This month on 'Meet the Maker' we have interviewed Bec also known as 'Your_grandmas_curtains' on instagram, a keen fabric and dress maker who has put her hand to lots of different crafts and who's eyes are currently being opened to the world of Making with Ikonart Art!
Have you always been a Maker?
As far back as I can remember I’ve had a soft spot for textiles and always had a go at most things. I used to do a bit of cross stitch, embroidery and crochet then lace making at school.
When I think about it, we were always creating something. I was happiest at school when I was screwing up bits of tissue paper with a yogurt pot of pva beside me, sticking hundreds of tiny pieces of paper onto a picture that would eventually end up on the wall in the corridor.
I asked for Fashion Wheel for about 3 years running and in the meantime, my sister and I set up our own imaginary fashion company called The Zimmerman Corporation. We drew out clothing designs and stuck them to our bedroom wall and then took imaginary phone calls from people ordering our designs.
What was the first thing you made?
One of the first things I can remember making was a lace bookmark, my mum still has it, she was very proud of that one!
Where do you get inspiration from?
I’m drawn to colour combinations primarily, I particularly like the style, colours and fashions from the 60s and 70s, surface pattern is a great inspiration for me, whether that’s retro fabrics and wallpapers or an old bed set.
What new crafts do you want to try this year?
This year I want to experiment with screen printing. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages. I did some mono printing as part of my art foundation and loved the abstract element you can create and building layers. I’ve been experimenting with the ikonart stencils and also some silk screen printing. It’s completely addictive and the possibilities are endless in terms of pattern and design.
What is the Make you are most proud of?
One of the makes I’m most proud of is a pineapple fancy dress costume. I was the pineapple and my friend was a palm tree and I made them both. I loved making the textures and experimenting. It looked ridiculous but was great fun to make. And it really did look like the texture of a pineapple! The other make I’m most proud of is a hand sewn quilt. I’m not too precious about most of my makes as I do them for fun, I really believe in just having a go - You don’t need a reason, but the whole experience of making that quilt means it’s special to me. I bought the fabric from America which opened my eyes to so many different designers, I researched how to do it, and I sat and made it in the first house I owned. It really made my bedroom feel special and my own.
Makers sometimes Make mistakes – any ‘whoops’ moments in any of your past projects?
Soooooooo many mistakes! My friend and I had been going on about starting a dressmaking course, and NYE heading into 2020 after a couple of glasses of fizz we vowed that “This time next year, we’ll be standing here wearing dresses we’ve made” well, we don’t need to go any further on how that turned out BUT, I decided to try and teach myself - so I’ve made many, many mistakes in my dressmaking. There’s been weekends when I’ve spent more time unpicking than sewing (also Friday night wine and sewing are not the best combination for a beginner.)
Do you Make for fun, gifts or to sell?
I make for fun. I love the process. I think there’s a craft for everyone, just try it, you don’t need to be experienced and it doesn’t need to be perfect - some things are best when they’re a bit mismatched.
We see from Instagram you recently got engaged CONGRATULATIONS! – Will your creative side be used for your wedding plans?
I’m definitely using my creative side with the wedding. I’ve already started making the decorations (bit keen I know - storage is becoming a concern!) we’re having a tipi wedding and I want it to be full of BRIGHT colours so I’m making paper decorations to hang, table decorations, allllllll the decorations, I’ve designed the save the dates and will do the same with the invitations.
There is an obvious love of vintage in your creations and fashion, do you have a favourite era?
love the style and patterns of the 60s, I went to the Mary Quant exhibition in September at the V&A and drooled over the dresses and her branding. I have a pattern to make one of her dresses so that’s next on my dressmaking list!