Hello! I’m Yelena, your lingerie sewing tutor here at Sew Projects.
I’ve been creating lingerie for nearly 10 years, holding a degree in Contour Fashion, where I studied at De Monfort University in Leicester UK. I have experience working in the lingerie industry and have freelanced for lingerie companies, as well as owning my own business creating handmade lingerie. I have a vast range of experience and skills from designer, pattern cutter to grader and lots more!
My lingerie sewing story…
I first started sewing at the age of 16 when my Grandmother bought me my first sewing machine. I used to love making vintage style garments, up-cycling old clothes and using my own dyed fabrics.
My love for sewing and creating grew.
I can remember making a dress completely out of old clothes from charity shops, a vintage style apron from up cycled lace cloths and ties, (I think I even made a bra style garment from ties! haha) and a selection of 1700 stays (corsets) made from homemade and dyed paper! I had touched upon lingerie garments as I had been a lingerie enthusiast since a teenager but I always thought it would be too hard to make my own lingerie!
While studying my A levels, I had been looking at university courses in fashion and textiles but it wasn’t until I came across the Contour Fashion course at De Montfort University, which literally gave me stars in my eyes! Who would have thought it, a degree teaching you how to make lingerie. Well I can tell you now my heart was set, but I cant lie, it wasn’t an easy ride to get there.
In the mean time, I got an artist’s studio in my hometown of Norwich and spent hours on my own creative projects, developing my skills and ideas. At first this was hard, I was always used to a tutor to turn to, but it didn’t take long until my creativity grew further than it ever had before. This year in my life is a time that I always look back to, something just clicked, I was in the flow and I was creating the most experimental lingerie based garments I’ve ever made (although completely not wearable at all, and I now cringe at the fit and technical aspects! hehe) I still have all these garments, I just can’t let them go.
I taught myself how to make lingerie and bras (especially!), I read blogs online, there was limited resources back then, and I bought books to help me pattern cut. Before I knew it I was creating and selling my own handmade lingerie before I even went to university!
That year, I finally got on to my dream course at De Montfort University and I was actually accepted onto the other lingerie degree course at London college of fashion too! I was so thrilled that I cried, this was really unlike me back then!
I had an amazing three years at De Montfort and completely loved the course.
Since finishing my degree I continued with my own handmade lingerie brand (Yelena Buck), learned new skills in industry by working for and freelancing for a selection of lingerie companies.
Unfortunately a point came where my health was suffering and my body was saying no. I had to take a new direction with my work, and ever since that decision I have felt SO much better.
The new direction was the start of Sew Projects! I feel so incredibly inspired to pass on my skills that I have learned. I want everyone to be able to feel that amazing sense of accomplishment of making your own lingerie that I have felt. I am completely addicted and I can’t imagine ever not creating lingerie.
The skills and processes that I found it so hard to find when I started sewing lingerie, is something I want to share with you.