From the Philipines to the USA – from Diorella in Manila to Charlie in New York. This is like a 19 hours flight time to reach the next stop on our Sewing Around The World Tour. So today we are arriving at New York, better said at Charlie’s home. Charlie is a great seamstress who we already “met” two years ago when she posted her lovely Tanja Dress made with a soft black wool crepe.
Charlie lives with her family in New York, Brooklyn, sews and sews and sews… and shares her cool and lovely creations on her blog Noble & Daughter – A Sewing Notebook. Charlie combines patterns, fabrics and colors in such a great and stylish manner that every single cloth she creates is adorable!
So we are very happy that Charlie accepted to participate in Sewing Around The World and chose our Judith Jumpsuit whose special feature – the overlapping wing sleeves – particularly attracted her. At “Stoff & Stil” she found a dark blue Cupro – a matt shiny fabric with a soft touch similar to viscose – and once again Charlie absolutely proved her sense for fabrics: the jumpsuit is loose and airy without losing shape and the color just fits perfectly.
Four years ago, Charlie and her family moved from England to New York and she has been sewing ever since. Almost her entire wardrobe is self-sewn. In addition to her blog you can admire all her wonderful creations on her Instagram Channel!
We say “Thank you, Charlie” for the great contribution from inspiring Brooklyn and thanks to Stoff & Stil for their generous support!
If you want to know more about Charlie and her passion, we have sent her our “Sewing Around The World Questions” and she has answered them in detail:
Interview mit Charlie
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, …)
I’m Charlie, a Brit living Brooklyn, NY for 4 years now. We moved here for my husband’s job when my kids were 2 and 5 months. They’re now six and four and consider themselves Americans – which makes me feel confused – especially as they both have English accents. I’m an accidental (thanks to our visa situation), but happy about it, stay at home mum/ mom, currently feeling a little bereft now both kids are in school.
When did you start to sew and why? How did you learn to sew?
I learnt to sew when I was 12, when I was the height I am now 6 feet (180cm) tall and couldn’t find any clothes to fit me. My mum trained as a dressmaker and sewed all mine and my siblings clothes when we were kids (mostly to our annoyance – ungrateful things we were) and so it was natural for her to teach me how to sew. I still do tailors tacks and many things the way she taught me. I stopped sewing for a long time but started again when my 4 year old was a baby as a means, recommended by a therapist, to deal with Post Natal Depression. And I haven’t been able to stop sewing since.
What are your favourite clothes? Do you have a fable for something?
I love clothes, all clothes, I always have. I always have too many clothes and have always spent all the money I could possibly justify, and much I couldn’t, on clothing. I don’t do that so much any more but I do find it very frustrating that I don’t have the time to sew every single thing I think of or that catches my eye. I like to follow my own tune when it comes to getting dressed but tend to focus on volume and interesting shapes and silhouette combinations rather than outlandish fabrics. Increasingly I stick to solid fabrics with interesting texture and let the style lines and volume do the talking
What is the sewing project you like the most?
There are some dresses I’ve made that I’m super proud of the techniques and the pattern matching and the end result but I’ve worn rarely as they’re occasion dresses. I get so much more enjoyment out of the things I get to wear regularly and one my favorites remains an oversized pink melton wool coat I made to replicate a Helmut Lang one I saw. I wore it all last winter, get so many comments about it and feel a million bucks in it!
Do you only sew for you or also for other people (husband, children, …)?
Me, me, me! I don’t think it’s selfish to sew just for myself. For me sewing is therapy and being able to visualise and realise exactly what I want provides me with so much satisfaction that I see it as part of my self care. As such and due to the limited time I have to sew, I rarely sew for others. When I do, I feel it shows how much I love that person!
From where do you get your ideas? Do you buy patterns or do you invent your own ones
I usually see something in a store, online, on a person and want to replicate it and then use a pattern and adapt it to what it is I want to make. Sometimes I draft my own, sometimes I like a pattern as is, but mostly I have the vision first and then find the pattern and fabric to fulfill that. The only downside to this is that I have so many ideas and so many things I want to sew, my wardrobe has become very haphazard and there is little cohesion to how it looks. This is something I want to address this winter.