Does pattern designer Megan Nielsen need any introduction? No, thought not! Right when we launched our #makeyourstash challenge, Megan announced that she was beginning a series on sustainable sewing on her blog. Of course that we are thrilled that she is sponsoring #makeyourstash. Even more so that she encourages shopping from your stash and reading everything to keep on top of what’s going on in the world of sustainability. Read on for the 60 second lowdown…
What’s your name and where do live?
Megan Nielsen and I live in sunny Perth, Western Australia.
What’s on your sewing table right now?
Samples for our upcoming pattern release.
What did you do before you became a pattern designer?
I was an Actuarial Analyst – which is a person that calculates and manages future financial risks. So basically I’m a maths nerd ☺
What triggered your interest in sustainable sewing?
My eyes were opened to how much waste my family creates about 8 years ago as I filled our rubbish bin with mounds of disposable diapers. I felt sickened by it, and since then I’ve been trying to reduce my own impact on the planet in every area of my life including sewing.
What’s your favourite thing about it?
I like the challenge of finding thoughtful ways to sew.
What’s the biggest challenge you face when trying to keep your sewing sustainable?
As a pattern designer I make a huge number of samples, and the amount of scrap fabric I generate is quite large. Finding a thoughtful way to reuse this fabric waste is always my greatest challenge.
Do you have any tips to keep your sewing mindful and relevant?
Read everything! I think staying abreast of what is going on in society and fashion is a great way to continually make sure your sewing is mindful and relevant.
Do you usually shop your stash?
I do. I prefer to purchase good quality long lasting natural fabrics when I can, so I tend to stash them, and then shop my own stash when I sew.
If you had to recommend a book, it would be…
Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson is fantastic!
What are you looking forward to?
Clearing out my scrap basket!
Thank you Megan for your time and supporting our initiative!
I love Megan, who is so dedicated to her art, and family-oriented. I read on Megan’s blog a while ago how she turned down a book deal (authoring is definitely many people’s dream!) to focus on her growing family. Actuarial analysts are incredibly smart too – She’s just a wholesome all-rounded person! Enough with the gushing – love her patterns ????????. Also, if we have to build a stash (we can’t always find the exact fabric we want in the shops all the time, or have time to go there for every project), then I agree her way is the next best strategy – stash with long lasting, quality fabrics. Tho I think the regular sewist probably can destash for a long time before stashing!
I didn’t know that about the book deal, but it is great to be able to stick with your guns and know how to prioritise. For some reason I don’t have any of her patterns in my collection although I have been eyeing off the Darling Ranges dress for a long time. Which one have you made? As for stash shopping, I think I am spoilt to death with the availability of online shopping here so there is no stash building required. It is so easy just to make a few clicks on the computer and then in a few days my stuff will arrive. As opposed for Meghan (Half Moon Atelier) for example who is on a small island then it makes sense to go shopping when she goes somewhere with lots of nice things.
I don’t have any MN patterns either (result of lots of self discipline) even though I like a lot of her designs which encapsulate an Aussie aesthetic (laid back chic). Ya me too, no stash building required. Luckily I have never bought fabric online and therefore not feel the temptation!