An orange O'Keeffe skirt

As I switched over to my summer wardrobe this year, I noticed an unwanted side effect from all my recent marathon training – way too many of my cute summer clothes were now baggy, droopy, and sad, including my aqua pleated La Mia Boutique skirt. Big sadface! I’d worn it in heavy rotation most summers since I’d made it, but off to the charity shop it went, creating a “bright summer skirt”-shaped hole in my wardrobe since.

Enter the Sinbad & Sailor O’Keefe skirt pattern, which I’d bought right after it came out last year, and never quite got around to making. Pair it with some fabulous bright orange textured fabric I’d been lovingly gifted, and the hole was well and truly filled!

(Remember the lace tee from last summer? Yup, I wear that all the time, too!)

I made size 14, which seems pretty true to RTW sizes (though the first time around I cut out the pattern pieces in size 10, my US size, as it wasn’t clear which sizing the pattern was using – good thing I caught it before I cut out my fabric!). The skirt fits nicely around my waist and hips, but still provides enough ease to sit and walk with my mega-long stride comfortably, and the length is perfect for me, too.

Sewing Indie Month: An interview with Hannah from Sinbad & Sailor

As part of the wonderful Sewing Indie Month celebrations, each of us are collaborating and getting to know each other throughout the month of May. In the planning stages, I’d asked to partner with Sinbad & Sailor for a whole bunch of reasons – I’d been following her on Twitter for ages, I love the timelessness of her designs, and she also lives in London, yet somehow we’ve never managed to meet up!

Of course our first thought was to meet up in a pub somewhere and do the interview in person, but then we realised it’d probably be a lot more coherent if I interviewed her over email and celebrated with a drink later instead! So go grab a drink of your choice and come get to know Hannah!

1. How did you come up with the name Sinbad and Sailor? Do I sense a maritime connection at all?
No maritime connection in the S&S story it’s all land-based I’m afraid… When I was starting out it took me a long time to find the perfect name as I wanted something which reflected East London, where I’m based, living just one road away from where my Granddad grew up and also sewing (of course!). One friend suggested I look at Cockney Rhyming Slang (which is a fairly modern slang where phrases are derived from taking an expression which rhymes with a word and then using that expression instead of the word – ie. apples and pears = stairs) and see if anything had the right ring to it. I discovered that ‘Sinbad and sailor’ is cockney rhyming slang for tailor and I knew straight away that was perfect.

2. What gave you the push to start your own pattern company? Did you train in fashion, or did you segue from another career?
I have been sewing since school and studied fine art sculpture at UAL after which I went back to sewing in earnest. I’m a recipe following kinda gal and was always using patterns but found that the offerings felt very dated, hardly reflecting any current trends or styles which combined with their confusing instructions format created a frustrating sewing experience. Walking to work one day it struck me that if I was getting frustrated by the current shortfalls in sewing patterns perhaps other people were too. Rather than waiting and hoping that someone else would create these patterns I decided to be proactive and start making them myself.

3. In your mind, who is the quintessential S&S customer? What is her style?
The quintessential S&S customer is a woman who values her independence and likes to express herself through the way she dresses. Her style would be her interpretation of current trends and she’d be bold in her use of colour and prints when sewing (after all how are you going to rake in compliments with a plain back top?!)