Saturday 12 June 2010

Featured Crafter - "Birgitta Designs" and a GIVEAWAY!!

Today's featured crafter is the very lovely Birgitta, of Birgitta Designs. Birgitta makes the most gorgeous little petticoats and dresses. I've made the girls a couple of dresses, and I love it when they choose to wear them instead of the local uniform of "hello kitty" tops. But to be honest it took me a long time to make them, and they weren't perfect so I'm always on the look out for clothes for the girls - handmade by someone else!

Birgitta's folksy shop is lovely, read on to find out a little bit more about Birgitta, and to enter our fantastic, and super generous giveaway! (Thanks again Bx)

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Birgitta, I was born in Delft, Holland and moved to England when I was 7 years old. I’m 36 and have 2 sons, Connor aged 10 who is high functioning autistic and Sam who is 8 and we live with our black cat Mr Sox. Since Connor’s diagnosis I have deferred my last year at uni so as to be available more for Connor and spend time as a family.

What do you make?
All sorts, I started off doing mixed media textiles at College 4 years ago, so pieces of abstract art using water soluble fabric ,wire etc. I’ve designed a range of wallpaper and rugs at uni as well as a kitchenware range. I've also done up-cycling jeans into bags for Oxfam and made fabric wrapped wire bird cages. Now since deferring my last year at uni, I’ve progressed to aprons, bags, pillows and in the last 4 months children’s clothing. People ask me can you make this? I always say I'll have a go but I don’t always know for sure that I can, and I waste fabric trying stuff out as I go but I love the problem solving as I work and it’s such a great feeling when I realise I’ve learnt something new.

Why fabric ? I love being creative and fabric lends itself to so much, textile art, practical things, pretty things. But  I also love design, colour and new ideas and  fabric design is to me art, I appreciate the art of Fabric.

When/ how did you start crafting? To be honest it was a coping mechanism after suffering a miscarriage 4 years ago, so although very very sad, it also brought me to this place in my life without the miscarriage I wouldn’t have gone back to college to do Visual Arts and then gone on to University and Uni did change my life, it gave me the confidence to see I am talented and that I have potential. It taught me the design process and how to go about starting a project.  I could never have imagined 4 and a half years ago that I’d be sat here now  making clothes etc, starting my own business, blogging and becoming part of this amazing online arts & craft community.

When did you start selling your stuff
I 1st started selling online in December 2009 after much encouragement from family and friends I opened my shop on Folksy and by sheer luck had my 1st sale within 20 minutes of opening. Its slowly but surely building.

Do you also have a day job, or is this your main job?This is my main job, I don’t feel as though I can commit to a full time permanent job as Connor will soon be moving up to Senior School and that transition is going to be especially difficult for him with his autism. Since his diagnosis I’m waiting for support and have to go to lots of different meetings so working from home just makes life much simpler and I can fit work around being a single parent. I can always work at night if needs.
What do you love about your medium, what do you hate?
The only thing I hate about my medium is that I can’t buy more of it haha  and I'm constantly bemoaning the lack of funky contemporary British based fabric especially designs for young boys, so I may have to bite the bullet and design my own. I am a real fabric addict always hunting out new designs and new colours, I collect it.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m mainly inspired by techniques, different ways to manipulate fabric and I love my gadgets, different sewing machine feet, like my bias-binding foot, or my gathering foot, so often I’ll be thinking how else can I use this? What will happen if I do this or that?
I’m a keen photographer so I tend to always be looking, watching. I’m a very tactile person so I do literally stop and smell the roses, hear the birdsong.  I also love people watching, what are they wearing, how is the bag they are carrying made, could I make something similar, what fabric have I got that would suit that.
What is your favourite music to craft to?
It has to be upbeat or I’ll just fall asleep, so Faithless is a favourite, or the Black Eyed Peas, or anything from Glee my taste is very eclectic.
What is your favourite piece of your own?
Probably Frankie ( so called because when I started she resembled the Bride of Frankenstein) my first doll I made last week from a fab pattern in SewHip magazine. She’s very cute but she was also a success and as my 1st ever doll  I felt very chuffed with myself.  I’m keeping her for myself for now though my niece may get her eventually.

Where do you do your crafting? I gave up my bedroom for Connor as I was advised he needed his own room and I do now actually sleep on my sofa bed in the front room, I’ve had a temporary partition built in my large front room so as to make a room for me but I’ve turned it into my workroom rather than a bedroom.I love it and as long as I have a space that is mine  I don’t mind where I sleep. Though I would love that nice man off the telly George Clarke to weave his magic on our living situation I’d love to see what he’d do with it. All in all I feel very lucky I love what I do and I do what I love and I can fit it around what my children need.

Birgitta has very kindly offered this lovely purple bunting for one luck giveaway winner. How perfect would this be in your garden this summer for a lovely summer party?
Click the picture to find out more information about this purple gorgeousness!

- To be eligible for entry, you must be a follower of my blog through google friend connect or through your preferred RSS reader. -
- Make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you win. -
- Please leave separate comments for each entry. -

First entry (mandatory):
Head over to Birgitta Designs and tell me your favorite item!

Extra entries (optional):
- Become a Facebook fan of Birgitta Designs
- Become a Facebook fan of Red Bird Jewellery
- Follow @redbirdjewels on twitter and tweet the giveaway
- Follow @birgittadesign on twitter and tweet the giveaway
- Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link.

Good luck everyone!!! This giveaway closes at midnight (UK) Sat 19th June.


  1. Thanks so much hun, its come out lovely. xxxxb

  2. I really love this Jane Austen dress the style and colour is great.

  3. I am a follower of birgittadesignz blog.

  4. Already following on twitter, just tweeted.

  5. I'm a follower and love the mini bunting

  6. Oh, I'd have to say the bunting - would look rather swish with my flowers and plants! Already a fan on FB, already following blog and a fan of redbird FB page too!

  7. my 2 favourite things polka dot and gingham!! i love Birgitta's dresses they are so pretty, wish my daughter still wore things like that! she's 7 going on 17 and very much into florescent!

  8. Hi, my favourite item would have to be the russian doll print dress, its so sweet x

  9. Beautiful items! I would love all the baby clothes, but my smallest baby is a long skinny minny 10 yr old, for that reason alone, my fav is the white Broiderie Anglaise dress.

    Although I adore everything.

    Natalie x

  10. I love the Russian Doll print Dress!

  11. follow Brigatta design on twitter and tweeted

  12. I love this little dress. I would adorable on my friends daughter.

    I love the bunting! How do you find the time to do all this????

    Jacqueline x

  13. I like the Russian Doll Print Dress ages 2-3

    lmains at acsalaska dot net


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