Crafty Sew and So are experts in helping keen sewists create their own handmade wardrobe. we sat down with Sarah to find out more about what goes into creating stylish and practical patterns.

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HI Sarah, how are you? What’s keeping you busy this week?

Hi, as usual we’ve got a busy week this week! My week starts on a Tuesday and I spend Mondays with my toddler, so I come to work for a break! We’ve just had a photoshoot in the studio this weekend, so we’ve been busy putting everything  back in the right place today! Then Freya and I will have a meeting to plan out jobs for the week. This week we’re getting ready to launch our first online course, Making an Edge to Edge Cardi on an Overlocker, so we’re making sure everything is in the right  place and finalising and implementing our marketing strategy. I’m also preparing for a workshop to make a tee using an overlocker in the studio this weekend. We’ve got a few fabric orders to cut and pack and I’ve got a few blog posts to write for the My Handmade  Wardrobe site including a tutorial on lengthening and shortening patterns, a review of our latest pattern, the Homebody Joggers and advice on choosing the tight needles for a project. We like to regularly add useful tips, inspiration and advice to our site  to make it a valuable resource for all dressmakers. I’m also working on the next pattern for Love Sewing magazine too!

How did Crafty Sew and So get started?

Freya and I first met at a sewing workshop I was running, and we discussed our dreams of opening a workshop space and haberdashery shop.  In September 2015, we joined forces  to open the doors of ‘Crafty Sew & So - Studio and Haberdashery’ in Leicester City Centre to bring you a range of exciting crafty opportunities and a beautiful equipment and fabrics.

Sarah studied fashion design in London, and has 10 years of experience designing for top high street brands.  I love creating and feel at home surrounded by other creative minds.  I set up Crafty  Sew & So because I wanted to inspire as many people as possible to have a go and make beautiful things.  

Freya has over 10 years of experience working for various high street retailers, and always dreamt about opening an independent craft shop.  She’s a self-taught seamstress, blogger and enthusiastic ‘have-a-go’ type person, who loves all kinds of creative pursuits,  particularly enjoying learning new skills and challenging herself with more difficult projects, like jeans or coat making!

We had a wonderful 6 years selling our fabulous range of sewing goodies and running workshops in our lovely shop and studio in Leicester City Centre. In 2020 we changed to an online retailer and  started running Live Online Workshops during the Covid-19 lockdown. Our focus will  always be on connecting the sewing community and helping you enjoy your hobby however we can!

In November 2020 we moved from our retail premises to a new studio space in Leicester City Centre.  We're really enjoying being able to continue selling fabrics online and developing our range  of sewing patterns and kits in the new space.

We are huge fans of your My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns. Where does your inspiration come from?

Thanks, we love creating them! We generally design based on what we like to wear and work with our customers, friends and family to design styles that we’ll love to make and wear every day. Introducing new skills with each pattern is very  important to use and we always aim to provide further inspiration, tips and advice on our My Handmade Wardrobe blog to support learning these skills and getting the most out of our patterns.

You sell a lot of exciting sewing products including your own branded kits and gifts. Tell us more!

We developed our range of Crafty Sew and so Patterns and Kits to introduce everyone to sewing and they provide a great tool to start sewing at home, they’re also ideal to take home and continue learning after coming to one of our workshops!  In fact many of them are developed from our in person and live online workshops, so they are all tried and tested and ideal if you can’t get to a workshop in person. Our range includes kits and patterns for all sewists, so they make fantastic gifts for any  beginner who wants to get started with sewing!

We also sell a curated range of fabrics handpicked by us for quality along with a small selected range of haberdasher and tools.

What is your favourite thing about working in the sewing community?

The sewing community is so fun, inclusive and supportive. Everyone wants us to keep producing the best patterns we can and supports us in this! I particularly enjoy working with our pattern testers who we have developed great relationships  and ways of working with. We have a pattern testing Facebook group and they share insights about the patterns which are so helpful to get the patterns perfected ready for release!

What has been your biggest challenge as a company?

Other than trying to juggle all the variety of hats we wear as small business owners, fabric shopping is a great challenge because there are so many beautiful fabrics to choose from and unfortunately we can’t pick them all!

And what has been your biggest achievement?

Organising fantastic events to bring the sewing community together like The Dressmakers Ball and The Crafty Sewing Camp! We can’t wait to host more events this year!

What’s the best piece of sewing advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t forget to make time to practice and play. Your first attempts at anything new won’t be your best but keep practicing and exploring new techniques and design ideas and something really exciting just might come out of it!

What does the future hold for Crafty Sew and So?

We are really excited about the digital products we are just about to release. We’ve created a range of courses, ebooks and patterns which will help everyone make the most of their overlockers. We plan to release a full range of recorded  courses and ebooks over the next 2 years and our next focus will be on making the most of dressmaking patterns and fitting for your body!

We also can’t wait to run the Crafty Sewing Camp this year on 11th August and we have big plans for lots of other events!

I’m really happy with our range of workshops and a new focus on dressmaking seems to be very popular! And of course, we’ll be releasing lots more Patterns to encourage and enable everyone to make the clothes you want to wear!

Download your FREE Homebody Joggers Pattern

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