Meet a maker: Deb Ransome, UK
The creativity, joy and generosity in the sewing community never cease to amaze us!
To celebrate all you fantastic makers, we’d like to feature some of you in a series of interviews 'Meet a maker'.
So Deb, tell us, where do you live?
I live in a town called Doncaster, which is in Yorkshire, the biggest and best county in the UK. The town developed and expanded due to the pits/ coal mines, but these were closed in the 1980’s.
The town is also famous for the World's oldest classic horse race, the St Leger which was first run in 1776.
How did you first get into sewing?
I’ve always been creative and have enjoyed crafting and making things since I was a child.
I loved needlework at school and I remember the first project was to make a wrap round skirt. After the first lesson I took mine home and finished it in time for the next lesson. I didn’t realise the project was supposed to last the whole term. My Nanna taught me to knit so that has been my love for a long time.
At the beginning of lockdown I wanted a new challenge. I bought a pre cut sewing kit from a great UK shop called Clothkits (it’s where I buy my TAL patterns). The kit was for a lined makeup bag with a zip. It turned out so well I was thrilled.
"No one else has one like it, anywhere, it’s exclusive to me."
I looked through the patterns on Clothkits website and saw the apron dress pattern, it really caught my eye, so I continued to look and thought the cuff top would be an ideal starter project.
Which is your favourite TAL pattern and why?
My favourite TAL pattern ... I truly love all the ones I have but I really love the Hoodie Dress. I have made it exactly as in the pattern and then adapted it - the fit is perfect but the look is so different.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is urban, quirky, unique, a bit different from the norm.
Which is your favourite sewing tool and why?
My favourite sewing tool is my sewing machine. The things you can do with it, some imagination and some fabric - amazing.
What are your best sewing tips/tricks?
My sewing tips - read and re-read the instructions and don’t rush. Measure twice, cut once.
"Measure twice, cut once."
What are the best and worst bits of sewing?
I love the final press when finishing a garment, but also, when something you haven’t done before, works like a dream. Side pockets for example. I hate cutting out.
What’s your most memorable sewing mistake?
My most memorable sewing mistake was a pair of linen almost long trousers.
I’d just bought my overlocker and happily sewed up the legs and over locked the seams, all looked great until I realised I’d made both legs the same and there wasn’t enough fabric to unpick and re-do as the overlocker had trimmed the excess seam allowance so beautifully, haha!
What’s your proudest sewing moment?
My proudest sewing moment was when I finished my puff shirt and my elastic tie sweater.
What do you like to listen to while sewing?
I listen to all sorts of music all of the time. At the minute I’m listening to The Killers non-stop. It’s been ABBA, Lewis Capaldi, and Pink in recent months. Sometimes I’ll download a podcast and listen to that.
What would you want to say to someone who’s trying to get started in sewing?
For someone who is thinking about getting started I would recommend TAL patterns firstly because of the excellent instructions and easy to follow patterns. I like the way the patterns are printed, I buy dressmakers paper and trace the patterns. You can then reuse the pattern for different sizes.
Wow, I’ve used the word pattern a lot in that paragraph, but the patterns are what makes TAL so user friendly.
What’s your next project?
My next project is another puff sleeve shirt and a wrap jacket.
What do you do when you’re not sewing?
When I’m not sewing I’m working full time. It’s a nine to five job that I am currently doing at home, and have been since March.
I like to walk my dogs, read and knit. I’m a mum of three; one is doing his Phd in Astrophysics at Liverpool University, the second is studying Computer engineering at Newcastle University and my youngest is 14 and at school.
My sewing space is my She Shed - a wonderful gift from my parents.