Hello and welcome to Oh Sew Creative, this is my first blog post (long overdue!), but I wanted to introduce myself and give you a bit of background to Oh Sew Creative.
I am a creative, practical person who enjoys designing and making. I previously worked in the fashion industry but that seems a lifetime ago now! For the last fourteen years, I have been teaching textiles at a secondary school. I work with 11–18-year-old students guiding them through various textile projects and helping them to realise their design ideas. I love this part of my job; it really is amazing seeing the pride on a student’s face when they complete their product. I used to do this full-time, but parenthood called. I am now a mother of two gorgeous boys who keep me very busy! When they came along, I made the decision to reduce my working hours because teaching really is an all-consuming job. My family had to come first, not that pile of marking!
Life is easier now with both boys at school and I began to consider my work options. I knew I did not want to increase my teaching load at school. My boys are still young with so many commitments and I need flexibility. Then two years ago a friend asked me if I would run a sewing party for her nine-year-old daughter. I did and it was hard work but such fun too! The girls were so pleased with their creations and I felt so proud of them. It was like the best parts of my job without the marking and naughty behaviour!
Oh Sew Creative was born and I have spent the last two years establishing my workshops, parties, courses and adult creative events. My Fizz & Feltmaking evenings were created on the way home from the school run, whilst chatting to friends! We were saying why should the kids’ get all the fun! Why indeed!? An evening for ladies to get together to be creative, chat, laugh and enjoy a glass or two of something cheeky! What is not to like – the ladies are always lovely, and it really does not feel like work at all! These evenings have been a real success and the sense of achievement these ladies feel by the end of the evening is great! My Handmade Felt Lavender Filled Bird craft kit was developed, because of these evenings.
Then, along came Covid and suddenly I could not do any of that! Big shock.
I have many ideas about growing Oh Sew Creative. One idea was to develop a range of craft kits. With Covid, this was suddenly a priority! I say priority, but between home schooling, sewing scrubs for the NHS and teaching, it did not really happen as quickly as I would have liked. I have spent the past six months developing a small range of craft kits. In October last year I was accepted to sell on The British Craft House, which was fantastic. I joined with one craft kit, the Lavender Woven Heart craft kit. I now have seven products listed. My latest craft kit aimed at children is a Handmade Felt Easter Egg decoration craft kit. The craft kits take hours to develop because of the problem solving and refining of a project. A big job is the project instructions included in each kit. I like to include lots of step-by-step photos to support the written content and help that visual learner!
Possibly I joined TBCH too early with just one craft kit, but hey what is the saying ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ or something like that! I am working hard to increase my range of craft kits and my social media presence. I have lots of ideas for kits and I want to expand into sewing machine projects too. A key factor is I like to include more than just sewing in a kit. As a textile teacher, I expose my students to lots of new and exciting techniques. I want my customers to experience these techniques too! It would be very easy to supply pre-cut fabric and written instructions, but the sense of achievement is greater, if you have made the fabric too!
I look forward to a time when my workshops can run alongside selling my craft kits because the two complement each other so well. Fortunately, I had two years of workshops and parties where I had the opportunity to try projects out and reflect on the way I taught them. Most of my craft kits are inspired by these events, but with further refinement to make them viable as a craft kit!
Well, enough from me; if you have lasted until the end of this, thanks for reading! If, browsing ever does turn into buying, please remember to share your made product with me using #Ohsewproud on social media. I would love to see them!