Many people have a dusty, neglected sewing machine abandoned in the loft – sometimes the box it came in has never even been opened. Well I’m on a mission to free the machines and make you fall in love with them all over again! Some people want to start sewing but are just lacking the ideas, so I want to inspire you with easy to sew projects.
I’ve been making things for over 50 years; my mother was my mentor. She’s no longer with us and would have been so proud, and so much a part of my books… My dolls in the 60s were dressed in my version of couture, and in the 70s, I made my own fashion [remember hot pants?] and school skirts, dolls clothes and handbags. As my family grew, I made dressing up outfits for my budding Jedi son in the 80s, disco outfits for my daughter in the early 90s and more Jedi outfits for my second son in the late 90s. Now I’ve turned my hand to home wares and craft projects.
My career throughout these years has been in television, from children’s television [I was once Zippy’s girlfriend!] through acting in many soaps and dramas from Heartbeat to A Touch of Frost, Hollyoaks and Crossroads, and appearing in many commercials. Throughout, I’ve always been sewing in the sidelines. I’ve never formally trained, although have taken a few courses at the London College of Fashion, but I find I’m quite good at figuring things out and it has worked for me so far.
My first book was Making Cushion Covers published by Search Press, I tried to include many sewing techniques in the projects, so even if you didn’t want to make the cushion cover, you’d learn pleating, gathering, hand-stitching, applique and the like.
My second book, Half Yard Heaven, was an idea for the beginner, making projects using less than half a yard of fabric. I find that a lot of people are fearful of that first cut into a large piece of fabric, and a small scrap is less intimidating. Also, any basic sewing machine will do the job! The less you need to spend, the better! I’m not too good with patterns, so I raid the crockery cupboard of plates and saucers to use as templates, and I’m also not too good with jargon, so the projects in my books are simply explained.
The photography is down to my husband Garie, I’m spoiled to have a fashion photographer taking pictures for the books, but the images are amazing and we’ve used some fabulous locations as backdrops for the projects.
My third book is Sew Bunting, which Search Press asked me to write. Of course I said ‘yes!’, whilst thinking ‘how much can you possibly do with triangles…’ well, you can do a lot! Printing, stamping, spraying, drawing, and so many different styles! Steam punk, pretty, blackboard, scrapbook, nautical, and for any room in the house!
There are two more books in the pipeline, and in my head are a few volumes… I wish I could sew more time into the day…