I'm Yelena and I design lingerie sewing patterns for my pattern and supplies business, Sew Projects.
I hold a degree in Contour Fashion, (lingerie design basically) 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!
It all started at about the age of 16 for me when my Grandmother bought me an entry level Janome sewing machine for my birthday! At first 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! (see, even I thought it! hehe)
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 felt so incredibly inspired to pass on my skills that I have learned. I wanted everyone to be able to feel that amazing sense of accomplishment of making your own lingerie that I have felt and the skills of how to create perfectly fitting undies! I am completely addicted and I can’t imagine ever not creating lingerie.
The skills and processes that I found so hard to find when I started sewing lingerie, is something I want to share with YOU.