When did you first start sewing and how did you learn?
Growing up in Sweden with my three sisters Lina, Hanna and Maja was a fabulous adventure-I come from a very creative family where you could find photographers, glassblowers, chefs, singers, architects, seamstresses, artists, designers both industrial and interior and garden designers, so needless to say, we all ended up leading very inquisitive and creative lives.
My maternal grandmother Essie had a very small “in the wall” sewing room; dark and with slanting roof so even as a small child, you could barely stand up straight. It was like magic-she sure had made use of her tiny space! Large, old coffee tins filled to the brim with vintage buttons, yarn stacked from floor to “ceiling”! Piles of dusty fabrics, beautifully and painstakingly tatted lace, embroidery threads of all colours and qualities and very very sharp needles we soon found out!! This is where it all started for me. I am fully self taught and could do attending with a good sewing course!
Can you remember the first thing you made?
I still have a bright yellow teddybear out of felt which I made when I was about 7 years old in school. The poor thing is sewn together with painfully uneven blanket stitches, so the toy stuffing is peeping out here and there plus I drew his little facial features on with a marker!!
Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?
*I really love Betty Svensson`s designs-they are so distinctly Scandinavian. Her patterns are so fresh and beautiful-they inspire me.
*Tilly Walnes (Tilly and the Buttons)is also a very inspiring and enthusiastic designer-I love retro and her style is fantastic!
*Lisa Lam from U-Handbag- incredible talent and such a fun and energetic lady-love her too!
What's your sewing room like and how do you organize your stash?
My studio is absolutely positively way too small! Good luck trying to get any keen crafter to say the opposite about their allocated space! But, really-I could so do with more space and as the kids grow older, the much larger playroom is vacant more and more... I have casted my evil and selfish eye on it and will snatch it for me and only me as soon as I can!
What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to stitch along to?
I have tried so many times to work with the music on,as it plays a huge part in my life-I have been actively singing with my sisters and playing music since I was little, but when I work I simply cannot focus if there is any noise in the background. My older sister who is a professional photographer works with two screens, music, facebook and radio on at the same time-I could never do that!
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I use all kinds of material when I craft-wood, glass,metal, paper, rubber, plastic, clay and stone-anything I can get my hands on and which inspires me.Upcycling and recycling is also a great passion of mine.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I`d love to shine the light on my interior collection which was recently launched-it is a range of softly yet distinctly Nordic hand sewn household items such as aprons, teatowels, breadbags,doorstoppers, sewing machine covers and cushion covers.
Find it all on www.kajsakinsella.com