What crafts do you do?I design and publish a range sewing patterns, mainly for bags, hats plus other accessories all influenced by vintage styles from the 1920s through to the 1950s mainly. My favourite period is the simple clean lines of the make-do-and-mend wartime era. I design and make jewellery with a similar influence as a hobby.
How long have you been crafting?Since I was nine years old which is a long time ago
Who taught you your skills?Self-taught, through books and experimenting, although it is in my genes because my paternal grandmother drafted her own patterns and made clothing for her eight children – including my dad – during the Second World War.
Is crafting your hobby or your profession?My pattern business and book writing is part of my profession. My other job is as chief reporter for a regional daily newspaper in East Anglia, UK.
Do you teach/publish your skills and projects?I publish my Charlie’s Aunt sewing patterns in PDF format and sell them on my websites www.charliesauntshop.com and my Etsy shop. Some of the patterns are also published in printed format in the US and sold via sewing shops there. The patterns are also shown by distributers at International Quilt Market every autumn. I have written and published three craft books, Making Vintage Bags, Making Vintage Jewellery and Making Vintage Accessories which are sold all over the world.
What do you love most about crafting?I love the idea of creating a flat pattern that turns into something three-dimensional, functional and stylish. I adore working with fabric, particularly wool and tweed, and have always preferred to make things rather than buy them – it’s a great way to get something unique and personal. With my patterns, I like the idea of being able to pass my skills onto my customers via my words, diagrams and templates.
What is your proudest crafting moment/achievement? Seeing my first book published and selling more than 40,000 copies of it worldwide.
5 words that best describe your craft style? Vintage influence with modern twist.
Anything else to share I also sell a small selection of vintage buttons and British traditional fabrics to complement the sewing patterns.