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From Where I Sew: How To Do Fashion


We've had a brief hiatus with our 'From Where I Sew' feature.  Things got busy about this time last year with our shop expansion and it feels we are only just getting back to normal service!!  I love this feature, so I am so pleased to have it back and who better to talk to than Nanna from How To Do Fashion, a new label with us at Backstitch and one that we are so pleased to have on board.





I have always sewn. My grandparents raised me and my grandmother has always sewn. I remember when I was around five my aunt gave me a suitcase of small fabric pieces and I started creating some clothes for my bears.  I mostly looked on her when she sewed. However, I learned a lot and it fascinated me.

On my twelfth birthday my grandparents gave me my first sewing machine, and I was hooked. Actually, it was a very good sewing machine and I worked on it until 4 years ago when It crashed.  When I finished school there was no doubt of what I should do. I became a tailor’s apprentice and after 4 years I could call myself a tailor.

My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby.  I have my workspace at home, and that means that the edge between working mode and home mode is very thin. When sewing for myself I always try to make something that I can write a blogpost about, or I make something that really challenges me so I will learn something new.

There is something I do just for myself, with no deadline and no limit: I like to embroider on some of the clothes I make for myself. Right now, I am working on a quilted jacket with sashiko embroidery patches on.

I sew from where I live – in an old house from 1917 in Copenhagen and I love to work from home.  My own room is a bit too small now, however I make it work. I am constantly improving and adding more. It is very important that my workspace is practical and easy to work from. But for me the atmosphere is just as important.

I am not the ‘less is more’ kind of type, more the ‘more is more’. So I have things all over. Boxes with buttons, belt buckles, zippers. Laces on display, green plants, art, old dresses, old manikins and my precious old sewing machine. I love old things. I have chosen to sew on a sewing machine from the 60s because it makes pretty stitches and is pretty to look at.

When I sew, I can see out the window on a church tower and see what time it is. I really like that, especially because it is the church where I was married and where my daughter was baptized

In the start phase of making a new pattern, I sew a lot. Almost every day. But when I am done with development the work moves to the computer. I try to sew for a couple of hours every Friday. However, I never sew between 2 and 5 pm in the summertime because then the sun is straight on my windows and it is simply too hot. If I have time in the evening I like to spent it by the sewing machine and listening to old jazz

I drink a LOT of coffee when sewing, or I make a lot of coffee and drink many half cups. If I have a whole day of sewing ahead of me I always listen to audio books. However, on an average day I listen to my work playlist. On that, you find Ella, Frank, Billy and Loui to mention some. Maybe you can figure out what kind of music it is :)

I try to get my sewing projects done in one week, otherwise I lose the overview. I have a list system to keep myself on track. When you are your own boss, and doing almost everything yourself from cleaning to developing, sales, PR and designing you have to be organized. That is not one of my natural talents so I have to have a system.

The next project is the pattern I am releasing in September; it is going to be a gorgeous suit. Beside that I have plenty of goals. I would like to have higher frequency on pattern releases, again I need more time. I would like to inspire a lot of woman to make their own wardrobe or at least some of it… And then I would like to take the world by storm ;)


Thank you so much Nanna for sharing your sewing space with us.  Backstitch stocks the full range of How To Do Fashion patterns, both in our online shop and our Cambridge shop.

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