Episode 55 : Sewing to Save the Planet with Stitched Up!

The team at Stitched Up! HQ

Disposable fast fashion is a huge cause of pollution and damage to the environment, but one community benefit society in Manchester has been doing its bit to help for the past decade. Stitched Up! which is now based in Stretford Mall in Greater Manchester has been rescuing unwanted fabric and teaching sewing skills in a bid to help people get more out of their clothes and slow down the damage being done to the planet.

Stitched Up! Shop in Stretford

The organisation takes donations of unwanted fabric and sells it on to sewists at a discounted rate as well as offering workshops on everything from basic sewing skills, repurposing garments, make do and mend sessions and dressmaking techniques. Their pop up shop in Stretford also hosts a regular Repair Cafe where experts in other fields come along to help people get more life out of their belongings rather than simply throwing them away.

A Stitched Up! Workshop underway

I went along to Stitched Up! to meet their events co-ordinator Sarah Revington, she told me all about the organisation’s roots and its interesting plans for the future.

Pre-loved yarn at Stitched Up!

You can find out more about Stitched Up! through their website and YouTube channel.

**Listen to the Stitched Up! Episode here**

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches  Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Oakley the Acorn Tree Sprite & Agatha the Fly Agaric Mushroom amigurumi patterns are available in the Making Stitches Shop

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston

Episode 47 : From Law to Cross Stitch with Sally Wilson from Caterpillar Cross Stitch

Sally Wilson

Like so many makers, despite loving all the creative subjects at school, Sally Wilson took a traditional route of study and then a ‘conventional’ career which for her was as a lawyer. However, whilst on maternity leave, she began to question whether a return to law was really what she wanted at the end of her family time away from her job.

Sally found time to shoe-horn in an e-commerce course and to build a website around caring for her young daughter before breaking the news to her friends and family (and her boss) that instead of pursuing law, she would be selling a range of cross stitch kits she had designed.

Despite a few raised eyebrows, seven years, and a lot of hard work later, Caterpillar Cross stitch now supplies kits to thousands of embroiderers around the world operating out of a warehouse and with a staff of colleagues helping Sally with her business. Sally says the secret to her success is persistence and not having a ‘Plan B’. Caterpillar Cross Stitch now holds regular stitch-alongs with crafters across the globe and has recently launched its own software allowing users to design their own cross stitch patterns.

LISTEN TO SALLY’S EPISODE HERE.

You can find the Caterpillar Cross Stitch website here, Caterpillar Cross Stitch on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & YouTube.

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Up the Garden Path Daisy pattern now in the Making Stitches Shop

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.

Episode 41 : From Ukrainian Cross Stitch to Canadian Quilting with Olesya Lebedenko

Olesya Lebedenko with some of her previous books

Hello and welcome to the first episode in this new series of Making Stitches Podcast!

Kicking off this new series is a chat I had with Ukrainian artist Olesya Lebedenko. Olesya first got creative as a young child making up stories for her toys, then at the age of 5 she was taught to cross-stitch by her grandmother. Crafts would stay with her throughout her life – she says she has never been able to sit and do nothing with her hands.

An example of traditional Ukrainian cross stitch along with quilted button in Ukraine’s National colours

When the global economic crash hit in 2008, Olesya found herself without a job and expecting a baby with her husband, so she turned to craft as a way of making money. Firstly with craft supplies to make rag dolls and then also teaching students how to make them. However, when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, things changed, and Olesya and her family began planning to move to Canada to begin a new life closer to her brother and supported by her quilt-making and applique work.

A traditional quilted Ukrainian cottage scene used to make a glasses case

Now based in Toronto, Olesya runs workshops, writes for several craft magazines and has written a number of books, the latest of which is due out in May featuring applique designs of flower animals.

One of Olesya’s fox poppies

At the beginning of this interview, we spoke at length about Ukrainian folk embroidery, the war in Ukraine and Olesya’s fears for her family and friends still living in there. She also spoke about the online abuse she and other Ukrainian artists have experienced since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The quilt block of a dreaming cat which Olesya referenced in our chat
One of Olesya’s books

You can listen to this episode here.

To find out more about Olesya and her beautiful work, please have a look at these links:

Olesya Lebedenko Design
Olesya Lebedenko Instagram
Olesya Lebedenko Etsy Shop

You can find out more about traditional Ukrainian embroidery here.

A quilt block from Olesya’s 365 days quilting challenge

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.


Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.