Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Share a Creative Life - Jane from Handmade Jane

It's time to meet out third creative, A lady whose blog I've followed for quite a while and I admire her drive to create! Jane from Handmade Jane is here to tell us a little about her creative life.

Hello, I'm Jane! I've lived in west London for the past 20 years, but I'm originally from Lancashire.

What is your main creative outlet?
Sewing. In fact sewing is my ONLY creative outlet. I don't knit or crochet or anything like that and sewing absorbs me so completely there just isn't room for anything else!

How did you get into being creative?
I'd planned to take a dressmaking course for years and years but never seemed to have the time to do it. It was only once my younger son started school in 2009 that I finally took the plunge and enrolled on a course. For two hours a week I learnt how to navigate a sewing pattern, cut out pattern pieces and sew them together - I absolutely loved it! I'd only initially planned to do one term but ended up staying for a year. I then felt ready to start making my own clothes without the guidance of a teacher and that's when I started my blog too.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
Other sewing bloggers! I'm inspired by them on a daily basis: what they make, their creativity, their generosity and willingness to share their knowledge. I don't think I'd have fallen for sewing so hard if there hadn't been such an amazing on-line sewing community to inspire and encourage me.

Where do you do your making? what is your workspace like?
I'm lucky enough to have a spare room that I use for my sewing. It's a converted loft room so it's lovely and light. It still has to function as a guest room, so I have to be careful not to let my sewing take over the whole space. My husband built me some shelves to go above my sewing desk which holds patterns, smaller bits of fabric and other sewing paraphernalia. He's also built me a longer storage unit where my overlocker lives as well as sewing files and boxes of trims, zips, binding and more patterns! My main fabric stash is kept in boxes under the guest bed, out of sight.

Is your creative outlet your hobby or part of your business?
It's mostly my hobby - I get a lot of pleasure from sewing my own clothes and about 80% of my wardrobe is now handmade by me. I do sell some of my handmade items at craft fairs and through an online supplier. These include bags, purses, cushions, wash bags and tooth fairy cushions. I'm never going to make a living out of it - I'm far too lazy and I wouldn't have the time to make myself any clothes! But it's a handy source of pocket money and keeps me in fabric and a few treats. I gave up working outside the house when my children were born so it's nice to be able to save up for something I really want (such as an overlocker) and pay for it with my hard earned craft fair money!

What are you most proud of making?
I would have to say my Abbey Coat. It's a short, jacket-style coat which I made in teal blue wool with a turquoise polka dot lining. I worked on it really carefully and it's probably one of my neatest and most professional looking makes. But the thing I'm MOST proud of are the bound buttonholes! They're my first attempt and I'm so proud of them!

Can you share 3 inspirational blogs that you would recommend?
The very first blog I started following was Tilly and the Buttons and it continues to inspire me still. I'm amazed at how far Tilly has come, from tentatively making her first dress, she's now released her own patterns and is teaching classes. She's also on a mission to inspire other people to sew and her Learn to Sew series is a fabulous resource for beginners.
Did You Make That? because it's so brilliantly written. It's funny, wise and informative all at once and I love the way author Karen engages her readers in discussions about all kinds of sewing topics. I've learnt tonnes of handy tips, just from some of the comments people have left!
I'm pretty good at following a pattern but what I'm NOT good at is coming up with my own ideas and designs, I just don't seem to have the vision. That's why Charity Shop Chic is so inspirational. Author Sally has an amazing ability to turn old sheets, granny clothes and basically any old rubbish she finds in charity shops into unbelievable beautiful creations. She's got a real eye for seeing the sewing/refashioning potential in anything and I really admire her for that. My favourite thing she's made by far is an imitation Chanel jacket. I've seen it in real life too and it's just as lovely up close!

Tea or Coffee?
Can I say both?!

Chocolate or sweets?

Vintage or modern?

TV or Radio/music?
Radio. I have it on all day in the background whilst I'm sewing. I like Robert Elms on BBC London.

Favourite TV/Radio show?
Any Nordic crime drama for TV, I'm currently obsessed with Arne Dahl.

Favourite colour?  Red

Thank you for sharing a little bit about your creative life Jane and we look forward to more creative posts.

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