Where did your love of crafting start? Where did you learn your skills?
I started sewing in 2012 when I started at university and couldn't find a bag I liked for all my folders, so I decided to make my own. I called up my lovely dad and asked him if he would show me how to use the sewing machine if I bought some fabric.
He was rather surprised when I turned up with a metre of oilcloth and announced I had chosen probably the most difficult fabric for my first project! Nevertheless he showed me how to use the sewing machine and we pieced together a bag which was the perfect size for all my folders and books and looked pretty.
In making that very first bag (which I still have) I found my love for sewing and a creative side which I didn't know I had. I have since designed many more items for myself and as gifts.
Since then, I have created many items, some following online tutorials, others using my mathematical skills to create a pattern. Browsing Pinterest for ideas became my favourite past-time and I eventually bought my own sewing machine and stopped stealing my dad's (fancy computerised) machine.
In 2016, I decided to share my creations with a wider audience. When I set up a space in half of the study for my sewing and started to call it 'The Craft Room' my partner turned to me and said "It's not a craft room - it's a craft half" from there my business name was born!
What is your favourite craft activity and why?
The majority of my crafting is machine sewing, with hand sewing to finish items. I love it because of all the beautiful fabrics that I can use to create something unique. I do occasionally dabble in other crafty activities but usually these are just to decorate my craft space – I upcycled an old kitchen chair so I had a pretty chair to sit on to sew.
What is your favourite craft item to make?
I think my favourite item would have to be my cosmetics bags, I took a long time creating the pattern and dimensions for them and am pleased with how they have turned out. They are also such a useful item.
How do you choose the materials that you work with?
Usually I just look for what I personally like that is within my price range. I try to buy things that will compliment other fabrics in my stash so that I can create various combinations.
Describe your crafting space/room in 5 words. (Attach a photo if you like)
Pretty, functional, quirky, small, girly
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I choose a lot of the items I make based on practicality – what will people actually use? I then try to make them look beautiful and unique. Pinterest is great for getting inspiration and picking up new tips and tricks but I am careful not to directly copy anyone’s ideas. I will usually tweak tutorials to suit my requirements (e.g. different sizes or trims etc). When shopping in mainstream shops I will take note of any particular trends (e.g. stags have been rather big lately) and try to incorporate these into my creations.
Which items can you not live without when crafting?
I think my absolute favourite item in my craft space is my homemade pressing board. It lives beside my sewing machine and is perfect for pressing small projects and means I do not have to get the ironing board out just to press a seam! I also recently bought a large quilter’s ruler which has been really useful in reducing the time I spend cutting.
Out of all of your projects you have made which one are you most proud of and why?
I recently made a custom crochet hook roll for a customer, designed completely to her specification down to the size, number of pockets and type of pockets. I felt really proud to take something from an idea in her head, sketch it out and create it and she loved it!
Do you have any top tips that you would like to share?
Take the time to finish your seams when you get the chance! When I began sewing I was so impatient to finish a project I wouldn’t bother finishing my seams properly - it makes your items last longer and feel more professional. I also use interfacing a lot to make my fabric sturdier which also helps items feel more professional and long lasting.
Do you have any favourite designers or brands that inspire you?
I can’t say I’m really one for following designers or brands, I tend to go for individual items that I like. I love the grey trend at the moment and often choose fabrics with a grey undertone to them. The woodland creatures also feature in my fabric choices – stags, owls etc.
What are your crafty plans for the future?
I would love for my business to take off; it is very new having only been set up in April 2016. Further down the line I would like to see my products being sold in local establishments.