@_donnyq | Sewing Influencer
Donny, a graduate student in microbiology and an avid sewist, cultivates a distinctive style. His personal fashion features natural-fiber garments with insouciant ease; a judicious use of print, color, and texture; and spectacular outerwear. Find out about his take on our favorite preoccupation, sewing, and follow him on Instagram, @_donnyq.
This Q and A is the start of the Threads “Sewing Influencers” collection. We’re excited to introduce some of Instagram’s most followed and admired sewers through this series. At Threads, we believe sewing is for everyone—no matter what size, shape, age, gender, or race. The influencers in the collection represent what we love most about our collective passion. They display creativity, skill, a love of learning, personal style, and the generosity of spirit that leads them to share their work for fellow sewists to enjoy.
Who taught you to sew, @_donnyq?
The internet. I learned to sew clothes by watching YouTube videos, reading blog posts, and browsing forums. There is so much information about sewing out there, and many passionate people who love to teach it. I most often referenced Professor Pincushion on YouTube, she seems to have a video for every sewing technique I could ever need.
What is your favorite sewing term?
“Gather.” I love voluminous clothing, and the idea of pulling fabric together to create billowing silhouettes feels fun to me. I haven’t had to gather fabric often for my projects, but I love to do it when I can.
What’s your favorite fabric to sew?
I enjoy just about any fabric that can take a good press and steam, but I think wool is my favorite. It is so malleable. I love to press, steam, and manipulate it much more than other materials. A close second would be a crisp cotton twill.
What are you currently sewing?
I am working on another oversized and floral printed shirt for the warm weather. Drop shoulder, boxy torso, and wide arms. It’s a standard silhouette that I gravitate toward for summer shirts. I may have too many at this point, but I can’t help it—I have a type!
What do you love most about sewing?
The endless opportunity for creative expression with clothing. From the initial design to the construction and finally the styling, there are so many places to inject personality.
All photos, courtesy of Donny.
For more of Instagram’s most followed and admired sewers, check out the Threads “Sewing Influencers” collection.
Love love love your personal style. Do you dry-clean your woolens? Hand-wash? Or pre-shrink to felt? In 55 years of sewing, I've been reluctant to use wool because I won't dry-clean.
Donny probably won't answer here as he isn't the author of this post, but you can see more of his work on Instagram, @_donnyq.
For woolens, you don't have to dry-clean. You can hand-wash in gentle shampoo, or as you suggest, you can machine-wash and get a felted result. Test some swatches to see what you like best. For unstructured garments, you can often hand-wash and press at home. If you make a fully-tailored jacket or coat, however, with all the layers of interfacing, etc., you're better off dry-cleaning or spot-cleaning.
If you like a "tailored" look but don't want all the structure, there are unlined jacket and coat patterns that are great with boiled wool. They have the silhouette of a tailored garment but are as soft as a sweater.
Carol Fresia, Threads Senior Technical Editor