I am a vintage designer and maker who uses lovely old fabrics and wallpaper to make beautiful and useful gifts and homewares. I live in pretty west Sussex with my husband Pete, and three unruly children
The projects are satisfyingly swift to produce in many cases, approachable and often inspired by the type of fabrics or materials that can be found at markets, thrift shops or antique fairs. There are seasonal ideas as well as presents to make for children, your dog or just to keep
In my other life I have been a chef and creative director at the lovely company called Biscuiteers. I co wrote the Biscuiteers book of iced biscuits in 2010 and met all the great people at Kyle ?Books. I put together a few sample pages of projects that I had made at home and they liked what they saw. I am a self confessed vintage addict and the fabrics and old materials I have in my collection provide most of the ideas themselves.
I love the wallpaper wrapped soaps. They are super simple to make, but they just look lovely piled up. Waiting to be unwrapped.?
We don't have a very big house, but it did have a dinning room. It is now, very indulgently my office and favourite making space. As I now run my vintage business we have converted an outbuilding in the garden to make a studio, but all of my favourite fabrics and wallpapers are in "dinning room" so I write in there.?
Forever. And a hoarder. From jumble sale buys when I was four to making pots in my grandparents pottery at around the same age. My mother has a great eye and paints beautifully when the mood takes her, my father has totally changed the landscape where they live with ponds and woods and hills. Their influences and enthusiasm for getting things done and the totally rural hamlet where I grew up meant that if you wanted something to do, you had to plan it or make it yourself.?
When I was about ten I found an old sewing machine in a wardrobe at home. It was hand cranked and had Junkers written all over it in gold swirly writing. I loved it and learnt how to make all sorts of things on it. My grandmother still has a quilted cushion I made in old white linen that was a sheet.
I think Caroline Zoob has a great vibe. I have some of her cups and drink an enormous organic coffee out of one every morning to start the day. And I am quite partial to a little bit of Kirsty Allsopp. I enjoy her enthusiasm for a bargain and her straightforward approach to making things.
Trying not to gallop ahead to the next project is more of a problem than looking for inspiration. Handling old materials and looking at the scale of the pattern or feel of the fabric is most inspiring. Soft merino blankets are great for making toys or cushions, old linens to cover chairs and wallpaper for lining furniture.?
I am very busy at the moment. I am doing/writing a year long craft series for a magazine, just finishing my next book on vintage home projects and launching my vintage gifts and homewares business, and trying to ignore the persistent cries from the rest of the family to get a dog. I am making welsh blanket dog beds now so resistance is wearing down.
Shops and markets selling vintage furniture and trinkets are an absolute treasure trove for anyone looking to inject some character and charm into their hoe without spending a fortune. "Homemade Gifts Vintage Style" takes this one step further by inspiring you to make or customise your own vintage wares and present them as gifts. Rather than throwing out worn jumpers and blankets, give them a new lease of life by turning them into cute animals for children's birthdays. Instead of ditching cushions that have seen better days, why not transform them into something unique with colourful and eclectic vintage fabrics. Sarah Moore shows you how with step-by-step photographs accompanied by simple instructions. Projects can be sewn by hand or accomplished with one simple stitch on a sewing machine so are suitable for all abilities. With their colourful vintage look these projects make the perfect gifts for any occasion - so lovely that you'll have to resist the temptation to keep them for yourself.