How Its Sewn with Nicole Chen

Nicole Chen
Asymmetrical Cotton Seersucker Dress by Nicole Chen

Hello everyone, today we’re excited to introduce a fellow JUKI Lover, Nicole Chen! Read on to learn more about Nicole’s journey on becoming a sewer in 2020 as she shares her experiences in picking up her new go-to hobby.

As a fashion retail buyer in New York and a student pursuing her fashion design certification by night, Nicole always loved the process of creating- and in her case, making clothing! During the beginning of quarantine, Nicole began documenting her sewing journey on social media including Instagram @Howitssewn and website Howitssewn.com for people to join her as she learns new techniques on each project.

“It’s my main creative outlet and makes me feel so happy and fulfilled, especially when I can see my improvement over time.”

Joining the wave of new sewers, she began by taking apart and upcycling her old clothes, giving them a new life. As she gradually improved with the help of videos, she designed and drafted original sewing patterns.

“I love the challenge and design freedom that self-drafting allows, but the process from pattern to clothing is a lot of trial and error. There is no escaping this, but each mistake teaches me something new!”

Floral Print Ruffled Linen Dress By Nicole Chen

As Nicole continued to grow, she ventured out to find inspiration for her projects. Her recommendation? Look into the Google Arts and Culture collection, an online museum created during quarantine. This application has helped people escape their homes and explore a beautiful and awe-inspiring online exhibit with artwork, images, and cultural artifacts from around the world. She explains it’s a free application allowing you access to gain inspiration from any fashion museum and art gallery they have on display. Her favorite artist to follow is Zimmermann, for their fun and flirty pieces, and Alexander McQueen, for their technically intricate clothing.

Early on in Nicole’s sewing journey, she told herself she would learn a new technique for every project she worked on as a way to challenge herself. Having an infinite amount of possibilities at her disposal, Nicole is currently learning about curves and movements of the human body and how to rein the designs she wants.

Nicole’s advice for newcomers? Sewing is 80% preparation and 20% actual sewing. Taking the time and care to prepare everything beforehand like fabrics, pattern truing, and cutting sets you up for a win!

A JUKI lover like us, Nicole invested in her first JUKI serger last year, the JUKI MO-654DE! After being recommended by friends and online sources, she claims it as one of her best sewing decisions, here’s some advice below from Nicole on how to choose the best serger for yourself.

Juki MO-654DE

“To save you the time, here are my top 3 aspects to look for in your first serger:

1. Color-Coded Threading System. The last thing you want is to spend half an hour changing your thread color. The 4-color coded system is great for visual learners and is super intuitive.

2. Adjustable Differential Feed. This is a must-have if you often work with knits and stretchy fabrics. This is the trick to create those beautiful lettuce hems!

3. High-Quality Knife Blade. This is, arguably, the most satisfying part of serging. A good blade will cut smoothly through your excess seam allowances and leave you with neatly finished edges.”

As the new year continues to bring in new sewers, we’re so excited to share with you their accomplishments. To learn more about Nicole and keep up with her quilting journey, follow her on Instagram today @HowItsSewn or her website HowItsSewn.com!

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