Welcome from Mayra
Hi, I’m Mayra. I’ve been sewing nearly all my life and I’m so excited about joining the So Sew Easy team!
I grew up in a small town on the foothills of a volcano in Panama. It rained a lot there and when it rained there wasn’t much to do indoors, except read, draw and, of course, SEW!
My sewing adventures started when I just a kid since I was never good at playing with toys. I guess it bored me that the toys always looked the same, especially the dolls. So I had a brilliant idea to cut my little sister’s Barbie’s hair. I tried my best to do a good job, but it was clear I had botched the job and when she found me in the middle of a golden mess of doll hair. I quickly had to beg her not to cry —which surely would have made my mother sprint to her rescue. I whisper quietly, “don’t worry the hair will grow back”…. Knowing my deceitfulness and feeling guilty I added, “let’s sew some beautiful new clothes for Barbie”. And so my love for sewing was born. I was nine years old.
In my late teens, I won a scholarship to study Fashion Design in the US and after that I haven’t stopped travelling since then. I have been blessed with the opportunity to live in Cameroon, West Africa, the US Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Sydney, Paris and Singapore where today I call home. I try to bring all these influences into my designs and my sewing.
I have learned there are many ways to do the same thing, that there are no mistakes in fashion only adaptability and making something the hard way is always the wrong way. I look forward to sharing some of these tips with you.
Why sewing? Isn’t that a bit old fashioned? And what’s with the mask and snorkel !
In June 2012 I suffered a brain injury that landed me in hospital. Afterwards, I found concentrating and reading very difficult, and had problems with my memory – a lot of things changed. But the strangest thing – I suddenly had an urge to sew!
I’ve never sewn. Well, we had to do a compulsory year of dress-making when I started my secondary education at the age of 11, and I made this awful dress from totally unsuitable material and in a horrid 1980’s batwing, shoulder-pads horror style. There was no fitting lesson, just make it up straight from the pattern, the whole class trying to share 5 sewing machines. (I feel a certain nostalgia for that pattern and have searched for it for hours online with no luck.)
It took a whole school year to make, with one 30 minute lesson once a week. And at the end it was totally laughable and would not have fit anyone in the real world. It went into the bin and I never ever considered sewing again.
Until over 30 years later when it was all I could think about.
I’m originally British and now live in Grand Cayman – which is fabulous – but the shopping here is very limited. There is a fabric shop, but it caters very much to the local market and the fabrics reflect that. Its full of brightly colored satins and shiny materials, or African style big ethnic prints, and some strange faux fur, kids cottons and garish nylon. And very little in the way of threads and cottons. It mostly makes its living from doing alterations or making uniforms for hotel staff etc.
(See where I live – it’s a long way from any shops.)
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So I borrowed a sewing machine from a very kind and encouraging colleague, rummaged around in the remnants bin and came away with some materials with which to start. And my sewing obsession was born.
With limited access to materials and patterns, I made use of the free resources available on the internet and was delighted to find so many talented people out there willing to share their work and knowledge. This website records my journey from first sitting at the sewing machine with some pieces of fabric, to making clothes good enough to wear in no time at all.
And now I like to design my own patterns and make them available on the site for you to try.
And you can do it too – it’s so sew easy!
I love to read your comments and links to your own projects. You can drop me a line any time to:
I LOVE Pinterest!
I love to pin all the sewing patterns, tips and tutorials I find on Pinterest along with inspiration such as favorite sewing patterns, favorite fashions and favorite fabrics! Follow along by joining my Pinterest Boards and you’ll discover so much more than I can share here.