Meet The Creator - Katie Farrell, The Sewcial Circle
Katie runs her creative business, hosting sewing parties and lots more!
Hello everyone, I’m Katie and I love making pom-poms and my whole craft story changed when I discovered a Loome tool, the handy little wooden pom-pom tools we’ll be using in the workshop. But I’ll tell you more about those later.
So, tell us a little about you.
I love ice skating, canoeing, eating maple syrup on everything (even my scrambled eggs and bacon) and I wear a tuque in winter… any guesses where I’m from originally? My story starts there but I have also lived in the south of Spain and Budapest before settling in London almost 10 years ago. When I landed in the UK, I had a freelance job as a copywriter, so I had plenty of time to write in the mornings and explore the city in the afternoons. It also meant I had lots of free time to paint, craft, knit, go to workshops, take photographs and sew. I got a part-time job teaching drawing and painting for kids on the weekends, just for fun. Then I started teaching sewing classes for kids there too. Unfortunately these amazing art spaces for kids don’t always make it with the high rates on the high street and they closed. I loved teaching so much, I just kept going and set up my own classes and workshops to teach both kids and adults fibre crafts and sewing.
I always loved Picasso growing up, and it was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Spain so much as a teenager and then again in my twenties to study art and painting. I became obsessed with fibre crafts a few years ago, when I discovered the Loome tools that I use in my workshops, and found myself just churning out pom-poms, tassels and mini weavings whenever I had a chance. What I love about these simple little crafts is that they are so accessible to everyone. You don’t need to be creative or even particularly skilled to make a pom-pom. It takes practise to trim it up nicely but I love that anyone can make a decent-looking pom and be so proud of it. If you can tie a knot and do the actions to the popular nursery song, “Wind the bobbin up,” you can make a tassel or a pom-pom.
Teal & Neon Pink… calming like the sea and a POP of neon to keep things fun.
What do you create mostly for work and what do you create mostly for fun?
For work, I make a lot of pom-poms, sometimes 100 a week, especially during the holiday period. For fun, I tend to experiment with the pom-poms and tassels, making them into jewellery or accessories, adding them to my hand-knit hats and I love to sew children’s clothes too. I used to sew a lot of clothes for myself but children’s clothes are so much faster… so you get to experience that rush of pride that you made something so lovely so much quicker.
What / who made you decide to become a professional creative, rather than doing it as a hobby?
What I discovered quite quickly after having my first child is that if you want to have a flexible job that you love, you’d probably better just create it for yourself. I started running craft and sewing parties for kids on the weekends, really just for fun and extra money and it continued to grow and grow. I have so much fun teaching on weekends as it gives me a break from my mum duties and I can teach others how to find their creativity too, and make nice things. I launched a product range soon after his first birthday and this gave me a different stream of income when my second came along and I didn’t have time to teach on weekends anymore. I love that business can be so flexible, and you can change your ideas as you go along. It’s all organic and evolves to fit my lifestyle. Right now I’m at home full-time with one of my children, while the other is at school. I pack orders during nap times and prep for workshops in the evenings. It’s a lot of fun, but hard work!
What makes you most happy?
Silence… for a while. A good book, time for me, a nice cup of coffee, and waking up naturally… without a toddler jumping on my face screaming, “breakfast is ready!"
What’s next for you? What you would like to be doing in 12 months?
My range of craft kits will definitely be expanding in the next couple years, once my daughter starts school, and I’ll have more time for product development. I’d love to run a teaching project, to teach others how to teach children sewing using the projects and curriculum I have developed over the last 6 years.
Is there anything exciting coming up that you would like to let people know about?
You can find me at the Handmade Festival in Hampton Court, September 13-15, it’s a huge festival for all things handmade and is a good place to learn new skills and pick up craft materials and tools.
I'm also hosting a Make Your Own inspirational pom pom banner at M.Y.O on October 7th, tickets can be found at button below.
You can always find me on Instagram @sewcial_circle… chatting away on stories about what I'm working on next.
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