Say hello to Lauren! Lauren has been sewing nearly all her life, making bags and clothing which clearly reflect her pretty, feminine style. But don't let the florals give you the impression she ain't tough - she's a marathon-running, hammer-wielding hardcore woman, turning her dreams into reality! Let's find out more...
Hi Lauren! Tell us - what are your favourite things to make for yourself?
"I love making little tops and blouses, they are relatively quick to stitch up (compared to a jacket or a men's fly that is!) and don't use a huge amount of fabric. I like spending time adding lots of little details to them, I think it's a great way to show off your style and personality and I'll rarely follow a pattern exactly. I like changing the neck line, altering the sleeves or adding darts."
What are your top sewing tips?
"I'm not a very technically accurate sewer! I tend to just think things through and figure it out as I go along, thinking about what order I need to stitch things in first. Sometimes I'll have to pin or hold seams together and turn things out the right way to check it's all going to work out. So I guess my top sewing tip is to just take things a step at a time and think it though before you sew."
What would you say to anyone who has seen the show and is thinking of learning to sew?
"Don't be put off by how perfect we were all trying to be to impress the judges. In real life, no one will be that particular, so just go for it. The rewards are huge!"
Lauren's Miette skirt
How did you find taking part in the show?
"It was really challenging but I feel so lucky to have been able to take part. I've met such an amazing group of people and the challenges that I managed to get through have hugely increased my confidence in being able to make more different types of clothes."
What was your best moment on the show?
"Apart from meeting amazing new friends, in terms of the challenges, the best moment was when I got the number one slot on the child's dress. I felt like I had been close so many times so I was really chuffed they picked me."
Your worst moment?
"The worst moments were having to say goodbye to my new friends each week as they were sent home. I wished we could have all stayed to the end and they just decided the winner that way. The long filming days were really hard too. After one long-almost 18 hour day, I can remember bursting into tears because I couldn't find one of my bags. It didn't take much to push me over the edge at that point, it was pretty exhausting."
Your funniest moment?
"There are so many! The whole thing seems like one funny moment when I look back on it. Between Stuart's one-liners and Claudia's silly comments and dances, there was always giggling going on."
Your fondest memory of taking part?
"Meeting the most amazing bunch of people ever. I've never had close friends that are as passionate about sewing as I am and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet these people and stay friends with them afterwards."
What are you doing now or what plans do you have for the future?
"I have a bit of a fabric addiction and have always dreamed of just being surrounded by fabrics, ribbons, buttons and trims. Over the past year, my husband and I have been working really hard on renovating a 19th Century Mock Tudor building in Moseley, Birmingham, and on Saturday 27th April I'll finally get to live the dream and open my own haberdashery, fabric and yarn store, Guthrie and Ghani. It feels so surreal that its actually happening. I'm so excited to share my passion with people and inspire them to be creative and see what they make. We also have a gorgeous studio above the shop where I'll be able to share my sewing skills by teaching workshops. I can't wait to spread the sewing bug. I'm addicted, and it feels good and I want other people to feel the same!"
So excited for Lauren that the doors to her dream haberdashery will open next weekend. I'll be there on Saturday morning - come and say hello!