 1x a printed pattern. Just post a comment until tomorrow evening (28.3.17) 20 clock. Good luck!

And, of course, we also asked Tea a few questions about her person and her favorite “job” and she gave us a nice insight into her sewing day!

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Present yourself a little bit (name, age, children, name of the blog, age, city where you live, what you are doing when you are not sewing, …)

Hi my name is Tea, I’m from Belgrade, Serbia, where I live with my boyfriend Matija, deaf fluffy albino cat Malibu and grumpy African pigmy hedgehog Momčilo.. I blog about sewing at Tea Okereke, but nowadays you can see more of my makes at my ig account @lejditea.. Reason for this shift is lack of time to make garments for myself that are worth of a full blog post.. Sewing is now main occupation in my life.. After finishing studies of archaeology, and spending more than a decade in that world, I was jobless.. Two years ago I started reorganizing my life completely.. The most reasonable solution was to make my main hobby – sewing, the source of income.. I have to admit I was very afraid of that step and it took me some time to get the courage to do it.. Somehow it all fell into place, and now I don’t regret making this transformation.. I’m kinda living my dream life, when it’s all about sewing and making pretty clothes..

When did you start to sew and why? How did you learn to sew?

While I was growing up I watched my mom sew for us girls.. From her I picked up all the basics about tracing patterns from Burda magazines.. When I showed my interest in sewing she just told me a few stuff on how to use a sewing machine and left me to figure out everything else on my own (she loved to do that).. I made my first project during my high school years.. Back then I was in a hippie phase.. Of course I needed bellbottoms which I couldn’t find anywhere in Belgrade, so I decided to sew a pair by myself.. At that point, even in Burda magazines that we had at home I couldn’t find the pattern for what I had on my mind.. Next logical step was to adapt the simple pants pattern to bellbottoms.. Basically, my first sewing project was a pattern hack! After my first success, I made a couple of more pants, skirts and dresses, with my prom dress being the last project in my high school phase of sewing.. Many years have passed with only a sporadic project, until I discovered online sewing community.. That was a turning point in my life.. Being a self-thought sewist I’ve learned a lot from experiences of other sewists and tutorials.. It took me a couple years of practice to gain confidence and actively join the community.. The rest is history..

What is the sewing project you like the most?

As all other sewists, I can’t pick one.. That always changes depending of season, my mood, or whatever’s happening in my life.. Usually, my newest projects are on top of my list.. Right now, this raincoat is my fave! I’m probably the only person around here hoping for a rainy day..

Do you only sew for you or also for other people (husband, children, …)?

At the beginning I was a very selfish at sewing.. I would make clothes only for myself, and sometimes for my sister.. Situations in my life slowly changed my way of thinking.. I was without a job, spending only a few months a year working at archaeological fieldwork.. I realised that I had to make a major change.. Making pretty dresses, skirts and tops become my main source of income.. I still enjoy sewing and creating every new garment.. It’s an overwhelming feeling when you see a happy costumer.. On the other side, you can only imagine how big is my me-made-wardrobe.. I don’t have time and opportunity to wear all I’ve made in last seven years.. I love this kind of a compromise I made.. I can still sew whatever I like without feeling guilty..

From where do you get your ideas? Do you buy patterns or do you invent your own ones?

When I started sewing I used only patterns from Burda magazines.. As the time passed by, I slowly started drafting my own skirts, frankenpatterning, pattern-hacking, and in the end drafting my own patterns with or without basic pattern slopers.. Also, I love details like pintucks, scallops and lace insertion.. They give a unique touch to simple garments.. I still love sewing for myself with Burda magazine patterns.. From indie sewing patterns I tried only a couple of freebies.. Being from Serbia, our budget is the main reason why we stick mostly to Burda patterns.

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