Spotlight On: Katie Farrell aka The Sewcial Circle

Welcome to our next fantastic guest for the Spotlight On series:

the super lovely and talented Katie Farrell, founder of The Sewcial Circle

Sewcial Circle

Hello, tell us who you are

Hello! My name is Katie and I’m a bit of a wandering soul. I’m originally from Canada’s beautiful Niagara region but have called southern Spain and Budapest home before settling in London a few years ago. I love cycling and am passionate about making London a safer place to bike but crafting and sewing have pretty much taken over my life.
Katie is really busy but luckily she knows how to relax craft style!
Katie is really busy but luckily she knows how to relax craft style!

And what do you do?

I launched my own business earlier this year teaching young people how to sew their own clothes, customise their wardrobe and bring their designs to life (what young girl doesn’t want to be a fashion designer when they grow up?). This involves me cycling around London with all my kit in tow, running classes and workshops at people’s houses, at creative studios and at special events.
Check out those party skirts!
Check out those party skirts!

How did it all begin?

Well you could say it all started when I was in middle school, sewing tiny felt jackets and trousers for fairies I was convinced came to visit me while I was sleeping. I’d leave them out at night for them to wear. Then it just progressed to me making clothes my size rather than pint-sized! I’ve always loved crafting and am often told I have way too many hobbies. It really wasn’t until I received a sewing machine for Christmas one year at uni though that things really took off. I starting to bring more and more textiles into my work at art school and didn’t even think to turn it into a job until I started getting asked by mums in London to teach their daughters how to sew. Things have really taken off with the success of the Great British Sewing Bee.
Sewcial Circle meets Crafternoon Cabaret Club

What’s your favourite thing you’ve created?

There is nothing like getting a compliment like, “I love that dress, where’s it from?” and being able to say, “I made it myself.” As a sewing tutor though, the best feeling (and my favourite part of the job) is helping my students put those finishing touches on their garments and projects and seeing that same look of pride on their face.

Sounds amazing!  Do any challenges come with your work?

Working with kids isn’t for everyone but I love that age between 8-12 when girls really have their own style and have so many ideas on how they want their clothes to look and how they’re going to style them. They have so much creativity, they almost don’t know what to do with it! Finding patterns and resources for this age can be really difficult, as they’re too big for junior sizes and not big enough for ladies sizes. I often need to adjust patterns and projects to suit their different body types, which can be a challenge.

What are your top 5 inspirations (magazines, blogs, people, places)

  1. Annabel Wrigley from Little Pincushion Studio in the US. She has two amazing books of sewing projects for ages 8+, two of the best I’ve come across for sewing projects for young girls and teens.
  2. Purl Bee is a fab blog for both knitting and sewing project ideas and tutorials. I once visited their shop in New York and fell totally in love with this brand and company.
  3. Berwick Street is one of my favourite places to get inspired for sewing projects. There are several fabric and haberdashery shops on one street (albeit not for the budget shopper) and I rarely buy more than a few things but it’s so nice to browse, especially at the Cloth House’s two locations.
  4.  Oh Comely is the only magazine I have ever bought a subscription to and it’s a lovely volume of poetry, fine writing, photography, art and illustration. I can always count on finding something inspiring in a back issue when I’m feeling stuck for ideas.
  5. Lena Corwin is another crafty hero of mine. I use her book “Printing by Hand” as a reference when doing any sort of printing projects on fabric and paper. Her second book, “Made by Hand” is a great resource for all different types of craft, from screen printing, knitting, soap making, crochet and jewellery. It features beautiful projects from some of my favourite designers, like Jenny Gordy from Wikstenmade.

Sewcial Circle meets Crafternoon Cabaret Club

Thanks for stopping by Katie – if you’d like to find out more about Katie’s brilliant workshops and amazing crafting follow the links below!

Instagram: @sewcial_circle
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