Scoff all you like, but crafting genuinely makes you happy. It’s probably the best hobby in the world. In fact, crafting is way more than just a hobby!
Crafting itself can come in many forms and is enjoyed by a multitude of people – not all crafters are fleece-wearing, hot-flushing middle-aged women!
Men and women of all ages are already enjoying using their hands and imaginations to create things from metal, wood, clay, wool, fabric, paint, glass and even chocolate.
Don’t just take it from us. Founded in 1972, the Crafts Council is the national charity for craft and supports craft makers and businesses in the UK and overseas. Last year they published an article explaining why crafting is good for your mental health. According to research, crafting can help with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression and even dementia.
Crafters no longer hide away in the spare room, keeping their hobbies hidden from the outside world. Crafting is cool again, with many people turning what started as a hobby into a business or career. Social media platforms like Etsy and Instagram are now bursting with goodies as talented people show off their skills.
At So Just Be, we have discovered a number of talented crafters online, particularly enjoying those that appeal to our sense of humour. One in particular is The Sweary Stitcher (we shall keep her identity a secret and you can read why later in this article), who kindly put her needle down to answer some questions for us:
Loving your work! How long have you been stitching?
Thank you so much! I’ve been sewing/embroidering/cross stitching and just being crafty for YEARS! I used to make clothes for my dolls as a kid and went through a stage of making a tonne of cushions for some reason, but probably within the last 10ish years I’ve really enjoyed embroidering and making things for family and friends, now creating content for my Instagram (IG) and doing commission work!!
How did you become the Sweary Stitcher?
Completely accidentally! I made my very first ‘Cunt’ card for a friend’s birthday. My boyfriend told me I should put it on IG which I couldn’t do as I didn’t want my mum to see it (she still doesn’t know about my page!!!), so I joked and said I could set up another IG page and be The Sweary Stitcher and the rest is history!!
Crafting hobbies can be expensive, especially if you don’t know what you need. What basic items would you recommend for someone who is thinking of giving it a go?
I pretty much started out buying a bundle of embroidery hoops and threads from a charity shop which was an awesome find. Getting a basic embroidery kit from Etsy with a pattern would probably be a really good place to start as it gives a really good foundation. Good, heavy duty needles are a must – I’ve had so many thinner ones snap and ouch. Not cool!
I haven’t sewn more than a button for years. What skills do I need?
None! I certainly don’t think I have any real ‘skills’ as such! I basically wing it and still pinch myself that anyone is interested in the shit I make!! Watching YouTube tutorials or Pinterest or videos on IG are what I do all the time – every day I’m learning something new!!
Are there different types of stitches that I need to be aware of?
Oh crikey! This is a tricky one and I’m sure I fuck up stitches on each hoop and very seasoned embroiderers probably look at my work and think ‘what the heck type of stitch is that!?’. Basic split stitch is my best friend. I find I get the cleanest lines with it and it makes for nice script too! French knots are great but really hurt if you do too many so start off small!!!
Which project have you enjoyed creating the most?
I absolutely adored my first commission that I had from someone I didn’t know, which was my first ‘Shit On It’ hoop. Someone found me through IG and sent me a message saying ‘I honestly adore your stuff – it’s the tits’ and we sorted out her commission from there. It made me feel amazing that someone had reached out and actually wanted to buy something that I would make for them!!
Where do you get the inspirations for your designs?
I might hear someone say something that I think ‘that would be great on a hoop’, or I just have a brain fart moment and write down random stuff that I want to sew! With the florals and other bits I add to the hoops, I just wing it really and hardly ever draw up stuff beforehand! I just make it up as I go and it seems to work, mostly!!
What do I need to create my own designs?
Just a bit of imagination I think!! If you’re someone who likes to have a specific plan before getting going, an embroidery hoop, a pencil, paper and eraser so you can map the size of your hoop and sketch out a design. If you like to go with the flow and wing it like me, bung a bit of fabric in your hoop and GO!!!
I have a great idea, but lack the skills. Do you take commissions?
I most certainly do take commissions! I love hearing everyone’s ideas and making them come to life!!! The crazier the better!!
Where can I find you online?
Only on Instagram at the moment! @theswearystitcher – I might get an Etsy set up this year… watch this space!
So there you have it – all the proof you need that crafters are normal human beings with naughty senses of humour, just like the rest of us. We hope that this has inspired you to have a go yourself, and if another craft is more your thing, then remember The Sweary Stitcher will make one for you.
Thank you so much, The Sweary Stitcher – and your identity is safe with us!