19 Sep

Tea and Cake with.. Sophie Tilley Designs

Illustrator and crafter Sophie Tilley talks to Simply Homemade about her handmade goodies and her newly published book! 

For those who don't know your work, explain to us what you do?

I am a designer/maker/illustrator/author.... they all flow together in the creative process. I like to dream up a character and create a whole world around them, be it a story or product related items. My book work thus far work has been for children but my craft kits
can be enjoyed by all those who would like to creating something a little different.


What are your favourite things to make?

I love my wooden dolls kits. I like the fact that I have managed to take an old idea and give it a fresh contemporary feel. I am currently working on new product related lines including a multi pack for parties for people who are wanting to try something new for a birthday or gathering.


Tell us a little about your cloth dolls.. what's your process for making them?

My cloth doll design is based on a character of mine called "Petranille" I started off doing some sketches of her for a story idea( which is in progress) then decided to design a 3d version of her. The process usually involves some working sketches to start with and getting the features right, then I will go on to making the pattern which I will do in calico first. This may take a few attempts to get the proportions right. When I am happy with this I will in-put all my designs into photoshop and prepare the artwork/design for printing. This then gets sent off to fabric printers and I wait excitedly to see the results.
This doll has been very popular and as soon as I have made one it is sold ! which has been wonderful! As they are all hand finished by myself I can't mass produce them and tend to make them in batches of ten, I am working on my next batch now. I am also working on a kit so other people can enjoy the making process and the lovely " Petranille". There are lots of product related goods in the pipe-line for her, so watch this space.

How do you describe your style?

Hmmmm..fun, contemporary- with a little retro vintage twist, I think that covers it!


What are your main sources of inspiration?

I get inspiration from so many things! I love keeping an eye on fashion and latest catwalk trends. Also having been blessed with a wonderful creative french mother and all the style and finesse that she taught me has all helped inspire the process along with a graphic designer/author dad. Mix up that bag and having children myself and encouraging their creativity, is why I do what I do.


Are there any crafters/blogs you always keep an eye on?

I recently came across a nice blog http://mollymoo.ie/ lovely crafts to keep little people inspired and busy. Having had three children myself and enjoyed making/playing and designing stuff for them this is a great site for ideas and very much my ethos for imaginative

Tell us about your book?

My book is called " Amelie and Nanette Sparkly Shoes and Picnic Parties" published by Bloomsbury. It is about two best friends Amelie and Nanette and is the first of three adventures. It is about fun, friendship and creative play as it should be. There are no TV's, i pads or computers in these tales but there is plenty of outdoor fun, giggling, dressing up and make- believe!


Who do I think will love it?

People who remember the innocence of childhood without all the electronic gadgetry.....and little girls with big imaginations.. and a best friend!


What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I am working on my next Amelie and Nanette book and also developing more product for my on- line shop
www.sophietilleydesigns.com. The development process all takes time and I need a 48 hour day really to get it all done. Sometimes I feel like I work that on a regular basis but when you are doing something you love and the passion is there, time seems irrelevant......
although my long suffering family may not agree :) So if things seem a little slow getting stuff out there believe me there is always plenty going on behind the scene.

Win a copy of Sophie Tilley's book! 

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