Category Archives: Uncategorized

You wanna make this maxi skirt, right?

You wanna make this maxi skirt, right?

Well you can. At Sew It Over in Clapham.

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March 22, 2013 · 11:55 pm

Crafty: the sexy new craft magazine

Crafty: the sexy new craft magazine

How fit does this cover look? It’s on shelves on March 28.

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March 11, 2013 · 10:39 pm

Craft blogs: the bestest ones

I had an epic fail at the Craft Hobby + Stitch International show today when my Powerpoint presentation for my seminar (“The Write Stuff”. Geddit?!) didn’t work (darn Mac/PC issues). Fortunately everyone was rather nice about it. As they didn’t jeer too much, I promised the audience I’d type up a list of awesome craft blogs. Here’s a few links to the people who’ve already made lists: a massive list of sewing bloggers a few of Channel 4 Homes’ favourite blogs

V& the V&A recommend knitting blogs

And a few (of the many) I love…

Please do leave recommendations for other brilliant blogs in the comments section (or whack in a link to your own blog too).

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I’m having a little break


Writing that book took it out of me last year, so I’m spending my evenings drinking cider, eating shortbread and Mexican food, and generally chillaxing like this dude. I’ll be back blogging asap, promises.

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Meet the experts: the crafters who make porn

There’s some pretty hot and heavy stuff being crafted out there, and in Material World I speak to three ladies about why they craft this kind of X-rated stuff.


Who? Ferret

Why? Among the traditional quilts in Ferret’s collection you’ll find a handful of impressive nudes, painstakingly created in patchwork. The fact she mastered her craft before she tackled the more explicit designs means that her quilting technique is stitch perfect.

Where can I see more? has a gallery of her patchwork nudes, as well as details of the workshops she runs and the longarm quilting service she offers.


Who? Bee Franck

Why? This stitcher mashes classic (meaning ‘boring’) cross-stitch patterns with everyone’s favourite sarcastic, explicit, and offensive phrases.

Where can I see more? Her Tumbler has some of the best examples of her work. Or, head over to where she is one of the editors. Her Etsy shop is BeeFranck and she tweets at @beefranck.


Who? Alaina Varrone

Why? Alaina is just as happy stitching pictures of alien abductions and Converse trainers as she is graphic scenes of erotic sex (yes, there are vaginas).

Where can I see more? Buy Alaina’s work from her Etsy shop, or see the full range on or on her Flickr page. Alternatively, head over to Mr X Stitch’s NSFW Saturdays series where you can see more of her stuff.

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Pinterest: the guerrilla knitting board

You know I’m a bit of a guerrilla knitter (yep, that’s me over there on But I’ve got nothing on three of the world’s most prolific graffiti crafters, who I’ve interviewed for the book about their exploits. Over on Pinterest I’ve collected a few of my favourite images of guerrilla knitting from across the world.


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Halloween got crafted

The boy did good, right? I reckon this looks like a proper friendly pumpkin.


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Material World: Behind the scenes #2

My awesome dad, Phil Lewis, did all the black and white illustrations in this book. (I discovered he wanted to be a book illustrator when he left school after he’d finished them, which was a little teary moment for me – I like that I’ve been able to help him fulfill a little dream). He’s uber talented, which you can see from the pictures below: these were sometimes all I gave him to go on …

This is meant to be a Louis chair

It’s ‘how to sew beads on’, I promise …

And cutting a t-shirt.

See? These became …

He’s a legend, isn’t he?


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Material World: meet the business experts

There were a hell of a lot of people interviewed for Material World (as you might have guessed from the last few posts). Here are the guys who offered their wisdom about making a bit of cash from your crafting.

Who? Lisa Stickley

Why? She built her textile design company from nothing to make it a household name, so she knows a few things about taking your craft business up a notch. No longer part of the Lisa Stickley brand (this post by Ellie Tenant explains more), she’s building a new company from scratch again, and we have every faith that she’ll boss it.

Where can I see more? Head over to her blog, to read more about her new ventures, Betty and Walter and Ada Rose.

Who? Georgina Blain

Why? She’s the head honcho of Etsy UK’s marketing, the world’s largest handmade marketplace. Nuff said really.

Where can I see more? Follow all the Etsy UK happenings on Twitter, @EtsyUK, or see Georgina’s profile on the site here.

Who? Carrie Tucker

Why? As the Head of Product at Not On The Highstreet, she knows a thing or two about what makes an uber successful online shop.

Where can I see more? When you’re feeling low on inspiration for present ideas, is always a cracking place to head.

Who? Victoria Woodcock

Why? As one of the head honchos of London’s Bust Craftacular fair in Bethnal Green, she’s seen exactly what makes some stalls sell out, and others sell nothing. Plus, as well as her ‘real job’ on the FT, she’s published some beautiful craft books.

Where can I see more? Making Stuff, Making Stuff for Kids and her latest book, State of Craft, can (and should) all be bought from her Amazon author page. Keep up to date with all things Bust here.

Who? Jennifer Pirtle

Why? The American magazine journalist left the States and founded The Make Lounge, the UK’s first contemporary craft workshop studio. With classes on everything from candle making to embroidery, she knows what combination of talent, skill, experience and grit is needed to make it as a craft tutor.

Where can I see more? has everything you need to know about the craft workshops, or if you’re in Islington, drop by the studio because it now has a beautiful little shop in the front.


Who? Lisa Lam

Why? She’s an uber craft blogger at U Handbag (aka she blogs about awesome stuff, and unlike most she ACTUALLY makes a bit of moolah from it). If you want to know anything about making your own bags, she’s the lady to go to.

Where can I see more? Whether you want to buy bag-making supplies or patterns, or take a look at her blog, is the place. Or, buy one of her bag books, The Bag Making Bible and A Bag For All Reasons.

Who? Louise Hall

Why? Co-founder of the Papered Parlour, Louise took the craft workshop format that has become so big, and made it her own. Alongside more traditional lessons, they do everything from photography to wallpaper-printing.

Where can I see more? Book classes, take up residence in their studio or organise your own party at

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I crafted these nails tonight.


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