Women Who Create / Dawn Abey

This fortnight's interview is for all you sewing enthusiasts as we have the pleasure of chatting to Dawn Abey aka Dawny's Sewing Room, Nottingham based creative seamstress who's gorgeous bags, pouches and bunting (but to name a few) is lovingly created in an array of alternative and joyful printed fabrics from her cosy studio!

Tell us a little about your background...

I’ve been interested in crafts and sewing since I was a child.  My Grandma made her own clothes and gave me fabric off cuts to make dolls’ clothes.  I progressed on to dressmaking and attended an evening class in my early twenties, making a Chanel-style suit and my daughter’s Christening dress. Then due to lack of space and a busy family/work life I more or less stopped sewing, until my daughter left home and I made the spare room into a sewing room.  In summer 2015 my job as a special needs teaching assistant was coming to an end, and I was looking for a career change – so Dawny’s Sewing Room came into being.

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Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

I always have the radio or music on while I’m working and I like to tick things off lists!

What two things can't you live without?

Regular cups of strong Yorkshire tea and my sewing machine

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Finding lovely new fabrics - which often involves a seaside day out to my favourite fabric shop in Scarborough!

What is the meaning of 'creativity' to you?

Using your own unique skills, influences, ideas and experiences to make something that wouldn’t otherwise exist, which then brings happiness to other people.

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If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone... who would it be & why?

 I’d love to have my own unique fabric range designed by Alexander Henry fabrics…

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

 My notebook of diagrams and cutting out details of all the things I make.

What is the best thing about running your working for yourself?

The freedom and flexibility, the fact that I make a living from being creative, which is good for the soul, and no dress code!

What is the hardest thing?

 Finding self-discipline and not procrastinating on difficult days or when I’m in the middle of a really good book …

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What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

I’m proud that I’ve been accepted to sell my products in shops such as Made in Nottingham and Our Handmade Collective in Leeds.

What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business journey

Stay true to your own style and find your ‘tribe’ of people who love what you create.  Don’t listen to the doubters (they’re probably too scared to follow their dream!)  Keep the faith and keep working hard through the tough times.

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Hop over to Dawn's FB page for regular updates, inspiring sewing and crafts related articles and posts