about

laura pic

I’m not really falling asleep in this photo but it’s the best I could get with the camera timer!

behindthehedgerowblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Setting your sewing machine on fire is probably not the most auspicious start to an infatuation with sewing, but that’s what happened.  It’s true that I didn’t get the courage to try again for another eight years but here I am now; self-confessed sewing addict, textile junkie, notions obsessive.

Who am I?

I’m Laura, a thirty-something mother of three, wife to one.  I’m striving to learn something new everyday, sewing or otherwise, and to try all manner of things that come my way.  I absolutely love the fact that I’m able to be at home to raise my kids but I don’t want to be someone who is solely defined by them; there needs to be something more.  For me, that more comes largely in the form of sewing as well as reading, going to gigs, eating, drinking, hanging out with my awesome husband and friends and occasionally jogging and going to yoga (just to assuage the fitness guilt, you understand).

This path is not an obvious one based on my (largely academic) background but, since finishing university, I have realised the importance of using my hands as a means to personal and creative fulfilment.  Coming from a family heavily rooted in the crafts, I have been able to try my hand at blacksmithing, felting, silversmithing and pottery but it is sewing that gets me most excited (not to mention, it’s useful with three *very* rough and tumble kids…well, at least the two boys).

I love that sewing is creative as well as technical.  On the one hand, I love designing something and, using the (sometimes lacking!) skills I have to see that design through the whole creative process.  It might not be perfect and someone else may have a better approach but I love that I can at least give it a shot (sometimes my ‘failures’ are more enjoyable, rewarding and stimulating that my ‘successes’).  On the other hand, I’m a sucker for processes and tiny technical details.  Often, once I’ve maxed out of figuring stuff out for myself, there’s nothing better than opening a new oliver+s pattern, for example, and knowing you’re in good hands and that if you follow the instructions you know exactly what the outcome will be.

Where do I come from?

Born in London (UK), raised in Florida (USA) and currently living in Brussels (Belgium)…but with a heart firmly rooted in the English countryside.

What is this hedgerow thing anyway?

The English countryside is where my heart belongs (I’m sure my previous life was of a Victorian seamstress or some such thing).  For me a hedgerow, and by extension this blog, captures the essence of the Englishness I hope to convey in the things I make – beauty, quirkiness, humour and practicality.

Living in Brussels is all very well but I dream that someday it will be me who is behind the hedgerow…in my perfect little English country cottage.

When did it all begin?

After the fire incident I didn’t start sewing again until 2010.  An evening sewing with a friend, which resulted in a simple yet completed dress (in a gorgeous Liberty print, no less) for my daughter, was all that was needed to get me hooked.

First dress made

A sewing machine, an unhealthy interested in Spoonflower, the discovery of this whole world of amazing sewing blogs, and the creation of a small but perfectly formed sewing space in my cellar (not as dismal as it sounds!) soon followed.

Why on earth are you doing this?

Quite simply, this blog is a documentation of the things I make.  It’s a learning experience for me and I hope to pass on any pearls of wisdom I may gather along the way.  I aim for it to be clear, useful and hopefully inspirational.

It is also a way for me to say a huge thank you to all you crafty bloggers out there.  Over the last few years  I have been awed and amazed by what I can learn from the blogging community who take the time, not only to create items of such beauty, but also then to teach the rest of us how to do them (please check out the links on my blogroll). Without even knowing it you have taught me to sew, provided support, and inspired me to follow my heart.  I feel giddy with excitement to finally take the step to be part of, and hopefully enrich, this community.

Please, sit down, pour yourself a cup of tea, put on some music and let’s chat sewing!  I endeavour to not set any more machinery alight but, if I do, it will receive a full blog post, complete with photos for your entertainment.

Thanks for stopping by.  Comments are welcomed like that first morning hug from a sleepy child!

Behind the Hedgerow

 

17 thoughts on “about

  1. hitcat

    YOU are the bees knees…love this blog, congratulations to your (re)found talents and the best of fun wishes to you on your journey. Cheers!

    Reply
  2. Mary Beth Keane

    Hi Laura,

    I’m also an expat sometime-sewist living in Brussels with three kids (older than your lovely wee ones). I’m an American, but have my children at the British school. I hope you do find yourself behind the hedgerows before too long. In the meantime, enjoy the chocolate and keep up your beautiful sewing.

    Mary Beth

    Reply
    1. laurabehindthehedgerow

      Hi Mary Beth – nice to hear of other sewists in Brussels! Thanks for reading – let’s keep in touch with any local sewing news (good fabric shops, sewing events, etc). I’ve just discovered a sewing group here in Brussels if you’re interested.

      Reply
  3. Maria

    Hi Laura, I think your blog is so lovely! It is amazing how internet let us connect and know that there are other creative minds sharing prettiness! I’m also trying to make my own blog at the moment. Wishing you all the best and see you around.

    Reply
  4. Mary Beth Keane

    Laura,
    Thanks for your message! Sorry that I didn’t reply earlier. I’ve been consumed by entertaining guests. Yes, I’d love to hear about a local sewing group. Let’s keep in touch.
    Mary Beth

    Reply
  5. Mary Irene Katsibas

    How exciting to see what you are doing! I am fascinated. Just another of the many great and varied things you have done in your young life.
    After my trip to Scotland with Michael I will spend more time looking at everything. Any suggestions for finding fabric in London? the fabric available in stores here isn’t worth spending time with so all the sewing I do now is for baby dolls!
    very best wishes from a very old long time friend.
    Mary
    .

    Reply
  6. Sharon

    The garments at beautifully made. Please can you tell me about the orange patterned smock/tunic you are wearing in your logo picture. Did you make this too? If so which pattern did you use ?
    Sharon

    Reply
  7. laurabehindthehedgerow

    Hi Sharon. Thanks for reading. The dress I’m wearing is the Lisette Portfolio dress (Simplicity 2245) which is sadly out of print :-(. Watch this space next week though – I’ve got some exciting news about this pattern (*lots* of people are disappointed that they can’t get their hands on it). x

    Reply
  8. Vanessa Heron

    Love the review of Merchant and Mills. I’ve just ordered the Factory dress pattern, having made two interesting shirt dresses from their pattern. I too visited the shop in Rye and got to see the back room, which is bigger and has a lovely atmosphere. Nice to see the background clutter. Look forward to going back. They’re expanding the shop part into the back room.

    Reply
  9. Toya

    You have expressed the things I love about sewing (and blogs) so much more articulately than I am able to. The bit about the creative and the technical is exactly how I feel – I shall follow your blog with interest. Thanks Toya

    Reply

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