Meet The Crafty Lass... designer of Petal & Pip
Hi Paula! We love having you as a member of our blogging group and are so excited about your first ever fabric collection, Petal & Pip!
How did you get in to the world of craft?
I have always been crafty - it just feels like something I was always doing! Spending my pocket money on beads, glitter glue, craft kits - anything creative, I was trying it, doing it, wanting to do it!
I went on to study Printed Textile Design at Loughborough University and graduated with a 1st Class BA (Hons) degree. I went into the 'office' world after University in various fashion buying, forecasting and even accounts roles - and as much as I was happy, I knew it wasn't what I ultimately wanted to 'do'. I just wasn't entirely sure what I did want...
When I got married to my lad, who I had met in my first year of uni - I basically turned it into a huge craft project! Lots of handmade decorations, and lots and lots of fabric flowers. It was at this point people kept repeatedly saying I should make 'craft' my business, somehow.., and the rest as they say is history! I quit my 9-5 role and set up 'The Crafty Lass'. All my previous roles - have definitely helped from a 'business' angle though - I feel like it was sort of meant to be!
The Crafty Lass has gone down lots of avenues since that moment, in ways I couldn't have imagined. Experiences, collaborations and projects that are beyond my wildest dreams... including having my own fabric collection with the Craft Cotton Co!
What inspired your first collection Petal and Pip?
We live in a really beautiful part of the Northamptonshire countryside - and I am very lucky to have lots of 'floral' inspiration all around us! I really enjoying running, and walking locally with our boys so I am constantly on the look out for new inspiration! I have been fortunate to visit some local walled floral gardens, visit Botanical gardens, and I do seek out any photography of flowers to draw from. Some of the flowers in the Petal and Pip collection are the flowers in my neighbours garden!
When we were expecting my eldest son, Freddie - when he was a 'bump' he was
affectionately known as 'Petal' (Paula's Exciting Tiny Amazing Lad) and, when I was expecting our youngest son, Rupert - we found out when he was the size of an apple 'Pip'. So - whilst of course, the collection name is appropriate for the delicate flowers - it is also a very
personal and special name, it really means a lot.
Tell us a little about the process of first idea to finished fabric.
In the lockdowns across Summer 2020, the was just something inside me telling me to draw. I found (and find!) it incredibly relaxing, away from the worries of the world. I get into a 'zone' of sorts - find something inspiring, and just draw, draw, draw. I didn't know then why I was drawing, or what they were 'for' - but, it is incredible to now see these drawings on actual FABRIC! Vicky is the head designer at Craft Cotton Co and she translated my sketches onto the screen and then worked with the fabric manufacturers to make sure the colours were accurate! I have been part of the Craft Cotton Co blogging team for several years now, and I am super grateful for their help and desire to create this collection as much as me! I am crazily excited to see how these might be used - what are people going to make, or be inspired to do with these fabrics??
How do you see these fabrics made up?
This part blows my little mind. Honestly, I cannot wait to see what people make! The fabric is 100% organic cotton, and it has a soft, almost 'drapey' feel, which I think could easily be used for all sorts of different projects. I am determined to try and build my own confidence in dress making - I would love to be able to wear my own designs!
What do you have planned next?
I am working with the Craft Cotton Co on the next The Crafty Lass fabric collections, and there are few other exciting collaborations in the pipeline... I am in the process of trying to write a book - but mainly, I am - at the end of the day - a Mummy too, so I am trying to balance my desire to craft, work and dream - and look after two boys under 5... I am pretty busy most days, and don't get much sleep - but, I wouldn't have it any other way!