We caught up with our friend and style-inspiration Sadie Egan, and asked her about her work, her life, her home and her passion for sewing. Here's what she shared.
Your name: Sadie Egan
Where you live: Richmond, California
Your day job: I work in special education as an assistive technology specialist. I help set up students, families and staff with technology for communication and learning. The system Stephen Hawking used to communicate is a popular example of the type of stuff I do, although every student I work with is totally different!
Sadie modeling our gabe clog in kelp, fennel and clay.
What you do in your studio: My backyard studio is a multi use space I use for work and designing and sewing clothes in my free time. I also have been known to lock my family out and reclaim me time back there from time to time, as one does.
You built your studio space over covid. Can you tell me a little about that process? Yes! I've always been inspired by a childhood friend whose older sister lived in a backyard studio room when we were all in high school. I'm from the East Bay and have always known it'd be hard to own a home in the place I grew up in, so when we lucked out and got our home we knew we'd build a backyard structure since there was no way we'd be able to move or expand otherwise. I got pregnant with my second child right before the pandemic, and when everything hit we figured there was no better time to build an extra space to eventually be a teenager's lair. My husband and I designed the structure ourselves, I sourced the materials including japanese yakisugi siding and Santa Fe inspired lime washed interior walls. My husband built it by himself over 12 weekends while I was very pregnant "supervising". We contracted an electrician, but everything else we did ourselves! My husband was actually finishing up the walls when I went into labor and I ended up painting them during maternity leave. One day I'll have to pass this space on to one of my children, but for now I just pinch myself feeling lucky to have it.
When did you start sewing and patterning? I've always really wanted to sew my own clothes, but never saw patterns that inspired me or able to take a class until more recently. I sewed my first dress in November 2019, no idea what I was doing but I just dove in and I actually still wear it a lot! Then I bought an asynchronous sewing course from Closet Core Patterns that I cannot recommend highly enough, and after that I was totally and completely hooked. Sewing instagram is such a bad ass community, I am constantly learning and being inspired by other sewists. In January 2022 I designed a dress pattern which will be released in Tauko Magazine this Fall, and I'm in the process of getting two more published after that!
Sadie in gabe in poppy.
What do you love most about making your own clothes? I love being able to fully and completely express my personality visually through what I wear in a way that feels kind of like a never ending love letter to myself. I also love vintage styles but don't like wearing synthetic fabrics, so now I get to make my own versions.
What's the most challenging thing about making clothes? Mmmm, I think breaking up from the way we've been taught to consume clothing and think about our own bodies. Having the freedom to make almost anything you want also really makes you question your own style. I think most sewists go through a learning phase where they are just rapidly trying things out and improving skills and the clothes you make don't 100% feel quite like you yet which is frustrating.
What do you love most about the sewing community on instagram? I love that anyone and everyone can find their own niche little echo chamber of hype people. Sometimes I'm like, damn, everyone is making XYZ pattern with ABC fabric, and then I realize it's actually 3 people across the whole world that have similar taste and happen to have found each other on the internets. It's so cool to cheer people on and watch them grow into themselves and try new styles and skills!
How would you describe your style? Very very 1940s spaghetti western prairie disco goatherd-ess nonno-core alpine ski lodge, if ya know what I mean. My little style word bubble evolves by a word or so every year, lately I've been leaning more towards masculine cuts and tailored styles which is a fun evolution.
What are your favorite bryr clogs styles? Well anything with a kilt is an IMMEDIATE yes for me, so Zoes and some older styles with fringe I've collected over the years will always have my heart. I've also loved the platform base and found normas very wearable for all kinds of activities and occasions.
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