Celebrated author and teacher, Katrina Walker is a long-time contributor to both CME and Sew News, and she is the creator behind the fabulous Lovely in Lace dress featured in our newest issue of CME. Katrina’s creations are always immaculately constructed and with impeccable style. Read on to learn more about Katrina, her inspiration, her favorite recent trends and her upcoming webinar, called Sewing for Style.
How would you describe your personal style?
My favorite quote regarding style/fashion is from Edna Woolman Chase – “Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.” It’s hard to sum up my personal style because it really is personal. I have a very diverse lifestyle so my wardrobe stretches from farm girl to ethnic to edgy fashion. Being a tall woman, my body frame and scale works well with bold statement pieces. Exotic, beautiful fabrics in clean, semi-fitted, well-tailored lines. I rarely use prints. I’d rather use solids and let my construction details and embellishments speak for themselves. If I do use prints, they’re usually pieced in accents, rather than the entire garment, or perhaps an underblouse. On the whole, I don’t think you can ever have too many beautiful jackets, vests or tunics! Find the length, amount of ease (fitted versus looser), and colors that work for your body and go from there.
I loved making this pink dress! It’s a fantasy party dress. I loved that the pattern has tons of seams because I truly see every seam as a design opportunity. I’ve never been comfortable in strapless dresses, so it was a wonderful challenge to design an embroidered collar for one. Beautiful and useful!
What’s your favorite kind of machine embroidery project?
I love vintage and ethnic inspired fashion – and can you imagine those without embroidery? Embroidery is part of every culture – and couture. So I prefer to work with designs that are made for clothing – working beyond an embroidered “patch” to create design work that truly looks as if it an integral part of the garment.
What’s on your spring/summer to-sew list?
Chiffon tunics! I love long, soft, flowy tunics for summer, and I have some really beautiful silk chiffons saved up. I need more dressy hot weather clothing.
What are you favorite current trends in sewing/machine embroidery?
I’m glad to see a more individualistic trend – pants and skirts come in every length and width. Some years I look in the stores and catalogs and just think “ugh.” My personal favorite is a continuing trend for long, embellished jackets. That’s a core wardrobe item for me, so selfishly speaking – long may it reign! They’re a great canvas for showing off all sorts of construction details, beautiful fabrics, and of course fabulous embroidery!
What’s next on your sewing bucket list?
Oh, so many things! I have some gorgeous pieces from my friend, the amazing hand weaver Linda Kubik, that are screaming to become new winter staples. I have a long, fitted coat cut from one piece (big surprise) and am contemplating the rest. Maybe a classic Chanel-inspired jacket. Maybe a motorcycle style jacket with leather sleeves. Probably one of each, at least! When I use something really precious like a handwoven, I often use a coordinating/contrasting sleeve fabric. I feel it “frames” the special fabric and makes it stand out more. Plus it saves yardage!
Sewing with Style is all about thinking beyond the pattern. It’s easy to become stuck in a style rut, and this webinar will change the way any sewing enthusiast looks at design. We’ll explore the use of both fabric and construction techniques to make even the same old pattern look new again. It’s all about interpretation and gaining some simple skills to express your personal style. You don’t have to sew like an expert to create fabulous clothes!