Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Sam Budgen

Hello, I’m Sam, and I produce handmade and upcycled clothing, using vintage, reclaimed and sustainable fabrics and yarns, under the name Grandma Chic.

How I got into sewing: I first started sewing when I was a teenager and went on to study textiles and fashion at college. At university I studied knitted textiles, specialising in knitwear design, a skill I had always wanted to learn and one that was a great challenge for me.

Inspirations/Muse: Having spent some time working for pioneering ethical fashion brand From Somewhere, I decided to pursue my dream of having my own clothing line and set up Grandma Chic. Orsola de Castro, founder of From Somewhere, has remained a great inspiration to me and I am always eager to see her latest collections and collaborations.

When I started sewing, I had no real interest in contemporary fashion, but I was fascinated by garment construction and very keen to learn the skills needed to produce well made and beautifully finished garments, just like the ones I’d seen in museum collections (I always loved fashions of the past). Discovering the world of ethical fashion was very exciting, opening up new challenges and gave fashion a purpose for me. 

What I love and don't love about sewing: It’s very hard to make the same garment more than once, which I really like. Though when you come across a beautiful fabric or yarn and you’ve only got a certain amount it can be frustrating knowing that your mistakes will be hard to fix and the design requires alot more thought. On the other hand, it makes that item more precious and valuable, and made with a little more love too.

Favourite garment I have made/designed: My favourite garment I’ve made is an a-line skirt made from a fabric offcut that belonged to my Grandma. It has an extra panel added as the fabric was only just big enough and I believe it was once the hem of a dress worn by her. It was made more special by the discovery of a photograph of her wearing the dress from which the offcut came, and I will always treasure it for this reason. Grandma Chic was partly inspired by her and her unique style. 

Where to find me: 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Andrea Bonnell

Name: Andrea Bonnell

Name of Brand: I'll get back to you...

Location: Based in and around Birmingham

How did I get into sewing: I wanted to be a badass artist for a while but I soon came to realize the most exciting part of a project was balancing multiple elements and stages, all coming together to form a magnificent crescendo. Art was, for me anyway, pretty one dimensional in terms of outcome. It's way too personal to turn into a career for myself. That's where I discovered fashion design, followed it up at college/uni and have been in love with the process ever since. However, its no secret with me that I am a square peg in a round hole. I love what I do but really dislike the industry where my work "should" sit, so I just simply don't strive to fulfill those expectations. Call me a kind of outsider designer if you will.

Inspirations/Muse: Gender, traditional men's tailoring/design and vintage style women's undergarments. My muses would include spectacular people like, Cher, Liza Minnelli, Prince, Courtney Act and a few more I'm certain will crop up.

What I love about Sewing: That buzz you get when a final photshoot loops right back round to the dodgy doodle you did in a notebook. That completion of a vision. I find the design process pretty torturous, so the only reward for that is total success of the original inspiration without losing it's truth. And pattern cutting, I pretty much love getting stuck into that. Ooooo and fabric, I go ape shit for fabric.

What I don't like about sewing: We all agreed on unpicking...but I pretty much hate not having enough tables to spread my stuff obnoxiously all over. I need all of my stuff out all at the same time so I can see it but I really don't like mess...try handling that for a day :P Also, having to explain myself to people who just don't get the design process, or art, or anything of creative value! :D

Favourite Garment made/designed: So far, my red dress. It makes me feel gooey on the inside.

Where can we find you: 

Facebook Twitter apparently, My personal blog, Pinterest, Instagram and Toile Together's facebook page.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Jennifer Babey

Name: Jennifer Babey

Name of Brand: Still working on that..

Location: Southampton

How did I get into sewing: My mum was a keen quilter when I was young and I often followed her to fairs, fetes and quilting shows. I loved all the different fabrics that came in different colours and patterns. I admired the stitching and textures of the handmade quilts that people were selling or showing off. I have always been a keen crafter, having tried printmaking, bookbinding and even blacksmithing, but my heart lies with fabric and textiles. During university I studied Graphic Arts but I followed my natural instinct and got back into sewing and developing this into the work I was producing. It was during this time whilst surrounded by Fashion and Textile students that I was soon interested in advancing my sewing skill set.

Inspirations/Muse: I see outfits people wear and am often inspired by colours, textiles and shape. As well as being inspired by the scope of images that can be found on Pinterest, I currently adore Jenny Packham, the women of Mad Men, circle skirts and almost anything with a bit of lace or sparkle!

What I love about sewing: There is nothing better than the sound of a sewing machine chugging away.. oh its like heaven... But I love sewing, as well as all other crafts, because of the uniqueness of creating a piece that is handmade with such care and attention. And I can't help but gloat every time someone asks 'Did you make that..?'  

What I hate about sewing: Unpicking. It mocks you for every stitch you just did wrong. I am not a huge fan of hand stitching – like finishing on waistbands and those finer details- so close to finishing by have to get through those last few time-consuming stitches! I hate not having enough time to do the BILLION things I want to make or experiment with - my current 'to sew' list is endless!

 Favourite Garment made/designed: 
I mainly create garments for myself, and was super proud of this backless ready for a holiday in Italy in May 2015. It was based on a Burda pattern, which was Petite, so needed some adjusting for my 5ft9 and bit height! I made another version but with a circle skirt rather than gathered which I love just as much!
 I also made this dress very quickly on a bit of a whim for a Murder Mystery Party I held for my 24th. I loved the Maxi skirt and was super excited to have something with a bit of sparkle - even if I am still finding sequins around the flat...

Find me on Instagram, or our Facebook page.