Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I am Siri Kate but most of my friends call me Siri. I am a 30-year-old divorcee on a journey to create beautiful things out the circumstances I have been given. A lot of people are surprised but I work in sales for a specialty chemical company focusing on home and industrial cleaning.
Why do you sew?
I sew because I am passionate about fashion. Sewing allows me to bring reality to the vision I have in my head. It also has brought me contentment with my body and given me the opportunity to love my body for what it is instead of trying to make it fit a number that “it should be”.
What do you like to listen to when you’re working (and why)?
A better question would be more like what don’t I listen to! My taste in music really depends on my mood, I once said I treat music like I am creating the soundtrack for my life. It feels silly to say that, but I am not sure how else to describe it. I am also an avid listener of podcasts and audio books.
As a child, what was your first encounter and memory of beauty?
I think that my first encounter and memory of beauty as a child would be when I lived just north of Seattle. The stunning sunset in shades of pink and purple as the ferry left the terminal, the water reflecting the sky and shadowed mountains in the background. The PNW holds a very special place in my heart.
Where is home and how does it affect what you do?
I call Atlanta, GA home. I have been working through the process of what home means for a while. In the past, I would’ve just said that Atlanta is where I live. However, I have worked hard to grow and develop my own community here. I think that is more what home means to me now, where my community is. My community is full of people from all different backgrounds and all holding space for each other’s truths.
Name a book that you’ve recently read which inspired you and why?
I listened to the book called Anxious People by Fredrick Backman earlier this year. Without giving any spoilers, it reminded me to challenge the assumptions that I make when I haven’t heard someone’s story. I want to make sure I extend the grace to people that I want to receive.
What was the first thing you ever remember making on your own? Tell us about this memory.
I grew up sewing little things here and there. One of the first garments that I made was a tutu. I was taking a sewing class that was taught by the costume mistress at the ballet studio I attended. I designed and then made my garment. Then I was hooked. It also helps me not be afraid to attack more challenging projects now because I was so fearless at 15 making a tutu.
Who are your muses and inspiration?
I am not sure that I would be able to name a specific person. I take a lot of inspiration from the community both online and in Atlanta. I love getting to see people living their truth and what they create. I am blessed to have a lot of friends who create in different mediums. Art and architecture are a big influence for me.
You mention on IG that you have been a knitter for some 20 years. Does knitting inform your sewing practice?
Knitting has been more consistent over the last 20 years than sewing. So, I do think that it informs my sewing practice. Knitting is slower (most of the time) than sewing and it reminds me that it’s okay to take the time or walk away from a project for a little bit.
What is the best advice you’ve received?
Hm, as someone who loves her therapist, I feel like I could go on. However, I think some of the best advice that I have received is that you can have two opposing feelings and don’t have to be defined by either. And make bad art. This is something that I am constantly telling people who want to sew or knit. Your first project will probably be bad and that’s okay.
How important is it to make something with your hands?
I like making something with my hands because it allows me to have a creative outlet. My job isn’t creative, and I like to be able to make things in my spare time.
What has been the most rewarding sewing project you’ve completed so farand why?
My most rewarding project right now is one that I recently finished. I thrifted a pair of men’s lighter wash jeans, took them apart and then sewed my own pair of jeans. They are in heavy rotation right now.
What is more important to you – the process or the final product (ie your garment)?
I honestly don’t know which one is more important. I learn a lot from the process. Being able to sew clothes that fit and learning about fitting, I have seen a diffidence in how I view my own body. I am kinder to myself and working through body image issues.
What does success mean to you?
My definition of success has dramatically changed in the last three years. Going through a divorce hasn’t been easy. I let a lot of other people’s expectations define my life and what I saw as success. Now, I think success means being able to provide a safe space for my community, to be able to ask for help and return the favor.
What have you chosen to make out of FS linen and why?
I have chosen to make my current favorite pants pattern, the Protea Pants by Paradise Patterns, and the Donny Shirt from Friday Pattern Company. A big focus this year is making basics that I can use in my daily life and for work. Linen is a three-season fabric living in the south. It’s basically all that I wear from April to October. I can’t wait to use these pieces in rotation.