Please introduce yourself. Who are you, where do you live?
My name is Eleanor and I live in Nottinghamshire, England, UK. It is quite an old city known best for Robin Hood, Lace and Hosiery and has some wonderful architecture, including of course the castle itself built upon secret caves.
How would you describe your work / style?
My work is very much me. Plain and simple. Usually the more elaborate the piece is the more custom it is. I prefer using blocks of colour mixed up with fine prints, laces, textured fabrics etc. Corsetry has been a part of my life for the best part of 5 years now and I’d like to think my style has developed to a sturdy, high quality level. I enjoy nothing more than to sit down and create something that wasn’t at all planned. I find my best work is when that happens. The Fuchsia corset is a prime example of that.
Who, or what, inspires you?
I’m inspired by little things, like when I find a remnant of gorgeous fabric or a ribbon or lace. I love to go for long walks around my favourite places, Hardwick being on of them, and seeing the dragonflies and flowers and trees. I find it incredibly therapeutic and relaxing and that’s generally when I get inspired. Whenever I’m confined to the house for any reason I go insane and cannot sew to save my life. Sometimes watching an old movie will inspire me, I love costume dramas like Dr. Quinn and the Elizabeth films. I love costume.
What made you decide to start selling your work?
I wasn’t really ever planning to. One day I was asked to make a couple of corsets and I was offered a lot of money and I had to declare it to HMRC, so I figured I’d carry on for as long as I could. I love sewing and I feel honoured that people pay me to do what I love, but it is not anywhere near a big enough income to support me. That’s why I also work full time in retail.
Do you have a website or blog address?
I have a livejournal that gets updated from time to time.
How did you learn your craft? How long have you been creating?
I am self taught. I went to college for two years to study pattern production and fashion/textile design but my tutors refused to spend the time teaching me about corsets, so I was told to go out there and do it on my own. So I did. My first dozen corsets were such a huge mess, even though they were well received by some folks in the industry at the time, my recent work is definitely the best. I have been making corsets for 5 years now, I have been sewing for 7.
Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
There is so much I would love to do. Cold Process soap making absolutely fascinates me but I just don’t have the time or patience to try it. I bought all the stuff though! Lol! I’m hoping to get round to it some day. I can knit and I’d love to learn to crochet. I’d also love to learn how to make Jam. But for now I’ll just stick to sewing.
Anything exciting planned that you’d like to share?
I’m currently planning on opening a couple more shops before the end of the year. But it really does depend on time constraints, I’m also planning to re-hash BluePumpkinCorsetry and take less custom orders on as I have been promoted in my day-job and cannot dedicate enough time to custom orders.
Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?
Not that I know of, sadly.
Has your work won any prizes/competitions?
I’ve never entered my work into any competitions. I don’t really look into it although I would consider it should the right sort of competition come up. My work has featured in a few small fashion shows which was exciting.
If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be………
Not myself at all. I’d probably just be doing my day job and I’d be thoroughly depressed. My boyfriend likes to comment that I’m only half of myself when I’m not sewing.
Describe your perfect day.
Up at 6am, sewing by 7am, sunshine all day long, finish at 7pm, eat and spend time with my family.
Describe your proudest moment.
I have quite a few proud moments, and not all of them include sewing achievements. For example… I drove a car today for the first time ever… on a road… with other cars… I’m so proud I didn’t kill anyone!
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy reading and sleeping. If I’m really stressed I will meditate or count to ten whilst tapping my chest. I also enjoy drinking tea and coffee and love to just spend a moment relaxing with a cuppa in the sunshine.
What animal would you like to be, and why?
I’d love to be a sloth. I seriously love to sleep.
What’s your weakness?
My time management has always been a weakness, and junk food of course. I have always struggled with time management ever since I was at college. But I always manage to meet deadlines somehow.
Antique Regency 1800-1810s Muslin Fichu
1 week ago