Each time I visit Lucky Lucille, I’m instantly struck with the urge to take out my sewing machine and start whipping up cute 1940s-style dresses. Never mind the fact that I can’t sew a straight line to save my life, and that I consider fabric glue one of my best discoveries this year, but in the meantime, I can live vicariously through Rochelle New’s crafting blog.
Rochelle also recently took up knitting (she even created her own pattern), and will be making her first trip to Rhinebeck this weekend (this weekend?!). I’m so excited to have her at the trunk show. To show how awesome she is, when I asked her to participate as a sponsor, she immediately came up with the great idea of designing tote bags especially for the event. Not only that, but she ended up screen printing them herself. I cannot wait to get my hands on one, and also perhaps spot some at the fairgrounds the next day.
Have you always had a vintage sense of style?
I’ve always had a fondness for vintage and antiques, even when I was a kid. I blame my mother and her love of old movies for that. Even so, I don’t know that I’d ever call my style totally vintage since I wear more modern clothing than anything else. I do look to bygone eras for style and sewing inspiration first and foremost and I think I always will, even if it’s just a vintage brooch on my modern jacket or a vintage fabric made into a modern shirt.
What would you say attracted you to the 1940s in particular?
I appreciate the utility and practicality of WWII era clothing. Most of my sewing and knitting patterns are from that time period. I’ve always loved the idea of sewing and knitting for victory!
When did you begin sewing consistently?
When I was living in Vermont I got a job at a small fabric and yarn shop. That job really solidified my passion for sewing (and also yarn, even though I had no idea how to use it at that point haha!). It was January of 2011, when I found an online sew-along that I started sewing and blogging consistently.
Is there a sewing accomplishment you’re most proud of?
I make an effort to be very proud of at least one part of everything I make, even if it’s just one line of topstitching or the placket of one sleeve. I think it’s the tiny accomplishments that make crafting really rewarding.
Where are your favorite places to shop for fabric?
Right now I live in a really tiny town in Western NY with no local options for buying fabric, so 90% of my fabric shopping happens online. Hawthorne Threads is the online shop I buy from most frequently. They have a great selection without overwhelming me with choices and their shipping is super quick! When I travel I make a point to visit as many small local fabric and yarn shops as I can. You know, for souvenirs. 😉
You recently started blogging about your knitting adventures. How did you decide to pick up knitting?
I’m the kind of person who HAS to be doing something with their hands at all times (which is why I’m having tendinitis issues right now, no doubt). I’ve always dreamed of making my own hats and sweaters since they’re as much of a wardrobe staple to me as underpants and shoes! After watching my extremely talented friends knit project after project, I decided I was going to learn for myself. I also needed a hobby that was more portable than sewing. …I haven’t yet worked out a way to sew from the couch or on an airplane.
Do you have any knitting goals in mind?
I feel like I’m a late bloomer and a slow learner when it comes to knitting so haven’t ventured on to any projects beyond hats and scarves at this point. I want to knit a sweater vest and also a sweater some time this year (if my tendinitis ever goes away!).
Do you find sewing easier than knitting?
Well I’ve been sewing for years longer than I’ve been knitting, but by principle I DO find sewing much easier. When I cut out fabric I can see all the separate parts laid out and how they’ll go together. The process of knitting still boggles my mind. You’re basically just taking a long piece of string and tangling it up in knots with two sticks until BAM! you’ve got a hat. It feels like sorcery every time I do it.
You’ve also been designing your own fabric via Spoonflower. If you could design a custom fabric that expressed who you are, what do you think it would look like?
Good question! Well, if someone else were to design a fabric inspired by me I’m sure it would involve lots of elaborate rainbow colored cats haha! My own design aesthetic is much more simple though. I like silhouettes inspired by nature and old things. I recently created a pattern using the design on an antique box that belonged to my great grandmother. I feel like that one is very “me.”