Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The crafty world of Wimcee

This week the BrisStyle team caught up with Steph from the colourful and eclectic world of Wimcee.

How would you describe your work?
Colour and pattern dominates, simple foundational styles and mainly natural fibres. I started out with aprons, then tried skirts, and went on to children's clothes, hats, bags, toys, jewellery, altered books, cards, tea cosies, knitted scarves and woolly hats, belts, hangings, and soft furnishings, so like so many of us, the output is extremely eclectic.

I also paint, upholster and upcycle furniture, and dabble in mosaic! In my other life I've been a painter and illustrator with a background in portraiture and oils for 30+ years, but a secondary interest in pastels links more closely to the colour world of fabrics.

'Green Apples' Pastel

I fell into sewing only very recently (birthday present of a new sewing machine) and now think crafting must be my niche - I am so much happier doing this than when I'm painting (so angst-ridden!) I hope also that there's humour in much of what I do…let's not let me get too serious about apron making as an art form!

How did your Etsy shop come into being?
My eldest son suggested Etsy as an outlet for my aprons - he and his girlfriend also set me up with my first market stall at West End as a Mothers Day present a few years ago. This is a special son (although of course all three of my sons are special!)

Who or what inspires you?
Ethnicity inspires me, and evocative patterns and colour combinations. I avidly collect books and magazines - temporarily from the library and permanently from book shops. There is a zone to get into when ideas feed other ideas about projects. Cressida Bell ("The Decorative Painter") maintains that there is no such thing as a new design, just new interpretations, and I firmly believe that's what we all do - put ourselves into the process to make something individual and unique. I also love the fact that people who buy from me are usually on a shared wave length, and that some pieces really speak to other people.

Do you ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ as part of your creative process?
A small part of what I do involves recycling - like embellished second hand cardies and straw bags - but my main thing is that I can't bear to throw away my scraps of fabric so I try to find uses for them…cards, brooches, collage and so on. My mum is also a great source of buttons, fabrics, trims and so on that she has collected or reclaimed over many, many years (she is the real seamstress of the family).

Head-dresses and doll

Can you describe your studio / work area?
Camp Chaos. It's when I find myself moving into other rooms as well just to find some open space - what middle son calls the creative creep - that I know it's time to clean up my act.

Wimcee supplies

What is your favourite thing in the shop at the moment?
La vie en rose blouse. The rose fabric is so special, a Japanese cotton print designed by an Australian it has, bizarrely, a French feel to it, and the pinks, reds and teal blues of the other fabrics seem to inter-relate. Mainly I enjoy fabric for the way it works with other fabrics, but occasionally there's something that's really special in its own right.

Do you have any other places that people can view/purchase your work?
I do but I neglect them, sorry…New Year's resolution is to get better about those things.

Thanks Steph, check out loads more gorgeous Wimcee creations here.


Chrissy Foreman C said...

Oh my goodness! I've got that whole heart-pitter-patter thing going on after reading this post and seeing the absolutely FANTASTIC Wimcee works by Steph. Hummeda-hummeda! I NEED that bag, and the skirt ... I NEED it alL!!!

Me and My 4 Fellas said...

I am a big fan of Wimcee. What a nice showcase of beautiful goodies...

Janelle said...

I really enjoyed reading this interview and am off now to find Wimcee on Etsy

posie blogs Jennie McClelland said...

What gorgeous products, beautiful work, love Posie

Sandrine said...

Great little insight into the beautiful world of wincee!Thanks:)

Chrisy said... about multi-talented! That pastel! I so envy anybody who can draw like this. Visited your shop Steph and just love the wanda jacket and the full aprons.

Helen said...

The world of Wimcee is truly magical and so are you Steph. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing talents and can't wait to see you and your goodies at the March BiDM!


Tracey said...

Great interview, Steph. What a beautiful shop you have!! Gorgeous fabrics and trims. The colours you use are wonderful. Can't wait to see you and your shop at the BiDM!!!!

Hot Fudge said...

My goodness, what a bundle of talent you are Steph. You certainly have the eye of an artist and I love what you create out of your amazing fabric collection. Great post.

wimcee said...

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement!

Unknown said...

Wow those pictures are so brilliant. I have had to print the last pic of the blouse for inspiration - I have lots of bits that I could use to make my daughter some new clothes - I just adore the contrasting pockets and the vintage floral trim on the neckline... ooo so sweet....