When did you first start sewing and how did you learn?
I did a bit of hand sewing at school and my mum tried to teach me to use her sewing machine when I was a teenager but I got bored so easily and didn't stick to it. Fast forward to 2010 when I took a course of evening classes after buying a sewing machine but not really knowing what I was doing with it. I loved the classes, and even though I made a horrible skirt that I never wore and was still unable to follow a sewing pattern, I felt so much enthusiasm for sewing . Sewing blogs have had a big influence in terms of inspiration and teaching me new skills too.
Can you remember the first thing you made?
At school I remember making a tablemat of sampler stitches using aida fabric and coloured wool. In my dressmaking classes I made a pencil skirt which was really unflattering though it was really nicely made including being fully lined.
Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?
I like some of the independent pattern designers like Sewaholic, Grainline and Wiksten. I've made patterns by each of them multiple times which is really the sign of a good pattern I'm a big fan of vintage patterns too, from the 1950s to the 1970s and I love to look for interesting details which can be hard to find on commercial patterns today.
What's your sewing room like and how do you organize your stash?
It's currently in my living room, where we have a recess space with a dining table. My sewing machine and overlocker sit on the table with sewing boxes and patterns on the bookshelf behind me and fabric stored in the bedroom cupboard. I normally cut out on the living room floor, clearing furniture and cats out of the way. I dream of having a dedicated sewing space one day and buying a dressmaker's dummy.
What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to stitch along to?
It's often Radio 4 - I listen to radio programmes through the iplayer and love a bit of crime drama. Or sometimes I'll have a Miss Marple or Poirot on TV in the background. The good thing is that I can watch them over and over again as I am only half watching! If I can't find any crime drama, it's the House of Elliot box set - again!
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I knit and crochet so I usually have a woolly project on the go as I tend to work on that most evenings in front of the TV. I mostly make garments but last year made my first quilt which I really enjoyed so would like to try making another. I occasionally do a bit of baking too.I love visiting charity shops to search for a bargain or just for some terrible vintage knitting patterns to feature on my blog.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Have a look at my blog www.kestrelmakes.com if you're interested in sewing, knitting, crochet and charity shop finds.