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Inspiration

@marie_stitchedup | Sewing Influencer

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Marie Lawlor describes herself as “a tea-drinking, cake-loving, disabled stay-at-home mum based in Bedfordshire (United Kingdom).” This upbeat and creative maker began her sewing journey in 2016, to keep busy mentally and physically once her children were in school full-time. In the process, she found a large and supportive community of sewing enthusiasts on social media, who keep her feeling connected. Find out more about sewing with a disability on her blog, marie-stitchedup.com. Many of her tips for managing her own challenges are useful for anyone who struggles with chronic pain, limited mobility, or any sort of time constraints. Visit her online or on Instagram @marie_stitchedup for helpful sewing information, plus a dose of fashion inspiration.

Who taught you to sew?

I am completely self-taught through using books, blogs, and YouTube. There is a wealth of resources available pitched from the beginner to the couture maker, which is great for someone who finds attending classes difficult. I have attended a class on fitting with Elisalex (of ByHandLondon.com). I found that fitting was one aspect of sewing where I needed some hands-on help and an objective eye.

Marie Lawlor is a self-taught sewer

What is your favorite sewing term?

Understitch! So often underestimated and forgotten, a seemingly innocuous straight stitch inside the garment, never to be seen. I find it amazing every time to see what a difference this makes in achieving a crisp finish that prevents linings and facings popping out.

Woman relaxing on a bed in loungewear pajamas

What is your favorite fabric to sew:

I love working with linen. It is easy to cut, holds a press and works for so many garments. I have particularly enjoyed working with blends such as cotton- and viscose-linens. They increase the drape and reduce linen’s propensity to crease when worn. I have however recently worked with softened linen, which is the best. I always lean toward natural fibers for breathability, especially as I can be seated for long periods.

What are you currently sewing?

I just finished a simple shift dress. It is made from a tartan linen, therefore I chose a simple pattern so I didn’t interrupt the lines with too many seams and design features. I am now waiting for the British summer to make an appearance so I can increase my collection of floaty dresses.

Marie Lawlor, in a wheelchair, wearing a floaty summer dress

What do you love most about sewing?

Sewing has undoubtedly changed my style and made me much more confident in what I choose to wear. Finding a pattern or an image of a garment that I love, and being able to change it for my needs and body shape, have been revolutionary.

The act of sewing itself allows me to escape and fully focus my mind. I find the process incredibly meditative. I don’t watch TV or even listen to music while I sew, as I like to fully immerse myself and be present with my craft.


Photos: courtesy of Marie Lawlor.

 

 

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