Looking for sewing inspiration? We’ve got you covered!
In our Sewing Spotlight series, we chat with different sewists about their businesses and how they’ve found a way to blend sewing into work that they love. Learn about their inspirations, insights and more.
Today, it’s all about Amaia Arana, owner and creative mind behind You Made My Day Patterns. She designs, makes, and sells stylish garment patterns, among other items – we absolutely adore her mermaid tail blanket. Arana also teaches in-person classes and online through tutorials on her website. We love that she has an international flare (she’s lived all over the world and has the style to match) and offers patterns in multiple languages. All that AND she is a mama too.
How did you first get started sewing?
I have always loved crafty activities, since I was little. And sewing was the one I wanted to do the most but sewing machines were not easy to take on for a young girl at that time. So I mostly sewed things by hand. Later on I bought my first sewing machine and started sewing easy projects following YouTube videos but I got frustrated most of the times since I didn’t have the patience to follow a pattern or take the time that a project required.
What was the path to creating your sewing business, You Made My Day Patterns?
A few years ago after having left and resumed the sewing projects for years, I took an intensive sewing course and I started teaching sewing lessons. I loved doing that and sharing my passion and knowledge with other people. At some point I wanted to explore more and start modifying patterns or even create my own ones.
Then I moved to Amsterdam and next to my house there was the Amsterdam Fashion Academy who teaches pattern making techniques… I thought “It is a sign!” And I decided to enroll on an intensive pattern making course. I discovered then that I really liked it. It covers all the things I like, creativity, design, a little bit of maths, thinking, etc. I decided then to create my own pattern brand.
Where do you look for sewing inspiration?
I love all kinds of shapes that I can see in clothing or even buildings, plants, flowers etc. and I try to play with fabric to get those shapes or details. I am Spanish so I have that love for flounces and volumes.
What is your advice to a beginner sewist?
My advice is always to keep sewing, mistakes are part of the process, once you’ve done something wrong you remember it forever. Also to start with simple projects, simple patterns and grow up from there to avoid frustrations.
What is your favorite thing to sew/make?
I love making any kind of clothes, depending on the season. Some projects may take a while to be completed but once you wear them you feel super accomplished and happy to have been able to make it on your own.
More from Amaia: I am Amaia, a fanatic of sewing for a long time but fully dedicated to it for the past few years. I love all things crafty and handmade. Seeing something being created with my hands, starting from scratch and finishing with something wearable is the greatest reward. I am a selfish seamstress but I do not only sew for me. In addition to building a handmade wardrobe, I love making handmade presents and garments for my kids.
I have lived in different countries for the past 18 years, from New York, to London, Paris, Singapore, Amsterdam, Beirut and a year ago I moved to Biarritz, in the South West of France.
At the end of 2017 I decided to dedicate some time to develop a pattern line and this passion has been growing since to become my full time job. My patterns are available on my website and they all come with text and drawings detailing every single step (almost as if you were sewing with me!). I love seeing what sewers around the world make with my patterns, so much creativity out there! I love bringing that little joy to people when they have one of my patterns in their hands and enjoy making them, I hope they say “You Made My Day!”
There is nothing like some creative inspiration to get your “sew-jo” going! Stop by You Made My Day Patterns for more from Amaia. And be sure to check out more sewing inspiration in our Sewing Spotlight series – and as always, happy sewing!