This week our craft team were fortunate to speak to The Avid Seamstress who will be exhibiting her wonderful patterns as an exhibitor at thread… a festival of textiles on Saturday 30 September.
We are really excited about seeing you at thread this year. Thank you so much for taking part in our q&a blog! How did you get into working with textiles and how did that lead you to becoming the Avid Seamstress?
I started sewing when I was very young – drawn to my Mom’s Singer sewing machine. Once I started I never stopped! I spent all my pocket money on fabric and would spend hours behind my sewing machine. I have a true love for sewing which led me to study pattern making. At the time there were no Indie pattern companies, only the big pattern companies so the idea of my own sewing pattern brand never entered my mind. Not wanting to work in the cut throat world of fashion, I started a career as a PA but never stopped sewing.
A few years ago I started teaching sewing and realised there was a gap in the market for sewing patterns that really explained each step, as though we were sitting right next to you guiding you along the journey. I spent 8 months researching and setting up The Avid Seamstress and really focussing on the experience of creating one of my garments. I am so delighted when people tell me that it is because of the detailed instructions that they have loved making one of my sewing patterns.
Have particular experiences inspired you during your journey?
Yes, I gained a huge amount of insight whilst teaching other companies sewing patterns. I was able to really see what beginners were experiencing when they approached sewing and using sewing patterns. They were my inspiration and I always keep this in mind when producing a new sewing pattern.
What has been your most enjoyable and proudest moment whilst running the company?
There are been so many proud moments – my first photography shoot – seeing my garments come to life on the models. Seeing my envelopes for the first time – I spent months developing them! Then, once the sewing patterns launched, the incredibly positive response from the sewing community – I take every review to heart and always do a little happy dance when someone falls in love with one of the patterns. It gives me the energy to keep moving forward!
What tips do you have for anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Don’t give up! I have set up my business and ran it for the first year and a half whilst working a full time job and raising a child – there are no excuses! Believe in yourself and give it everything you have!
Who do you follow on social media or who inspires you in your creative journey?
Funnily enough, the people I am drawn to on social media always seem to have Nordic or Scandinavian roots . I am drawn to their style and expression. I love unfussy details and find beauty in simplicity.
Please tell us about what visitors to thread should expect to find at your lovely stand?
I hope that visitors to my stand at Thread feel really welcome, I love to chat to seamstresses about their sewing experiences and finding the perfect Avid Seamstress garment for them. All of The Avid Seamstress garments are made up at the show so that they can really have a look at the shape and style. We’ll also have kits and lots of treats in store for our lovely visitors.
This is your first year as a thread exhibitor. Can you tell us about what you are most looking forward to about taking part?
For me, it’s always about meeting fellow seamstresses. I love the community, the vibe and the opportunity to hear first-hand what people love and want from us as an sewing pattern brand!
How can a visitor get the most out of their day to a textile show such as thread?
See who is exhibiting before you come and make a note of where they are so that you don’t miss them. Don’t be afraid to go up to stand, look at their products and chat. Most of the time we aren’t there for a hard sell but to meet you – our lovely fellow seamstresses!
thread…a festival of textiles takes place on Saturday 30 September 2017 from 9am to 6pm. For £5 advance tickets click here. A day ticket includes access to the marketplace, talk programme and exhibitions. A full schedule of bookable workshops can be found on craft.farnhammaltings.com. A workshop ticket includes day entry to the festival.
About thread: Spend the day celebrating textiles at thread! Browse the curated marketplace for artisan fabrics and haberdashery to purchase for your own textile projects or buy from artists and makers showcasing their own unique handcrafted work. Join in with the programme of talks, exhibitions and demonstrations from professionals or sign up to one of the bookable workshops. Following its success in 2016, thread will once again be exploring the social and ethical aspects of textiles through activities. Join our community of textile enthusiasts for a sociable and inspiring day out. A full listing of marketplace exhibitors, the talk programme and additional information is available at craft.farnhammaltings.com and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for news and programme updates.