Why this particular craft? Making items from fabric and thread is my favourite pastime. There is something very satisfying about cutting up fabric and sewing it together to create an original, one of a kind item. I enjoy sewing and quilting and love to add extra details to my work with embroidery, patchwork and crochet.
Have you tried plenty of others? There are few crafts that I haven't tried. I have experimented with knitting, crochet, cross stitch, embroidery, macramé, jewellery making, decoupage, basket weaving and paper crafts, to name a few.
If you weren’t doing this, what would occupy your free time? I work by day as an occupational therapist and then spend my spare time sewing, baking and creating. There are never enough hours in the day for all the projects that I want to make.
Who taught you your crafting skills? I come from a family that values the handmade. My mum made all of our clothes when we were children, and I used to love watching her sew on her old Singer sewing machine that was set up on the kitchen table. It was fun accompanying her to fabric stores and flicking through pattern books and selecting the perfect fabric. My early projects were making dolls’ clothes.
What does this craft mean to you? Sewing and blogging has opened up so many wonderful opportunities for me. I‘ve met so many like-minded people and made lots of friends as a result. It’s led to being published in a range of magazines. More recently, it’s given me the opportunity to write my own sewing book, A Spoonful of Sugar: Sew 20 Simple Projects to Sweeten Your Surroundings Zakka Style, published by Fons and Porter. A dream come true.
Is it hard to find time to do it or is it a profession? I make time to sew on the weekends. I also like to have a bit of hand sewing or a knitting/crochet project on the go that I can do in front of the TV at night.
From where do you draw inspiration? I’ve lived in a number of countries, including France, Norway and USA and have also travelled extensively with my family, so I’ve been inspired by different cultures, handicrafts and crafting materials.
What are your favourite materials to work with? With fabric, I can’t resist florals, polka dots, and ginghams. Small retro prints are also a favourite. I’m addicted to vintage haberdashery supplies and have a growing collection of old spools, buttons and notions. And I’m drawn to bright colours –especially aqua, pink and red. I have a weakness for Japanese textiles, and love the cute (‘kawaii’) prints. I love to add interesting embellishments to my smaller projects and often use appliqué, felt, embroidery, old buttons, sashiko stitching or a bit of crocheted lace. Recycled/repurposed materials also appeal. Some that I’ve used in my sewing projects are: old jeans, felted woollen jumpers and hessian from old coffee sacks. Hardware from old bags can also be repurposed.
Lisa Cox, A Spoonful of Sugar