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Meet The Creative: Q&A With Harriet Johnson

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Harriet Johnson recently wrote about making a Lilou dress with the spectacular Permanent Wave Pink from the Snap to Grid collection by Cotton + Steel.

Here's your chance to get to know her a little better - Here's a brief Q&A we did with her.


I'm Harriet from a little seaside town in Essex, and I love making my own clothes!

When did you start sewing?

I only started sewing a year and a half ago but I'm really pleased with what I've managed to achieve in that time! I've won Reader's Choice for Dressmaker of the Year 2017 and was sought out to be on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas this year - so two pretty big things for such a new sewist!

Why do you love to sew?

I love to sew because it really helps me to cope with my medical conditions. When I was diagnosed, I had to give up a lot of my hobbies so wasn't really left with anything to do and went on the hunt to find something new - I learned to knit first, and then discovered sewing a year later! I'm not very mobile anymore, so it's so wonderful to be able to stay in one place all day and then have something really cool to show for it!

What do you love to sew most?

Definitely anything vintage inspired! I love the aesthetic of the 1950s, so long dresses with notched collars are a big winner. I like to make them more jazzy by choosing really funky fabrics, so working with The Fabric Fox is a dream come true!

What, or who, inspires you?

I think about sewing so much that I'm inspired by pretty much everything. Pinterest is, of course, a go-to, but I get the majority of my inspiration from television shows- particularly Mad Men! All of the Sew Over It patterns are totally my style, so I love looking at all of the photos that they've been tagged in to see how people have been making and styling them. Because I also have a bit of a childish streak with what I wear colour and pattern wise, I love looking at children's clothes - especially the ones from Boden! Iris Apfel is the queen of accessorising in my opinion too, so I find myself watching her documentary whenever I'm feeling in a bit of a style rut.

What are your go-to colours?

Controversially, I'm a really big fan of pink and red together! I also love mint green, but really I love most prints and colours that I come by!

Any advice/tips?

Only ever buy a fabric that you know you'll be able to care for once you've made it into something! If you use a dry-clean only fabric that you're not prepared to spend the money on maintaining, don't buy it - you'll end up ruining all of your hard work!

Recommendations (books, sewing supplies, craft fairs, etc.)?

Definitely check out the Sew Over It patterns! Something else that I tell everyone to check out (although it's not actually sewing related) is a book called The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees. It's quite a read, but it's all about finding your style and getting everything in your wardrobe to go together. It's not going to tell you to throw stuff away and be really minimalist, but when you're a sewist you want to make sure that you're making things that you'll love wearing!

What do you like to do when you’re not sewing?

I love reading as well as researching and writing for my own blog posts! I find clothing care and maintenance a pretty interesting subject, so I spend a lot of time looking into that.

Who is your favourite Disney character?

Not strictly a Disney character, but definitely Alice in Wonderland - I have a bit of an Alice in Wonderland shrine in my room!

If you had a pet fox what would you name them and why?

I'd call him Albert because I find it funny when animals have particularly human names!

You can find Harriet on her blog Hobbling Handmades, where she blogs twice a week, and follow her on Instagram. She also has a Youtube Channel, so go ahead and subscribe to that too.

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