Meet a maker - Caron (Barnes) Wuotila
Hi Caron, tell us, where do you live?
Helsinki, Finland for the last 39 years. Originally from Bolton, close to Manchester
How did you first get into sewing?
When I was about 6-7 years old my mother used to do sewing from home. She had an industrial sewing machine at home and bundles of sewing work were delivered to our home. I loved to help her out sometimes.
Which is your favourite TAL pattern and why?
This is a difficult one to answer. I have only 8 patterns so far and they are ALL great! The V-neck Jumpsuit is one that I love for its versatility. I’ve used it a lot. Dressed up or down, it´s so very comfortable. The hot second has to be your Tulip Dress.
How would you describe your personal style?
I have always been a "Plain-Jane" i.e. I like solid colour rather than pattern but lately, I have been adding some pattern to my wardrobe.
Which is your favourite sewing tool and why?
My sewing machine is my baby! I love her! BROTHER sewing machines have been my go-to brand since doing a promo for them in Finland some 30 years ago. The one I have now is lightweight and tackles everything I throw at it with ease. My BROTHER brings together all the prep into what is usually a great garment.
What are your best sewing tips/tricks?
Be aware of the grain of your fabric when cutting out. If the pattern is not placed with the grain as directed then you could (with most fabrics) end up with a garment that looks like a patchwork.
What are the best and worst bits of sewing?
Buying the fabric for me is one of the best bits. My head is full of ideas and we now have the internet in our handbags so that we can check just how much fabric is needed for a garment. Also, the fact that depending on how easy/difficult the pattern is, you get results quite quickly.
I just HATE unpicking a seam and I have unfortunately unpicked a lot of them. At this point I usually have to take a deep breath, even leave the garment for a while as being annoyed is not a good mood to sew anything.
What’s your most memorable sewing mistake?
Some years ago, I had made a wrap dress and it turned out perfectly. I wanted a second one. I grabbed some fabric (not checking how much the fabric stretched) and proceeded to make up the dress. To my horror, I couldn't even pull the sleeve over my arm!
I can laugh about it now (and found a good home for the dress with a friend who was 3 sizes smaller than me) but I was sooo annoyed with myself...
What’s your proudest sewing moment?
Got to say that I still remember sewing my own skirt for my school uniform (as my mum just couldn't afford to buy it). I was very proud of that skirt.
Do you have a favourite fabric you often choose?
I very much shop the ’bins’ in the fabric store I frequent. Often finding fabulous fabrics for much less!
Which fabric shop/s do you usually buy from, online and/or Brick & Mortar?
What do you like to listen to while sewing?
What would you want to say to someone who’s trying to get started in sewing?Go for it! Start with something simple. There’s nothing better than the feeling of completing something that you can actually wear.
Take your time.
Read through the instructions from start to finish.
Get all your bits and bobs together before you start.
What’s your next project?
What do you do when you’re not sewing?
Due to the COVID, I have a LOT of time on my hands and whilst I am doing a lot of sewing, I also find time to walk.