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The Sewists

DIY Projects from 20 Top Designer-Makers

Published 25th August 2014 by Laurence King
Buy on Amazon

The Sewists features 20 designer-makers — including myself — each of whom were interviewed either in person or over the magic of the internet. Each maker shared a project, including an actual sample which you see photographed in the book. I practiced my own version of each project using their guidelines, and this enabled me to write up the step-by-step instructions with understanding of how the creations come together. Each project presented their own challenges; I revelled in picking up new skills and I’m sure you’ll get lots out of it too.

How it came to be…

It all seems a bit of a blur, the book writing process. I knew that I wanted to create a sewing book for people like me who could already sew but sought inspiration and a glimpse into the lives of people who inspired them. I had to come up with an idea that worked and that others could get on board with too; I am really glad that I did.

Before I put pencil to paper I did a lot of research. I contacted designer-makers that I really admired and was bowled over by the positive response. Then I arranged as many UK visits as I could, hopping on trains on my days off, drinking lots of tea and having some really great conversations with very talented people. It was a huge privilege to meet the makers I did; I felt trusted with their work and responsible for telling their story just as it was.

I tend to make the most sense in the morning, so most of the book was written in my workroom first thing listening to archive broadcasts of Desert Island Discs, while in the afternoons I sewed to 6music. I really enjoyed choosing the props for the photographs, and relished the opportunity to work on the styling. Being able to incorporate my sewing, writing and styling skills in one project enabled me to keep the process as varied as possible — pandering to my inability to sit still for more than 30 minutes!

I do hope there is something in The Sewists that will appeal to and inspire you. I heartily encourage you to have a look at all the designer-makers featured, explore more of their work and support handmade — this is just the tip of the iceberg.