Hi friends, Today I'm happy to introduce you to another Canadian crafter. Now 16, Emma Lewis has already been sewing for six years; she recently released her first fashion collection as a Sew Be It Girl Label designer (part of " Sew Be It Girl," a program run through Toronto's Sew Be It Studio). Emma set aside her fabric shears and measuring tape for a little while to answer some questions for me. Thanks, Emma! [caption id="attachment_2156" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Emma models one of the dresses from her collection."] [/caption] Please tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a grade ten student at the Bishop Strachan School in Toronto. Some of my hobbies are: sewing, shopping, dancing, watching movies, traveling and hanging out with my friends. In the future I hope to study at the Parsons School of Design in New York City to pursue my dream of becoming a fashion designer. How did you become interested in sewing and fashion design? How long have you been involved? I became interested in sewing at the age of ten when I took a March Break camp at Sew Be It Studio. Over the past few years I have been able to grow as a sewer and have developed a passion for design and fashion. I have been involved with designing for the past two years and sewing for the past six years. What made you decide to learn to sew? I was inspired by my friend who was taking sewing lessons at Sew Be It. One March Break my Mom decided to sign me up for the camp and the rest is history! Do you have formal training, or are you self-taught? Yes, I have been taking specialty classes and courses at Sew Be it studio for the past few years. I absolutely love Sew be it. I have been taught by Dilys Tong my whole sewing career and I must say I couldn’t be taught by a nicer individual than Dilys. How was designing your first collection different than sewing pieces that you wanted to wear for yourself? Designing pieces for my collection was different than sewing pieces for myself because I had to be conscious of what people were interested in buying, what colors and styles would be flattering for the demographic and finally which fabrics would sell. When I am making something solely for myself, I just have to make it to fit my liking and don’t have to worry about all the elements that would make a piece sell. What’s your go-to element (for example, an accessory or technique) that you add to a garment when you want to make it “pop”? When I want to make an outfit pop I usually pair it with a flashy shoe. Whether it be the latest mui mui platforms or teddy bear converse, shoes always take an outfit up two notches and give it that extra pizzazz. Purses can add the same “pop” as shoes but the only difference is I can make them! A bright colored clutch or over the shoulder bag ca brighten up any outfit and add that extra flare. What’s your favourite item of clothing – that you’ve made, or that you’ve purchased – and why? My favourite item of clothing that I have purchased would have to be my brand new patent leather mui mui platforms because the color combination is stellar and the design is very unique. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you have a favourite book, magazine, website or other resource that you like to refer to when you need to "refill the well"? I find my inspiration from magazines and clothes I see in stores. My favorite magazines that I get most of my inspiration from are: Teen Vogue, Nylon and Vogue as well as the blog The Style Rookie. What plans do you have for your next collection? I plan to include more shirts and skirts in my second collection as my first collection was mostly comprised of dresses. I also plan to add more texture and shapes to my designs as I have been inspired by the late Alexander McQueen and his work which incorporated a lot of texture. What advice would you give to a beginning sewer? The best advice I could give a beginner sewer would be to be patient. Problems will always arise whilst sewing but even more will occur if you rush. I would also advise them wear safety goggles you never know when a pin could come flying! Where can we see more of your work? You can see more of my work at Sew Be It Girl , I encourage everyone reading this to stop by. Is there anything else you'd like to share? I would like to thank Canadian Living for this wonderful opportunity. I also want to encourage everyone reading to come to Sew Be It Girl to check out my first collection!