For the series Good Folk on this blog I have sent interview questions to some really wonderful people who are either making things, running shops, or generally promoting sustainability. I think you will enjoy reading their answers as much as I have, and I hope they inspire us all with the knowledge that there are people doing good in the world!
This interview is with Camilla from We Sew Fabulous. When Camilla contacted me and suggested a blog swap, I though what a great idea, I love that she is also using her platform to share and support other makers.
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.
My name’s Camilla and I run the community blog ‘We Sew Fabulous’. Twice weekly I pop up posts from different members of the sewing / crafting community about whatever they choose. No blog is turned away and it doesn’t matter how many followers you have or how skilled you are at writing, I publish everything I receive! Check out the blog page @we_sew_fabulous and my personal page @she_sew_fabulous if you want to know more!
My sewing room is on the top floor of the house and it’s my little paradise away from the world. When you walk in the door you can find my machines on your left (sewing, overlocker, coverstitch) and my cutting table straight in front of you. There’s a big box housing new fabric and a smaller one where I keep large scraps for repurposing. Out of the window there’s a great view across Nazeing. It’s a lovely peaceful place (even when my other half is playing his guitar in the next room!!)
Take me on an imaginary tour of your workspace
I have a postcard on my sewing table that I put into a frame which says : ‘don’t be afraid to try’. In the past, I used to find myself rather limited by my fear of failure, but now I’m more likely to give things a go, not minding if I fail, knowing that the joy comes from the experience of making and trying and learning.
Do you have a motto or quote that defines your practice?
Do you have any advice for people trying to shop or live more ethically?
Don’t try to change everything at once! When I first started investigating sustainable living, I got very overwhelmed by the sudden realistion that so much of what I was doing wasn’t great for the environment. Tackle one thing at a time : make your kitchen more sustainable, then your cleaning products, then your hobbies etc. If you try to do it all at once it totally blows your mind and you end up doing nothing because you don’t know where to start.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m a primary school teacher, so I’m usually up at 6am, leave the house by 6:30 to go and pick up my friend that I give a lift into work with me. I park further away from school and walk, as it clears my head first thing in the morning. My Year 5 class are a fab bunch and even on the worst day, when I feel that higher powers are conspiring to get me, they make me laugh and put a smile on my face. I usually get home after 5, take the dog out for a walk, have some dinner and then it's me time. Sometimes there’s some evening sewing, sometimes there’s just chilling out after a long hard day.
What would be the top thing that you would change about the way we treat the planet if you could?
Stop throwing things away!! I can’t bear throwing things in the bin (a thing that my partner and I often disagree about!!) I like to rehome or repurpose things and throw away only as a last resort. Clothes that I no longer wear either get sent to a charity shop or transformed into something else; containers get filled with items rather than being thrown into the bin and anything that can be recycled, gets recycled. If something still has life in it and I just don’t want or need it anymore, I’d rather rehome it than see it get thrown away. Fabric odds and ends become the stuffing for cushions and larger scraps, if I don’t know what to do with them myself, I try and send on to other people. It makes me feel better to know I’m not generating so much waste.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I'm toying with two ideas at the minute : starting some kind of sewing related business and starting a YouTube channel. The former, I'll have a proper think about when I have time and the latter, I'll launch when I have a good idea as to what it's all going to be about. Watch this space, more is coming!!
Thanks for having me Stellen! It's been really fun to write for you and I can't wait to read more of your content. Have a great day one and all!