Craft Britannia Shop of The Week #49, KTMakes
Our newest CraftBritannia Shop of the Week is KTMakes, home to original handmade tote bags and cushions. Katie tells us more about her work in this week’s interview.
What was the first piece you ever sold?
My first sale was a small denim badger bag. I came up with the design when my daughter moved into Badgers class at school and wanted to make a cushion for the class reading corner. When the first sale came I was thrilled to ship it all the way to Australia. I have made several versions of this bag since and at a craft innovation workshop with Emma Bridgewater it was my badger bag that she picked out to talk about. A larger version of the bag was also featured in a sewing magazine.
What advice would you give someone taking up your craft for the first time?
I think the most important thing with any craft is to just throw yourself into it and not worry about mistakes or things that don’t work out as originally planned as often this leads to improvements in your original design. Once you have completed your first project then it is time to be critical and decide what will make it work better next time. Also when starting out on sewing projects it helps to use old fabric/clothes to try out ideas in order to keep costs down.
What material do you most enjoy working with?
I love working with oilcloths and laminates as they make great splash proof bags and are available in such lovely designs. The first bag I made myself was a really big seagull bag that would take all the family’s swimming stuff as I had been unable to find a big enough one. I still get compliments when using it 3 years on. I also love upcycling fabric and have a stash of coffee sacks from my favourite coffee house that I am looking forward to transforming in the near future.
Which piece of equipment would you be helpless without?
My sewing machine. My first machine was an 18th birthday present from my Grandpa and is still going after 25 years! I’ve recently brought a second machine that does more embroidery and even threads itself but there are still jobs I prefer to do on my trusty original machine.
Tell us about what inspires and motivates you
I was inspired to make bags after not being able to find a fun bag large enough for my needs. I have since made a lot as presents for friends and family and love the fact that everyone has individual ideas about what makes a bag work for them.
Tell us about one handmade item that you own and love
My most precious handmade item is a silver flower ring that my grandmother made while studying at the Glasgow School of Art in the 1930s. She died when my mother was young so I never met her but as well as loving the beauty and simplicity of the design I love the fact that she passed her love of arts and crafts onto my mum who has in turn inspired her children and grandchildren to love creating things.
What plans do you have for your shop in the future?
I moved from London to near Manchester at the beginning of the year and have spent some time setting up our new home. My sewing machines are now unpacked and raring to go so look out for some new designs that will be coming onto my shop shortly. As well as cushions I have made some gorgeous storage baskets for my new home so hope to add these to my shop soon.
I have ordered some gorgeous new laminates, including some Kaffe Fassett designs that should arrive this week. I usually order just one or 2 meters of a design as I love making individual bags rather than large batches of identical bags. As well as cushions I have made some storage baskets for my new home so hope to add these to my shop soon as they came out really well.
Thank you Katie! We love your designs and look forward to seeing more.