Meet the Maker: Bobbin&Baste
by Kollabora Follow

posted 4 years ago

My name is Bec Prentis but you maybe know me as the Aussie girl behind the Bobbin & Baste blog, and my DIY weapon of choice is sewing.

Social media definitely keeps me inspired. Anytime I open up Instagram (which is ALL. THE. TIME.) there is usually something from a fellow maker or a sewing related brand that gets my creative juices flowing.

After a long day of making things I like to watch movies that contain kick arse costume design.

I get a lot of inspiration from online, and I buy about 6 fashion magazines a month that I read page by page. I also find costume design in movies and TV can stir up my creativity.

When I think about starting a new project I start with an image usually, from either social media or in my head, and then go to sewing pattern websites to find a pattern that best matches the design of the outfit. It doesn’t need to be exact, and rarely is, so it’s about using pieces of the pattern as a base, or even using two sewing patters together to get my final look.

The best part about running my own business is having complete control over what I make and the level of quality. It’s also a great side project to keep my busy outside of my desk job.

I started by business because enough people told me I should that I started to believe them! And also, one can only have so many handmade homewares and clothes, so I wanted to see other people get enjoyment out of handmade items I had made for them.

Whenever a customer comes back to me to me for a repeat purchase or tells me they are using an item I made them in their home, it always gives me the warm and fuzzies to see they are happy with their purchase.

My advice to anyone looking to start their own business is to start small and let it grow organically through word of mouth and online referrals. You can start to build up something small whilst maintaining a full time job so you aren’t worrying about where your next pay comes from.

The most important thing I’ve learned from starting my own business is it’s a constant juggling act with everything else that goes on in life, so a way to organise your life through a diary or calendar is mandatory, otherwise things slip. Every little task is added to my daily to do list.  

I would love to be a writer. I love reading and always thought it would be amazing to see one of my stories in print.

I feel most creative when I’ve watched a few episodes of Mad Men. Always makes my brain go into overdrive with project options.

My favorite place to buy supplies is Tessuti & The Fabric Store in Sydney for buying fabric. I can’t go past my local Spotlight for all of my other supplies. They know me by my first name.

Nothing beats watching Seinfeld re-runs to put me in a good mood. Either that, or turning up Good Lovin’ by The Rascals on full.

My favorite word is: (Do two words count?) Fabric sale :)

My least favorite word is: ‘offline’ As in a work meeting where people say ‘let’s take this offline’. I really dislike business jargon that makes no sense.

After I finish a project I feel usually satisfied, but I do have a habit of picking holes in my work. I figure it’s the best way to ensure you keep improving is seeing how you can do things better.

I get out of a creative rut by acceptance. Rather than forcing myself out of the rut, I just take a few days from all things sewing and making and it usually comes but to me on its own accord.  

There’s a character in an Australian TV show called Utopia, ‘Nat’, and I watch how she is in the office and can really relate!

Internationally I love the work of Dolce & Gabbana Dior and Missoni. Locally Aussie designers such as Zimmermann, Gorman and Romance Was Born.

My favorite thing about making is being able to make exactly what you want or need, and knowing that you are the only person in the world that has it.

To me, DIY means individuality & love has been put into the item.  

The first thing I sewed without any help was a pair of boxer shorts. They were not good.

The most influential person in my life is my Mum. I think most life decisions are made with the thought, ‘what would mum do’.

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is, depends on the seasons, but waking up first thing and going for an ocean swim starts the day right. Then into a new sewing project whilst catching up on the Netflix list. Finished off with a lovely dinner out with friends.

I can’t get enough fabric! I cannot sew quick enough.

Three words that describe me: Vintage loving. Introverted. Bookworm.

Three words that describe my work: Vintage, Feminine, bright.

Best creative advice I ever received is to just do it. Don’t overthink it, just give it a crack and you’ll surprise yourself.

If someone gave me a one-way ticket to Hawaii I would be hard pressed saying no to it!  

I live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and I don’t think much can beat watching the sun go down whilst enjoying a G&T at Manly Wharf.

One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is I own a small collection of collectable Barbies. My favourite one is my Mad Men Betty Draper Barbie, followed closely by my Sydney Opera House Barbie.

My DIY secret weapon is pattern mixing. If I can’t get exactly what I want I mix pattern pieces and (touch wood) it rarely goes wrong.

The biggest DIY mistake I ever made was trying to make items of clothing with the wrong fabric choice. Nothing worse than cutting it out and getting to about a third of the way in and realising the fabric just isn’t going to work for the design of the outfit.  

I’m making the leap into making my own underwear. Bra making looks quite daunting to me, but I’m ready for the challenge.

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