We catch up with Sue, owner of Design & Sew as she talks about life before the company, her inspiration and plans for the future.
“Hello, I’m Sue the owner, designer as well as the ‘Chief Stitcher’ at Design and Sew. Maybe it should read Design and Sue! I’ve been sewing practically my entire life, over 55 years and I am still passionate and totally obsessed with all fabric crafts.
I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember. My interest in sewing started when I was about 5 years old, when my maternal great- grandmother gave me a shoe box containing a pair of scissors, needle, cotton and some scraps of fabric to make clothes for my dolls. The scraps of fabric were all from her many sewing projects. My early years of sewing was using a Singer treadle machine, later using a hand machine. Over the years she taught me many needlecraft skills including sewing, embroidery, lace making and crochet. Her guidance and vast knowledge, were invaluable, gained from many years of sewing for a young family in Wales. I also quilt, knit, embroider, do tapestries, in fact, if it involves a needle then I am generally involved.
Every kit that I design and create is made with care, attention to detail and some of them are a bit quirky. I always use the best quality fabrics as I believe that when you spend time sewing up a kit you want it to last! When creating my kits I like to keep techniques clear and simple. Hopefully, inspiring people of all ages and abilities to start/continue their sewing journey and produce fabric-based items that they will use and gift to others. It’s very rewarding when people say they enjoyed their kit and often send me images of their finished item.
Inspiration for my design can come from anywhere really. Sometimes I just see a piece of fabric and a bag design comes into my head. Other times I might be on holiday, out walking, reading, flicking through a magazine or the pages on the internet. I generally always have a pad and pencil with me so that I can sketch the design. Making a few minor alterations once the sketch is complete and I am trying out the sample. Looking through fabric samples is so inspiring, whether they are old or new, seeing the colours and designs is thrilling. I love bright vibrant colours, different designs, fun designs and sometimes have to calm it down with a some pastel shades. Fabric designs are so inspiring.
I will be bringing more pre-cut kits in the future to The Craft Store as it means no cutting and measuring, just the fun part of sewing up your chosen design. Making it easier for those who really do not like cutting into fabric and some with dexterity issues. I’m currently working on some ‘red work’ designs. Also, some patchwork designs as so many customers enjoy it and it’s a way of using up the scrap fabric and reworking favourite fabrics. I have so many designs in my head that all I can say is …… watch this space!”