From 2012-2014 I wrote a blog called Shoestring Splendour with my friend Katie. We wrote about lovely things you could make and do on a shoestring budget: day trips, recipes, craft, upcycling, make up, interior styling, diy and much more. We were featured in Mollie Makes magazine which was very exciting and drove our stats sky hight! Now Katie is a freelancer book (and other things) marketeer who writes about promoting yourself on social media as well as her life as a freelancer at Katie Morwenna.
I currently live in London with my husband in a 1950s ex-council flat that we (I) renovated in 2017. I like sewing my own clothes, upcycling furniture, crafts including marbling, planning designs for rooms and getting dirty doing the painting and decorating. I’ve written a Q&A to tell you more about me!
Tell us about your sewing journey:
I started sewing again three years ago. There was always a sewing machine at home and at my aunt’s. My sister and I grew up wearing clothes our mum had made and knowing that she had made her own wedding dress. She and her sister wouldn’t dream of buying ready made curtains or cushions (there was no Ikea then to make it too easy and cheap!) and they were always refreshing the upholstery on chairs and footstools. Sewing was just something our family did. As a result I was the star student in my textile class. I made a few elasticated waist skirts when I was a teenager and with a lot of help from mum a shift dress from a pattern for the 5th year ‘prom’. After that I was distracted by boyfriends and university so apart from hemming curtains and mending I hadn’t done any sewing for nearly two decades.
I signed up for a class at Sew Over It (with whom I’d worked on their first book in 2012) got a new machine and an overlocker (from Lidl!) and it went from there. I’ve made lots of SOI patterns and they remain my favourite indy pattern company but I am trying to branch out. In our old flat there wasn’t room to leave my machines and projects out but since we moved I’ve got my own sewing room!
Describe your interior style:
Bold, colourful and not matchy, matchy. There’s a bit of modern, a bit of vintage and a bit of upcycling. I’m always thinking about how a room can work better, moving this here and that there. I like to keep things fresh and surprising. I’d love to be a minimalist and I start with that canvas but I can’t help adding until I think it feels homely. I like lots of lights, lamps not overhead lighting, anything that’s shiny or glittery.
What got you into interior design?
It’s just something I’ve always done. I can remember choosing the colour for my bedroom walls as young as 7 – pastel pink I think it was called Powder Pink – total little girl cliche. When I hit my goth phase I wanted it black but had to compromise on grey. I painted shelves, radiator and all the paintwork purple! Next it was all neutral colours and I did most of the decorating myself. At uni I got mum to buy me loads of sari fabric so I could separate my tiny student room into areas – desk, bed, TV and chair – and decorate the bed.
Where do you get your inspiration?
It’s detail over big picture. I’m not a fan of the themed ‘Changing Rooms’ style of decor e.g. This room is going to be rococo. It’s all a bit fancy dress. So what I do is find a piece or a few pieces I love to base the room on and build it up from there. In my last flat I took a lampshade as my starting point and picked out the colours I liked. I matched sofas, rug and cushions as well as painting pieces of smaller furniture to pick out those colours. I plan to take that same lampshade again and build a different scheme around it picking out different colours.