10 Minutes With The Maker: Bee Jackson
Introducing a brand new feature: '10 Minutes With The Maker'.
An insight into the world of Bee Jackson, a relatively new and admittedly 'novice' seamstress who has recently wowed Fabworks' social media followers with a range of superb home sews using fabrics from Fabworks' range of wools!
Tell us about you; who you are, what do you do, a brief history of your sewing life, including what you make & why?
Hello, my name is Bee! I have been a “maker” for many years, indulging in silversmithing, crochet, painting, embroidery among many others. I didn’t start sewing until the beginning of this year when I ﬁnally got my hands on a good quality sewing machine, which opened the door to so many possibilities. I started with making bags and then moved on to clothing once my conﬁdence grew. I never buy clothes for me or my husband any more because I much prefer the process of designing and making my own. I really don’t like the high street clothing industry (fast fashion) in general for ethical and environmental reasons. Making my own clothes allows me to be much more aware of what goes into the things people buy.
What have you made here & why did you select this particular garment? What was your inspiration?
I made my ﬁrst Jasika blazer in the dark blue/grey Slate Cascade Donegal Tweed as a way of using tweed for something more interesting and challenging than handbags. I really love working with proper wool because of its traditional construction, beautiful colours and the fact that it is also hard-wearing. When I had ﬁnished the jacket I knew it wouldn’t be long before I had to make another, and so I went on the hunt for another tweed that would inspire me.
Which Fabworks fabric did you use and what made you want to use that speciﬁc one? What attracted you to the fabric in the ﬁrst place?
I found the Alpine Rockery Yorkshire Tweed Herringbone and had to have it for another Jasika Blazer. I couldn’t resist all the speckles of different colours. I always like to add a little bit of whimsy into my makes, by adding details of colour, stars, rockets, rainbows etc. The Alpine Rockery seemed to have the charm and whimsy built in. I also added the blue Celestial embroidered cotton as a lining which I thought added a really nice finishing touch.
Why did you make this garment and choose not to buy something similar off the peg?
Because there’s no fun in buying off the peg! I don’t care much for shopping and I very much ﬁnd that there is nothing on the high street that interests me at all. Why would I buy something from a shop that thousands of other people also have, as well as the fact that it was most likely made by someone who was not very well paid for their work. Making clothes, tailored ones especially really teach you the skills needed!
Did the garment turn out as you expected it to and are you pleased with your ﬁnished piece?
It turned out much better than expected! Having only been sewing for less than a year, I wasn’t expecting something so complex to go so well and I am exceptionally pleased with it.
What did you learn from sewing this garment and what difﬁculties did you encounter?
I learnt that it makes sense to label your pieces (I am so glad that I did) and I also learned that making a toile is well worth the time since it allowed me to make it ﬁt perfectly. I didn’t really encounter many difﬁculties with the make itself. The hardest part was ﬁnding all the different types of interfacing needed (None of my local shops in Plymouth stocked horsehair canvas interlining) but we eventually found a place in Totnes by chance that did have it!)
What advice would you give to others who would like to use this fabric?
Take your time with it. While mistakes can be unpicked, tweed frays at the edges a lot, so if you mess around with it too much, you will lose your seam allowances. I would also suggest using a wooden tailors clapper because it makes the seams beautifully crisp and neat.
Will you be making a similar style again & would you recommend using this fabric to others?
I’m sure I will be making it again because several friends and family members have already asked me to make them one. The fabric was deﬁnitely lovely to work with and I usually send people to the Fabworks website to choose the fabric when they ask me to make things for them.
Rate this fabric’s value out of 10 all things considered
All the fabrics featured in this Q&A with Bee are available to buy at Fabworks Online & Fabworks Mill Shop, although don't wait around as they're all very limited stock!