In our Sewing Inspiration series, we chat with a small business owner about about their sewing 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 Karoline Dahrling Hughes, author and creative mind behind Skandimama. She has a formal education in fashion design and a sustainability-focused approach. This background, combined with a creative spirit, means you’ll find lots of inspiring refashioning projects on her site. Karoline teaches in person at workshops and private lessons, online via Youtube, and has authored several sewing books too! Her latest book Stylehacking, Sew a Creative Wardrobe: Use 5 Favorite Garments for Limitless Possibilities is available on Amazon.
We love that she is all about how good it feels to craft, sew, create and make things by yourself.
How did you first get started sewing?
I began sewing when I was a kid with my mum, borrowing her machine and sometimes cutting into her nice fabric… I just could not help myself.
Money was tight, so I got used to going to the thrift shops for materials, and that has been my main go-to ever since. My nan gave me her machine when I was 13, and since then I have not looked back from creating clothes myself.
What was the path to creating your sewing sewing business?
I was trained in fashion design, but that career never really was what I wanted, so I have done lots of other jobs, while always creating on the side. I love that I can inspire people to create clothes and stuff by themselves, so that is what I am doing with my magazine contributions, blogposts, youtube tutorials as well as sewing books.
It allows for me to design new patterns and ways to make clothes, and I get the joy of showing others how much fun and how simple it can be. I have worked with a big sewing magazine and craft platform, and it has been so much fun to create things for a big audience. Selling books and tutorials is a fun side hustle, but a lot of hard work. Luckily I adore creating and sewing, so it always feels good.
Where do you look for sewing inspiration?
I enjoy the hippie look, comfort and colours, prints and patterns. I find the materials second hand, perhaps I dye them or print on them, and then I figure out what they can turn in to.
What is your advice to a beginner sewist?
Start with inexpensive fabric and just give it a go. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, they can sometimes turn in to great things, and if not, they will have taught you something. Put love into what you make and be proud even though it is not perfect.
What is your favorite thing to sew/make?
Right now I am crazy about dying old white cotton sheets with plants and roots. It is so much fun and gives the fabric I will later sew with another dimension. And they are perfect for tiered and flowing summer dresses.
More from Karoline:
My name is Karoline, and I live in the Northern part of Denmark with my English husband and 2 daughters.
I am a sewing book author of two Danish books and one in English. I have had some sewing tutorials in the British sewing mag Simply Sewing, and on www.gathered.how, and that has been very exciting. My style is sewing clothes without a pattern but simply from measuring from your clothes.
I love trying to be sustainable with what I can, and I refashion a lot, and I have a huge stock of thrifted clothes and fabric in my house, so I always have materials ready.
I hope to write many books in the future and have that as my main focus in my work life.
We hope you’ve got the sewing inspiration you need to boost your sew-jo! Be sure to check out more sewing business and side hustles in our Sewing Inspiration series – and as always, happy sewing!