Interview with a seamstress

Stumbled across a little series of questions for a mini-interview on another crafty blogger’s site and felt like answering the questions 🙂

Your name
Eurydice Sophie Exintaris. People either call me “Sophie” or “Sophia”

Where in the world are you?
In London, UK

Briefly describe yourself and what you make

I’m a User eXperience Architect working in the tech industry by day, and a seamstress for fun by night.

Who or what inspires you?
Magazines, high street shops, a local charity shop window, old photographs, you walking down the street…

When / how did you learn?
My granma taught me how to wield my first needle and thread, and my mom how to use the hand-cranked Singer we had. They showed me the basics, not being professionals themselves. Experience (trial and error) and books or online tutorials have taught me the rest.

Why do you ‘bother’ to make things by hand?
Because the thrill of having made something is a great ego boost, and being able to have exactly what i want and can imagine made also provides great satisfaction to the compartmentalisation / personalisation freak that I am.

What is your craft ”philosophy”?
Don’t know if there’s a philosophy to it, but I just love creating. It’s what keeps me alive.

Fondest craft-related memory?
My mom helping me make a doll during a workshop at a children’s party. She was the prettiest one of all!!

Have you always made ‘stuff’?
Yes. For as long as I can remember I’ve either designed, or created, or both. And I plan to only stop when I die.

Can you reveal a little about your creative process?
I keep my eyes open, and things just pop into my head. I can see the finished product in my head. Can’t explain it, it just happens.

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
Undo, redo, until it’s done right. Occasionally, start from scratch. 

Favourite book(s) or craftbook(s)?
The sewing book is a great reference.

As for my favourite book, there are many, but Kushiel’s Dart always stands out.

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
Umm… The living room? My sewing machine is in a corner, and contains (it’s a cabinet) all of my fabric. I (ab)use the dining room table when I need to cut.

Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
I’ve had a journal (diary in north-american dialect) since I could hold a pen and make letter-like markings that i could decipher later on (circa 1983?). 2010 finds me with an A5-sized Moleskine into which I confide thoughts, ideas, sketches, magazine cuttings, etc… It is both an inspiration, a reminder and a confidante. In 2020 I still have an A5 moleskine. 🙂

Why is crafting good for you?
It makes me feel better. And more accomplished. You go to bed much happier after finishing a project than you do after watching a movie or playing a game. At least I do.

Is your art/ craft a business as well?

No, not at all. But I’m hoping it might become one some day. It would be nice to be able to have my creations finance themselves (and me).

My dream when I was little and slowly discovering the world was to be head designer at Dior. I am no Galliano, and even though I know it’s unrealistic, I still dream of it.

What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
It has given me access to more inspiration and resources. I particularly value online tutorials, and love stumbling across other people’s blogs or websites that promote arts and crafts.

Do you make art or craft? Is there a difference?

To me, artisan and craftsman are interchangeable. I am not sure if I create Art when I make a dress, as it is more of a functional piece and its beauty doesn’t outweigh its practicality (as it is with many artworks), but the creative process is very similar to when I paint. I see the finished thing in my mind’s eye and strive to bring it to life in the real world.

If you could make any project without limits to cost, materials or even skill, what would it be?

My wedding dress, for if/when I get married. Made entirely out of silk and satin-brushed cotton. I hate synthetics.

Update from 2015, six years after this short interview was written: Seamstress Sophie has been interviewed by HotCourses

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