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Interview with Victoria from Eliana and Thea

I “discovered” Victoria from Eliana and Thea when she entered our Fat Quarter Competition late last year.  I thought her little skirt was adorable and was over the moon when she agreed to contribute it to Issue 6 of One Thimble!


Victoria’s love of sewing was reignited while making baby essentials and lots of modern cloth nappies for her daughter. This inspired her to start her business Eliana & Thea as a welcome creative outlet after years of study and work in science and engineering.

How did you get into sewing and pattern designing?
I started sewing again seriously about 7 years ago. I had forgotten a lot of what I had learned from my mum and at school. So I bought myself a cheap little Brother machine, a few commercial patterns and a step-by-step sewing techniques book for Christmas.  In my spare time I started re-learning by slowly sewing up the patterns. I chose styles I would wear so they were not at all beginner level but I learnt so much and loved every second.

Pattern designing felt like a natural progression, I found there were a lot of things I wanted to change about the fit of the MCN I made for my daughter. I was also disappointed in the quality, options and sizing of store bought children’s wear. So I took a pattern making course and learnt the basics of manual pattern drafting.

What is your best sewing tip/product you couldn’t live without?
For a long time I persisted with very pretty but not at all practical fabric scissors. I would get a bruised thumb with a blister on top after cutting out all my pattern pieces. I began to put-off sewing because of it. So I relented and purchased some old school boring looking scissors which cost far too much but snipped like a dream.

How well fabric is cut out will determine how the garment sews up. So sharp scissors are a must.  My best piece of advice is to designate your scissors a particular job. Then label them! Just like we wouldn’t use our precious fabric scissors for paper, I only use my best scissors for thin cotton type fabrics. I have another pair only for cutting heavy bamboo type fibres. A huge long pair for cutting wading. And also my pinking shears, rotary cutters and craft knife.  Now I have so many scissors that when people see my scissor bucket (yup I have a cute little easy access bucket) they ask, why so many?!?

What is something people may not know about you?
On my 30th birthday, with a 5 month old very fussy baby, and nothing better to do I taught myself to crochet. I watched YouTube videos while Eliana slept and started making little flowers. I think I made about 50! Now I am hooked!

What has been your biggest challenge and do you have any tips for others facing the same thing?
Time! I need more! Before becoming a mum I was a sit down and spend hours sewing kind of person. I like to get things finished and move onto the next project. With a baby who doesn’t enjoy sleeping this is not remotely possible.

I have had to adjust (and still am) to only being able to draft/sew for maybe an hour at a time. And mostly late at night. If I am lucky. To help with this change I use a dedicated pattern making notebook to keep track of where I am in a project. This is a habit I picked up from my engineering degree – keeping track of everything so that if you can’t get back to it for hours or days you can pick up right where you left off. And you also have a record of all the changes and adaptations so if something turns out a bit bizarre you can figure out what you did. Oh and SAVE your work on the computer! Even if you only get up for a second. You never know when a furry friend will try to ‘help’.

Picture You can purchase Victoria’s pattern for the Blossom Skirt as a single pattern HERE 
or visit Victoria’s facebook page to keep track of what she’s up to HERE
or Purchase Issue 6 which contains this pattern HERE
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