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My Life in Fabric by Karen Willatt

The Sewing Bee is back on our screens again, inspiring lots of people to get stitching so we thought it would be nice to tell you a bit more about our lovely friend and sewing teacher, Karen Willatt.

Karen and I run our sewing club, Sew It’s Friday, once a month on Friday evenings from 7pm-9pm. I asked her to write a little bit about herself and her stitching experience. So, over to Karen…

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My name is Karen Willatt and I’ve been running the sewing workshops at Needlecase for around 2 years.

Before that I taught Needlecraft for Tadcaster Grammar Adult Education and for a number of years prior to that I ran workshops at home and took stands at craft fairs across the region.

However my love of fabric goes back much further than all of that.

My earliest childhood memories are of playing with my mother’s button tin and lengths of fabric which would soon be turned into clothes for me and my two older sisters. I would drape fabric around myself and find buttons to go with my creations. I never grew tired of stacking the cloth in colours or making ‘collections’.

Mum taught each of us to sew and for our twenty first birthdays we were given sewing machines.

Years on I am still in the throws of a love affair with fabric. Much to my husbands dismay I seem to have inherited my mothers hoarding gene for all things fabric. Some may see old curtains where as I see a lovely ‘A’ line skirt, notebook cover or draught excluder; a pair of torn cords could make a fantastic hand bag, soft toy or contribute to some sort of fancy dress costume for the children.

photo-C-125x300It really doesn’t help me to keep a tidy home though as I may have ‘vision’ and ideas I just struggle to find the time or the energy to make everything that I keep fabric for.

I have taken courses in art and design and interior design and after working in interiors I now have to justify my existence as a long term fabric hoarder and turn these wonderful lengths of textural delight into something useful.

photo-A-224x300In the last few years I have gone back to making more of my own clothes and have started to make some of my children’s clothes too.

I had changed course for a while and got in to patchwork and quilting as well as interiors.

I really enjoy the satisfaction of making something that is either useful or wearable or best of all both. It’s also hugely satisfying to make something for the children and to hear nice comments made by other people or to make something to give as a present. Whilst my family are the most important thing in my life finding time for sewing has become more significant and now I really can’t imagine life without fabric an idea and a needle photo-B-224x300and thread.

Do come along to a Sew It’s Friday workshop as it’s a great chance to get together with other people who enjoy making things, have a slice of cake and a cuppa, I’d love to meet you.

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