Maine, United States

Making No. 6 / BLACK & WHITE: An interview with Sonya Philip

Making No. 6 / BLACK & WHITE: An interview with Sonya Philip


Enjoy an interview with Sonya Philip of 100 Acts of Sewing! She designed the Array Shirt for Making No. 6 / BLACK & WHITE.

Tell us about your craft, and how did you get started?

I make clothes and design a small line of sewing patterns. I learned how to sew when I was in middle school, but never got much farther than Halloween costumes and a quilt or two. In 2012 I took a pattern drafting class with Cal Patch and afterwards I made my first dress. Totally excited by making a garment I would actually wear, I started 100 Acts of Sewing and documented every dress I made that year. 

What does the heritage of your craft mean to you?

I feel there's a high expectation around sewing garments, especially when it comes to issues of fit and construction. As a result, people convince themselves they can't make their own clothes. But just like so many other things, 

Tell us a story about something that’s happened with a project.

When my daughter was two years old, I decided to make her a dress. While I was able to put it on her, I was not able to get it back over her head and had to cut her out of it.

Tell us about a challenge in your making that you've had to overcome.  

Pretty much every new pattern is its own crisis of confidence. Will it work? What am I doing? There's always this moment of pushing through all the nagging doubts.

What role does black and white play in your making?

Although I love color, I do enjoy mixing up different black and white prints. There's a certain magic to how stripes and dots all can work together.

If you were going to create something just  for  fun  today,  what  would  it be?  

I would crack open my neglected watercolors and do some doodling. 

If you could collaborate with three people, who would they be and why?  

I would love to collaborate with Nikki McClure, Kate Davies, and Maira Kalman. All three women are inspiring artists and authors. 

What tools could you never be without?

Definitely my sewing machine! I do also love a sharp pair of shears and thread snips. 

What excites your about the project you designed for Making?  

I'm excited to see people play with fabric prints and directionality.

Any helpful links to online resources that might help makers create your project? 

I have a series of tutorials over on the 100 Acts of Sewing site, offering tips on how to sew things like bias tape facing. 

What other types of making find their way into your days?

I enjoy knitting, cooking, and gardening.

What are you currently making/knitting right now?

I'm currently knitting a lot lately, trying to finish up my Diagonapples scarf by Anna Maltz.

If your craft would send a message to the world, what would it be?

It would be to wear what you make and don't get overly hung up on fit or perfection.