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Featured Female Maker - Rake and Make

Hello Friends! We are back, after a bit of a hiatus, with a new Featured Female Maker. This week we are featuring Lilly Everett of Rake and Make. Lilly lives in Seattle with her husband, a dog, a cat, and a rotating cast of chickens. Rake and Make started out as a gardening blog but has grown to include all the things Lilly likes to make, whether it's gardening, cooking or craft related.

Continue reading to learn more about Lilly and the beautiful garments she makes.

How did you get into garment making?

My first sewing project was a duffel bag in home ec class in the 5th grade. I still have it and the stitching isn’t half bad! When I was 18, I saved up and bought my first sewing machine (a Bernette). It wasn’t the greatest sewing machine, but it worked for pegging pants, sewing patches on clothes, and mending things for friends. I always wanted to make clothes, but being young, transient, and in school got in the way at the time. In 2012, my husband bought me a new sewing machine (a Baby Lock Molly) and that’s when my obsession with garment sewing began. I took some classes at the West Seattle Fabric Company. I took a pattern reading class which really demystified a lot of garment sewing for me.

I still have that machine, it only has 11 stitches but I made my wedding dress with it! (check it out here). Around the time the Collette Pattern Handbook came out I did some projects out of that. I also had the One Yard Wonders book and made some projects from that. 2012 was the same year I started a blog and started sharing what I was making. My blog was originally supposed to be a gardening blog, then it was a garment and crafting blog and now it's basically a sewing blog.

Who has been your biggest mentor or role model?

There hasn’t been just one, I’ve had so many. Monica Skov of West Seattle Fabric Company was a huge help when I first started. In 2015 I started attending Camp Workroom Social. I really loved learning at those classes and working with that group of women. I’ve been really lucky to take classes with some amazing designers like Heather Lou of Closet Case Patterns, I took a bra class with Amy Chapman of Cloth Habit, and I made a jacket with Christine Haynes. I love Camp Workroom Social and I’m excited to be going for my fifth year in the fall.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

I keep one up-ing myself. I said I would never make jeans and then I made jeans, and that was a huge achievement. Then I made a bra, then I made a swimsuit. I just keep raising the bar for myself. I love that about sewing, there are always more skills to learn.

Tell us something on your bucket list.

Teaching was on my bucket list and I'm just now starting to do that (keep an eye out for classes with Lilly at Wyldwood!) I've always wanted to write a book, either a gardening book or hardscaping book. My husband and I are building a greenhouse right now so it would be a book to teach that piece of gardening

How do you "treat yo self?”

Fabric, I'm completely obsessed. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I told my husband to tell everyone I wanted gift cards for fabric stores. I recently went to Portland for their Frocktails event and I went crazy at the fabric stores there. The fabric store is my happy place.

Where do you get inspiration?

Instagram. I'm a relentless pattern stalker, before I sew something I like to go look at everyone's versions. I love to fabric shop and touch and feel and see what I like.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to try garment making?

Don't be intimidated by it at all. I like that people are impressed by things I sew but I always tell them it something they could do too. Just practice and don't expect the first thing you make to be perfect, enjoy the process and have fun making something.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Lilly this week! Lilly is also in charge of the Seattle Frocktails event. Seattle Frocktails is a not-for-profit community event for sewists to get together, make new friends and admire each other’s finest handmade outfits over delicious cocktails. Check out their page to learn more about the event coming up in November!