Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
My name is Annie, I am 22 and from Ontario, Canada. My nickname is Pickle. I am named after my great-grandmother, making me the third Annie Pickle in our family! I have a strong passion for Scottish traditions, art/art history, coffee, vintage clothing, and all things handmade. Since the age of 4, I was a competitive highland dancer and more recently ventured into pipe bands as a tenor drummer. I’ve spent most of my summers across the pond in Scotland, and lived in Glasgow for a year on a working visa! I work as a commercial sewist for my dad’s drum company and have recently begun creating and selling my own handmade pieces. I spent this past summer working in the local art shop/espresso bar, which was an absolute dream.
Why do you sew?
Sewing is one of my greatest passions. I highly respect and admire the art of well-crafted and traditionally made pieces. Sewing is the method that most allows me to express the ideas I have in my head. I really enjoy the process of a textile becoming a garment. There are endless possibilities!
What do you like to listen to when you’re working (and why)?
I have quite an eclectic taste in music haha! I love anything from Celtic, Jazz and Classical to The Beatles, Beyoncé and RuPaul! The list could go on!
I tend to repeat the same album over and over until a project is complete.
Three tunes that will forever be my favourite and pretty much sum me up are: Gopher by Yma Sumac, the piobaireachd A Flame of Wrath for Patrick Caogach, and the Rocky theme song Gonna Fly Now.
I’ve also recently started listening to the podcast, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, which I’m loving!
As a child, what was your first encounter and memory of beauty?
In the backyard of my childhood home, there was a plum tree. I vividly remember one rainy day in spring, the sun broke through the clouds and the blossoms on the tree were glowing pink. It smelled so beautiful and fragrant. This is my first memory of beauty within nature.
Where is home and how does it affect what you do?
I was born, raised, and currently live in a small town in Ontario, Canada on the shores of Lake Huron. This town is home to many incredible people who have excelled in their craft – musicians, artists, models, athletes and actors, just to name a few! It’s really inspiring to see them strive to such a high level in what they’re passionate about. It definitely pushes me to continue to do what I love and reach my goals!
Name a book that you’ve recently read which inspired you and why?
I have never been a big reader, although I wish I was! One of my favourite books that I’ve read was The Story of Art. I read it in my high school Art History class and I’m so glad I did. It gave me an even greater appreciation for art and the techniques used throughout time.
What was the first thing you ever remember making on your own? Tell us about this memory.
I was homeschooled for 5 years. During this time, I spent many hours learning how to sew from a sweet family friend who is a quilt-maker extraordinaire. I think I was around 11 when I first made a ruffled apron at her house using a vintage pattern. It was a pretty exciting feeling to create something from scratch.
Who are your muses and inspiration?
Oh my goodness, I have so many! Iris Apfel will forever be my greatest muse. Her style and attitude towards life is incredible. Another NYC legend, the wonderful Bill Cunningham, holds a special place in my heart. His eye for detail was truly magic.
Rajiv Surendra is another all-round inspiration. His enthusiasm for practising and honouring old-world skills is something I truly admire.
Two people I’ve followed since I was a young teenager are Tavi Gevinson and Petra Collins. Rookie Mag was a big part of my life growing up. It always made me feel like I could be and express my truest self.
As for personal style and sewing, I always look to the 70’s for inspiration.
Do you have a community of crafters/makers around you or do you find you are on your own?
There is a large presence of artists and makers in my community. Living in a small town has allowed me to connect with many creative people. The sewing community on Instagram has also been a great source of inspiration. It’s super encouraging to be surrounded by such supportive and enthusiastic creators.
How important is it to make something with your hands?
Creating things by hand is extremely important to me. It is the core of who I am. I always have multiple projects on the go. Whether it’s weaving on a loom, creating handmade cards, pouring an espresso, making earrings from the rescued wood of a 100 year old maple tree or using fabric scraps to make a patchwork jacket, my hands are constantly busy creating. I am very grateful to have grown up in a creative family that can turn their hand to almost anything. This has given me a huge appreciation for the heart and soul that goes into handmade pieces.
What has been the most rewarding sewing project you’ve completed so far and why?
One of the most rewarding projects I’ve completed was a herringbone quilt. I started sewing it when I was around 12 years old. School, work and travel had pushed it to the back-burner. Fast forward 8 years later, I finally finished! It was a big celebration!
What is more important to you – the process or the final product (ie your garment)?
The process of making a garment is more important to me. I really enjoy learning new skills and expanding my knowledge. The precision, problem solving and intricate steps of sewing excite me greatly.
What does success mean to you?
Success means honing in on a skill or an art form I’m passionate about and doing it to the best of my ability. Being proud of something I’ve completed, knowing I’ve put my all into it, is very rewarding.
What have you chosen to make out of FS linen and why?
I have chosen to make the Blanca Flight Suit by Closet Core Patterns based in Montreal, Quebec. The pattern was thoughtfully constructed and easy to understand.
I always find myself wearing overalls and boiler suits, so I was excited for the challenge of finally making my own! My colour choice was inspired by Bill Cunningham’s iconic blue jacket!