Sophie writes a great blog called Cirque du Bebe. I first came across Sophie many years ago when she did a tutorial for Elsie Marley's Kids Clothes Week for this super cute tshirt with a detachable phone on the front. And she had me. Go have a look at it here. How cute is that!!
I LOVE Sophie's use of colour, of recycled materials and the way she puts stuff together. Most of the pictures from this post are of a sundress she made as part of Project Sewn - an international sewing competition she just won! I'm gonna sound repetitive but I LOVE this dress. If you feel like a good dose of sewing inspiration have a look through her archives. She just dives in and gets to it with enthusiasm and joy. Welted pockets, blazers, swimsuits, piping.....stuff that scares the bejesus out of me. You name it and she can do it. And always with such style. So impressive.
What brought you to craft or make?
I have been crafting and making since forever-ever. I've always had to have a creative outlet and it used to look like drawing, painting, collaging, collecting magazine clippings, keeping sketchbooks etc etc. On the side I have always been interested in fashion and design. So I suppose it was only when I discovered sewing approx four years ago that everything merged into one supercraft! I had just had my first little boy, was looking for a new creative outlet, since there had been a few years prior where not much crafting had been taking place. I discovered Etsy, sewing blogs and the online craft scene and a whole new world opened up! My first project was some overalls for my now 5 year old. I remember getting fed-up with them half way through and passed them off to my mum who ended up sewing the buttons on. They definitely look very 'first sewing attempt' but I like to keep them as a reminder of where I've come from.
What do you love about your chosen craft?
What don't I love about sewing? Sewing is exciting, rewarding, challenging, liberating...the list goes on. Its exciting when you realize that with your own two hands you can make stuff that you actually love, as much or more than something you can buy. You get to choose what goes on your body and it's exciting seeing a piece of clothing materialize from an idea or a sketch. Sewing is rewarding because there is definitely a period of awkward sewing adolescence that I think everyone goes through. And once make it to the other side, and you actually start to love the stuff you're making, the feeling of self-reliance is amazing. Knowing that you are the middle man, and could actually sewing your entire wardrobe if you wanted to is empowering. Sewing teaches you patience, if you let it. I know I started sewing with the attitude of expecting 'misses' as part of the learning process and I think that's given me confidence to keep tackling new challenges. That's the best thing about sewing, anyone can do it!
When/how do you make time for craft in your life - do you have a process?
I used to try and snatch little moments of sewing time during the day like when my boys were napping but I've since found that it works better for me just to split it into daytime for mummy-ing, night time for sewing, scheming, sketching, catching up on blog reading and trawling Pinterest for inspiration. I am starting to develop a process, which I'm finding is as enjoyable as the actual sewing. I go through several sketch books a year where I play around with swatches, write overwhelming 'to-sew' lists and sketch out the things I'd like to make. Sometimes I make up pretend collections for fun. Right now I'm planning my spring wardrobe and I've got a whole bunch of fabrics in earthy hues that have got me dreaming of woodlands and camping and summer festivals. So I've drawn up a little 'lookbook' of garments that I would like to prance about in the woods in, that will hopefully get made before spring, but probably after summer! Seeing clothes come to life from a bunch of doodles and fabric swatches is unbelievably exciting and very addictive. Oh, and so is fabric shopping.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am usually inspired first and foremost by fabric, I love prints, geometric designs, unexpected textures and colour. And following that I'm inspired by fashion, not especially in following trends but I draw a lot of inspiration from fashion when I'm creating a hand-made wardrobe. I suppose I have always been interested in fashion and never really grown out of playing dress-ups but it's more how wearing different clothes actually makes you feel that interests me. I get my daily doses of inspiration from Pinterest, from a whole lot of amazing sewing diy blogs that I follow and two of my fav Australian magazine: Frankie and Peppermint.
Who are your top 3 crafting heroes and why?
My top three crafting heros are some lovely talented ladies whom I've stumbled upon since starting sewing and blogging. Jenny Gordy of Wiksten, Jen Beeman of Grainline and one of my fav bloggers Sallioeh. All three have a very clear and beautiful aesthetic, amazing sense of hand-made style and are weapons with a sewing machine.