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My Inspiration and ideas

Secret Society Blog

My Inspiration and ideas

Alison Owens

People often ask me where I get all my ideas from and how I come up with them, for me they seem to pour out of my body every waking hour, they even wake me in the night and I have to get up to start making something. Inspiration is in me, it’s part of me and I am not happy unless I am doodling or sewing, does this sound weird?

I love Christmas, it is a constant source of inspiration for me.

I love Christmas, it is a constant source of inspiration for me.

I have never liked to be the same as everyone else and I would never consciously copy other people. Sometimes I envy my students making other people’s patterns, I especially love Sue Spargo and Jo Colwill, but I just can’t make anyone else's designs, I don’t know why but it needs to be my idea.

Ok, so where do these ideas come from you might ask. Well I could be sitting right here on the sofa thinking about how dreadful bought Christmas Crackers are and how I should really make my own. So, I will grab a piece of cereal packet and start cutting out some shapes, it always starts with card and paper, then if that goes well, I start cutting with some fabric. I get into the idea so much that I don’t want to eat or stop until its done, there will be lots of samples and half made ideas and a great big mess, it might even live on a shelf for a few days where I can spy it to check its shape or size.

One of my biggest problems is that I hate, with a vengeance, making things twice so, instead of making it up using fabrics from my beloved stash, I will make it up in a fabric that I have in my store room so it can become a pattern or a kit. There will lots of decisions about fabric and trimming choice and colour (although, of course, most of my designs are red)! Once it looks right, I write up the instructions and draw out the pattern, photograph it and then sell it!

A sneak peak of the work in progress Christmas Cracker.

A sneak peak of the work in progress Christmas Cracker.

Now you may be thinking where is this lovely Christmas Cracker kit then Mandy?!  Well the truth is it didn’t make the grade for this Christmas, trimmings didn’t arrive in time so it’s not quite right yet and it has to be perfect before I will sell it to anyone. But don’t worry because as you know my Christmas starts in July so you won’t have to wait long to see the launch of this new baby, I feel it’s going to be a good one!

Download Mandy’s Inspiration and Ideas blog here