Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi there, I’m Lauren and I’m the author of the brand new sewing book, perfect for beginners Learn to Sew with Lauren. I’ve loved sewing since I was a child and I now run my own haberdashery and fabric shop where I teach sewing workshops. I also reached the final of the Great British Sewing Bee 2013.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Learn to sew is aimed to really inspire and give readers the confidence that they can bring beautiful fabrics and the pleasure of sewing into their lives. You’ll find stylish projects to wear, use at home and to give as gifts – from tops and skirts to bags, belts and cushions covers.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I love fabric so much and love to think up new ideas of how I can incorporate it into not only what I wear but what I use day to day from purses and bags, accessories and useful household items. Learning how to make things for yourself not only gives you a great sense of achievement but also allows you to express your own individual style – that’s what I hope the readers will gain from working through my book and taking up this addictive craft.
Which is your favourite project?
I love the yoke top as I think it offers so many options to customise and add detail from combining different fabrics and colour blocking to adding piping and other trims.
What is your craft space like?
I wrote most of the book and made all the projects in the studio above my shop. It’s a beautiful big room with loads of natural light and a big high ceiling with wooden beams. I can really spread out and make a mess up there so it’s perfect when there are lots of ideas flying around.
Have you always been creative?
I’ve always loved being creative, not only in sewing but lots of other crafts too. I was one of those kids that were always busy making something. I’ve tried everything from silk painting to upholstery.
When did you first start crafting?
The first memory I have was from when I was 4 or 5 years old and I would come home from school at lunch time to make a little stitch sampler kit I was given as a present. It even had my initials on it. I was hooked from then!
Who are your crafty heroes?
My craft and sewing heros are all those people out there who write their own sewing blogs and post their latest makes online. It can be a brave thing to do when you start out but its such a great way to connect with people you otherwise wouldn’t have met and I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve been inspired by something that I’ve seen online.
Where do you find inspiration?
Whenever I fancy something new to wear or for my house my first instinct will always be ‘can I make it’? So I get a lot of inspiration from working out how to fill these gaps. I see a lot of new fabric every week when we get deliveries to the shop so my mind is always full of ideas as I experiment putting different combinations together. I’ve also got a stash of vintage patterns that were from my Mum and others that I’ve collected over the years and I love to get design ideas from them too!
What's next for you?
Learning how to run a growing business has been a steep learning curve for me over the last 18 months. Now that I’m getting more of a handle on things I’m looking forward to dedicating more time to working on new projects – I dream of having my own patterns and fabrics and I’ve got a few ideas for another book as well!
Lauren Guthrie was a very popular finalist in BBC TV's Great British Sewing Bee. Now Lauren wants to show anyone who has been bitten by the sewing bug how beautiful, useful things for your home, for yourself and for family and friends can be only a stitch away.
Through a series of step-by-step projects that gradually increase in complexity, Lauren provides structured techniques that allow you to build expertise and confidence - and make some gorgeous projects in the process. The clothes and home wares reflect her own lovely pared-back style, and feature in particular the attention to detail and distinctive touches that she loves to bring to anything she makes, from an unexpected lining to a clever edging. From bags, belts and simple tops to blinds and cushions, each of the projects includes one or more variations to the design, fabric or embellishments, so that, once you have mastered the basic technique, you can create endless, stunning alternatives.