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Q&A with Carly from Lucky Sew and Sew

Hi everyone,

A little while ago I stumbled across Lucky Sew and Sew and asked Carly if she would like to do a Q&A so you could find out a bit more about her and her blog!

Carly said yes! So here goes...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

My blog is a little insight into my life in general - a culmination of the sewing for my business, sewing for myself and my family, my children, my mad life. I try and keep things as real and honest as possible. Being a wife, a Mummy and having a handmade business is a lot of guess work, frustration and going-with-the-flow. I want to share what makes me happy, what i'm up to, any tips and tricks i've found, my achievements and even my battles. Trying to make a living from what makes you happy is tough, but if I can do it, then so can anyone, and I hope to enforce that with my blog.

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start?

I've always been more creative than academic (although my art teacher at school would have said otherwise!). I've always loved crafting and made a lot of things for my wedding myself. It wasn't until after my son was born, in late 2012 that I first tried my hand at sewing. Unfamiliar with my post-baby body, and not ready to go shopping for new clothes yet, I decided to sew my own vintage-inspired dress. I borrowed my Mum's sewing machine, bought a vintage pattern and some fabric (I couldn't read the back of the pattern properly yet and ended up with 6m of fabric!), and just went in blind. The pattern was several sizes too small, so I even had to grade it up - I had no idea what I was doing! Suprisingly, it turned out really well, and I felt a massive surge of satisfaction from making something myself. The love affair with sewing started then.

What is your favourite craft?

Most definitley sewing!

What do you love most about crafting?

The freedom that it gives you to create something completley unique. I love that.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My Mum and I sew together alot. Lucky Sew and Sew is a joint venture for us both. I also try and involve my children with crafts when I can, although they are a little bit young at the minute. My three year old loves to press the foot pedal when i'm sewing, but his most favourite thing to do is to pick out fabrics that he likes for me to sew him something from. He also loves to look at my vintage sewing pattern collection with me, he loves the drawings on the front of the packets!

Who do you make things for?

Everyone and anyone I can! I think sewing gifts is so much more thoughtful and personal than simply buying something. I always have a huge list of gifts to sew at Christmas time, and usually cut the timing quite fine! This Christmas I made rather a lot, including embroidered slippers for my Dad, a dress for my Mum, a bag for my Mother-in-Law and a vintage dolly family for my baby daughter, amongst other things.

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

I started blogging to keep a track on what i've made and what i've been up to. It's really easy to forget when you're busy, and it's nice sometimes to take a step back and look at what you have acheived.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

I can't really snack while I sew as I'll end up with sticky fingerprints on things! But my husband likes to bring me cups of tea which keep me going.

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

seam ripper, good quality scissors and an overlocker!

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I absolutley love to sew with Scuba Fabric! If you haven't come across it before, it's like the fabric that scuba suits are made from, hence the name. It's thick, very stretchy and very versitile. It comes in the most vibrant prints too, which I love!

What is your favourite product on the Minerva Crafts website and what would you make with it?

I love the pink houndstooth printed scuba fabric. I would make a lovely swimsuit or bikini for the summer from it.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

Too many! My mind never switches off! I often have orders for lingerie, a project for myself, and also a couple for the children, as well as working on new designs for Lucky Sew and Sew. I have a sewing journal where I try and keep note of my projects so that I don't have too many all at once and can keep track.

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

I recently purchased the Roberts Collection pattern from Marilla Walker and made myself some dungarees. I LOVE this pattern, it's so straight forward and quick to sew, so rewarding too. I haven't stopped wearing my dungarees since they were completed!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

Another pair of dungarees, from the same pattern actually! My first pair were a deep denim, which I added pockets to. This pair is made from a floral stretch cotton twill.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I can't watch the TV, I find it too distracting! I sometimes listen to an audiobook, but usually I listen to music, I find it really motivating.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

I find inspiration in a lot of places. Museums, vintage shops, magazines. If I'm trying to think of a new design for Lucky Sew and Sew, I usually sit with my sketch book and make a few rough ideas. I then fine tune them and talk them over with my Mum before starting a sample. I find Pinterest can be great for inspiration, but when i'm feeling a bit lost or have a creative mind-block, I like to go for a walk and get some fresh air to clear my mind. I think having too many ideas can cloud your creativity, so it's good to connect with nature, get grounded and then it's easier to focus. I live by the sea-side, and the salt-sea air really cleanses the creative mind!

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Try not to worry to much about what you think people might want to read and instead write about what you enjoy. Writing about something you have a true passion for will be far more engaging than writing about something which you think you should be writting about.

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?

Needle and Thread - my two favourite things!

Thank you so much for that Carly! Please take the time to check out Carly's blog for more!

Bye for now,

Vicki

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Q&A with Abigail from Freckled Fashionista

Hi there crafters!

I have another Q&A for you to read here on the blog today from a very special lady! Meet Abigail, a 12 (yes 12!) year old sewist - that's definitely a record breaker for our youngest ever featured sewer here on the blog!

So without further ado, please meet Abigail...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

Hi, I'm Abigail! I'm a 12 year old sewer, and my blog, the freckledfashionista, is about my adventures in sewing and crafting, as well as life in general.

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?

I started crafting when I was nine years old. I was interested in fashion at first, but it led to wanting to be able to sew. I received a sewing machine and mannequin for my birthday, and it began there.

The first thing that I made was a dress, but I made it out of less than a yard of fabric, with no idea how to sew, and somehow I sewed down the middle. The first official thing that I could wear was a white dress with purple flowers. My mother helped me sew it, and we used a pattern, so it worked a lot better.

What do you love most about crafting?

I love being able to look in my closet and think, Oh, I'd like to have another skirt or dress and then I can pick out fabric and a pattern and make something that I can wear. I can fill the gaps in my wardrobe and gain sewing experience at the same time. It's nice to be able to tell people, “I made this.” They're always so surprised. Also, it's not like you can see anything like it in the store. It's unique.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My mother and grandmother know how to sew, but I must admit, I do it more than them. I try to get my friends to sew, but they just aren't interested, and most don't have the time.

Who do you make things for?

Typically, myself. Or my family members, sometimes. It's just easier, because I know my size and my personal style, but I hope to make them some things! I make little gifts, though, like zippered pouches or bunting flags. I love sharing those with people.

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

At first, when I started my blog two years ago, I wanted to start it for fun. Now, my blog is to share what I make with the world. I follow over 70 bloggers (I'm not kidding) and they all give me so much inspiration. I want to share that inspiration that I feel when I read their blog with the world.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

I like to sew after I get schoolwork done, so normally I make a big snack plate: apples and peanut butter, cheese, crackers, grapes, the works. I try to eat it within breaks, though, so that I don't get it on the fabric!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

My zipper foot, my iron and my seam gauge. I sew a lot of zippered pouches, so I love my zipper foot, even though it comes with every sewing machine. My iron is really useful for pressing fabric, and I think it gives things a more professional store bought look. My seam gauge is helpful for hems and such, because I am so bad at eye-balling hems.

What are your favorite fabrics to sew with any why?

I really enjoy sewing with flannel fabric. There's nothing better than comfy, soft, warm fabric. I love the cute prints that lots of flannel fabrics have.

What is your favorite product on the Minerva Crafts website and what would you make with it?

I love Minerva Craft's spandex/knit fabric. I would make myself some yoga pants, or workout pants.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

Normally only one. I try to limit myself and stick to one project until I finish it. To save fabric, when I'm making something, I buy the fabric as I need it, instead of keeping a large stash. I find that that helps me not to waste fabric.

Whats your favorite thing you have ever made?

Probably my One Hour Top. The pattern is by Fancy Tiger Crafts, and I used Art Gallery Fabric. Honestly, it's the most comfortable top I've ever made, and I wear it all the time. It was super easy to make.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

Currently, I'm working on Christmas gifts. I like to start early. I would share a picture but that would give away the surprise, as my family is probably reading this!

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

Actually, I do! I get really bored sewing without anything to listen to, so I like watching things while I sew. There's a small table in the back of our living room, and there is a fireplace, so I like watching I Love Lucy or other short shows, while I sew. It's a really enjoyable experience. I don't make it a habit, though.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

The blogs I follow. Every morning, I check my feed and read through all of the craft blogs that I've found over the years. Each blogger has a different style of sewing, or crafting, and they share patterns, and tips, so I always get ideas. Pinterest is another good website for little sewing ideas.

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?

Enjoy it. Don't ever think that you have to sew to make this or that, instead think that you want to sew. It makes it more enjoyable.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

The best way to gain popularity is to comment on other blogs. Follow as many blogs as you can (I have a list of my favorites up on my blog) and just leave a nice comment. It makes a difference. Whenever someone leaves a nice comment on my blog, I always feel very happy, and I try to follow them back. Also, never stop blogging. Always post, and someone will stumble upon it.

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?

Organized, Spunky, and Creative.

Thank you!

Thanks so much for that fantastic Q&A Abigail, I've loved delving into your crafting world! I hope you enjoyed reading at home and of course don't forget to hop on over to Abigail's blog to see more!

Bye for now

Vicki x

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Q&A with Chelsea of SewDarnNeat

Hello everyone! 

We have a lovely tutorial for your today from Chelsea at SewDarnNeat. We have collaborated with Chelsea in the past on several tutorials on her blog using our products. We are really excited to welcome her to contribute to our craft tutorials here on the website very shortly, so we thought you might like to meet her by way of a Q&A here on the blog first :)

So here goes...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

My name is Chelsea and I’m a 20-year-old Math student from Wales. My blog is Sew Darn Neat. It’s my space where I share my homemade home decor and clothes (and everything in between). I’ve been blogging for less than a year but loving every minute so far.

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?

As a child I was always crafty, I loved saving up bits of rubbish and turning them into my treasures. I’d save up toilet roll inners, egg cartons and sweet wrappers and make all sorts of creations with them. Every once in a while I would pick up knitting needles with the ambition to make a scarf. I religiously got bored with it after a short time and only ever made a bookmark!

When I was around 10 years old I asked Father Christmas for a sewing machine which I fortunately received. I was so excited! We opened the box and couldn’t find a manual. Back then YouTube wasn’t really a thing so it wasn’t easy to find instructions online. The sewing machine stayed in the box for a while and eventually made its way back to the shop for a refund.

Around September 2014 I was going into my second year at University, I decided I wanted my Uni room to look nice and cosy so decided to make bunting. I guess this was my first sewing project, I bought a fat quarter bundle, white ribbon and white lace trim and hand sewed it all together. The bunting has followed me into my third year at uni.

The feeling of self-satisfaction after making the bunting was great and so I wanted to sew some more. A crafty friend asked me if I had ever watched the Great British Sewing Bee, which I had not. I found the episodes for series 1 and 2 and watched all of them in two days! Christmas 2014 came along and I received my current machine (Ditsy) and my sewing journey began…

What is your favourite craft?

My favourite craft has got to be sewing but crochet must be a close second. I’ve been sewing almost a year now and love that it is an endless learning journey and that I will only get better with time and practice, in fact I have seen some improvement already!

Within the last month or so I’ve had a stab at embroidery (quite literally), which I’m quite enjoying.

What do you love most about crafting?

Doing my degree can be very stressful at times, the work is difficult and there is a huge workload. Crafting definitely helps to relieve that stress, I find it very therapeutic. However, my favourite thing about crafting has got to be when someone complements me on what I’m wearing and asks where I got it. Nothing beats that feeling of pride!

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My sister has adopted my Nana’s old machine and will sew with me when I’m home from uni. This past summer we spent a day sewing lined tote bags together (tutorial) which was so much fun. Also, I made bunting with two of my friends in the summer. They seemed to really enjoy it and being able to watch someone else enjoying your hobby is a wonderful feeling. Being able to share the experience with others is great.

Who do you make things for?

I have to confess… I’m a selfish sewer. I love making clothes for myself. Does that make me a bad person? I am also a self-confessed fabric addict. I feel attached to all of my fabric and hate to be parted from it, which is probably the main reason I sew for myself. When I’m not sewing for myself I love to sew for my niece and nephew (1 and 3). I made my nephew some pyjamas for his third birthday and he LOVES them, he still wears them even though they have become too short for him. Every time I go to visit and he is wearing his pyjamas he gets excited telling me that his 'Aunty Che Che' made them for him.

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

I got my sewing machine December 2014 and started blogging within a month. I wanted a way to document every item that I created which blogging allowed me to do. I also wanted to engage with the online sewing community, they are such a friendly bunch of people.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

Snacking and sewing aren’t two things that happen simultaneously for me. In fact, I usually completely forget to eat! Many a time I have started sewing before breakfast and stopped around teatime having completely skipped lunch. Oops!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

My sewing machine (duh!), pins (to lessen the amount of mistakes I make) and seam ripper (to fix the mistakes that are inevitable).

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I haven’t ventured out too much yet. 99% of the time I sew with Cotton/Polycotton. It is a great fabric to begin learning to sew with! However I think I need to start challenging myself a bit more fabric wise.

What is your favourite product on the Minerva Crafts website and what would you make with it?

So many to choose from! I recently made a nurse costume with supplies from Minerva Craft. I made a nurse hat out of felt, there is such a great selection of beautiful looking felt fabric on the website. Keep your eyes peeled for a new felt creation from me coming your way!

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

Usually just one. I like to finish a project before starting another. Sometimes if I lose my mojo with a project I will make something fun and simple to get my mojo back.

What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?

My proudest make is probably my gingham dress. It was the first time I had *successfully* made anything to fit the top half of my body and love the outcome!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

Another set of pyjamas like this pair for the “Wrap Pyjama Fairies” charity I co-run. We make wrap style pyjamas and gowns for children undergoing heart operations. Feel free to join in on Facebook.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I generally listen to music when I sew and love singing my heart out. But when I’m feeling a bit tamer, I love watching films snuggled in a blanket while I crochet.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

Cliché answer but Pinterest is my go to place for inspiration, every time!

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?

When I’ve finished sewing a buttonhole on my machine I pop a pin at both ends of my buttonhole, perpendicular to the buttonhole (covering my bar tack stitches). Then I put my seam ripper in the centre and work my way outwards. The pins stop you from cutting too far and cutting through the end stitches.

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I love The Pineneedle Collective, Danamadeit and Tilly and the Buttons!

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Short and sweet: Do what you enjoy and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?

Dedicated, Determined and Addicted.

Thanks so much for that Chelsea! It was lovely to get to know you a little better! As mentioned above Chelsea will soon be creating a sewing tutorial for us here at Minerva which we are very excited about so be sure to pop back to see that! And to find out more about Chelsea's creations and other sewing projects be sure to pop over to Chelsea's blog to see more.

Until next time,

Vicki x

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Q&A with Victoria of Very Blissful

Hello Crafters!
We've got someone pretty special to introduce today. Victoria from Very Blissful is soon to be one of the gang over at the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network! So before we see her fist make, let's learn a little bit about her...
Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?
My name is Victoria and I’m a 20-something gal from Pennsylvania where I live with my husband, Josh and our dog, Brinkley. I blog over at Very Blissful. It’s my place where I share my handmade makes, from sewing to papercrafts to home DIYs (and everything in between). I’ve been blogging for as long as I can remember, but this is the first blog that I’ve consistently kept up with.
When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?
I can’t even remember when I started crafting it’s been so long! If I really think about it, I was probably in high school when I first started scrapbooking with my mom. She’s the one who got me into everything I love. She taught me how to sew, knit and be creative--she’s definitely a huge inspiration in my life!
What is your favourite craft?
That is such a hard question because I have a LOT of crafts I love, but I would have to say it’s a tie between sewing and cardmaking. I love sewing my own clothes because it allows me to be creative and still stay on trend (and on budget). Card making gives me the ability to make other people smile. I love to make cards for coworkers, family and friends, and I’m always find new ideas to create something that stands out.
What do you love most about crafting?
You can do anything with crafting, and you can do it yourself. I often times find myself in a department store thinking “why spend $$$ on this cardigan/card/scarf when I can make it?” That kind of thinking opens up a world of possibilities for me!
Do your friends or family craft along with you?
Yes! My mom and I love to spend time creating cards when we are together. We also both love to knit/crochet, and if we are sitting with our family watching a movie we usually have a project in hand, too.
Who do you make things for?
Selfishly I sew a lot for myself, but I’ve made it my goal to start making things (other than cards) for other people. I have a couple projects and ideas to create something for my husband in the next few months.
What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?
I stumbled upon the sewing blogosphere randomly one day back in 2012, and I’ve really never looked back. After reading a lot of what other sewists were sharing about the craft I decided that I wanted an outlet to do the same, too. My ultimate motivation is just to inspire others to know that they can create anything they want. Anyone can be a crafter!
Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?
I don’t really snack while I’m sewing or crafting, but I always have water or tea on hand.
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
My Gingher shears for cutting fabric, my iron and my iPad. I sew a lot of PDF patterns, and I keep all of the instructions on Google Drive and read them from my tablet.
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?
Knits are my ultimate favorite! I didn’t start out sewing with them though--there used to be such a stigma about sewing with knits. But they are so quick, so forgiving and I just can’t stop!
How many projects do you have on the go at one time?
I try to sew one thing at a time. I do have about 4-5 unfinished projects that just need finishings that I sometimes leave for later if I want to get on to something else. As far as cards go, I make anywhere from one to 10+ at a time. Additionally, I have a lot of knit and crochet projects going on at once.
Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?
This is a hard one, but I’d have to say my first Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline. It was the project that made me fall in love with sewing knits, and I still wear it over two years later!
What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?
I’m working on some awesome projects for my Minerva posts...I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?
Yes. I usually put Netflix on, but the shows/movies vary. Usually I’ll watch Home/DIY shows or an old classic movie while I sew. Nothing too serious that I have to pay attention to!
What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?
I’m always on my Bloglovin feed and Pinterest for inspiration prior to crafting. I love seeing what other people create and then taking that to create something made by me.
Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?
Make a mess and clean it up whenever it starts to bother you! How can you create without chaos?
Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?
I follow a lot of other blogs. You can click here to check out my Bloglovin profile with the blogs I follow!
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Don’t worry about how much you post. Quality vs. quantity is always better in my mind!
Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?
Nonstop, Innovative, Passionate
 
 
Thanks Victoria for sharing your story. Her first post goes live Tuesday 20th October so be sure to check her out! If you can't wait that long, you can get your fill over at Very Blissful. I've already been over, a perfect read! Also, my heart is pining for Brinkley!
Speak soon gang
Katie B x
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Q&A with Hannah of Crafternoon Cabaret Club Craft Blog

Hi everyone,

Today I would love you to meet Hannah. Hannah writes a fun and gorgeous blog called Crafternoon Cabaret Club and runs an even of the same name too. I asked Hannah if she would be willing to do a Q&A guest post here on the blog...she said yes and so here we go!...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

Hello! My name is Hannah and I blog at www.CrafternoonCabaretClub.com: a craft and creativity blog, and the online home of my Craft and Cabaret mash-up event of the same name. I’ve always loved DIY, performance and people so it was only a matter of time before I found a way to bring my passions together!

Crafternoon Cabaret Club is a regular afternoon event where you can craft to your heart’s content whilst watching live performances from a top-notch cabaret line-up. 

 I started the blog a few months before launching the event as a way to document and share my making, new crafts I was tackling and creative inspirations, and because I was really keen to link into the amazing online crafting community. I’m a complete craft magpie and I’m always chasing the next new skill to learn so my blog includes papercrafts, knitting, jewellery making, sewing projects and upcycling... and I’m sure I’ll keep adding as I learn new skills.

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?

I’ve always loved making things from a young age – my mum used to make clothes and I loved watching her work. I did lots of arts and crafts at school and even when I moved into theatre instead, I still loved playing around making costumes or fancy dress. Back in 2013 I felt like I’d stopped lots of my creative interests and I wanted to get inspired to start making again so I started knitting. My first attempts were really not great! (I’m not the most patient learner) so I gathered some friends and a few bottles of wine so we could learn together. I loved the atmosphere of working that way and it’s very much part of what inspired Crafternoon Cabaret Club.

My first project from that time was a bobble hat, and then I quickly moved onto making pretty embellished felt collars.

What is your favourite craft?

I’d find it very hard to choose because I love flitting between crafts depending on my mood, what I’ve seen recently or what I’m interested in. Sewing is my original love, but I’ve got really into jewellery making in the last year and I’m absolutely loving papercut at the moment. Ask me again in a month and I’m sure I’ll be giving you a completely different answer!

What do you love most about crafting?

I love the creativity that comes from playing with different materials to create different effects: I find colours, textures and patterns really inspiring. I love working with my hands and I love seeing a project come together. I find craft relaxing and exhilarating all at once.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

I’ve got a few crafting buddies and I love a natter with my mum about making (she’s a big scrapbooker). Recently I got married which gave me the perfect excuse to get my bridesmaids making decorations with me! One of the highlights for me about running Crafternoon Cabaret Club is that every month I get to meet an amazing new group of people interested in craft: they might be practiced pro’s or absolute beginners but it’s so lovely to be able to spend two hours chatting craft and design choices.

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

I started my blog to help encourage myself out of a creative rut. I figured that if I committed to blogging about what I was making publicly then I would have to make things! I always work better with a deadline. Since then I’ve really developed a love of blogging and I blog a whole mixture of content from DIYs, to inspirations, to interviewing other creatives, or writing about cultural events I’ve been to. My blog has really evolved from what really started as a creative diary, and I love how you can create so many connections with other creatives and crafters through the blogging world.

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

My sewing machine – I love it so so much! It makes everything easier – I’ve also covered it with beautiful sparkly rhinestones so every time I look at it it makes me smile.

My pretty stork scissors – useful and beautiful to look at. The ideal balance.

My huge stash of fabrics and embroidery threads (can I count that as one item?) – Yes I’m a big craft hoarder but I love delving in, discovering a fabric I’d forgotten I had and finding new inspiration for projects!

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

The honest answer is too many, although I’m trying to stop that habit. At least one long term unfinished project just sitting there waiting for me to go back to it and then a few half done... but I like mixing these up with smaller quick projects that I could work on in one evening.

What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?

Indecisive as always: I love love love my French knitted necklace, I’m really proud of my upcycled washing machine drum lamp and I’ve got a real soft spot for my mini bunting wine charms.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

I’ve just started learning to cable knit and I’m working on a beautiful yellow scarf!

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I love listening to music while I craft – my current favourite album is by Caro Emerald but I love listening to lots of old motown too.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

I love reading craft blogs, going to exhibitions, reading craft magazines, spotting street art, and looking at fashion and home design. I think it’s good to keep your inspiration varied and eclectic – you’ll end up with fresher ideas and it removes the risk of just trying to make your own version of someone else’s work.

Some of my favourite craft blogs are;

A Beautiful Mess

Studio DIY

The House that Lars Built

Sugar and Cloth

Crafting Fingers

Fall for DIY

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Just throw yourself in, be true to writing about what you’re interested in: don’t try and be someone you’re not, and be sociable – the best thing that can come from your craft blog is being part of the amazingly friendly and generous crafting community so make the most of it! Also don’t overload yourself – you don’t want to burn out and lose your love for the very thing you’re blogging about.

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?

Colourful, Silly, Bold

Well thanks so much for that Hannah - it was lovely to learn a little more about your, your blog and the wonderful Crafternoon Cabaret Club events. What can I say readers except be sure to pop over to the blog or better still hop along to one of the workshops :)

Bye for now,

Vicki

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Q&A with Nicky from SewandSnip Sewing Blog

Hi everyone,

We have a lovely Q&A feature for you here on the blog today. Please meet Nicky...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

Hi my name is Nicky and I write a blog called Sewandsnip; sew from my favourite craft & snip from my day job, a hairdresser. My blog is mainly a sewing diary, helping me to remember what I found worked & what didn't, but I do tend to add snippets of other bits too!

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start?

I've always been creative (drawing, painting, making) and remember stating to sew in my teens. Then as I had a family this hobby grew as I made my girls dresses as well as things for myself & our home. Once my children grew up the sewing did slow down for a while but it was kick-started again when the 1st series of The Sewing Bee reminded me what I was missing.

What was your first project? What is your favourite craft?

Sewing has to be my favourite craft & the first thing I remember making was an awful A-line cotton nightie that we had to make at school! I remember thinking I could make something better so bought some fabric & a blouse pattern, which I still have, & taught myself.

What do you love most about crafting?

The thing I love most about crating it having the opportunity to express yourself and produce something unique.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

No I tend to craft on my own unless someone asks me to help the make something. I find sewing is a great way of relaxing & I enjoy the solitude of my sewing room especially when I've been at work chatting to clients all day. If I want to be social & craft then that's when the knitting comes out.

Who do you make things for?

I mainly make for myself but do the occasional piece for my grandchildren & have just made my husband a tunic style shirt copying one of his old favourites (pictured below). There will be some sewing for my daughter’s wedding next year but that's still in the secret planning stage!

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

I decide to blog because I thought it was a great way of recording what I had done; the great makes, the not so great, the mistakes & the ideas. I also thought it would be a way to encourage myself to make sure I made time for sewing & to make different things so I would have something new to write about. I was lucky that I saw the Simplicity's Bloggers Challenge not long after I had set it up so this inspired me to try and figure out what I was doing. It was very satisfying to work out how set up the page, add links & pics but it's still on the basic side so hopefully I'll improve at it. I'm not sure I ever thought anyone else would read it but so chuffed that they do. I hope it will encourage anyone to try something new.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

My favourite snack would have to be a big slice of cake & a cup of tea.

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

Sharp scissors, loop turner & notepad (I'm always making notes when I have ideas so I don't forget)

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I don't really have a favourite fabric but I like something that has a bit of weight, I find soft floaty fabrics a challenge but am determined to keep practicing with them. I’m currently looking at some stretch cotton sateen to add to my fabric pile.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

I always have a pile of things to sew but I don't allow myself to cut the next thing out until I've finished my WIP because I know in my eagerness to do the new make I'll push the other to one side & forget about it. Knitting is another matter & a while back I found a half finished jumper that was for my son. It looks like for about a three year old...he's now 23!

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

My favourite has to be a boned Victorian style corset. I love the structure of it with its steel boning, coutil cloth & back lacing. It gives such a lovely hourglass shape.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

The next fabric on my table is a lovely bold floral fabric. I'm trying to add colour to my wardrobe this year & loved this as soon as I saw it. Unfortunately I delayed buying it a little too long & there wasn't much left when I went to get it but it's just enough for a skirt so I plan to make it in time for the Simplicity Bloggers Meet-up.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I do put TV on while I sew if there is something I want to see but usually find that I get engrossed in what I'm doing & don't actually know what happened.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

I find inspiration everywhere. It can be something I've seen, read, or a conversation I've had. I've usually got so many ideas jotted down that I don't actually go looking for inspiration but if I need an outfit & don't know what to make I usually look at fabrics first then go through my pile of patterns.

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?

My tip would be to take your time. I was terrible at rushing things because I wanted to wear the finished result but I'm making myself slow down as rushing causes mistakes & I hate having to unpick things & redo.

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I dip into different blogs when links pop up on Twitter rather than follow lots, but I do follow scruffydadgertime.co.uk, dfabricate.blogspot.com & kestrelmakes.com

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Just be yourself, write about what you enjoy so it doesn't become a task & give it a go, if I can do it anyone can!

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?

Enthusiastic, experimental, determined.

Back to me! Wow that corset was impressive wasn't it! Thanks very much for that Nicky. Be sure to pop on over to her blog to see more!

Bye for now,

Vicki

 

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Q&A with Amy from Handmade by Humbug!

Hi Everyone,

Another lovely Q&A from another lovely craft blogger today! Please meet Amy from Handmade by Humbug craft blog...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

Hello I’m Humbug. My blog is an extension of liking the sound of my own voice a bit too much, even when it’s in print. It’s also the place where I document what I’ve made. Showing off what went well and denying all knowledge of what didn’t I mean developing through honest evaluation.

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?

Ok full disclosure. I hated crafting at school, my mum made my sewing class pencil case project. Three generations of my family had tried to teach me to knit but all had failed. In the end it was my Great Aunt teaching me to crochet that kicked it all off. I made my then boyfriend a blanket out of granny stitch. I then made my best friend a blanket that she still uses when she’s feeling poorly, what bigger endorsement is there than that? More addictive than pistachios I tell you.

What is your favourite craft?

You never forget your first love so I’d have to say crochet but I’m pretty smitten with dressmaking.

What do you love most about crafting?

I like things my way; crafting allows me to indulge my (not even remotely inner) control freak. I’m also 5’11” with a lotta of me to love so why stand disheartened staring at a changing room mirror when I can prance around my sewing room in garments where the correct size is my size?

My partner in crime Olive

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My Mum is an excellent seamstress making my sixth form leaving do dress. My grandmother made knitted jumpers. My favourite being a My Little Pony one with real tassel tails! I mean tassel tails, come on! My sister is a baker who makes brownies that would make a dessert chef weep.

Who do you make things for?

My favourite is to make things for my loved ones. Nothing better than someone showing off something you made for them...well that is til I start nit-picking the straightness of the stitching in the ditch.

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

I like to keep records of what I make. As much as I was joking about ignoring mistakes I think it helps to keep a chronical of your progress. You need to know where you are to know where you’re going.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

Not much of a snacker as I’m such a messy eater I prefer to wait for the garment to be made before I smear my dinner down it. Gin however is the perfect accompaniment to any craft based activity.

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

Seam ripper, Ravelry (can you believe how good this website is and it’s FREE?!?!?) and my trusty sewing machine Bob.

This is Bob. Say Hello Bob. Hello Bob. 

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

Me and slippy fabrics do not get on. Give me a lovely cotton or a nice jersey any day.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

I like to have one in each medium going at once so one knitted, one crocheted and one sewn.

WIP the Bettine dress by Tilly and the Buttons 

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

I’d pick two. One made for each of my favourite gentlemen. The shirt of ‘Oh no I’ve gone blind’ that I made for my Daddy dearest and the Newcastle cardigan I made for the fella.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

I have three. Two I will gladly share and one wild dogs couldn’t draw from me. Crochet: Aster wrap.  Sewn: Bettine dress. Knitting: My lips are sealed, sorry.

My modest stash

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I love a good podcast while sewing. Answer me this, The Allusionist or Radio 4 are my preferred ear worms.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

The crafty community always has the goods. You peeps are the wind beneath my wings.

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?

However many pins you think are enough? Double it.

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

Many many many blogs. Lucky Lucille, Jennifer Lauren Vintage, LLADYBIRD, Not so Granny, Yarn Harlot, Joy the Baker, Tin Can Knits, Thread Theory, Tilly and the Buttons, But it can’t be from Dolly Clackett.... I could go on.

Crochet squares ready to make up the Aster wrap.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

I’d feel a bit cheeky offering advice as a blogger with only 20 posts to her name so I will give general advice. Cut yourself some slack.

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?

Generally winging it.

Lovely! Thanks so much Amy! Be sure to pop on over to Amy's blog to find out more about her crafty adventures. Completely agree, double the amount of pins hehe :)
Bye for now,
Vicki x
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Q&A with Toria from 'Further Adventures of a Little Squish' Craft Blog

Hello,
We have another fab Q&A for you today!
For a little while now I've been a follower of Little Squish and we regularly have contact on twitter :) So I thought it was about time I asked Toria (the writer) if she would like to do a little guest post over here on the blog and tell us a little about herself, her blog and the fantastic Children's clothing she makes. So to find out more please read on...

Welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

Hello! I’m Toria, mummy to two girls, and I taught myself to sew about 3 years ago to make things for my daughters. My background is in teaching, but since learning to sew I’ve gone on to start my own business, Little Squish, making clothes for children! My blog mostly focuses on the sewing I do for myself as I just wanted something to document it and see my progression.

When did you start sewing and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?

I grew up watching my Grandmother sew, but I never really had any interest back then. It wasn’t until Kirstie Allsopp started doing her Christmas crafty shows that I thought I’d want to have a go myself!

The very first thing I made was a pretty awful-looking quilt square; it was meant to be put together with squares made by other mums in my birth group, but I don’t think anyone ever finished it! I sewed it completely by hand and felt so proud of myself at the time.

The first thing I ever made using my Grandma’s old sewing machine was a little felt bag for my daughter, which she still has so it’s pretty special to me.

What is your favourite craft?

It has to be sewing! Not only do I love doing it, I’ve met some amazing people through it too. A close second at the moment is screen-printing though, it’s such good fun. This year I really want to master a bit of crochet or knitting, but so far I’m mostly tangling myself up!

What do you love most about sewing?

As I gave up a teaching career to stay at home with my daughters, sewing keeps my brain active! It’s also a way to unwind after a long day and forget about anything else that may be going on.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My husband helps me out when I’m screen-printing, he quite enjoys that, but I tend to sew alone. One of my friends recently bought her first sewing machine though, so maybe in the future we can have our own little Sewing Bee!

Who do you make things for?

Myself and my daughters. I’ve made a couple of gifts for people, but I tend to just sew clothes for us. Through Little Squish, I sew just for younger children, so it tends to be simple things like elasticated skirts (with a bit of screen-printing too!). 

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

I wanted to have somewhere to document my sewing progress, a bit like a diary I guess. It also seemed like a good way to get involved in the sewing community.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

I try to avoid snacks until the crafting is done; I’m always worried I’ll make a mess! I can’t craft without a good cup of tea though, tea is my weakness.

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

I think sewing machine kind of goes without saying doesn’t it? It has to be my seam ripper, because I’m forever having to unpick stuff; my glue pen which I’ve found is a great alternative to pinning (depending on what I’m making); and my tape measure.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I have a real soft spot for quilting cottons, just because I love to make myself skirts and dresses with novelty prints on.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

Haha, quite a few usually. I get all excited by something, start making it and then get distracted and start something else.

What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?

That’s a really tough question! I think the project I’m proudest of (which is kind of the same thing!) is the Little Red Riding Hood cape that ended up being my first project for Love Sewing magazine. I’d designed it for my eldest daughter for World Book Day and it was a very proud moment to see it in print!

What is your latest WIP? Do you have a photo?

I cut out a skater-style dress a while back, pinned it and it’s now waiting patiently for me to get around to sewing it. It’s a mustard-coloured fabric with white cats all over it. I would take a photo, but I’m not exactly sure where it is!

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I tend to have the TV on. We watch a lot of stuff on Netflix.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

Inspiration can be anywhere! Sometimes I’ll see someone wearing something, or see something I like online, and I’ll think about how to sew something similar; other times inspiration can come from sewing books or magazines. And of course, there’s always Pinterest!

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?

Make sure you have everything you need for a project before you start it! So many times I’ll abandon a project for ages because I forgot to get the zip I needed to finish it, or something like that.

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I do and thank goodness for Bloglovin’ or I’d never keep up with them all. I love Dolly Clackett, Roisin has my dream handmade wardrobe! Other blogs I love right now are Made Peachy, Lazy Daisy Jones and Makery.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Just be yourself and don’t be disheartened if hardly anyone reads those first few posts. Also, get your blog on Bloglovin’ so people can find you more easily.

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?

Colourful, messy, perfectionist.

Thanks so much Toria, it was great to find out a little more about you. For anyone new to Toria, check out her blog and be sure to check out her shop page which has some delightful screen printed children's clothes for sale!
Bye for now!,
Vicki x
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Q&A with Emma of Crafty Clyde Sewing Blog

Hi Guys,

Another Q&A for you today! I recently came across this wonderful sewing blog Crafty Clyde and thought it would be fun to do a Q&A here on the blog with Emma the writer so we can all find out a bit more about her!

So here goes...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

My name is Emma and I write a little blog called Crafty Clyde. Clyde is the name of my tortoise who regularly features in pictures as he just loves to get involved! I blog about sewing projects, pattern reviews and great fabrics. There are a few tutorials on there and I have also blogged about general arts and crafts – anything creative!

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?

I have been into crafts for most of my life, as a kid I was always making something! I once tried to make a time machine from cardboard and egg boxes. Sewing however was a more recent event – I taught myself how to sew about 5 or 6 years ago. I saw a designer tee dress and thought ‘I’m going to have a go at that!’

What is your favourite craft?

I’m going to have to say sewing clothing at the moment as you get something lovely and useful as the end result, but I’ll have a go at most things like these spray painted plant pots!

What do you love most about crafting?

Crafting is a great creative outlet, especially if your day job doesn’t let you go too wild with colours and imagination! It’s almost a form of meditation as time just slips away when you’re concentrating. I think I love feeling useful the most – it’s nice to have a skill.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My sister has been known to come round and do some decoupage! And she lives about 200 miles away so it’s quite an event!

Who do you make things for?

I used to make to sell, but no more! It’s far less stressful to be a selfish sewer! I do enjoy making things for my sister and gifts for friends. I’m currently working on a child’s dress for a friend’s daughter.

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

It was a way of forcing myself to sew more, improve and get better. If it’s out there for people to see, it gets you learning and making! I also liked seeing how it was possible to interact with other bloggers and share opinions and ideas on patterns. I learnt from people’s blogs and tutorials so if someone can learn from mine that’s lovely.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

I tend to get a bit involved and forget to eat – however a G&T or a cold white wine always goes down well!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

Seam ripper, seam ripper, seam ripper.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I recently, and goodness knows why only recently, I discovered that viscose prints are great! Lovely soft and drapey. I do love a bit of ponte de roma though, that’s my favourite, very forgiving!

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

I have tried to be a reformed character and try and keep to one at a time these days. That’s not to say I haven’t got a draw of unfinished bits and pieces from before this new rule! I also have an ever changing list of things I want to make next.

What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?

A pair of floral trousers made of stretch cotton fabric – getting the pattern right for those was a labour of love. My By Hand London Anna dress was also great because I loved the fabric. Still not worn it out yet though.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

My WIP at the moment is my first proper man’s shirt! It’s a test version in some great Alexander Henry fabric that’s got naked tattooed ladies on it.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I watch all kinds of rubbish on my ipad! All the tv player apps.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

If I have a pattern in mind I have a browse on pinterest and instagram to see what versions people have made – it’s great to have inspiration like that out there.

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?

Bias bind your armholes!

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I follow loads of them – some of my favourites are The Enantiomer Project, House of Pinhiero and Erica B’s DIY Style.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Just have a go – why not! It’s good to see people wearing their own creations as you can see how a pattern works in real life, that’s useful to other sewers.

Thanks so much Emma for that great Q&A. To find our more and watch future projects evolve be sure to hop on over to her blog.

Bye for now,

Vicki x

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Q&A with Maddie of Madalynne Sewing Blog

Hi Everyone!

Madalynne is one of the most beautiful looking sewing blogs I have ever seen! If this blog is new to you I urge you to check it out and especially visit the 'About' page which is a lovely read. I discovered this blog a little while ago and it's one that draws me back time and time again. If you appreciate beautiful photography, then you will love this blog too.

I thought it would be a lovely idea to ask Maddie the author if she would like to do a Q&A so you can all find out a little bit more about her and the blog. You can see examples of her beautiful imagery as used in this post and hop on over to her blog to find out more!

So, without further ado... 

Hello! Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog??

Hi! My name is Maddie Flanigan and I am a sewing blogger, aspiring lingerie designer and freelance photographer. I started my blog, Madalynne, when I was 18-years-old at the suggestion of my father. In was 2006 and I was a freshman in college. In hindsight, I believe it was his way of keeping an eye on his only girl. Thank you dad! At first, Madalynne had no focus. I didn’t know what to write about so I wrote about everything – fashion, food, travel, beauty, cars, history, etc. I was a hot mess. Shortly after I started blogging, I discovered sewing, and as I got more involved and passionate about it, my blog naturally evolved into a sewing blog.

About 3 ½ years ago, I made my first pair of underwear, and it was the beginning of my love affair with lingerie. It’s been a huge learning curve, and I attribute a lot of my success to the fact that I worked in technical design for intimates for 2 ½ years. Having that foundation in sewing, patterning and producing lingerie has helped me tremendously.

Madalynne has grown organically over the past 9 years, and that’s just the way I like it. I’m really happy with what my blog offers today – tutorials on bra making, glimpses into my own sewing projects, one-day intensive bra making workshops and more.

What is your favourite craft??

Sewing

What do you love most about crafting??

The community. My best friends today are women I met through my blog.

Who do you make things for??

I sew lingerie equally for myself and others. I offer bespoke/one off lingerie and I really enjoy seeing my designs on other women.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting??

Cereal, especially Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without??

Duck-billed scissors (to trim super close to seams), French ruler (for getting the most accurate curves), and temporary spray adhesive (for basting fabrics together).

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why??

Lace – it’s just so darn pretty!

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made? 

My favorite thing I’ve ever made is my dress to my dad’s wedding (he got remarried after my mom passed away). It was a strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline. It was made with 4-ply silk and chiffon, so you know it was a labor of love!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? 

I’m currently working on a bodysuit. I love the look of bodysuits, but haven’t found a way to wear them practically. I mean, I don’t want to prance around the house in swimsuit-like attire. I’d rather wear an oversized t-shirt. But I think that if it’s the right shape, you can wear underneath dresses, pants and blouses.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft??

It all depends on my mood. Sometimes, I’ll listen to music on Spotify, Pandora or Soundcloud and sometimes I’ll listen to a movie or documentary on Netflix or Amazon Prime. If I’m working on project that doesn’t require much thought, like a TNT, I’ll listen to NPR.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers??

Define what your blog is about. If you don’t have a clear purpose, you will find it harder to generate ideas and motivation for blogging. After 8 years, I’ve missed 3 post, and that’s because I have a clear focus and passion - sewing.

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words? 

Detail-oriented, passionate, meticulous.

Thank you so much for that Maddie! I hope you feeling inspired and if anything like me, a bit awe-inspired by all these beautiful images! Please take the time to check out Maddie's blog!

Bye for now,

Vicki

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