I have always been a crafter - it would be hard not to with a Mum like mine, who turned her hand to everything from dressmaking, breadmaking, knitting, tapestry and go-kart making. She used to have a 'make it cupboard' under the stairs where she would store powder paints, egg boxes, washing up liquid bottles, clay, loo rolls....I am a classic child of Blue Peter too, and remember the Cindy hairdressers I made following their instructions using yoghurt pots, cereal packets and of course sticky back plastic. That pre-dated the legend that was Anthea Turner's Tracy Island too ....
Sewing by far.
What was your first sewing project?
I can't remember that far back, but I do remember that the first outfit I made myself with a sewing machine was a circle skirt and matching top from a proper commercial pattern when I was about 10.
What do you love most about sewing?
I love that I can turn inspiration into reality through the power of needle and thread (& awesome fabric!)
What made you decide to start blog about your sewing and crafting?
I started blogging as a way to record what I was making now that I had more time on my hands with the growing up of my children. I was picking sewing back up again and had been so inspired and excited when I discovered blogs, that being a blogger was an added element of excitement to my own making.
How are you liking being part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network?
I love being part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network - it's a friendly little inspiring community with every reason to talk sewing and crafting, and with the opportunity to try out some of the vast range from Minerva's store - what a plum! And last summer, visiting Minerva's store and meeting Vicki and her family after so many emails was so nice, but I was also thrilled to meet some of Minerva's regular customers too, which was humbling. Of course, the whole thing felt like a party with so many other bloggers there too.
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
My Sewing machine and my overlocker - I love them both and could not sew without my sewing machine, but equally, love my overlocker so much, sewing without it would be miserable!
And the third thing? Hmmm. That could possibly be a cleverly shaped unpicker that i have with a brilliant pointy end that is great for turning corners ...
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?
Knits every day hands down. I love sewing knits because I love the way the fabric behaves & the kinds of garments you can make from them in a relatively short space of time. And generally you can make things that look pretty smart, or at least 'neat' whilst feeling super comfy & then they are also generally easy to care for - if I can avoid ironing I do. And of course, knits=overlocker=happy badger.
What are your favourite yarns to knit and crochet with any why?
I'm not a super experienced yarn user, but I do like Rowan yarns, having made both a cardigan out of the Rowan tweed which was lovely - nubbly texture and gorgeous depth of colour. I also used some that had a merino element in the most fabulous colours to make a shawlette...
What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start sewing and crafting?My inspiration comes from all over and at all times. I love using Pinterest to keep track of what I see online, on other sewing blogs, on Pinterest itself, or general out & about curiosity. But if I wanted to be inspired I would look back in time to the 50s and 60s ....books, magazines, photos and films....
Are there any other crafts that you enjoy doing other than Sewing?
I am trying to knit....and really enjoyed knitting a scarf for my Dad for Christmas in a herringbone stitch (simple & satisfying!)
Are there any other crafts you would love to learn?
Stained glass - it's all about the colour for me :-)
As you have inspired many others in the past to start sewing and crafting through your blog and Social Networking sites, what would you say to other potential sewers who may want to give it a try?
I would strongly urge anyone interested in sewing to give it a go. There are all sorts of different ways to learn, with inspiration and support everywhere. Most sewing / fabric shops / craft shops offer great beginners' workshops that you could try to see if sewing is for you, when your initial outlay is the cost of the workshop and maybe a few materials. If you get bitten by the bug, there are so many great books, websites and classes to help you progress, but don't forget that most sewing patterns tell you what level of skill is needed and there is a wealth of sewing patterns aimed to help you learn, you want to take it one project at a time.
Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?
Colourful, happy, hooked