My sewing story – Stefanie Merkel
In our latest issue we introduce you to Martha Blusen and in particular the person behind it – Stefanie Merkel. She caught our attention in our sisterMAG Patterns Instagram community with her creativity and beautiful sewing projects. In sisterMAG #66 she shares her personal “sewing story” and how Martha Blusen came to be.
Today we introduce you to Stefanie from „Martha Blusen“ in our series „My sewing story“. She discovered the passion for sewing at a young age and turned her passion into a profession with „Marthas Blusen“. Each of her pieces is a unique piece with special attention to detail. Get to know Stefanie better in our portrait.
What was your first experience of sewing? Do you come from a family of tailors?
Crafts have been a hobby since I was young, mostly knitting and sewing. In the mid-sixties, handicrafts were still taught at school – my favorite subject! When it comes to sewing, I was mostly influenced by my mother. She’s not a trained seamstress, taught herself and made beautiful pieces for herself, my sister and me. A huge inspiration!
When did you start sewing? Did you teach yourself to sew, or did you attend a course?
I properly started sewing when I began my training as a women’s tailor.
What was the first piece that you made yourself?
To be honest, it’s nothing special – the lining for a skirt – because during your training you have to learn everything. Every bit has to be accurate and precise and you’re doing many background tasks. This didn’t make it less fun for me, on the contrary: I got even more interested in great patterns, beautiful fabrics and colours and patterns fascinate me. Every beautifully made piece makes me happy because I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
How did Marthas Busen come to be founded?
When we started our family, I stayed home with the kids and, for personal reasons, decided to re-train as medical personnel at a doctor’s office ten years ago. A friend of mine kept complimenting me on the pieces I made at home and motivated me to do more with them. That’s how “Martha Blusen“ got started.
What makes a Martha blouse?
Every piece is unique, with lots of love in every detail. I like working with high-quality fabrics, usually good cotton (e.g. from Liberty) or viscose. Together with my customers, I pick the fit, neckline, a refined collar and the matching sleeves. Added borders are an eye-catcher. All of this makes my blouses what they are, and I enjoy making unique creations. I also love changing up existing clothes, such as turning the favourite shirt of the husband into the wife’s new blouse – upcycling.
What’s the next sewing project on your to do list?
A bridal dress, a two-piece with a circle skirt, white bustier and a specially cut, see-through lace top. The cut of this top just happened by chance when we tried the fabric and I was looking for the one way how it would look best on the bride on her big day.
Where do you find inspiration for your sewing projects?
I am inspired by interesting people in town or cafés and restaurants. Many of my ideas also come from Instagram. It’s so interesting how many different fabrics and patterns I can find there. It’s great fun to discover new things.
Which are your favourite social media channels for sewing?