Tina Givens does it all, and does it all very well! Chances are you’ve fallen in love with at least one of the prints from one of her beautiful fabric collections (Pssst: Opal Owl is on sale…), and Tina also designs wonderful stationary, patterns and more. Tina’s work features her signature, detailed watercolor art.
Today we’re excited to be a stop on Tina’s book tour for the newly released Sew Tina!: 30 Cute Projects & Adorable Décor Items for Kids. The book includes many darling clothing patterns for kids, featuring designs that allow for fun and movement. You’ll also love the thoughtful, delightful, kid-focused home décor projects in the book. Tina answered all of our quirky questions below, and is also offering a prize package for you to win today. Your comment on the blog today enters you to win a prize package that includes a copy of Sew Tina!, four yards of fabric, two boxes of stationary and two sewing patterns! Lark Crafts is also hosting a giveaway throughout the blog tour; for details and the tour schedule you can visit Lark Crafts (they’re offering three free projects too!).
Enjoy our interview with Tina, and be sure to comment for your chance to win!
Sew,Mama,Sew!: The designs in Sew Tina!; 30 Cute Projects & Adorable Décor Items for Kids look like clothes kids can actually move and play in. Do you create with fun in mind?
Tina: Absolutely. Kids are nutty and physically free. My daughter is constantly upside down and walking around on her hands, and Jonty slides into the room on his belly… So the garments, whether for infant or older kid, are always inspired by their movement, free expression and fun. I love a unique silhouette and love using loads of fabric, so the swingy-er the better!
SMS: What is your favorite children’s book?
Tina: Funny… I recently reacquired my favorite book as a kid and my daughter is reading it to me. Oh, wow, did it bring back memories! It’s called Miss Z, The Dark Young Lady, by Angela Carter and illustrated by Eros Keith. I am amazed at how much I loved the illustrations and when I opened the book recently (last I saw it I was about 9 years old) I was again mesmerized, and the lady in the book has a sewing machine and makes a magical dress. I love children’s books and have many favorites but this is my most recent experience.
SMS: Have you incorporated any of the book’s projects into your own home? Is there a dreamy bed canopy or whimsical mobile in your life?
Tina: Oh, yes, everyone must have a canopy whether it’s in a kids room or elsewhere. My Amelia has one over her bed. And mobiles, yes… They’re in my studio too, whether from fabric or paper. I love making the tassel that is shown in the book hanging under the canopy; I make these for around the house. I make many things for around the house. Quilts of course, loads of pillows and cushions, wall art, and even fabric-covered bulletin boards in the kids rooms, the studio, the laundry room… Anywhere I want color. I slipcover a lot of ottomans and some chairs, I cover lampshades and add things to light fixtures… Oh, I am getting antsy to do something new!
SMS: Do you believe in fairies?
Tina: Absolutely. I do. I paint many fairies for my stationery lines and would love to install a fairy door in my house… That is a must!
SMS: Do you have a favorite clothing design in the book? One that’s been particularly well-received by a child friend or one that you think is especially versatile?
Tina: The Zig Zag dress is my favorite and I have even made this for myself in chiffon. It’s sweet for kids, easy to wear and fun to make!
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Tina: Not so much super power but magic or like Samantha, so I could wiggle my nose and have all the dishes cleaned up, or the fabric bits and pieces magically disappear off the floor, or all the laundry done. I’d cook of course, sew and make things… It’s the clean up I have a problem with. That’s where the magic powers are needed, yes?
SMS: We’re big fans of all you do, from your fabric collections to your stationery and the beautiful watercolor art at the foundation of it all. Do you have tips to share about how to nurture a creative life?
Tina: Be yourself… Stop for a while and wonder and start by doing something you’d like to do whether it’s jewelry making, pottery, painting, sculpting. For me it was a millinery class after I quit my corporate job. It gave me time to play, and get my mind in a creative place. Next came the paint brushes and pencils, while I continued making hats… Just make the time to find it!
Then, nurture it by doing it and having fun at it. If it’s not fun, stop. Try something else. Always find a weekly pocket of time for yourself and if you don’t have a corner in the house that’s all yours, then create one. Get a perfect little desk or table that you love, put it in a semi-private corner or room, find a little comfy chair that’s all yours… You need a lamp for soft light, and voila!– Your own space to sit, create, think, read… blog….
Thanks for having me. I hope you love the book, it’s a fun concoction of fun things to make. Remember, don’t take yourself so seriously when you sew… Have fun with it!
Thanks, Tina! These photos are all projects in the book; clothing pattern sizes in the book range from 3m-18m (infant) and 2T-7 (kid). Readers, don’t forget to comment for your chance to win the fabulous prize package. Tell us about your love for Tina Givens, or perhaps you’d like to share what your super power would be or your favorite children’s book?!