This week I welcome Becky Queen of Frocks to the blog! As one of the most active creative people I know Becky not only runs her own Etsy business creative wonderful hand drafted garments… whilst working on a full time Phd, but is also captain of the Nottingham Esty Team which has been running for just over a year! Pretty inspiring i’d say. Find out more about her creative practices below.
Tell us a little about your background…
Hello! I’m Becky, and I make beautiful yet functional women’s clothes. I’ve been sewing for longer than I can remember; mum used to let me loose on her sewing machine when I was young so I could make crazy little jackets for my soft toys!
The first incarnation of Becky, Queen of Frocks was born in 2009 when I started making dresses for friends, but real life and a 9-to-5 job quickly took over and dressmaking fell by the wayside until I officially launched my Etsy shop in 2013. Since then I’ve been slowly growing my business alongside a full time PhD – it’s a lot of work, but getting to do what I love makes it 100% worth the effort.
Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?
I always keep my work area really clean and tidy – it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but my studio is at home so it would be really easy to get complacent. I’m a scientist by day so order and planning are key; after each sewing session I make sure everything is organised and ready for me to just sit down and sew the next time.
What two things can’t you live without?
Apart from my sewing machine I’d say that my overlocker and seam ripper are probably the two tools I use most. The overlocker means that I can professionally finish each piece, and anyone who’s ever had to unpick a bit of sewing will know how invaluable a seam ripper is!
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
I’m not sure I have just one source of inspiration – wherever I am, I can’t help thinking about what I might like to make next. If I’m sitting behind someone on the bus I can’t help having a sneaky peek at how their jacket might have been constructed, or thinking about how an outfit I see in an old film might work in modern fabrics.
If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?
I’d love to collaborate with some international astronomical surveys so I could make fabric with their awesome images – can you imagine how cool it would be to have the Hubble Ultra Deep field on a frock?!
Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?
My pin cushion/thread catcher – my mum made it for me a few years ago, and it’s the perfect combination of functional, yet beautiful, design. These are two qualities that I try to carry through each piece I make, so having the pin cushion/thread catcher next to me while I’m sewing is a great reminder of that.
What is the best thing about running your *business/blog/working for yourself?
Being able to do what I love for a living! Each time I sit down to make an item, even something I’ve made dozens of times before, I can’t help thinking, ‘I LOVE sewing! I really do!’. That’s pretty great :-)
What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?
I think being approached to be a mentor for #EtsyResolution was probably one of my proudest moments. I started my Etsy journey being mentored by an established seller, so it was pretty overwhelming to be asked to be a mentor myself!