Maker Spotlight - Juanita Flett
Updated: Apr 18
Meet Juanita, the amazing sewist behind @juanitaflett from Canberra, Australia. This lady has some serious style and just dozes creativity. She certainly isn't afraid to hack a pattern and I absolutely LOVE that. Here's what happened when we caught up recently....
When did you first start sewing and what made you fall in love with making your own clothing?
I started sewing at high school, I can remember my Mum bought my first sewing machine for me when I was about 15 for Christmas and I loved her (mum and the sewing machine 🙂) - I still have her today and often teach other people to sew on her! I love the idea of creating clothing that no one could just pop to the shops and get - something uniquely me.
Tell us about your favourite makes...
I have a wonderful sequined over the top over sized Jacket that I love - not a lot of practical places to wear it but it does make me smile!
Bespoke blazer is my favourite Sew to Grow pattern - I have made many! They are so easy to make in different fabrics to create different looks and I wear them a lot.
Do you have any hints or tricks to share with our followers? I teach beginners to sew and I find a little hint when your learning, because it can be overwhelming, to concentrate on everything is to mark you seam allowance on your machine with a piece of washy tape - you can make it as long as you like to help guide you and it doesn’t leave a sticky residue - I think it really helps to keep your seam allowances even.
What projects do you have planned next? Anything new that you would like to make to challenge yourself? I would like to sew up a new handbag with some fabulous fabric I bought back in January when I was on holidays in Queensland and I also want to have a go at making my own lampshade base out of an oversized glass jar.
What machines do you sew on? Janome memory craft 9900
What advice would you give to yourself as a beginner just starting out? Don’t try and be a perfectionist when you are starting out! You improve so much from time just spent on the machine.
When you are stuck or make a mistake on a project what do you normally do? How do you overcome obstacles when sewing?
Swear - it’s true 😂 go and have a cup of tea then find the friendly unpicker and get back in to it.
Where is your favourite place to purchase fabric? Nerida Hansen
Anything else you would like to add, to encourage women learning to make clothing to fit their bodies? The clothes you have made yourself will always make you feel more special than anything you can get at the shops - even a basic t-shirt or tank top!
Juanita runs Made by You Canberra, where she teaches people in private lessons all the basics of sewing so they can feel comfortable starting their sewing adventures. You can find out more at, www.madebyyoucanberra.com.au and make sure you check out her instagram feed here!
📸 On top left Juanita is in her favourite Bespoke Blazer, on the right she's wearing my newly released pattern the Kaia Coatigan, bottom left is another Kaia Coatigan and bottom right Juanita is in her Sycamore Lane Dress hack to a Jumpsuit. You can find all the instructions for that hack HERE.