Eagle-eyed Cricut social media followers will have seen that we're working with Raph from Sewing Bee! Raph was 2021 finalist of the cult craft show The Great British Sewing Bee and he has been putting his Cricut Maker to good use recently. Find out more about his campaign with Oxfam here, and find out a bit more about Raph by reading our interview with him below.
It's great to be working with you Raph, tell us a bit about yourself
People might recognise me from being on the Great British Sewing Bee. I didn’t have much sewing experience before going on the show but my design ideas helped see me through to the final of the show. My creations included coming up with a design based on the life of Frida Khalo, developing a self-drafted pattern that I used to create a sustainable dress from old denims, and making an updated Dior-inspired outfit.
For my day job, I work as a textile artist in the film industry. I feel most comfortable in a creative environment. I form part of the costume department and get to work closely with costume designers to develop prints and colours for textiles ahead of them being turned into garments. It’s such a thrill and a privilege to eventually see the work when it reaches the big screen.
In my spare time, I love to make unique things and push my design skills. I find it really rewarding coming up with new concepts which have a message behind them. Bringing those concepts to life gives me a great sense of achievement.
Have you always been creative?
I had such a lucky childhood. I’m originally from an old French weavers' town called Cholet, South of the river Loire. I think, to this day, there is something in the air there.
My parents always encouraged us to use our creative brains as children. We all played musical instruments from a very young age (I still play the trumpet now in a number of bands). I remember we were allowed to draw on the walls of our house as kids. Some of those drawings are still on the walls today. I appreciate that must be a horrible idea for most parents!.
When I got older I did try other career paths, including starting medical school, but I knew quickly it wasn’t for me. I needed more colour in my life and the opportunity to express myself creatively to be happy.
How did you discover Cricut?
I first discovered Cricut through my film work, where we use plotting and cutting machines for screen printing. We also have a Cricut EasyPress™ in the studio which is super handy for lots of things, like pressing heat transfer vinyls on T-shirts.
Tell us what you love about Cricut? How does it help your creative process/make your life easier?
I’ve only recently started using Cricut at home. Creatives are often time-poor, getting your projects to a finished result can take a long time. Using Cricut machines makes my process much more efficient and allows me to execute them to a high standard.
There’s also a huge variety of accessories and materials available which really helps with bringing an idea to life.
Cricut Design Space™ is really intuitive too - no hassle and I can link it up easily to my laptop or phone.
What have you made using Cricut?
The first things I have used Cricut for at home have been fashion upcycling projects with the charity Oxfam. I repair and re-fashion old donated garments to give them a new lease of life and to avoid them going to landfill. Lots of the items needed patching up and I was able to make some cool appliques to customise the patches before the items were then sold in Selfridges to raise money to help Oxfam to fight poverty.
I’m really excited to be making my own projects in Design Space for Cricut in the future too! This is incredibly exciting for me as they will be available early in 2022 for everyone to make. So keep an eye out for those!
Thanks so much, Raph for answering our questions. Instagram users can see more of Raph's Cricut adventures by following him at https://www.instagram.com/raph_sew_and_so/.