Welcome from Mayra

- MCportraitHi, I’m Mayra.  I’ve been sewing nearly all my life and I’m so excited that you have found your way to So Sew Easy!

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 very interested in 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 whispered 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.


Singapore skyline

In my late teens, I won a scholarship to study Fashion Design in the US and after that I haven't stopped traveling since then. I have been blessed with the opportunity to live in Cameroon, West Africa, the 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.

About Deby


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.

Cayman Islands flag

Cayman Islands Flag

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.)

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.

Some of my designs

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 in the comments below.  I read them every day!

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.

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow me on Pinterest

109 Responses to About

  1. Hi Deby, I hear what you say about living far away from fabric shopping heaven. I live in Santiago, Chile, and after 5 years have eventually found all the little hidden gems in the city that sell fabrics and notions. Anyway, I’m going to be in Grand Cayman for a few days, and was wondering, if you could spare a moment, whether you could recommend any place(s) where I might find interesting goodies for use in garment sewing. I’m always on the lookout for something different. Thanks in advance, and do keep up your lovely pattern creating and sewing – you’re very inspirational!

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Caroline, thanks for your note. Deby’s not really actively involved in the blog anymore. However, from spending some time there and working with Deby for a while, I can tell you that unfortunately there’s not much of interest for sewing in Grand Cayman. I know Deby always had to order pretty much everything from the US.

      It’s interesting to learn you’re in Santiago. My son just moved there two months ago and we’re even contemplating moving there as well in the near future. We’ve been in Singapore for a long time and Santiago seems so nice. It would be nice to stay in touch.

      Kind regards, Mayra

  2. Margaret Pisciotta says:

    HI,have tried enter your giveaway,but I cannot !

  3. Pat Burckhardt says:

    Both of you ladies are an inspiration to me. I started sewing when I was about 14 years old because the family couldn’t afford to buy me clothes like the other girls at school. This was in the early 50’s and the gathered skirts were popular. Very simple to make and I had guts then. I always went to the school dances so I could make a gown to wear. I loved making the fancy type of dress. I wish I had been encouraged to go to school for this but my mother didn’t know how to do anything like this so she never encouraged me for anything that was crafty at all. She didn’t like that kind of thing because she couldn’t do it and my father’s mother was a crafty type, sewing, hand quilting, crocheting, tatting, etc. I think my mother felt a little jealous so no encouragement. My sewing was pretty much necessity. I sewed for many years for myself and for gifts but then work got in the way and I fell away from it. About the same time I found out I was sick with hepitis C and then liver cancer. I had a few treatments for this and it was worst than the chemo I had later on. I had a liver transplant in 2009 and have tried to find out what I can do since then. I’ve recently started making bags, I love bags, and am trying to do as many versions of bags as I can to see what goes right and what to change. I just made two bags the same pattern yesterday. Simple small bags with a zipper and outside pocket. Also made 3 bone shaped pillows and finished them. I love your little teeny tiny coin purse also. It came out so cute except I made the tabs to wide. I just went back and read my first line and I guess what I need is and injection of guts to get out of my comfort zone and get going. I need to find my place. I also have age against me but really that shouldn’t stop me. Boy I’ve made this so long, I really just wanted to tell you both what an inspiration you are to others. Sorry for going on so long.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Pat, sorry but it is you who is an inspiration to have overcome hepatitis C, liver cancer, and a transplant. Thank you for your story, and if you think about it, you have covered many years in this few lines, so it is not long at all. People that sew belong to the half-full glass, there is always space for learning. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for sharing and whenever I feel discouraged to continue sharing what I know I will read your story and see I have no right to feel sorry for myself. Keep in touch I would love to know what you are up to. If you ever need some help drop me a line, sending you a big hug from Singapore.

  4. Ruth Carr says:

    I love this site too! I started sewing when I lived in Zambia in the mid-1970’s. Would you believe that I am still using the same Bernina 830 record that hubby bought as a brand new surprise for me in October, 1975? It’s a treasure and it’s also almost as good as new although it was shipped to UK in 1978 where we stayed until June, 1990 when we emigrated to South Africa. In Zambia we also had issues with limited fabric selection, but in ready-made clothing. They catered largely for the local population, so I stuck to sewing with plain coloured cotton lawn and crimpolene. Thanks Deby and Mayra. Keep up the good work! I am learning a lot from both of you. I really admire your self-motivation.

  5. @Deby, Your about me inspires me. I have not been the same since a bad car wreck back in 2012 which left me with memory issues and dizziness. I have really taken a liken to sewing lately and your leggings tutorial is AWESOME. Thank you so much for sharing your creations and showing nothing can stop you!

  6. amberlee12345 says:

    I absolutely love this site and the things offered! I was reading the about us section and was really curious. How did the 2 of you come together and put this site together?

  7. Pauline says:

    Hi Deby and Mayra, the torso on this wrap dress is too long. How do I shorten it to 17 inches where my waist is. Thanks.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Pauline shorten the torso about 2″ under the arm hole in by the amount you need it to be. Make sure you do it on the back as well.

  8. Dolly says:

    Mayra and Deby, I really want to thank you for your help and kindness in sharing your easy and lovely patterns with us. I love Debby’s flowy skirts. I already made two of them. I’m just beginning to learn how to sew, and the two skirts came up ok. Thank you girls for sharing your talent with us.

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Dolly, thanks so much for your kind words and for your support of our site. Please keep in touch and let us know how your sewing journey progresses. Kind regards, Mayra

  9. Karen K. George says:

    I think both of you are great and very talented, keep coming up with things, I admire your talents.

  10. Denise Cornell says:

    Hi, I really love your website, but the problem is it is buggy. I keep getting script errors constantly. I thought it was my computer and they occur because of the web site I am viewing at the time. Can you have your web master look into this. It may also be caused by pop-ups in your web site

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Denise, please try clearing your browser cache. We had a lot of updates to our site going through recently and sometimes scripts get confused and need to be reloaded. Sorry to hear you had problems. Please let me know if that works. Thanks for letting me know and kind regards.

  11. Ame says:


    I have been a long time follower of Deby and her column; but, your designs and ideas are giving a new and fresh view of sewing design. This latest one using the Pashmina is brilliant and quite attractive.

    I can see why Deby has invited you on-board; it was really a stroke of genius on her part of her business as a whole.

    Here’s to your success.

  12. Elsie Blount says:

    I enjoyed your piece about buttons, and would like to share my experiences with you. I have collected buttons over many years, and when a garment is no longer usable, I take off the buttons to re use them later on another garment. Buttons can be therapeutic, when a friend’s 2 daughters when through a traumatic time they helped me sort through my button tin, they said that just running the buttons through their fingers made them feel calmer and happier – sounds silly! – but it works!!!

  13. DeeDee says:

    After reading most of the comments, I think I would like to join you ladies. I love to sew – but I am not fast at it. I do not make my own clothes because, I can’t fit myself and don’t wear dresses because I wear a leg brass and it doesn’t look very good.
    I do like to make small things, i.e. jewelry pouches, cluches (purses)baby things and quilted wall hangings, etc.
    Thanks for the reading of your comments.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi DeeDee, we’re delighted to have you with us. Thank you for your comments. We have a few new projects coming out shortly that sound like they would be perfect for you. Hope you like them.

      • I have a home in Boquete. When I moved there the first thing I packed was my sewing machine. I’ve also lived in Taipei and traveled Asia. Love Singapore. Can’t wait to try your bag pattern.

  14. Valerie says:

    A big welcome to Mayra and all your great ideas. BUT we miss you Deby, will you be back on screen sometime soon with more of your great videos and patterns to make?? We all hope so. Watched an interesting programme about the Cayman Islands recently, oh, those white sandy beaches and blue, blue sea. Sigh!!!
    Best wishes Valerie

  15. Sabina Claes says:

    Hey Deby and Mayra, I love your patterns and I am looking forward to make some dresses. I Always wear jeans and I never wear a dress or skirt. But with al these beautiful, and not so difficult patterns, I think I am ready for a whole new style. Sorry for my English, I am from Belgium and speaks Dutch. Love your site. Greetings

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Sabina, we are happy you find the site helpful, and I totally understand your English, it is better than my Dutch which is 0%. Looking forward to your creations, do come over to our chatroom and post when you are ready.

  16. Peta Lawes says:

    Hi Deby
    I have been looking at your dressmaking, and they are lovely.
    For someone who has gone through the trauma of Brain Damage (I really know what that can be like as my daughter suffered brain damage after 2 car crashes and a stroke, all before she was 23. she is now 37 and is still struggling with VERY short term memory loss) – you have shown a lot of intestinal fortitude to even start a blog, let alone sewing! I especially love the Colour Block dress, I am wanting to do a top like that for myself.
    Well Done – you are an awesome lady!
    Would you mind looking at my website, and give me an honest opinion of my work, PLEASE

  17. lifewithporpoise says:

    I’m so happy to have found this website! Yay!! Looking forward to trying some of the free patterns.

    You girls are awesome

  18. I love receiving your emails weekly. I always wonder what you will have in store for us! I do not sew that much, but love the inspiration you share. Some day – soon- I am going to get back into sewing. It is very enjoyable and rewarding. Looking forward to all that you two will be inspiring us with!
    Merry Christmas to you both!

  19. Lisa bartup says:

    Deby you have inspired me to sew bags where I only made clothing before and I love it❤️ So much so that I am working on a business plan for when I finish university – watch the space and thank you so much for helping me to find my niche ….

  20. Valerie says:

    Welcome Mayra! So glad Deby has some help, as I have wondered how she does it all. A superwoman with a sidekick now.

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