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Q&A's

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Q&A with Schmetrice from What Sew Funny

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

Greetings, my name is Schmetrice. I am from Arkansas, USA. Family, Nature, Beauty and Fashion are the aspects of life I am most passionate about! I have always been a creative person, from writing stories, singing, playing music, bead weaving, sewing, making things from clay and vegan cooking. I was always encouraged by my parents to do what I am interested in. After moving into a new City I started my blog in 2012, it was originally called, “the bored housewife…”. Back then I was posting food pictures and articles about things we made during sewing guild meetings. One day, I got a special request from my oldest who was then 7 years old; he wanted a “sleep” buddy? I was like, what? Can you draw what you are talking about? So he did! What came next, became the blog’s new mascot and the site name changed to What Sew Funny. I still collect dolls, and now, have someone to play with them, the stories my daughter and I come up with are hilarious! The blog features doll videos, custom toy how-to tutorials, sewing and beading projects.

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

As far as I can remember, I started young making “mud pies”, building forts with sticks, and making various art pieces from play-doh. My granny and mother sewed everything from quilts to the clothes we wore. I often got in trouble for breaking/touching their sewing machines. I was inspired by watching them and wearing their latest creations. When I got older, I was given my very own real sewing machine (Singer). I also learned to crochet from my mother. The first project I made on my own was sewing a dress for my Barbie doll and a crochet shawl!

What is your favourite craft?

My favorite craft(s) would be sewing and bead weaving.

What do you love most about crafting?

I love the process of bringing an idea from 2-D to 3-D! Getting something new and original is great too, but the journey between A-Z is what I love.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

It was my granny and mother before they transitioned, but now I share the love for crafting with my children.

Who do you make things for?

I make things mostly for myself. However, I happily oblige the younger family member’s special requests.

What made you decide to start to blog about crafting?

Where I am from, the Arts aren’t appreciated as much these days. For example, sewing and bead weaving are quickly becoming a lost skill. There are none among my peers that share an interest in them, so blogging helps me connect with others that do have a love and appreciation for the Arts.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

My craft areas, are a no snacks zone. Tea/coffee are welcomed though!

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

  1. Tape Measure

  2. Seam Ripper

  3. Button Foot

What are your favourite fabrics too sew with? And why?

My favorite fabrics are wax fabrics, because of its durability and vibrant colors.

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

My favorite products are all of the Women Sewing Patterns. I would make a new closet of fashion!

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

I usually work one project at a time to give it all the attention and details it deserve. But one project can mean several mini projects like fabric accents, shoes and jewelry. “…yea, the world’s my runway…”

What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?

My favorite thing I have ever made would be our mascot, “Buddy”! From just a few pieces of scrap fabric to a useful item. When I was pregnant with our last child, it was the biggest I’ve ever gotten. I had back aches and swollen feet! It was useful for my back, propping my feet up and it stylishly fits every occasion where a travel pillow is needed.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

Yes, my current work in progress is a drafted dress pattern from my measurements. It was drawn to mimic the print on the dress. I call this new dress, “Umbrella” dress. The bodice and waistband is designed to stop at the belly button with box pleated skirt, double piped hem and bead embellishments to fabric print.

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

Yes, I watch other sewists, Netflix, talk shows or listen to a music playlist

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

Pinterest.

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

Craft hard, Craft often, Craft what you love!

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

Yes, Amazing Women’s World.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Find your niche and never give up!

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

  1. What?

  2. Sew!

  3. Funny?!

What are your crafting ambitions?

My crafting ambition is to have an amazing closet full of fashion, my house to look like the inside of a museum and for my blog to witness it all!

What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?

Greetings, My name is Schmetrice…

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Q&A with Karen from Hyacinth Bloom

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

Hello! My name is Karen and I blog over at Hyacinth Bloom. A (worryingly large) number of years ago I wrote a history blog where I also published some of my short stories, but I stopped when history became my actual job. This year, however, I started a new blog all about my crafty pursuits. I had always enjoyed reading other people’s sewing blogs and seeing them try out patterns I was interested in. This really inspired me to create my own place to share what I was making with other like-minded knitters and sewists.

Sewing is probably my favourite craft (there’s nothing quite like sewing up and wearing a swishy dress, is there?). But I also have a big affection for knitting as well. The process of knitting is just so meditative and calming. I also like to dabble with cross-stitch and embroidery when time allows. And baking, don’t forget baking. I love to make (and eat!) a whole host of different flavoured cupcakes. Hopefully my new blog will include an eclectic mix of the best of these crafts (with the odd nugget of history thrown in when I just can’t help myself)!

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

Well I’ve been crafting on and off since I was a child, as both my mother and grandmother enjoy a variety of craft activities. I still love being able to discuss my projects with them and visit yarn shops together. I started knitting and sewing more seriously, however, over the last two years or so. I was spurred on by the desire to create an entirely handmade outfit for my cousin’s wedding. I did manage to make a bag and a dress, but the cardigan I knitted went so horribly wrong I had to make a last-minute purchase from the high-street a week before the wedding.

What do you love most about crafting?

For me crafting is a way to relax and has really benefited my general well-being. The end product is usually the aim, but the act of knitting and sewing in itself is incredibly enjoyable. I love the way that crafting can focus your mind to what is directly in front of you, and during that time your usual cares and worries don’t seem so pressing.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?

This may sound more than a little odd, but I have a bit of an obsession with duvet covers! There are a couple of reasons why I think they’re so great. Firstly, they are made from a stable fabric that washes well. Secondly, they are often pretty good value for money if you think about how much fabric you are actually buying. And finally, you can get some amazing novelty prints on duvet covers that you just wouldn’t find on a dressmaking fabric. A good percentage of my handmade dresses actually started out life as a duvet cover!

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

Usually I only have one project of each craft on the go at a time. So I might be in the middle of sewing a dress, knitting a jumper and cross-stitching a picture all at the same time. This enables me to move from one craft to another as the mood takes me, but I don’t end up feeling like I have too many projects started at once. Or at least that’s how I like to think about it!

What is your favourite thing you have ever made?

Oddly enough one of my favourite makes is a so-called ‘selfless’ make. Mostly I just make things for myself. The desire to learn to knit and sew came from the aspiration of having a handmade wardrobe filled with clothes that suited me better than generic high-street items. This year, however, I resolved to make handmade gifts for my friends and family. The very first garment I made for someone else was a dressing gown for my brother’s birthday (using the pattern New Look 6233). With this one I took even more time to make everything as neat as possible, going so far as to hand-sew a good percentage of the garment using couture techniques I found in a library book.

What is your latest work in progress?

At the moment I’m trying to plan a capsule wardrobe for the autumn. As part of this I’m attempting to make a lightweight jacket using the Victoria Blazer pattern from By Hand London. This isn’t just any old make though as I’m attempting to refashion this jacket from an oversized men’s shirt. Fingers crossed it turns out as I imagine it will in my head!

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

This is a new thing for me actually. Up until this year I used to craft in silence, as the whirring of the sewing machine was always oddly therapeutic. This year, however, I have been enjoying audiobooks (which you can get on loan from a local library). This enables me to read and craft at the same time, which couldn’t be more perfect as I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm.

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

The internet really can be a marvellous thing! Instagram is always a good place to start off seeking inspiration from other sewists or knitters. Reading or watching blogs is also a great motivation and a way to find new-to-me patterns or designers. There are some blogs that are all about vintage fashions that are truly inspirational and beautiful to peruse, but I also enjoy those blogs which are about more simple and uncluttered pieces of everyday clothing. Once a year I do also like to buy the ‘new season trends’ copy of Vogue to have a nosy at what styles might stand out to me.

What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?

To anyone looking to start a new craft I would say – go for it! Don’t be intimidated or put off by something that seems too difficult. So much of crafting is about trying new things, learning skills and techniques, and growing from mistakes. If anything, craft shows you that it is okay to go wrong, you can’t be perfect at everything. I would also say be careful of starting a new craft - it can very quickly take over all your free time, every waking moment and indeed most of your storage space!

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Q&A with Anna from Ompele Oma Onnesi

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

Hi! My name is Anna and I live in Finland. My blog is called Ompele Oma Onnesi which means ”Sew your own happiness”. I am also active in Instagram where I am ompeleomaonnesi.

I have always been a creative person and loved crafts, music, art and writing. I also love pretty dresses, which is why I spend most of my free time these days sewing.

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

I started sewing already as a little girl. When I was seventeen, I made my own ball gown for my high school ball. That project was kind of a game changer for me. After all that boning and 4.5 meters of hand stitched hem I felt there was nothing I couldn’t sew. Then when I graduated from university, I realized how difficult it was to find any RTW business clothes that would be my style. That is when I decided that one day I want to be able to make all my clothes.

What do you love most about sewing?

I love the whole process! The most magical thing, however, is to start the day with three meters of ordinary looking flat fabric and end the day with a gorgeous me made dress. To be able to create something that makes me smile every time I wear it… It is amazing! Also, I am a big fan of hand sewing. Somehow I find it extremely relaxing.

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

Since I have always loved writing and sewing, I realized that I should actually write more about sewing. That’s why I started my website. I have a career in communications, which means that I get to write a lot at work as well. I think writing about something that I am passionate about in my free time helps me to calm my mind after a hectic work day. Also, I just want to chat about sewing and often there is no-one who would really like to listen to my sewing stories for hours and hours. My blog is always interested :)

What other crafts you are interested in?

I love all kind of crafts. But recently I’ve started to knit more. I would like to be able to also make all my knitwear some day. It took me four months to knit a beautiful vintage inspired jumper, but it was worth it.

Do your friends or family craft sew with you?

Usually I sew alone. It is my me-time. However, occasionally me and my lovely cousin have a sewing day and spend a whole day just sewing and chatting. It is great!

Who do you make things for?

I sew mainly just for me but try to squeeze in a little bit of selfless sewing every now and then. I have made couple of really cute dresses for my little niece, for example.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

Chocolate! Although it is a very bad habit. Chocolate and delicate fabrics don’t go well together. And of course I drink more tea than I probably should. I even have an especially pretty thermal mug dedicated just to keeping my tea warm while I am sewing.

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

My amazing scissor collection (that is actually more than just one item…), my beloved sewing machine and lots of pins. I think it is all about good basics when it comes to sewing tools.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I love Cotton Fabric. One can create such timeless dresses with cotton. Also, cotton is easy to work with and nice to wear at any weather. I am also a big fan of Rayon Fabric which makes beautiful and chic blouses.

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

If I had to pick one - which is incredibly hard - I would say it is my maid of honor dress I made to wear at my cousin’s wedding some years ago. It was a winter wedding and I was so happy how I managed to combine lovely satin and delicate lace to create a beautiful winter dress.

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

Since I first saw this Silk-Rayon Blend Fabric I have known that it would make the most beautiful vintage inspired dressing gown.

I would also like to mention a beautiful floral Viscose Fabric which I recently used to make a Sew Over It Anderson blouse. It has the most amazing drape.

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

I try to limit my projects to one or two. If I start a third project, it is very likely that one of the two first ones will end up to my UFO drawer.

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

Yes. I love music and it is my number one sewing entertainment. Sewing days give me a great opportunity to listen to long operas and musicals. Lately I have also listened to audio books. Although I have to pause them when using my noisy overlocker.

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

Mainly Instagram and blogs. There is an amazing social sewing community in Instagram. I love how much encouragement and inspiration one can find there.

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

My number one tip is to believe in yourself. It is so easy to think that something is too hard. But you just need to take your time and believe in your own skills. And my second tip is to pay attention to pattern placing. It can make all the difference.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Just write about what you love most. Also, stay focused and be ready to put some effort to your blog posts. But the most important thing is just to enjoy the process.

What are your sewing ambitions?

I dream that one day I have only me-made clothes in my wardrobe. My goal is that there is no sewing project too difficult or boring. I want to be able to create everything I can imagine.

What kind of impact does sewing have on your life/you?

Sewing has given me more confidence. It also helps me to relax and have fun. When I am sewing I can be as creative as I like and concentrate only on beautiful things. Sewing makes me happy!

What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?

Sewing is the best hobby I could imagine. In today’s hectic world it feels so good to slow down and concentrate on creating something. Be it sewing or knitting or paper crafts, just start it. There is no requirements. Anyone can start creating. And once you start, you never know what kind of magical moments you will experience.

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Q&A with Monique from Crafty Crusader

Hi Monique, can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?
I am a thirty-year-old woman working as a psychologist in London. I started the Crafty Crusader nearly five years ago. It is a space for me to record my adventures in craft, and to share ideas and tips with my readers. It started out mostly as a knitting and baking blog, but evolves as I develop creatively.
When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?
I have always liked making things, but I would say my craft life really started when a friend taught me to knit. I caught the bug immediately. My first project was a scarf from Stitch and Bitch. Unfortunately I have no idea where that scarf is now, and I don’t think I ever took any pictures.
What is your favourite craft?
At the moment, I am obsessed with sewing.
What do you love most about crafting?
I love making things that no one else has. I love starting with the germ of an idea in my head, and then coming out with something practical and beautiful, that I can use and wear.
Do your friends or family craft along with you?
Sometimes. My mother was a dressmaker when I was growing up, so I think that craft is in my blood. I have quite a few friends who craft, and it’s always nice to snatch a quick discussion about dropped stitches and the merits of different fibres.
Who do you make things for?
Mostly myself. Occasionally for friends and their babies.
What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?
A friend encouraged me to.
Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?
Not really. Often, I am so laser-focused on my craft that I will forget to eat or drink for hours on end.
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
1.                  Sewing Machine
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?
I love Viscose Fabric because of its beautiful drape. I have just recently started working with Jersey Fabric, and I am amazed by how comfortable the garments I make can be.
How many projects do you have on the go at one time?
Many. Different projects have different purposes, e.g. I will often have a small project like socks to carry with me and knit on public transport. Often, I will have most things ready to start a project but inspiration strikes at strange times. Once I am really into a project, I will normally work on that fairly exclusively until it is finished.
What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?
Probably my Totoro jumper. A similar sweater was the first project I ever favourited on Ravelry as a novice knitter. Five years later, I felt I had the skills and confidence to start it, and it turned out just as I had hoped. I was so proud that when I went on Pointless, I argued with the wardrobe person to be allowed to wear it even though they discourage wearing white.
I recently completed my most complex sew, which was a dress made from sheer silk voile. I was sure something would go wrong as it was a tricky fabric and I altered the pattern, but amazingly it went smoothly and I absolutely love the dress.
Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?
For knitting, I watch a lot of series on Netflix. When I am sewing, I often have something on in the background, but I never pay much attention, so it has to be something I’m not that interested in.
What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?
I mostly get inspired by materials. Going into Liberty is great for that - both seeing the stunning new collections of beautifully patterned fabrics, and the haberdashery. Ravelry is also great for getting ideas.
Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?
1.     Colourful
2.     Bold
3.     Honest
What are your crafting ambitions?
At the moment, I’m not sure. I am enjoying developing as a crafter, honing my skills and learning to express my creativity through my makes.
What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?
Just do it! Lots of people say they wish that they could craft, but lack the confidence. The only way to learn is by doing it.
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Q&A Welcoming Athina to the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network

Hi everyone,

We have a new blogger joining the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network next month, so here is a little Q&A to introduce Athina to the team...

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

My name is Athina and I am 26 years old. I live in a small town in Greece and I’ve been sewing since 2012. My personal blog is athinakakou.com where I share my sewing adventures and my quest to a fully handmade wardrobe.

I love organizing my pattern stash but I wish the day had more hours so I could make them all!

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

I have always been a creative person and did lots of crafting since I was a little girl. Sewing came to my life much later, though, when I was in university and I was trying to find a hobby for my free time. I started making felt animals, key chains and softies and I then moved on to kids clothes and accessories. A few years later this became my job when I opened Craftaholic, my handmade business here in Greece.

A peek into my sewing space

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

Unfortunately, I don’t have many friends that share my passion for sewing but my mom and I like to crochet in the winter. My grandma is always a seamstress and when all of us are together we like to discuss our sewing projects and make stuff for one another, she helps me with fitting issues and offers me advice.

My SOI Nancy dress

Who do you make things for?

Well, as I said I sew for a living so I make kids clothes for many children every day. When it comes to... grownup clothes, I mostly sew for myself but I very often make things for my mom and my friends.

One of my favorite outfits is this Sew Over It combo, an Ella blouse with an ultimate pencil skirt

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I love a good quality Viscose Fabric. It presses really well and it hangs beautifully, it’s my go-to fabric!

This summer I made lots of Kimonos, one of them is this gorgeous Sew Caroline Florence Kimono made of a floral chiffon

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

I always work on 2-3 project simultaneously. That prevents me from getting bored and if a project gets harder or it’s a bit trickier to work on in an evening, I pick an easier one and leave this for a day until I am well rested. However, this has it’s disadvantages because it can be very overwhelming.

My Vintage Shirt Dress from SOI

What's your favourite thing you have ever made?

Without a doubt, my first Betty dress, which I made for my birthday. There’s something about a full circle skirt that makes a girl happy :)

My birthday dress, a SOI Betty in navy polka dots. I love it!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

I recently made a maxi dress for my mom to wear at a wedding she attended. It was made out of a beautiful floral viscose and she looked stunning!

My Tilly and the buttons Clemence Skirt

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

A few months ago Pinterest was my main source of inspiration. These days though Instagram has taken over. The sewing community there is so active and my feed is always full of beautiful garments, ideas and useful advice. I find myself saving lots of pictures and I’m so thankful for everyone I met so far!

That said, The Foldline is a website I visit almost daily for pattern inspiration and of course the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is also amazing!

A “named clothing” Reeta dress in a floral viscose, which I made as a wearable toile before I cut into the “real” fabric. This will be my first project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, coming soon!

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

Oh, yes! I follow so many lovely bloggers that it’s hard for me to choose! From the top of my head, Jessica Lorraine, Rosabella from Sewn, Gabberdashery, Emilly Hallman, Self Assembly Sewing, The Crafty Pinup and many more!

A SOI Susie Blouse made of a beautiful viscose with contrasting cuffs and collar

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And that's it for today. Thanks so much to Athina for this lovely Q&A today, it's been great to get to know you ahead of you joining the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network!

Keep your eyes peeled for Athina's first post on the #MCBN, which will be out in September :)

Thanks for reading,

Vicki

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Q&A with Sophia from Jessalli Handmade

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?
I’m Sophia, the creator of Jessalli Handmade. I started my blog to show my customers behind the scenes in my studio and the production of my handmade personalised gifts. But it grew into a platform to share everything about my handmade life, latest makes and crafting discoveries. 
When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?
I’ve been crafting since I was tiny. My Mum taught me to sew. She used to make all our costumes for school plays and ballet showcases. I used to love wearing what she made me, and I was always interested in it. So she taught me how and the rest is history!
What is your favourite craft?
I love sewing. Sewing is my life. I’ve only recently got back into dressmaking, after many years of making soft furnishings and gifts. It’s come back with a bang though and I’m totally addicted. 
What do you love most about crafting?
I love the whole process, from drawing out ideas, the making and then the satisfaction of having something no one else has. That’s why I think I love making gifts for friends and family too. It’s more personal. 
Do your friends or family craft along with you?
Mum loves to sew with me. She used to help me a huge amount back in the day. I’ve tried to get my sister into it, but she’s more interested in baking (something I’m awful at!). Everyone else loves what I do, but doesn’t necessarily want to help - especially if it takes more than 15 minutes!
Who do you make things for?
Everyone. My mum always asks me to embellish her clothes with my designs. My friends love me making outfits for them. My sister likes me to customise her shop-bought items and most of my family love receiving handmade gifts. I’m always busy. And then of course I actually have a business to run too! 
What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?
It was a way for my customers to see me making their precious items. I wanted them to be able to see into my studio and all the processes of making. I’m so glad I did. 
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
Small Snips, Medium Dressmaking Scissors and my beloved machine Maggie. 
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?
Most of my products and gifts are made from Cotton Fabric. But dressmaking wise, I love to sew with Jersey Fabric and Ponte Roma Knits
What is your favourite product on the Minerva Crafts website and what would you make with it?
At the moment the Multicoloured Fleck Soft Sweatshirt Fabric in Pink. I love baby pink right now and think a gorgeously cosy drop-shoulder sweater would be amazing. 
How many projects do you have on the go at one time?
Gosh, too many. I maybe have 3 or 4 orders all ‘in the making’ at any one time. Then 2 or 3 personal projects too. I’m always in a state of making. And I love it like that. 
Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?
I’d have to say, now, my Palm Leaf print Holly Jumpsuit. It was my first project for the MCBN and so different to what I usually make and wear. But I’ve totally fallen in love with it and want to wear it all the time! I love how an item of clothing can make you feel so good!
What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?
At the moment I’m actually making another Holly Jumpsuit for my best friend. She’s got a ball to go to and we thought a bright red crepe version would look stunning. Luckily we found the perfect red polyester crepe on the website!
Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?
I always listen to music. I usually go through Spotify playlists and listen to anything from acoustic tracks to 90’s pop songs!
What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?
Pinterest. If, say, I have a sweater pattern and am thinking about making a floral print variation. I’ll type in ‘floral sweater’ and see what looks great and what colours I think would look good on me. Then I can search for fabrics that are as close to my vision. 
Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?
Always have a good quality sharp pair of scissors. You will not survive without them. 
Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?
I try to. It’s hard to find the time to read and follow all my favourites. Youtube is now a great way for me to easily catch up with what they’re doing. I love watching Lisa Comfort from Sew Over It, and love reading Studio DIY.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Only write about what you love. However, If you’ve made something you’re not proud of, share it anyway and share your mistakes. You’ll be surprised at how invaluable that information is to others. No body is perfect!
Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?
Perfectionist, Passionate and Pattern obsessed! 
What are your crafting ambitions?
My one ambition is to have a Handmade wardrobe. As in, no matter what I’m doing or where I’m going I’ll have something I’ve made that I can wear! 
What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?
Don’t hesitate. Everyone has to start somewhere. And most importantly, have fun!
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Q&A with Sarah from WanderStitch

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

Hi everyone :) I’m Sarah, based in London. I’m a cyclist, dressmaker and dog mum and you can find my sewing blog over at www.wanderstitch.com where I talk about my adventures in creating things.

I am very much about ‘individualism’ – I love things that are different from the norm and challenge the status quo. My head is always in the clouds dreaming about my Next Big Thing – whether this is thinking of the perfect combination of pattern and fabric, or where I want to go next on holiday, or which country I would like to move to…

I named my blog ‘Wanderstitch’ because of this constant wanderlust I have. I imagine it to be what fabric and needles and thread dream of – wondering what item they will eventually be made into!

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

My Mum was a tailoress, and although she never taught me to sew she bought me my first sewing machine when I was 16 (which I retired only last year!). She taught me to knit when I was small, and since then I have crafted pretty much all my life - you name it, I’ve tried it! Knitting, scrapbooking, card making, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch… I’ve done it all. It’s been so long I can’t even remember what my first project was, though I suspect that it was a knitted scarf as I’m always cold.

What is your favourite craft?

I would say that sewing is my favourite craft, but closely followed by knitting. These are the two crafts that have survived through my years of making and that I’m still actively spending time on. I think these have been the ones that I’ve kept up because I enjoy making something that is useful and functional - it appeals to my practical and resourceful side!

What do you love most about crafting?

I love being able to create something that has come from my imagination. I enjoy combining colours, patterns and notions together into something unique. Seeing something develop from an idea into a real thing is amazing. However it can be frustrating sometimes when you can’t find that perfect pattern or the exact materials you want to bring your vision to life - but this just means you have to spend more time looking at craft shops!

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My husband has some crafting hobbies, and I’m teaching him to sew. He also takes the photographs of me for my blog!

Who do you make things for?

I make things for myself, and my husband. We both struggle with getting the right fit with ready-to-wear clothes so this way I can tailor things to our shapes. Being a girl that doesn’t wear florals, pastels or anything too ‘girly’, a lot of the clothes I see in stores just aren’t to my taste so by making my own I can choose the fabrics and the style and create something that’s more ‘me’.

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

In all honesty, it was a colleague that nagged me for a good few months to start one after seeing all my creations! I’m glad she did though, I really enjoy it and there is such a wonderful, encouraging community out there. I’ve promised her that if I ever become famous, she can have whatever job she chooses at my company!

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

1. My button foot for my sewing machine – no more hand stitching! It saves me so much time when I make shirts.

2. My pressing clapper - I’ve only had it a little while and I wish I had bought one years ago. It really helps with making seams behave.

3. The third item, unfortunately, is my seam ripper!

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?

I think Quilting Cottons Fabrics would be my favourite fabrics, because of the wide range of cool prints you can get! Cotton Lawn Fabric is a close second favourite, as it’s my go-to fabric for making shirts (which I make a LOT of). I don’t really make a lot of things out of jersey so that’s something I rarely buy. I tend to shy away from slippery fabrics but I have some ideas for silk summer tops so it looks like I will just have to bite the bullet and master them.

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

I try and stick to one project and see it through from start to finish, however if I’m making something really complex and intensive like a coat I will usually have another project on the go just to break things up a little! Sometimes though if I have a lot of really cool prints in the project queue I just want to work with all of them at the same time…

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

My favourite make is my Marvel Comics dress which I made last year. I just love the fabric.

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

My latest WIP is a Melilot blouse from Deer and Doe patterns, in a cat print viscose. This is one of the afore-mentioned slippery fabric projects I’ve been avoiding - it’s looking good so far, but let’s see how it turns out!

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

I listen to music, but I don’t watch TV as I would find it too distracting. I like to give my full attention to what I am sewing, otherwise seams would get sewn with the wrong sides together and zips would go in upside down.

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

I find inspiration everywhere, and it can strike me at the most random moments! I always wait until I’m completely sure about the combination of fabric and pattern before I start a project - I know that if I’m not totally sure, it’s best not to start it. Instead I will wait until I find the perfect partners. I go with my gut instinct - if I’m hesitating over something, I put it to one side and wait until I’m sure. I have a lovely shirt pattern that I really want to sew but I just haven’t found the right fabric yet - but I’ll keep waiting and looking because when I see the right one, I’ll know.

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

Check out charity shops for things like lightweight scarves (that can be used for pocket linings) and garments with interesting buttons that can be re-used. It’s a nice way to give your item a unique look, plus you get brownie points for recycling!

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Take lots and lots of pictures of your work, including ones of all sides of the whole garment and closer ones of the finer details. If you were looking at the item in real life, you would home in on any interesting looking details, so make sure that you have clear close-up pictures of these for people to see. Don’t be afraid to discuss what went wrong or what you struggled with either - we are all learning and your experience might help someone else.

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

Alternative, loud, individual!

What are your crafting ambitions?

I would love to have my own range of patterns – I already have some ideas in my head, I just need to find the time to sketch them down, do some toiles, and then learn how to draft patterns… I think I’ve got enough ideas and projects to keep me going until I’m 100.

What would you say to anyone looking to start sewing?

I would say learn to look past the photos on the pattern envelopes. They are only one person’s idea of how that item could be made – instead look at the line drawings, these are your blank canvas for your own colours and styles. Don’t be afraid to try things out either - the patterns you buy are merely a guiding template for the construction. And absolutely do not be afraid of making mistakes, it WILL happen and it’s part of the learning curve – you’ll get better because of the mistakes you make!

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Q&A with Corrine from What Corrine Did Next Blog

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

Hi I'm Corrine from What Corrine Did Next! I've been blogging for the last two and a half years. The easiest way for me to describe it is a mash up of Sewing Bee meets Bake Off (but then making and eating all those cakes, being able to make and adjust clothes is pretty helpful!) I started my website to encourage people to have a go at something new - you'll notice almost all of my recipes and makes are relatively simple (generally beginner or intermediate level)...this is deliberately for this purpose!

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

I started sewing in 2013. My friend and cousin were on the same dressmaking course and I wanted to get in on the action. They found they got very little from their course as they spent most of the session waiting for the tutor to come round, so we formed our own little sewing bee with my mum helping us when we got stuck. Mum gave me her machine when I properly started sewing. She bought it with the money my Gran left to her so it's a special machine for us both and I've christened it Annie after her (don't worry, I treated mum to a new Singer, she's still sewing lots of bags!)

What was your first project?

My first project was a disaster - I decided to make a blue shell top from craft cotton with an exposed red zip...my poor mum (who is a fabulous seamstress) was trying to teach me and had her head in her hands on lots of occasions, thinking I'd never pick it up. I gave up briefly then was seduced by an advent calendar panel to quilt, got the bug (and a bit of skill) and I've not looked back!

What do you love most about sewing?

The thrill of making something beautiful from scratch still makes me really happy...having someone ask where I bought it from makes me even happier! Seriously though, being able to make whatever pops into my head rather than trawling round endless shops and feeling frustrated I can't find what I wanted has been the biggest draw - I love designing my perfect wardrobe.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

Yes, my mum, cousin and friend Lynsey are all keen sewists (my friend Lynsey makes the most beautiful childrenswear as Yellow Bug Designs - her Instagram feed is just the cutest and I'd kill to be as neat as her!)

Who do you make things for?

A mix - I love sewing my own wardrobe but nothing makes me happier than sewing for other people - handmade gifts are so much fun to make and give! Last Christmas I tried to make as many gifts as possible.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

Cake - my Rocky Road Bites are the perfect accompaniment :)

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

Good Pair of Scissors (I love my Fiskars), Clover Quilting Clips (they're much easier than pins when you're securing jersey) and my little Embroidery Snips for when it all goes horribly wrong (I prefer them so much more than a seam ripper)

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

For me it's got to be Jersey Fabric. If I look at my RTW wardrobe I used to buy so many jersey items and I love me-made jersey items just as much. When I began sewing one of the first things I made for myself was a royal blue Ruby Dress in ponte roma - I've certainly not shied away from knit fabrics!

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

It can vary greatly - I like to cut out projects in batches so I'd say 4-5 on average but I like to know I always have something ready to start (as well as it being a huge timesaver).

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

It's got to be my advent calendar - it's not my most technical project by a long shot but it holds lots of great memories of learning to sew. 

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

At the moment I'm renovating a spare bedroom into my sewing studio so I've currently taken over the dining table with my back to the TV. You'll most likely find me listening to music while I sew, with Foo Fighters, Paramore, Evanescence and You Me At Six featuring heavily on my playlist.

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

I love Instagram - I'm not alone in saying this, so many of us would agree, the sewing community are a great support and source of inspiration. I could waste hours looking at what everyone else is making! It's perfect for seeking out a new pattern to make!

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

Think about your garment insides, making then as neat as the outside give a more professional finish. It will make you feel like you're winning at sewing - I used Hong Kong seams in my Morris Blazer and I love them every time I put my jacket on.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Enjoy what you're doing and be yourself - there's nothing more engaging as a reader than getting to know who you're reading about so make it personal!

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

Haha, it's probably easier for me to answer that as someone around me when I sew...probably a "little bit sweary" (well it doesn't always work does it?!)

What are your crafting ambitions?

I'd love to move into delivering workshops and share my love of sewing with other people.

What would you say to anyone looking to start sewing?

Have a go, start simple and enjoy what you're doing, it's a great hobby to get into!

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

A classic, but I love the range of Ponte Roma Fabric - from Morris Blazers to Cocos to pencil skirts, it's so versatile (and really warm in winter, you feel like you're wearing pyjamas!) it's a staple for me and Minerva Crafts have such a geat selection to choose from!

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Q&A with Lara from Handmade by Lara Liz

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

I am so excited to be here today on the Minerva Crafts blog chatting a little bit about my love of sewing and about my blog! My name is Lara and I’m a blogger from Arlington, VA USA – just outside Washington, DC. I started my blog Handmade by Lara Liz as a way to document my makes and connect even further with the incredible network of sewists! I blog about my makes, sewing plans, favorite sewing notions and tools and patterns and fabric that I love.

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

I am rather new to the crafting world. When I was in elementary school and middle school, I was the student that avoided art class at all cost! Much to my surprise, after I got married in 2015, I decided to take up knitting and fell in love with it immediately. After taking a learn to knit course where I knit a scarf that I never even finished, I started knitting shawls, hats, blankets and sweaters.

As a financial statement auditor during the day, I find myself spending the majority of my work day working on the computer and was so desperately searching for something different to do in the evenings and weekends when I’m not working! Knitting fit the bill 100%.

After knitting for 6 months, I decided to give sewing a whirl. While I never ever thought I would be sewing garments, I took a sewing lesson at a local sewing shop and have been sewing garments ever since!

What is your favourite craft?

It’s hard for me to choose between knitting and sewing as they really are so different in my mind. Knitting for me is the ultimate relaxing activity – a good thing for me to do to wind down at the end of the long day. Sewing on the other hand is a way for me to replace so many of my ready to wear clothes in my closet with clothes that I love and feel SO proud of! I do think sewing is my favorite by a smidge though as I don't tend to wear my hand knits, but I wear all of my handmade sewn clothes.

What do you love most about crafting?

As someone who wasn't a huge crafter until recently, I love the way it provides a nice distraction from the other busy parts of our lives. Prior to picking up knitting and subsequently sewing, I would come home at night from work, watch Netflix and spend time on my phone and computer. Once I started knitting and sewing, I feel so much more productive during the week and on the weekends when I'm not working and I have some really amazing clothes to show off when I head back to work on Monday!

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

While I don't have any family that crafts along with me, I've been so fortunate to meet (or connect with via blogs and instagram) so many amazing sewists. I sew often at my local sewing shop, where I've met some amazing women to share my craft with!

Who do you make things for?

I unfortunately (or fortunately for me!) am a selfish sewist. I've made some accessories for other people, but I mainly sew for me!

What 3 sewing tools could you not live without?

This is a tough one – I'm a notions kind of girl! But if I had to pick three essentials, I would say:

1. Seam Ripper – I mean, I can pretend that I don't make tons of mistakes but that would be a big lie! The seam ripper and I are best friends. I've tried a bunch of different types of seam rippers, but always go back to the tried and true like this one here!

2.       Wonder Clips – I use pins of the majority of my woven garments while sewing, but tend to use wonder clips when sewing up knits. They help keep the fabric stable as I run it through the overlocker.

3.       Rotary Cutter – I cut almost all my fabric using a rotary cutter. My favorite one is this Olfa Deluxe Safety Rotary Cutter. If I didn't have it, I wouldn't be able to cut into my fabric!

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

Rayon Fabrics and Knit Fabrics hands down! I love rayons as the drapiness on it makes it look so much like many of the ready to wear items in my closet. Knits are so quick and satisfying – plus, they are so comfortable.

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

I tend to sew indie patterns so I picked some patterns + fabric combinations that are right up my alley from the Minerva Crafts website – who knows, you might see one of these combinations on me soon!

Tilly and the Buttons Coco Top and Dress + Diamond Quilted Stretch Jersey

Colette Laurel Top and Dress + Pastel Floral Pink Poplin or Vintage Style Pastel Floral  Poplin in Ivory

Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress + Bright Pink Ponte Roma

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

I am a serial monogamous sewist – so usually just one at a time!

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

Hands down, my Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns (see pattern here). If you're interested in sewing up a pair of jeans, I highly recommend this as a great first jean pattern! I've made three pairs and there will be many more in my future – I'm dreaming up some colored and white jeans for this summer!

Some of my other favorite include by Chloe Coat from Sew Over It, my Bonn Shirt from Itch to Stitch and my Heather Dress from Sew Over It.

 

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

I don't tend to watch TV or listen to music but I listen to audio books. I use audible on my phone and a wireless speaker that I can hear over the sewing machine. Some of my favorites books I've listened to recently are What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

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

Instagram is an endless source of inspiration for me!

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I follow lots of other blogs and bloggers on Instagram. Check out my Bloglovin' page to see all the blogs I follow!

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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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