How long have you been professionally stitching?Since about the beginning of 2013, when I set up my blog Down Grapevine Lane. However, at that time and for the first year or two, it was largely a hobby blog. I also sold some handmade items on the side. I’d say 2016 was the first year I felt I could call myself a professional sewing ‘designer’ with both a fabric collection and book under my belt and more patterns and fabric to come.
How did you make such a name for yourself in such a short time?I think a combination of an awesome amount of luck, plus focusing on networking, social media marketing and attention to detail in my designs, fabric selection and photography.
Have you always wanted to design your own fabric collection or did this come as a nice bonus to your successful stitching projects? Designing a fabric line has been on my bucket list for a while, but truth be told, I never thought I’d actually get the opportunity. But then earlier this year, I was approached by a fabric house , asking if I’d be interested in designing a line for them, and within a few months I had offers for the line from two fabric houses. It was certainly a dream come true. I’m still at the start of my fabric-design journey, though. Still lots to learn!
You have a very varied sewing repertoire. What sorts of designs do you do?The tag line for my business is ‘where sweet meets modern’, which I feel describes my style really well. Probably the most common comments on my photos by my social media followers is ‘cute’ and ‘sweet’. I love Zakka, the art of making useful things that are also very pretty. I have a particular fondness for small florals. As for designs, I love to try new things and learn new techniques, so I’m always trying my hand at different projects. Last year, I learned to crochet, but this year has been a lot more focused on patchwork and quilting. My repertoire is not repetitive, that’s for sure.
Did your distinctive style happen over time or was it immediate when you started stitching?My work reflects my personal tastes and what I consider to be ‘pretty’, but it’s also evolving slowly over time. There are certain elements in my sewing that are ‘must haves’ (florals being one), but I’m also enjoying experimenting with more modern concepts, such as using more muted colours and low-volume fabrics, playing with colour graduation, using more solids and so on.