Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch vorhanden.

I’m especially happy to welcome today’s guest, Ari from Max California: If I was to choose to follow only three blogs, her’s would probably be the one that I would decide on first! Her style is completely different than mine. She is a total rock star while I’m just a plain normal person ;) Together with Kat from Sew Chibi she is doing a monthly series called Sew Geeky where they sew clothes from cartoons, mangas, movies etc that might be a bit geeky  – and that admittedly I mostly don’t know at all (guess I’m not a geek? plus these characters maybe didn’t show up as much in german tv?). Her sewing always is different, fun, creative, just “Max” and it really didn’t surprise me that she won season 6 of Project Run and Play and was part of the first issue of STYLO. This girl is just the best… Here are some of my favorites (two of them are quite recent, but you really don’t have to go far back in time to find something you like…):

Sew Geeky: Tank girl; Sew Geeky: Star Wars creatures; PR&P Signature Look

First things first: Please introduce yourself
Hello! I’m Ari and I come from Australia! I live in a small country town about two hours inland from Brisbane (small as in all we have is a corner shop, a school and a hall. Oh and a roundabout!). We moved here almost a year ago and it’s the best thing we ever did! My family consists of my super handsome husband Tim and our two amazing kids Vincent & Edison! I used to study fashion way back in my early twenties and I’ve also done work experience when I was pregnant for a fashion designer which was a great real-life experience! I love fashion, mostly children’s fashion, and I love that no matter what you wear you can make it trendy if you rock it out with confidence! I wouldn’t call myself a fashionable person, in that I don’t follow the seasonal trends, but I do love playing around with outfits and clothing and just having fun with my clothes.
I’m a stay at home mama and I absolutely love it! When I was a kid all I wanted when I grew up was to get married and be a mum, so once I accomplished that at 24 the rest has just been a bonus!

Photo credit my very favourite Kristina Childs
Let’s talk about sewing.
When did you start and who taught you to sew?
I started sewing when I was around 8 years old. My mum used to sew most of mine and my sister’s clothes – right down to underwear! I was so proud of everything she made me (except for this pair of farm animal corduroy jeans that I’m sure NOW i would have loved so hard, but then, oh man I hated them!)(she never lets me forget that either), so when she made my dad a shirt, my sister a shirt and then some knickers for me out of the scraps I proudly marched to my Opa and lifted my skirt to show him my new underwear ‘from scraps!’. He thought it was hilarious, and every time after that if I showed him anything he would ask if it was from ‘from scraps’. (I eventually got that phrase tattooed on my arm!).
We started with making clothes for our cabbage patch dolls, and while I didn’t sew a lot as a child after that I picked it up again in my final year of school. I remember making myself a really hideous pair of shorts from a bedspread. It had fish all over it and it was just, wow, so ugly but I really loved them! I wore them on the bus and got teased quite a lot for it. I was upset, but it never made me stop sewing for myself! And well, that was 13 years ago and hello, look where I am now! The best thing is those ugly fish shorts were so 90s, and it was the early 2000’s and I’m sure they’re super fashionable now!
Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or professional sewer?
I don’t think I’m professional, I’m sure if I sat down and did all the proper techniques I was taught in fashion school I’d pretend I was close to professional but I’m not. I’m intermediate, I’m learning new things all the time and its terrifying and exciting and it does help me to sew things easier when I do them the -right- way as opposed to my gung-ho guerilla-sewing technique! Still, DIY is all about Doing It Yourself, sooo if the way YOU do something is the best way for YOU to do it, then go ahead!
Which three tips would you give a beginner sewer?
1. Don’t give up! For years and years and YEARS I was making the crappiest stuff, I didn’t use patterns just hacked up t-shirts and made cool new stuff. They were awful, but all my friends LOVED them and people wanted to buy my stuff. I guess it worked with the punk rock style I was going for?
2. Don’t be scared to try new things! This is something I have written up on a little post it note stuck to my wall above my sewing machine. I taught myself how to sew a blind hem like a month or two ago, and now I want to blind hem all the things! Some things may intimidate you, some things you may not want to sew because you don’t think you know how. Just go for it! Jump in, the water’s fine! What’s the worst that will happen? You’ll screw up? That’s not really a problem because there is enough fabric in the world you can keep screwing up until you get it the way you want it!
3. Don’t conform! When you start sewing you will find what you enjoy making the best. For me originally it was t-shirt surgeries! Hacking up band shirts and turning them into cool new shirts or mini dresses or skirts. Then as my skills got better and better I started making rockabilly 1950s inspired dresses. And then along came baby Vincent and all that went out the window because now the thing I love to sew the most is kids clothing! Find what you like and make that. Find your style, the things you enjoy doing, and do that. Don’t let anybody make you think you’re not good enough, or you’re not as good as someone else. You’re as good as yourself, and that’s really all that matters!
For whom do you sew?
My kids! Vinnie and Eddie, although I’ve been sewing for Vincent for longer so I feel more confident making him cool things. I also have been sewing for myself since there is becoming an abundance of amazing women’s pdf patterns these days! Poor Tim has been missing out, but I would like to change that!
How often do you sew?
It really depends! Sometimes I have the sewing bug and I just want to sew all day and all night and when i have to go to bed I’m on my phone on Pinterest planning the next things I want to sew. Other times I get burned out and I’m just like “ugh no” when I think about sewing. I’m like a mad scientist.
What fabric type(s) do you like most to sew with?
Nothing slinky. I hate silks and satins and fabrics that slip away when I try to sew them! I used to just sew with woven fabrics, I was scared of knits and I loved the structure of putting darts in and making things sit so nicely. Those days though everything has changed and I just sew what the hell ever!
How do you get inspired?
My son is my biggest muse. He has his own style, he’s let me know what things he does like wearing and what things he hates wearing (all his pants must be super skinny!) and he’s the reason I sometimes make really strange things that aren’t the ‘usual’ thing for boys. He rocks out leggings, floral shirts, he really wants me to make him a pair of gold leggings like his sister’s but I haven’t had the chance to make them for him yet! I follow a few kids fashion accounts on Instagram and they’re very inspiring for boys’ fashion.
Do you have any real life sewing friends?
Real life? I have friends online, my bff Kat of Sew Chibi (we talk every day!) as well as the many many talented ladies of the blogsphere, but as in my day to day life that’s a big fat no! My mum doesn’t sew a lot anymore, my sister does sew sometimes but she does underestimate herself a lot which is silly because she makes the most amazing things! Other than that I don’t have any RL sewing friends (although Sophie and I are working on rectifying this asap!)

You blog at Max California. I’m curious to hear a little bit about your blog:
When and why did you start to blog?
I started it when I was pregnant with Vinnie. I was sewing mainly things for myself and posting them on T Shirt Surgery which was a great little sewing community but then I decided I needed a place just for myself and the tutorials I was writing. I started my blog and then suddenly was thrown into the world of sewing for kids when somehow I stumbled upon Dana and Rae’s Celebrate the Boy series.Seriously, total life changer.
Is there anything that you would make differently if you started your blog now?
Nope! We all start from somewhere, and it’s amazing that sometimes there’s these people that have only had their blog for like 6 months and they’re, like, ‘blog famous’ sort of thing. I’ve had my blog since 2008! But you know, I didn’t start my blog expecting to get people that weren’t my mum reading it. If you have something you want to share, then share it!

How often do you blog? How much time do you spend each day/week blogging?
I blog whenever I feel like it. I do get asked to be on various blog events or pattern tours, which is so much fun, and of course I have the monthly adventures of Sew Geeky with my friend Kat so I blog at least twice a month these days, although it’s usually more!

Do you plan your sewing, picture taking and blog posts in advance or do you just let things happen?
If I’m sewing with a deadline, then yes. I used to leave things to the last minute but it’s stressful and the whole family suffers so I do try to get things done well ahead of time! Before I was on Project Run & Play (that’s kind of how people realised I was a blogger and they wanted me to be on their blog parties/tours!) I would finish something and take photos and blog about it all in the one day.
The kids aren’t allowed to wear anything I have made if I haven’t taken photos of it yet. It’s like the blogger code ;)
What are the three sewn (and blogged) items that you are most proud about or that you yourself like most?Show us some pictures (with links)! 

I really love most things I sew! When I put something I have sewn onto my kids I just fall in love with it even more. There’s something about Vin that just makes even the ugliest outfit pretty amazing! My most favourite thing I have ever made Vincent was the blue Sergeant Pepper’s inspired military jacket I made for the finale of Project Run & Play! I put my heart and soul into that piece, and if you click through you’ll hear the story about my Opa and the scraps again but that’s because the linking of the jacket was made from scraps of every fabric I had used throughout the competition! 
I also love the Bantha hoodie I made Eddie. It really is the most ridiculous hoodie I have ever seen, it’s horrible to try and wash but she loves it, and I think it’s hilarious on her. It’s quite obscure, not many people know what the heck she is supposed to be, which makes me love it even more!
I also (terrible photo!) love the Greasemonkey coveralls I made Vincent. I made two pairs for him, as he grew out of the first pair, and it’s time for me to make another pair. This little piece is going to be my first ever real life pattern! Which is exciting!

Do you make money with your blog or do you have any sewing related business (e.g. Etsy or dawanda shop; pattern shop)? Do you have tips for someone wanting to start a blog business?
I managed to qualify for a BlogHer account, which means I get a small amount of money each month for their ads on my site. It’s not a lot, but it does come in handy with it sitting in my paypal account (ie, those impulsive $2 on ebay with free shipping from China buys!).
 I don’t really have much advice, since I do not have a head for business at all. I’d rather create, and I really despise how money oriented some things can get. I feel if you are blogging just to make money, then you’re really in the wrong field and it is very obvious what you are trying to do (which makes me a little sick) (maybe I’m just being a hippie but some people’s obsession with money is disgusting). It’s difficult, I know I could probably ,make more money by working out how to get more traffic or approaching people sponsorship or taking advantage of some of the emails I get sent to promote certain products.
I remember the first time I was approached it was for glasses and I would get a free pair of glasses. I was really excited, but then when I wrote the post up on my blog? Oh man I felt so dirty! What the hell does glasses have to do with sewing? NOTHING. I know it’s my blog and I can do what I like with it, but really, whenever I see sponsored posts for cleaning products or face wash or whatever on other blogs i just click the hell out of there. I’m just a really -real- person, I want to feel like what I’m reading this person is passionate about, that they love it, not that they got a free whatever out of it you know? And yeh, again, it’s their blogs and they can do what they like but that is just my feelings on the matter!
Taking Pictures and editing these is an important part of blogging. Good pictures are often what makes us want to visit a blog again and again.  I’m excited to read what camera you are using and if you have to bribe your kids, too…
What Camera and Objective do you use?
I used to use my iPhone for most of my pics! About a year and a half ago I was given an SLR camera from my in-laws which was an AMAZING gift and I literally cried because I wasn’t expecting it. It was right in time for Project Run & Play and it was just. I was very lucky! (it’s also insured!). It’s a Canon EOS 1100D. I just use the lens that came with it which is an 18-55mm. That’s the extent of my photography knowledge!
What is your skill level in photography? Did you learn everything yourself or did you take a course or similar?
Oh man amateur. Very, very amateur. I would love to take a course in photography at our local TAFE (i believe it’s similar to a community college thing) to further my skills. I do think I have a flair for taking photos, I just don’t know all the technical stuff and when I try and read and learn I get distracted to easily! (I have ADD so focusing on one thing I’m not passionate about is really really difficult!)

How do you get your kids to cooperate when you want to take pictures?
I don’t know if it’s just my kids but they LOVE having their photo taken. I’ve always made it fun for them, and because I think yelling at them for not co-operating with something like this is absolutely ridiculous if they’re not feeling it then we’ll stop and try again another day. However I find if Vin is acting up, being really silly, and I ask him if we can just take photos later he FLIPS out because he loves our mini shoots! So does Eddie now.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been taking photos of them for a very long time? They’re used to it, and Vincent follows direction very very well. He’s an amazing little model! Only once I have had to bribe them with Smarties; it was for the Classic Anime shoot we did for Sew Geeky. I was running out of time and HAD to get photos that day and they were just, so not in the mood for any of it! However they will do anything for a smartie (they don’t get sugary lolllies very often at all!) and it was a little stressful but I tried so hard not to snap at my babies (except the snap snap of the camera! Ha!
What programme do you use for picture editing and which steps do you normally take to edit your pictures?
I use Photoshop Elements which is a lovely basic version of photoshop! I do have Photoshop as well, but there is so much I just don’t use that Elements works perfectly for me! I really don’t edit my photos that much, again this is a lack of skill but I don’t really think you need to be a photoshop wizard to blog! I mean you take a photo of what you have made, if you need to photoshop the crap out of it then maybe that’s a little misleading ;)
I really only crop photos, resize them and then lighten them (Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Brightness/Contrast).
As you can see nothing amazing happening here. Apart from that ridiculously cute little babe!
What would blogging be without other blogs? I’m always on the hunt for new inspiring blogs. And I love to get in contact with people from different countries. Who knows maybe you have some blog favourites that I don’t know about?
What are your three favourite sewing blogs to read? Why?
Oh please don’t act like you didn’t see this one coming! My girl Sew Chibi! I love her so much, she’s such a passionate seamstress and her creations are such an art! I rave on about her all the time I know, but there is a reason for that. She is my cheerleader, my Tim Gunn, she helps me with so many things. She is inspiring, she pushes me (unintentionally) to reach new heights with my sewing. I mean she sewed with WATER and then with LIGHTS. Please. Some days she makes me want to just give up the internet because come on! (I’m kidding, Internet I could never quit you).
Another favourite is Tara from Girl Like the Sea. She’s very nerdy and she is an AMAZING mother. Seriously she blows my mind with how epic she is. Her creations are so beautiful, her blog commentary always makes me laugh and her children just give me heart eyes! Ugh I mean look at Vincent’s future wife right here!
A girl I used to avidly follow and talk to back in the days before children and blogs is Lladybird. I’m sure I met her on Craftster or one of the sewing livejournal communities when they were the only places to go for DIY creations! Lauren is so inspiring. She sews so much and she is just, she really motivates me to sew for me! Check her out, I garunte ou will be stuck on her blog for hours as you trawl her archives.
Special mentions go out to my girls Amanda of Kitschy Coo and Sarah of Emmy Lou Bee Doo just because they are super supportive of everything I have ever done and I love them so so much.
Do you follow any blogs that are written in another language? What are your three favourite ones?
First and foremost, I love Trine from Groovybaby and Mama! Her boy fashion is very inspiring for me, and her children are SO BEAUTIFUL to look at oh my goodness! She is Danish. 
A recent new favourite is rocKing’sKidi. I don’t even know how I’m supposed to say that! Rocking’s Kidi? I usually say Rocking Skidi ^_^ ANYWAY, I love Elisa’s style a lot and I first found her when I was looking for doll clothes‘ inspiration for Eddie’s new dolls. Her children’s fashion is just as epic!
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions!
And now let’s get sewing! I’m curious to see your signature tee!
Weee! Well you know i could have sewn something epic for Vinnie, since he is definitely my signature style little man. However he has a lot of clothes and you know who doesn’t? ME! Yeh. So I knew I wanted to make myself a shirt but I had no idea what sort of shirt to do. I was going to do some t-shirt surgery like what I used to do when I was younger (I don’t think I have any photos on my blog but my sister made one similar just recently). After having a little browse and being in total comic book mode (this month’s theme for Sew Geeky is Marvel Vs DC!) I decided to make myself a shirt inspired by my favourite superhero of them all, Nightwing!

Okay so quickly, Nightwing is the first of Batman’s Robin, he’s just grown up! Yeh, I really really love Robin! Now there are quite a few amazing t-shirt patterns for ladies out there, and I got to try out the Trifecta Top by Kitschy Coo for the first time and oooh boy.

TOTALLY IN LOVE. There are SO MANY customisation options, you can go wild with all the different sleeve lengths, neckline options, hemming options, hell even the little shoulder insert details yeh! So I went with the low scoop neckline, elbow length sleeves and in a way I did the shoulder insets too.

Man this tee was really TRICKY. I mean it’s a t-shirt, why would it be difficult! Because I like making things hard on myself that’s why! The Nightwing markings across my chest are a reverse applique. The sleeve were hacked a little so that there is blue on the shoulder of the sleeve, then black the rest of the way. The little black ‘shoulder insets’ are actually just like caps! Or upside down pockets, ya know, however you look at it!


The most difficult part was lining up the blue sleeve sections with the blue on the front of the shirt however after sewing the same thing wrong three times I eventually grew a brain and it all came together!


I love the back, how it just looks like a cool shirt! Although I think even from the front, if you didn’t know it was Nightwing I was channelling it still looks like some sort of cool tribal-ish sort of thing yeh? I sewed this tee up in the size 6 (oh how I love the way Amanda’s patterns are organised and sized!) even though my measurements said I was a size 4. My reason? I like oversized shirts basically! I’ve sewn Amanda’s patterns before, and I know that the sizing is spot on for me, so even though size 4 wouldn’t be tight on me, I just wanted a nice baggy shirt! I think it turned out well, like I’ve slipped into Nightwing’s casual shirt while he’s out fighting crime in his suit ;)

Thank you SO MUCH Annika for having me, I’m thinking about making my About Me page just redirect to here!


Thanks again “Max” for visiting my blog. I really loved to get to know you better!
If you haven’t read all of the old interviews, you can find these here. Plus, come back next week to meet the always inspiring Brienne.


    Do you want to know what is going on behind the scenes?
    Follow us on instagram.