First off – The winner of the fabric from my last blog post is spirit2sew congratulations! Send your mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can send the bundle out to you.
I just love Cabbage & Roses new fabric line, Northcote Range, because its vintage and faded look is so unique to today's market. I was excited when I got the chance to speak with the designer, Christina Strutt, who envisioned this line. Her rich history is both interesting and informative, and I know you will all enjoy hearing about it!
(Like what you see? The generous folks over at MODA fabrics have agreed to give a sampling of the Northcote Range fabric to one of the readers of this blog. To enter to win the fabric, leave a comment about your thoughts on this beautiful fabric line! I will announce the winner July 5th!)
Interview with Christina Strutt of Cabbage & Roses
LM: You have an extensive background in fashion and design. Can you tell us a little about this background?
CS: HAVING LEFT SCHOOL AT THE AGE OF 16 WITH NO QUALIFICATIONS WHATSOEVER, I FOUND MYSELF WORKING AT BRITISH VOGUE AT THE AGE OF 19, MY WHOLE LIFE’S CAREERS BEING LEAD BY CIRCUMSTANCE RATHER THAN AMBITION! THE BIRTH OF CABBAGES & ROSES NECESSITATED ME TO QUICKLY LEARN THE PROCESSESSES OF FABRIC DESIGN AND THE FASHION FOLLOWED QUICKLY AFTER.
LM: How did these experiences, help shape the fabric line that you created with MODA called “Northcote Range”.
CS: AS A WOMAN OF ‘CERTAIN AGE’ AND DURING MY CAREER OF WORKING AS AN INTERIOR DESIGNER (THIS WAS SQUEEZED IN AFTER MARRYING AND BEARING TWO CHILDREN), MY EYE WAS ALWAYS DRAWN BACK TO THE FADED FLORALS WHICH WERE UNAVAILABLE DURING THE 70’S, 80’S AND 90‘S – THE OPPORTUNITY OF CREATING A LINE FOR MODA WAS A PERFECT EXCUSE TO USE THE SMALLER PRINTS, WHICH WERE UNSUITABLE FOR OUR FURNISHING LINES. THE NORTHCOTE RANGE WAS PUT TOGETHER WITH THE INTENTION OF FIRST AND FOREMOST BEING USED AS QUILTING FABRICS, BUT IT IS ALSO PERFECT FOR CLOTHING AND SMALLER FURNISHING ITEMS LIKE CUSHIONS AND BAGS
LM: what were the other influences for this fabric line?
CS: VICTORIAN QUILTS, WHERE THE FABRICS FADED IN DIFFERENT WAYS, WHERE THE BASECLOTHS SOMETIMES YELLOWED WHILST THEIR COUNTERPARTS REMAINED CRISP WHITE. THE MIXTURE OF DIFFERENT PRINTS IN ONE PLACE – I LOVE THE IDEA OF MIXING AND NOT NECESSARILY MATCHING – ALTHOUGH THERE IS OPPORTUNITY FOR BOTH IN THE NORTHCOTE COLLECTION.
LM: Northcote Range is an interesting name. What is the background of this name?
CS: WHEN WE DESIGN A RANGE OF FABRICS, WE USUALLY GIVE IT A NAME THAT CONNECTS WITH OUR COMPANY, CABBAGES & ROSES, WE ALREADY HAVE A ‘LANGTON’ RANGE, NAMED AFTER OUR FIRST SHOP IN CHELSEA, LONDON, AND WE ALSO HAVE A BELLVUE RANGE, NAMED AFTER OUR SECOND SHOP, NORTHCOTE IS THE THIRD SHOP IN OUR STABLE!
LM: How do you envision your fabrics to be used?
CS: FIRST AND FOREMOST THE FABRICS CAN BE USED FOR ANY OF THE PATTERNS FEATURED IN OUR CRAFT BOOK ‘HOME MADE VINTAGE’ (AVAILABLE FROM CICO BOOKS, AMAZON AND GOOD BOOK STORES). WE ALSO MADE UP ITEMS FOR OUR PHOTO SHOOT WHICH INCLUDED TABLECLOTHS, BAGS, CUSHIONS, SKIRTS, DRESSES, AND FOR PATCHING DENIM JACKETS, AND OF COURSE QUILTS......!
LM: What advice can you give to new designers out there who are either looking to get into the fashion industry or into the fabric industry?
CS: THOROUGH RESEARCH INTO THE FIELD. THE MOST VALUABLE THING TO DO WOULD BE TO TRY AND GAIN WORK EXPERIENCE OR A PLACEMENT WITHIN A COMPANY DOING WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO. IN THE OLDEN DAYS, THIS WAS CALLED APPRENTICESHIP! THIS WAY YOU CAN SEE FIRST HAND ALL THE ASPECTS OF THE BUSINESS WHICH, SADLY, IN MOST CASES, WILL BE 10% DESIGN AND 90% BUSINESS!!
LM: When will this line be available to the general public?
CS: IT WILL BE AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER 2011
LM: Do you have any future plans to produce another fabric line? If so, when should we expect to see it?
CS: OH YES. THE NEXT LINE WILL BE AVAILABLE IN MAY 2012
LM: Thank you!
*Check out the Cabbage & Roses blog!
**Remember to leave a comment at the end of this post for your chance to win some of Cabbage & Roses new fabric, Northcote Range!