Bethan Janine is an illustrator and fabric designer based in Sheffield who spends her days crafting and sketching. Inspired by nature and all things flora and fauna, she likes to create fun and happy artwork, combining hand drawn line work with bold shapes and geometric details. Bethan studied fashion design where she discovered a love for textiles, colour and pattern. She sews whilst listening to Fleetwood Mac and has a naughty puppy called Bear. In her spare time she enjoys walking with her family and going to see live bands!
Who/what inspired you to take up sewing and how old were you?
One of my grandmaʼs had a lovely wooden sewing box I remember when growing up, sheʼd made it at night school and it was full of wonderful buttons and bobbins I liked to play with, my other grandma liked to do hand embroidery and gave me a book called the Encyclopedia of Needlework which I found really inspiring.
Who can you remember doing your first sewing with?
My mum is a keen crafter and showed my how to hem trousers and darn socks at a young age, very thrifty!
What is the first thing you made?
Gosh I donʼt remember! I hadnʼt done much sewing since leaving university where I studied fashion design because I didnʼt have the time but after going freelance I made sock puppets for my nephews and became hooked on crafting again.
I felt so lucky to start working with Dashwood Studio so I could make things using my own fabrics and I made bears and bunnies with my first collection – Wildwood.
What is your favourite type of stitch?
I think a chain stitch is beautiful but I keep practicing french knots and think Iʼm finally getting the hang of it!
What type of sewing projects do you prefer
I like small projects like pouches and but when I have time I love making quilts out of my Dashwood collections as keepsake.
What is your inspiration for your designs
Iʼm inspired by nature and love drawing birds! I try to make each collection different so I take lots of photos draw in my sketchbook and try to visit new places, Scandinavian, Japanese and mid century design have always interested me.
What do you consider your best piece of work?
Iʼm really proud of my bird panel from my Flock collection for Dashwood, I cut out the main bird and embellished it on to an old denim jacket.
What is your very favourite thing that you have made?
I made a bandana scarf using the bee fabric from Summer dance for my puppy Bear and he looks so adorable when heʼs wearing it (which is not very often because heʼs naughty!)
What is your favourite tool or gadget?
I wouldnʼt be without my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil itʼs made designing and developing ideas on the go so much easier and quicker.
Do you have a favourite colour to work in
So many! at the moment itʼs coral, ochre and teal.
What type of fabric would you choose to work with?
I love cotton and linen but Iʼm developing some prints for jersey and baby cord too.
Do you prefer hand work or machine work?
I think sewing by hand because I like the irregularities, it feels more spontaneous and unique.
Whatʼs your dream sewing machine?
I donʼt have a fancy machine but it works fine for me however I sometimes wish I had an overlocker.
My advice to a newbie would be …………………..?
Draw lots! Be inspired by your surroundings as much as possible soak up inspiration! create things that make you happy, also itʼs fine to make mistakes.
Drove you to tears? What is the piece of work that has driven you mad/been a disaster
My first quilt! It was so much harder to do than I imagined also I sometimes get designers block but taking a break with a good walk, trip to the botanical gardens or visiting friends and family usually sorts me out.
Do you make things for other people?
I like to make personalised cards and Iʼve hand sewn bears for friends birthdayʼs.
Who (famous person alive or historical) would you love to create something for?
I would love to design prints, patterns or illustrations for Anthropologie (does that count?)
What’s your best sewing background music?
I usually have Spotify on while Iʼm working with a range of music mostly 60ʼs/ 70ʼs. Listening to Fleetwood Mac always relaxes me.
Are you an early riser or a night bird – when is the best time for you to sew? Iʼm a bit of a night owl but we got a puppy in February so I have to fit designing and crafting in when I can and try not to wake him up!
What other hobbies or interests do you enjoy?
I enjoy trying lots of different crafts my favourites are Lino printing and weaving, when Iʼm not designing I like to take lots of walks with my border terrier Bear and my boyfriend is a guitarist so I spend lots of time watching bands in the local pub.
Who in the sewing or crafting world do you most admire?
I love everything that quilter and textile designer Karen Lewis does and I canʼt get enough of Mollie Makes magazine, every issue is so inspiring.
More about Bethan can be found at her website here:http://www.bethanjanine.com/
and her Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/bethanjanine/?hl=en
You can see more of Bethan’s fabric at our website here: