What is your “go to” craft?
So anything sewing is definitely my “go to” craft and what started as making keepsakes for myself from my kids baby clothes has turned into a second part to my business – a memory keepsake side. Most of the time I very rarely get chance to do any for myself, but I love to crochet, in particular making African flower animals. I bake too, usually family members birthday cakes and sometimes knit.
When did you first give it a go?
I first learnt to sew, crochet and knit from different family members and was lucky to have started at an early age.
Me and my sisters all danced and took part in yearly dance shows, in which all the costumes had to be made, from around 8 years old I helped my nan make all our costumes and by 14 I was making my sisters and mine on my own and then friends and others from the dance school, so these were probably the first things I made.
I have always loved the theatre and the buzz backstage on shows and this is where my passion lies, everything has come from there. I went to university to study costume construction which led me into a love for wedding dresses and where I am today.
You’re a long standing member of the Sew & So’s, you were at the FIRST ever meet. We would love to know more about how your sewing skills link with your other business, your inspiration, the time it takes to make dresses.
Most of my links are with local bridal shops and I am very lucky to have been able to work with so many around the county and have good relationships with them, they recommend me as a seamstress to alter and accessorise gowns.
Most inspiration is a mixture of ideas and images clients have seen and knowing myself what ones work and look good good together – so it looks as one idea rather than a collection of ideas. How long it takes to make varies so much depending on the design, theres no set time.
Your stuck on a desert island, what do you take to keep you busy?
I would probably take crochet hooks and wool as I don’t get as much time to do that and you can make so many things from it.
Any words of encouragement for a beginner crafter?
I guess the main thing would be to give it a go, it’s surprising what you can do when you’re not overthinking it, and once you have a passion and interest for something it becomes addictive.
Your favourite crafty shop?
I don’t really have a favourite shop, it tends to be wherever has what I need at the time, although I do tend to spend a lot of time in hobbycraft normally because I haven’t written a list of everything I need and always forget something.
What are you working on at the moment?
Ooh, my list as usual is never ending and seem to have all things on the go at once, mainly as I get to a point where I need to fit and try the dress on the client so I move on to the next thing until I have seen them.
How does it works with children?
Working for yourself is probably one of the best and hardest things to do with kids. I get to have them home with me during the day but also means I don’t work ‘normal’ hours and or get to relax in the evening. I usually start once they go to bed and often, especially in the summer – work till late. Every now and then if things go wrong or take longer I have to work right through the night until the next day as you just can’t move a wedding date so need to keep going until it’s done and ready, the next is then interesting…
How do you get motivated?
Some days it’s ready hard, especially if I’ve had a manic day, the last thing you want to do is start work but there’s perks, getting to be home with my kids as they grow makes it worth it and that I get to work on/with some amazing gowns and fabrics.
Over the years I have had some amazing opportunities. I was a costume designer on a show while at uni, an ITV project which we took to Salford Theatre and then onto the National Theatre in London.
I was very lucky to be asked to make the famous Pippa Middleton bridesmaid dress that David Walliams wore, which was in varies magazines and newspapers, I met him and worked alongside the team during the photo shoots.
I have been very lucky with some of the things I have done, I did the outfit for Russell Grant when he dressed up as Lady Gaga and one of the costume for the game Just Dance 4.
My little claims to fame!